Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements
Turmeric is an herbaceous plant scientifically called Curcuma longa belonging to the family Zingerberaceae commonly used for its rhizomes (looks like a root but actually is a stem of a plant that is commonly located below the top soil and is also called rootstalks). Its main active ingredient is curcumin which is responsible for its bitter, spicy and a bit mustard flavor usually used as a spice for the Indian, Persian and Thai dishes. It has also been long used as a dye and component of mustard condiment and curry powder.
For the past years, several clinical studies were published proving that turmeric and curcumin benefits include several medicinal and health improvement.
A recent study with heart bypasses operation patients conducted at Chiang Mai University Hospital in Thailand published at the American Journal of Cardiology proved that the patients who took the curcumin capsule had 65% less risk from post bypass operation cardiac attacks as compared to the other group who took placebo. Clinical data also confirmed that they had appreciably lower levels of inflammation and oxidative stress markers in their blood. This is significant since there are numerous post-operative medicines that the patient should take and this is believed to usually produce new episodes of cardiac inflammation. More than a few experts have already concluded that the main reason for heart disease is not cholesterol but inflammation eventually leading to atherosclerosis or arterial plaque and when not checked may lead to blocked areas of the heart, the forerunners of heart stroke and other cardiac ailments. Some studies also suggested that it prevents platelets from clotting or grouping together thus it is may avert the formation of blood clots in the walls of arteries.
Because of its property to decrease swelling or inflammation, they tried its effect on patients with arthritis. Most people with arthritis complain of a constant joint pain due to inflammation. Numerous studies proved of its medicinal benefits since laboratory data gave evidence to the presence of more than twenty-four anti-inflammatory compounds that hinders swelling. This includes six different COX-2-inhibitors which are responsible for the blocking the effects of the said enzyme causing pain, swelling, erythema and inflammation.
Lastly, the herb is believed to fight against cancer. Based on laboratory data, curcumin was found to eliminate cancer cells in petri dishes and also decrease the growth of any remaining cells. Recorded statistics on experimental animals has been shown that those who were given curcumin had less development of several forms of cancer and was even able to shrink animal tumors. A Phase II clinical trial done at a cancer center presented that turmeric was equivalent to or even pharmaceutically superior than all presently available US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs and to top it all, it does not even produce any side effects like nausea, vomiting and headache.
Although there are still more to learn about this spicy herb, we can be assured that since it is not synthetically made we are far from serious side effects and nearer to healthier bodies.