29/07/2021 / Health and Fitness

Does taking Turmeric for Inflammation work?

Turmeric has Curcumin in it, which have many scientifically proven health benefits, such as preventing arthritis, heart ailments, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.

Does taking Turmeric for Inflammation work?
Mazia AhmedMazia Ahmed

Mazia Ahmed

MSc Nutrition Science, Ph.D. Scholar

Table of Content

Introduction

  • Turmeric is one of the most effective nutritional supplements which is plentiful and is in existence. Many studies have also shown that it has significant benefits for the body as well as the brain. People generally use turmeric to make curry and various dishes, but many people also use it to treat inflammation and pain in an individual's body.

  • The main active ingredient that is found in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin is an inflammation blocker. It's as effective as some of the anti-inflammatory drugs without having significant side effects. It is also a powerful antioxidant. Unfortunately, the curcumin content is only around 3%, by weight of the turmeric we use. Most of the studies on this herb utilize turmeric extracts containing curcumin, with dosages that usually exceed 1 gram per day. It is a massive deal because inflammation often plays a role in every primary disease.

  • Ayurvedic medicine also recommends the use of turmeric for internal as well as external inflammation of the body. The practitioners generally treat fatigue, rheumatism, and severe pain with the help of turmeric. In the recent past, the people who are outside of the Ayurvedic practice usually considered turmeric as a spice. It was also used to dye fabric as well as food products. Now, it is trending around the world to treat ailments. It is very easy to find turmeric for medicinal use. It is generally available in teas, juices, as well as pills. 

What is a Turmeric Plant?

  • Turmeric is a plant that usually grows in most parts of Asia, including India and Central America. It is much related to the ginger plant. It generally has a pungent and bitter taste.

  • Dried turmeric roots generally become powder, tablets, capsules, teas, as well as extracts. Yellow curcumin is generally used for food coloring. Makeup manufacturers also add turmeric to their beauty products for its antioxidant properties. It also contains some essential oils which are used in perfumes.  

5 Health Benefits of Turmeric

1. When used in the supplement form, turmeric always has higher levels than when used as a spice for cooking food materials. 

2. It is generally considered a great addition to an anti-inflammatory diet of a person. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric make it a trendy remedy for health conditions, including:

  • Arthritis

  • Joint Pain

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  • Heartburn

  • Kidney Problems

  • Colitis

3. Anti-Inflammatory Compounds: Curcumin is also a Natural anti-inflammatory compound. Inflammation is incredibly important for the body. It helps fight foreign invaders and has a role in repairing damage to the body. Without inflammation in the body, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over the body and kill a person. Although acute and short-term inflammation is beneficial for the body, it can also become a significant problem later when it becomes chronic and starts inappropriately attacking the body tissues. 

  • Scientists now also believe that chronic and low-level inflammation plays a significant role in almost every chronic and western disease. This generally includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's, and various degenerative conditions. Therefore, anything that can help us fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases. 

  • Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory. It's so powerful that it generally matches the effectiveness of some of the anti-inflammatory drugs available in the market nowadays without showing side effects. It naturally blocks the NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of the cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a significant role in many chronic diseases of the body.

5 Health Benefits of Turmeric

3. It prevents as well as reduces Joint Inflammation: Turmeric helps to prevent and reduce joint inflammation in the body. This usually reduces pain, stiffness, as well as inflammation related to arthritis. Arthritis Patients generally respond very well to curcumin supplements. Curcumin was even found to be more effective than any anti-inflammatory drug. Many research studies have reported the effects of curcumin on arthritis, and they all noted improvements in the various symptoms of arthritis by using turmeric. The Arthritis Foundation suggests taking 400 to 600 mg turmeric capsules three times a day for treating arthritis. For this, one can take half to three grams of the root powder of turmeric every day. However, another study suggested that taking just one gram of curcumin per day may help arthritis patients. 

4. It is helpful against Alzheimer's disease: Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder. It causes dementia. No good treatment is available for Alzheimer's disease yet. Prevention is the first step that can help the disease not occur in the first place. To prevent Alzheimer's, curcumin is used as it crosses the blood-brain barrier and hinders the progression of this disease in the human body. 

  • It is also known that oxidative damage and inflammation play a role in Alzheimer's disease, and the compound curcumin also has beneficial effects on both types of problems. Furthermore, a key feature of Alzheimer's disease is that it builds up the protein tangles known as amyloid plaques. Curcumin can help clear these plaques as per research. 

5. The Health benefits of turmeric also include its ability to lower the cholesterol levels in an individual. While having the potential to prevent heart disease and cancer, curcumin may also aid a person's longevity.

How to take Turmeric for Pain?

  • Turmeric is mainly used in Indian and Asian cooking and is a long-standing tradition. A typical Indian diet generally supplies 2,000 to 2,5000 mg of turmeric per day. This equals 60 to 100 mg of curcumin intake into the body. When turmeric is used as a spice, it has about 3% curcumin. Turmeric extract has 95% curcumin. So adding turmeric to food provides some benefits, but not as much as a supplement. One problem with turmeric is that it is tough for the body to absorb the spice by itself. So the nutritionists suggest mixing the spice with black pepper and olive oil to help the body absorb it.

  • The World Health Organization found that 1.4 mg of turmeric per pound of body weight is okay for daily intake. However, it is generally not advisable to take high doses of turmeric for very long periods. 

5 conditions when you should avoid taking Turmeric

It is essential to be cautious with all the herbal supplements that a person takes inside the body. Turmeric is very safe when it is taken in the recommended doses into the body or when they are applied to the skin. A person should not intake turmeric in these conditions.

1. Iron Deficiency: If a person suffers from an iron deficiency, turmeric may interfere with how the body generally absorbs iron. This will lead to anemia symptoms in that person.

2. Kidney Stones: Turmeric has a high content of oxalate inside it. When bound with calcium, oxalate can result in painful kidney stones in the body, which is very dangerous.

5 conditions when you should avoid taking Turmeric

3. Gallbladder Disease: Turmeric is very dangerous if a person has gallbladder disease. It may also enable the gallbladder to contract and also make the symptoms worse. 

4. Bleeding Disorders: Turmeric can reduce the ability of blood to clot. Turmeric can also increase the risk of bleeding for someone who is on specific blood thinner meds.

5. Diabetes: Turmeric may cause a drop in the blood sugar levels of a person who is suffering from diabetes. So this is not recommended for the people who are suffering from it.

Word of Wisdom

Turmeric has many scientifically proven health benefits. It has the potential to act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound, and it is also found helpful in improving the symptoms of depression and arthritis in an individual. If you want to go for the curcumin supplement, it is recommended to find a product with BioPerine in it. BioPerine is a substance that enhances curcumin absorption in the body by 2,000%. Without this substance inside the body, most of the curcumin intake just passes through the digestive tract.


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