What's the Science?
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The spice has been used for its medicinal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties for thousands of years.
The anit-inflammatory properties can help particularly with arthritis, and studies have shown it reduces pain in Osteoarthritis.
It blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases. (Journal of Biological Chemistry)
Without getting into the details (inflammation is extremely complicated), the key takeaway is that curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level (Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine).
Research shows that turmeric can reduce the synaptic marker loss and the accumulation of amyloids linked to Alzheimer’s development.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic condition that causes ulcers in the lower end of the gastrointestinal tract. Turmeric could help maintain remission from symptoms. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a study found that UC patients in remission had significantly lower relapse rates if they consumed turmeric.
Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases. It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons. Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins or DNA.
The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial is that they protect your body from free radicals. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure (Journal of Adv Exp Med Biology) In addition, research has identified that curcumin boosts the activity of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates your body’s own antioxidant defenses.
"FEEL GOOD" - Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in your brain. (Brain Research) These are part of the brains "feel good" chemicals which brighten your mood.
FIGHTING CANCER - Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer. Listen to this remarkable testimony from BBC Radio 4.