Turmeric root, Curcumin, is demonstrating in labs exactly why traditional healers have used it for thousands of years.
Curcumin has demonstrated, in vivo, the ability to decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels in serum, and to increase the beneficial HDL cholesterol.
In one study, bile acid output increased by nearly 100 percent with the administration of Curcumin.
In another study of rodents fed a special diet to induce cholesterol gallstones, the incidence of cholesterol gallstones was reduced by curcumin.
Other studies have demonstrated Curcumin’s power against ulcers, hardening of the arteries, and in warding off harmful stomach bacteria. The natural anti-inflammatory activity of curcuminoids has also been found to be comparable in strength to steroidal drugs.
How it Begins
A classical definition of free radical is any species capable of independent existence that contains one or more unpaired electrons. Such unpaired electrons make the molecule highly reactive. The toxicity of free radicals is related with the fact that these species can react with all the cell molecular components.
Free Radicals do their damage in response to a sequence of changes resulting from an injury, and ultimately oxidative stress from the depletion of antioxidant defense mechanisms. Curcuminoids, and other antioxidants, have the ability to merge with potential radical molecules, preventing free-radical formation. Turmeric and curcumin appear to have significant antioxidant activity.
Even the defense of the body against foreign invasion, like an infection, brings with it a mixed bag. These defense mechanisms produce oxidants which can kill the invading bacteria, but may also cause harm to our cells.
Our normal body functions generate oxidants like superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and lipid peroxides. These are referred to as free radicals -“radical” (as opposed to the stable molecules), and “free” (to start a chain reaction in the body that will destabilize surrounding cells).
This process leads to tissue and organ degeneration that will eventually result in chronic inflammation, heart disease, accelerated aging and disorganized cell growth that may result in cancer.
What You Can Do
Antioxidants can stop free radical damage by minimizing or preventing the oxidants’ initial formation, or by neutralizing existing free radicals in the body. This is the reason why we need to maintain a steady supply of antioxidants in our bloodstream.
Aging exemplifies the cumulative result of free-radical damage to cells and organs. Our body has built-in mechanisms to counteract free radicals but, unfortunately, the aging process and disease gradually overwhelm our antioxidant defense resources.
Making sure we are getting an adequate supply of the most potent antioxidants both in our food and in supplement form is necessary to ward off the potential dire results of this ongoing damage.
Curcumin supplements are not all created equally. Trusted manufacturers are Vital Nutrients, Designs for Health, Dr Danielle, and Protocol for Life Balance.
Curcumin is not readily absorbed, it should be taken with foods that include some fat (it is fat-soluble), and black pepper. The bioprene in black pepper aids the absorption of turmeric/curcumin by 2000%!
Recommended dose is 500mg 3 x a day. Start with 1-2 a day and increase to 3, since Curcumin may increase bowel motility.
Therapeutic doses have been as high as 5 – 7 grams/day in studies. Consult with your naturopathic or a nutritional adviser if you are in treatment.
INTERACTIONS: Not for use during Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) or CPT-11 (irinotecan) chemotherapy as animal studies suggest the herb may interfere with the actions of these chemotherapy drugs.
NOTE: Curcumin is contraindicated in people who have gall stones or gall bladder disease. Turmeric increases bile flow. Use caution with high doses if you have very low platelet counts (& 60) or take a blood-thinning medication (e.g., Coumadin or Warfarin, Avastin).
Read more in an article published by LifeExtension Magazine: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag97/dec-report97.htm