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Turmeric powder and root on a wooden table, learn about turmeric supplement benefits

Turmeric is a spice from the turmeric plant commonly found in curries of all kinds. The root of the turmeric plant contains an ingredient named curcumin. Different cultures have used Turmeric as a natural remedy for different ailments for many years. Why is this? It has to do with how turmeric and curcumin work together to fight inflammation throughout the body.

Inflammation is a common symptom of many infectious diseases. However, an increasing body of evidence shows that chronic inflammation can cause and advance many common diseases including cancer and autoimmune disorders. With this research, looking at ways to limit unnecessary inflammation in the body is creating new ways to find relief.

Turmeric Supplement Benefit #1: Lowered Inflammatory Signals in the Body

Curcumin from a turmeric plant is an antioxidant that fights free radicals that float around causing damage to the body. Scavenging free radicals in the body reduces the levels of stress the body experiences. Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory, and a key trait of curcumin is how it helps prevent the inflammation response before it starts. Turmeric inhibits the release of chemicals in the body that triggers the process of inflammation.

Turmeric Reduces Joint Inflammation

Tumeric studies often focus on curcumin and how it benefits joint health. Many studies have noticed decreases in chronic inflammation throughout the body. Ingredients in Turmeric, like Curcumin, work to lower the inflammation response in the body. Therefore, controlling inflammation levels to reduce pain in the body and its joints.

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Excessive inflammation in the joints is the main cause of arthritis pain. Recent reports show that curcumin can be effective at slowing the amount of joint inflammation. Two smaller studies found curcumin to reduce joint swelling and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Turmeric Supplement Benefit #2: Improved Skin Health

Skin is another part of the body that can experience damage related to inflammation. In fact, many common skin conditions such as rashes or itching are typically a direct result of skin inflammation.
Using curcumin to control skin health has been the focus of many recent studies. For example, one study using curcumin to improve health after UV ray exposure and another concerned with curcumin and healthy bacteria both found positive results.

Turmeric Supplement Benefit #3: Heart Health

For a healthy heart, cholesterol levels must be kept at safe levels to ensure healthy blood flow. Excessive blood lipids, like cholesterol, lead to fat deposits building on artery walls and increasing blood pressure. As a result, a higher risk of heart disease is directly related to these conditions.

In a recent study, scientists tested the ability of turmeric to control blood lipid levels. Results indicate that curcumin was able to reduce blood lipid levels for patients considered at risk for heart disease. The patients in the study taking turmeric curcumin supplements experienced “a natural cardioprotective effect” in controlling LDL and triglyceride levels.

Tumeric Supplement Benefit #4: Digestive Health Support

In addition to the benefits already mentioned, some smaller studies have suggested turmeric may be helpful for digestion. Low stomach acid and bile levels can be causes of poor digestion. Bacterial infections can result due to poor digestion and lack of stomach fluid to properly digest food.

Turmeric helps in this area by improving the response of the stomach to create the necessary chemicals. Adequate stomach chemicals allow food to break down better and move more efficiently through the body. In addition, turmeric can help prevent ulcers from forming in the stomach that can result from stress or alcohol.

A small study of 116 adults found turmeric better than a placebo for indigestion. The participants taking turmeric took 2,000 mg per day (500 mg, four times daily).

To aid in the digestion and absorption of turmeric, it is best to take this dietary supplement with a meal that contains fat.

Turmeric Supplement Benefit #5: Insulin Resistance and Diabetes

Curcumin may lessen blood sugar and insulin increases after eating in healthy people. A tiny study of 15 healthy young adults (average age 26 years) found turmeric taken right before eating reduced the increase in blood sugar by 61% and insulin levels by 26% compared with a placebo.  The same researchers also conducted a 90-day study of 29 adults (average age 52) with insulin resistance and found supplementation reduced insulin resistance compared to placebo. Other studies have looked at people with type II diabetes and have found only a limited benefit.

Forms of Turmeric and Amounts of Curcumin

Turmeric is a plant that grows in Southeast Asia. Grocery stores in larger cities may have fresh turmeric root in the produce section, and turmeric powder in the spice aisle. Turmeric powder in the grocery store comes from grinding turmeric root into a powder. Overall, in a normal turmeric root, only two to three percent of turmeric’s total weight contains curcumin. The turmeric extracts found in supplements are much higher, to levels as high as 95% total curcuminoids. (Cooper Complete Turmeric Curcumin Complex supplement contains turmeric extract standardized to 95% total curcuminoids.) This is an area of nutrition where enormous amounts of turmeric would need to be consumed in food to approach the levels found in supplements.

As a reminder, your physician understands your health profile best, so it’s important to talk to him/her about which supplements are best for you.

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