How Turmeric Contributes to a Healthy Lifestyle

How Turmeric Prevents Chronic Disease

Turmeric contains some of the most potent bioactive compounds, making it a top resource for chronic disease prevention. It is important to note that consuming turmeric by itself is useless due to poor absorption of curcumin. However, when it is consumed with black pepper, its absorption increases by 2,000%. (1)

Turmeric and Cancer

Turmeric’s primary benefits are due to the plant compound, curcumin, which is found almost exclusively in turmeric. (2)

  • Studies on curcumin as a cancer therapeutic are limited to test tube and animal studies, but the results of these studies are promising.
    • Curcumin has been shown to be most effective at inducing cell death of breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells. (3)

How Turmeric Prevents Cardiovascular Disease

Curcumin has remarkable effects on cardiovascular disease risk factors. Studies ranging from 20mg to 4000mg of curcumin intake (1 Tsp= 200mg) resulted in increased HDL cholesterol and reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. (4)

  • HDL cholesterol is the healthy variety that reduces plaque formation by moving LDL cholesterol out of the body. (5)
  • Maintaining lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels is crucial for heart health. High levels are indicators of elevated heart attack and stroke risk. (6)

How Turmeric Prevent Diabetes

One study showed that prediabetic patients treated with curcumin extract did not develop diabetes, while 16% of untreated prediabetics eventually developed diabetes after 9 months. (7) Patients given the extract had improved pancreatic function and reduced insulin resistance.

Turmeric Promotes a Number of Health Benefits

How Turmeric Helps with Pain

Turmeric and curcumin are among the most potent natural anti-inflammatory substances, with large doses matching the effects of ibuprofen. Joint and bone conditions like osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) are correlated with increased inflammation. (5) Consuming turmeric has been shown to reduce inflammatory factors and reduce symptoms associated with arthritis, which affects nearly 1 in 4 American Adults. (6)

Turmeric has also been shown to help with muscle recovery through its anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, taking curcumin with pepper reduced soreness in rugby players, and other studies have shown workout-induced inflammation was reduced when curcumin was introduced. (7)

Turmeric May Help Promote Mental Health

Studies have shown that supplementation of curcumin reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, with a very potent effect on specifically anxiety symptoms. (8)

Turmeric Enhances Cognition and Prevents Cognitive Decline

Patients that were supplemented with curcumin were able to improve their scores on a cognition test and also stave off signs of age-related cognitive decline. (9) It is believed that the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties of curcumin are the reasons behind these observations, but more studies are needed to confirm these results.