Turmeric is a spice, commonly used in Asian food, derived from the root of the turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) plant. The plant is a perennial herb and a member of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family. Curcumin is the yellow-colored primary active constituent derived from turmeric and is commonly used to colour foods and cosmetics.
The rhizome (root) of turmeric has long been used in traditional Asian medicine to treat gastrointestinal upset, arthritic pain, and "low energy." The dried root of turmeric is reported to contain 3-5% curcumin and research has indicated that curcumin may exert a number of potentially therapeutic effects, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, and insecticidal properties. However, clinical evidence for these benefits is lacking.
Preliminary human evidence suggests curcumin’s possible efficacy in the management of several medical conditions including dyspepsia, osteoarthritis, hyperlipidemia and improving cognitive function.
Curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have been suggested as a means of improving or preserving cognitive function in conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and aging. Preliminary evidence has suggested that curry may be associated with improved cognitive performance (i); however, additional research is necessary to confirm these findings.
Dyspepsia and IBS
Turmeric has been traditionally used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal disorders, particularly indigestion associated with fatty meals and may provide some symptomatic relief (ii). A study evaluating a mixture of curcumin and other substances (lactoferrin, N-acetylcystein, and pantoprazole) for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection found that seven days of administration significantly improved symptoms of dyspepsia (iii).
Preliminary research has also suggested that turmeric may alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (iv).
Studies have reported reductions in low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol levels in response to taking turmeric (v).
Turmeric and its constituent curcumin have both been identified as possessing anti-inflammatory properties (vi). In clinical research, curcumin (400mg three times daily for five days) was found to reduce edema and tenderness in 40 subjects with postoperative inflammation after hernia or hydrocele repair (vii).
Turmeric has been used historically to treat rheumatic conditions. Studies have shown turmeric and curcumin to possess anti-inflammatory properties, which may play a role in the symptomatic relief of osteoarthritis. In a comparative study, an extract of curcumin was seen to be as effective as ibuprofen in relieving pain and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee (viii).
In combination with other herbs turmeric has also been shown to be effective in skin conditions Other preliminary research suggests that turmeric and curcumin might also have antioxidant and immunostimulatory effects and in one study, vitamin E levels increased after 6 months of treatment with 1-4 grams/day of curcumin, possibly indicating that antioxidant effects of curcumin were sparing vitamin E. It is thought to interfere with viral infections and is currently being investigated for its use in HIV.
How Much Do You Need
Two level teaspoons of powder twice a day, or as capsules 500-1200mg, standardized to 95% curcuminoids. The rate of absorption appears to be increased by food.
Are there any cautions
As turmeric has been shown to decrease platelet aggregation, concomitant use of anti-coagulant medication such as warfarin or heparin is not advised without consulting your medical practitioner.
Why Healthspan’s Opti-Turmeric?
Standard curcumin isn’t water soluble and is therefore very poorly absorbed by our bodies. Opti-Turmeric’s unique formulation contains NovaSOL® curcumin micelles, which are water soluble resulting in optimum absorption in the intestine – it is 185 times better-absorbed and seven times faster-acting than standard turmeric tablets.
Healthspan’s highly potent capsules contain 500mg of NovaSOL® curcumin – the most bioavailable form of curcumin, along with 20mg of vitamin C which offers further support contributing to cartilage formation, as well as to immune health.