10 Best Uses of Curcumin - Turmeric Extract
Turmeric has been a common ingredient in age-old medicines. It is a popular spice known for its immense health benefits. Various chronic diseases can be averted with turmeric. This spice is derived from the roots of a flowering plant that has its origin in India and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Turmeric is a must-ingredient in Indian cuisine and it gives a bright yellow colour to the preparations. The main component of turmeric is curcumin and this is the one that gives the spice the vibrant yellow colour.
Turmeric is loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that contribute to the various health benefits derived from it. But in reality, the potential health benefits are mainly due to its active ingredient-curcumin.
There are innumerable claims about the potential uses of turmeric extract i.e., curcumin.
What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is one of the most prominent components of turmeric. Turmeric contains curcuminoids, the bioactive compounds and curcumin are one of these curcuminoid compounds. The major portion of these active curcuminoids is curcumin and that is the reason for it is referred to as the ‘star’ of turmeric.
Curcumin gives the yellow colour to turmeric and the credit for the major health benefits of turmeric can be given to curcumin.
Health benefits of Curcumin
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties enhance the uses of curcumin. It helps in preventing several chronic diseases and infections. But turmeric and curcumin on their own cannot be easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
Turmeric consumed along with pepper gives better results. To enhance the curcumin benefits it is recommended to use it along with pepper if included in your diet. A compound called piperine is what actually makes turmeric more bioavailable. If you are turning to turmeric supplements to get the required level of curcumin, then you should go for supplements that have piperine in the formula. Given below are some of the uses of turmeric extract, i.e., curcumin.
#1. Reduces inflammation
Inflammation helps as it plays a key role in damage repair. Short-term inflammation is beneficial but chronic inflammation becomes dangerous as it damages the tissues of your body. Chronic inflammation can play a significant role in causing some health conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, heart disease and arthritis.
The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin help it to fight chronic inflammation. The right dose of curcumin might prove to be the most effective anti-inflammatory treatment. Since it prevents chronic inflammation, it can be used to treat chronic diseases which are a result of acute inflammation.
#2. Protects against the risk of cardiovascular diseases
Studies show that curcumin may enhance endothelial function or the health of the thin membrane that shields the inside of the heart and blood vessels. This membrane plays an important role in managing blood pressure levels. The risk of heart disease increases as you age since the endothelial function slows down as you age. Curcumin will protect you from this age-related deterioration and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular issues.
#3. Reduces the symptoms of osteoarthritis
The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin extend the curcumin benefits for treating individuals with osteoarthritis. Earlier, people with osteoarthritis consumed 1000 mg of Meriva which comprised 75% of curcumin and 15% of demethoxycurcumin and 10% bisdemethoxycurcumin, phosphatidylcholine (found in soybeans, eggs, etc) and microcrystalline cellulose (commonly used as a food and pharmaceutical ingredient). People treated with Meriva showed considerable improvement in stiffness and functioning of the joints after prolonged use.
#4. Protects the body from free radicals
Free radicals are a bunch of highly reactive atoms produced by our bodies. They are also a result of environmental pollution caused by cigarette smoke, and industrial chemicals and can cause great damage to your health. Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals. Free radicals can meddle with your body’s DNA, proteins and fats which can cause several health issues like arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. One of the curcumin benefits is to protect your body from free radical damage. The antioxidants in curcumin are capable of hunting different forms of free radicals, managing enzymes that neutralise free radicals and stopping particular enzymes from producing specific types of free radicals
#5. Boosts your brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
Uses of curcumin include boosting the levels of the brain hormone BDNF which stimulates the growth of new neurons and prevents several degenerative processes in your brain.
Decreased levels of BDNF can cause several degenerative issues like depression and Alzheimer's. Curcumin stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine which are mood enhancers and also increases the levels of BDNFand prevents the shrinking of the hippocampus, a brain area that plays a key role in learning and memory. Consuming the right dose of curcumin can help prevent or even reverse these degenerative conditions.
#6. Helps prevent diabetes
Studies have shown that treating and preventing diabetes and also diseases associated with diabetes like diabetic nephropathic is one of the many uses of turmeric extract i.e., curcumin. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin help prevent diabetes and the factors that contribute to diabetes like insulin resistance and high blood sugar.
#7. Improves skin health
The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of curcumin benefit in treating various types of skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis and photoaging. Curcumin when used topically is safe even in high doses. But due to low bioavailability, the effect of curcumin is best when used parallelly with other skin treatments.
#8. Slows down the ageing process
The anti-inflammatory property of curcumin protects the body from free radicals and potentially delays age-related issues as well as brain degeneration. Curcumin may be an effective anti-ageing supplement.
#9. Prevents eye degeneration
Studies have revealed that curcumin benefits age-related eye issues. Curcumin when topically applied to the eyes in the form of eye drops helps in preventing age-related macular degeneration that could lead to various conditions like cataracts and glaucoma. It is observed that eye supplements include curcumin in the formula.
#10. May help treat cancer
The major cause of cancer is rampant cell growth. Curcumin supplements have benefitted several forms of cancer. Studies have shown that curcumin has been an effective treatment to arrest cancer growth and development. Curcumin benefits cancer treatment in the following ways
- Destroys cancerous cells
- Inhibits the growth of new blood vessels in tumours.
- Inhibits metastasis i.e., growth of cancer
Research has revealed that curcumin is effective in preventing certain types of cancer like colorectal cancer that affect the digestive system.
How do you consume Curcumin?
Most Indian cuisines contain turmeric. It is a mandatory ingredient in all recipes not only because it makes the preparation colourful but also because it has immense health benefits. Sole consumption of curcumin will not be as effective as consuming it along with other compounds like piperine. Piperine is found in pepper and so turmeric is normally combined with pepper for better bioavailability.
Uses of turmeric extract, i.e., curcumin, have been scientifically proven. Curcumin improves heart health and also prevents age-related degenerative diseases. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin enhance its benefits, helping reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis and depression.
If you’re unable to get the required level of curcumin from dietary sources, you can always opt for curcumin supplements. Setu Curcumin supplements are clinically verified, safe to use, and way more powerful than anything else available on the market today. The bioavailability of curcumin is enhanced in these supplements thanks to the presence of piperine (black pepper extract), Vitamin C, and MCT oil for higher bioavailability (and higher efficacy)!