Curcumin (Curcuma longa) is the principal curcuminoid (natural phenols) found in the spice Turmeric which is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). Tumeric is used in curries and other spicy dishes from India, Asia, and the Middle East and gives curry its characteristic yellow colour. Like many herbal remedies, it was first used as a food and later medicinal qualities were discovered. Turmeric has been used historically as a component of Indian Ayurvedic medicine since 1900 BC to treat a wide variety of ailments. Research has identified curcumin as being responsible for most of the biological activity of turmeric.
Over the centuries, this spice has been used as a pain relieving, anti-inflammatory agent to relieve pain and inflammation in the skin and muscles. It has served as a treatment for jaundice, menstrual difficulties, haematuria, haemorrhage, colic, digestive issues and flatulence. In modern times, research has focused on Curcumin's antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, antimicrobial properties, and on its use in cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and as a treatment for the liver.
Due to its colour, it is used as a food colouring in a wide variety of foods such as mustard, margarine, processed cheese, cakes, curry powder, soft drinks and sweets. As a food additive, its E number is E100.
How the body benefits and how it works:
Its potential anticancer effects stem from its ability to induce apoptosis in cancer cells without cytotoxic effects on healthy cells. Curcumin can interfere with the activity of the transcription factor NF-κB, which has been linked to a number of inflammatory diseases such as cancer.
Curcumin was shown to "directly and irreversibly" affect the growth of new cancers. It appears to suppress the onset of tumours as well as their growth and metastasis. It has been found that "Curcumin should be considered as a safe, non-toxic, and easy to use chemotherapeutic agent for colorectal cancers that arise in the setting of chromosomal instability as well as microsatellite instability." Treatment with Curcumin has fewer side effects than some other cancer treatment. One researcher wrote, "Naturally occurring COX-2 inhibitors such as Curcumin and certain phytosterols have been proven to be effective as chemopreventive agents against colon carcinogenesis with minimal gastrointestinal toxicity
Curcumin appears to arrest cancer cells, stopping them before they can grow and spread throughout the rest of the organ and on to the rest of the body.
Several studies have reported that Curcumin is beneficial in lowering LDL and raising HDL or good cholesterol while reducing the lipid peroxidation. Curcumin is known to inhibit blood clotting.
Heavy metals, anti-oxidant
Curcumin can bind with heavy metals (cadmium, lead & mercury) thereby reducing their toxicity.
In the body, Curcumin functions as a free radical scavenger. It also reduces free radical production, functioning as an antioxidant. The cancer-fighting properties of Curcumin come from its ability to inhibit neuroglia cell proliferation. Curcumin inhibits lipo-oxygenase activity.
400- 600 mg Curcumin: 1 to 3 times daily.
Reporting of side effects is uncommon and is generally regarded as safe.
Do not use this supplement if you have gallstones, during pregnancy or when using blood thinning medication like Warfarin, Plavix etc and avoid two weeks prior to major surgery.
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