What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is the main biologically active phytochemical in Tumeric, the Indian spice that gives curry its yellow color.
Curcumin was first used by Indians over 3000 years ago in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Modern science has found that this extract from the common spice turmeric has remarkable healing qualities.
Key Points to understanding Curcumin supplementation
First of all it is important to understand that only 2-6% of the Tumeric spice contains actual curcuminoids. These curcuminoids, of which there are many different types are often referred to simply as "curcumin" for convenience purposes. When shopping for curcumin you really should be looking for curcumin standardized to 95% curcuminoids; often labeled as Curcumin 95.
It is also important to understand that Curcumin has long been known to have poor bio-availability, requiring high doses to achieve desired blood levels.
The best way around this low absorption is to use a patented formula called Super Bio-Curcumin, which absorbs up to 7 times better than conventional curcumin supplements.
So, What are the Main Health Benefits of Curcumin?
Curcumin is one of the most investigated natural supplements of our time, with over 2000 studies confirming its powerful anti-carcinogenic, anti inflammatory, anti viral and antioxidant properties.
Curcumin has demonstrated beneficial results for most of the chronic diseases afflicting mankind, including: breast,lung,stomach and prostate cancers, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer disease, atherosclerosis and other illnesses.
Curcumin Helps Prevent Clogged Arteries & Heart Disease
Avoiding clogged arteries is a good thing. Clogged arteries increase your risk of atherosclerosis, a disease that increases your risk of both heart attacks and strokes.
Curcumin has a powerful anti inflammatory effect, and helps stop the formation of dangerous coronary artery plaque by lowering levels of systemic inflammation; which causes a foamy substance in your arteries that can become unstable and rupture, leading to a heart attack.
Excessive Inflammation is a key new indicator of a potential heart attack, and can be measured by determining your level of C-reactive protein or CRP. Curcumin has actually been shown to completely inhibit the effect of CRP on endothelial cells (the thin layer of cells that line the interior of blood vessels).
Curcumin also helps prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. Oxidized LDL is an another emerging cardiovascular risk factor, and there are multiple lines of evidence suggesting that oxidized LDL plays a dominant role in the formation of atherosclerosis.
Contrary to popular belief, normal cholesterol is actually good for you, it is the oxidized LDL form of cholesterol that damages blood vessels and builds up into the plaque that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Curcumin can even Protects the Hearts DNA.
Scientists at the Canadian Institute of Health Research have found that, at least in mice, curcumin prevents the production of scar tissue and helps enlarged hearts return to normal pumping capacity. This study shows that curcumin acts directly on the DNA of heart cells, and protects them from unraveling under stress.
Curcumin also Protects Against other Inflammatory Diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes and Alzheimer's Disease.
The most studied pharmacological benefit of curcumin lies in its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcuminoids inhibit enzymes which participate in the synthesis of inflammatory substances in the body.
Numerous studies have shown Curcumin to be as potent against inflammation as the pharmaceutical drugs Hydrocortisone, Phenylbutazone, and others; plus it performs better than over the counter NSAID drugs like Motrin. All the above drugs have toxic side effects; curcumin on the other hand has no known toxicity.
Recent studies have tied excessive inflammation to the overexpression of a protein molecule called nuclear factor-kappa beta (NFkB). Curcumin inhibits the over expression of NFkB and also acts on substances that activate it.
Curcumin has further anti inflammatory action by inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase (LOX) and cyclooxygenase (COX-2)
Recently, pharmaceutical COX-2 inhibitors have fallen under a lot of scrutiny in regards to the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Curcumin has been shown to potently inhibit the COX-2 enzyme in a variety of cell types with no known side effects.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Help - Curcumin to the Rescue
Curcumin also Shows Promise for Helping Diabetes
Curcumin even Protects against Alzheimer's and Dementia
Curcumin Also has Powerful Anti Cancer Properties
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S, first is Heart Disease which curcumin also helps; the risks of getting both of these diseases significantly increases as we age.
Curcumin has proven itself beneficial as a a potent cancer-preventative agent, with over 400 studies published in the last few years alone.
Substantial research supports the fact that curcumin can actually slow the growth of tumors by regulating a host of different cell signaling pathways; thereby, essentially cutting off the communication channels between cancerous cells in such a way that tumors have a difficult time surviving.
Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center published a scientific review of what they refer to as their favorite anti-cancer nutrient - curcumin.
' ... Curcumin is one of the most powerful and promising chemopreventive and anticancer agents ... How curcumin exerts its powerful anticancer activities has been thoroughly investigated, and several mechanisms of action have been discovered ... curcumin exerts its biological activities through epigenetic modulation.'
A multitude of research studies have shown that curcumin can slow the growth of tumors and help prevent the progression of various cancers such as: breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer,cervical cancer and gastrointestinal cancers like colon cancer to name a few.
Curcumin - The Nutrient with Intelligence
In the case of cancer cells, The two powerhouses Curcumin and Resveratrol can both unleash a powerful response that can actually help kill cancer cells. On the other hand, when these super nutrients are exposed to healthy cells they promote survival and the ability to tolerate stress.
In other words, they actually have a sort of super intelligence that differentiates and attacks cancer cells and at the same time protects healthy cells.
This sort of intelligence is only available in nature, pharmaceutical drugs can not do this, they take a shotgun approach to cancer and usually end up damaging healthy cells in the process. Nature knows best, and when it comes to cancer protection, both Curcumin and Resveratrol along with drinking Green Tea are you best bets.
Curcumin - The Super Antioxidant and Brain Protector
Curcumin has well-established antioxidant benefits. It is 5 to 8 times stronger than vitamin E and can even recycles vitamin E in the body, neutralizing oxidative damage, and helping to boost your bodies own natural super antioxidants, glutathione and super oxide dismutase.
The antioxidant properties of curcumin have been of particular interest in the area of brain health, as research suggests curcumin helps to neutralize the oxidative damage caused by excess free radicals in the brain. Curcumin may also protect the brain by helping to reduce the formation of plaques, which can contribute to decreased cognition and poor memory.
Another benefit associated with curcumin's antioxidant properties is that it may help promote healthy cell growth and cell division in various body organs, such as the prostate, colon, bladder, mouth/cheek, stomach, cervix and skin.
Finally, Curcumin is also an Anti Aging Skin Protector
Curcumin protects skin by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammatory skin responses through inhibiting nuclear factor-KB. Curcumin also reduces wound-healing time, cleanses your skin, improves collagen deposition which helps maintain skin elasticity, and balances the effects of skin flora.
Madalene Heng, M.D., Professor of Medicine / Dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine recently reported on the health and skin benefits of curcumin:
She says that "the compounds can be used to treat inflammation and may even help with scar and wound repair … These anti-inflammatory powers may help reduce fine lines and sun-damaged skin, and even reduce the appearance of fresh scars."
Curcumin truly is one of natures most beneficial super nutrients and is a powerful ally in the protection against cancer & in the assistance with Healthy Aging.
What is the Recommended Dosage?
There is no minimum daily requirement for Curcumin. Some Practitioners recommend capsules that provide 400 to 600 mg of Curcumin 3 times daily for a total of around 1700 mg a day; but due to poor absorptions optimum dosage may be much higher.
Despite curcumin's impressive array of benefits, the main problem has been that it is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream through the digestive tract.
We actually recommend Super Bio-Curcumin® which is the only curcumin supplement that we sell. Super Bio curcumin uses a patented form of curcumin that absorbs up to seven times better than conventional curcumin, and stays in the body twice as long. Plus this enhanced absorption delivery complex provides other beneficial turmeric compounds that are combined with standardized curcumin and are not in other curcumin supplements.
Is it Safe?
Curcumin is classified as "Generally Recognized as Safe", or GRAS, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Taking large doses of curcumin, up to 12,000 mg per day, does not appear to increase the risk of severe adverse reactions, explains the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Due to this lack of toxicity, the Institute of Medicine has not set a tolerable upper intake level of curcumin.
No apparent side effects of curcumin have been reported thus far. The following mild contraindications have been reported by a few studies at extremely high dosages, probably over 12,000 mg a day which is definitely not recommended; they are: GI upset, chest tightness, and possible skin rashes; which may be minimized by consuming curcumin with food. A few cases of allergic contact dermatitis from curcumin have been reported.
Do not take curcumin if you have gallbladder problems or gallstones, or if you are taking anti-coagulant or anti-platelet medications, or have a bleeding disorder; as curcumin is a natural anticoagulant and in theory could interact with these medications, although we were unable to find any proof of this.
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