THE BLOG

Turmeric: The Ultimate Spice

21/02/2014 14:19 GMT | Updated 23/04/2014 10:59 BST

With the ability to positively influence 586 diseases (including fat loss, obesity and diabetes) and boast about the fact that it has 1,543 scientific journal entries, turmeric the spice native to Southeast Asia is a true superfood shown to have remarkable healing and anti-inflammatory properties that are just now being discovered.

Turmeric and inflammation

Cellular inflammation, also known as chronic or low grade inflammation is a common day epidemic that is the catalyst for most disease in modern societies. Turmeric has been shown to reduce inflammation & oxidative stress as well as any herbal medicinal ever studied.

Turmeric is a powerful pain inhibitor and has been shown to be more effective that NSAID's (anti-inflammatory drugs). [1]

Turmeric and diabetes

Blood sugar imbalances and insulin resistant cell membranes are critical factors that promote inflammatory conditions in the body. Curcumin has been shown to stabilize blood sugar and reverse cellular insulin resistance by increasing the number of insulin receptors and improving the receptor binding capacity to insulin.

Curcumin has been shown to activate PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activator receptor), which is a group of nuclear receptor proteins that regulate gene expression and modulate sugar uptake and utilisation from the blood. Curcumin also acts on the liver to decrease the activity of enzymes that release sugar into the blood while increasing activity of enzymes that store sugar.

Through these mechanisms, curcumin has been shown to significantly reduce blood glucose and triglyceride levels in diabetic rats; turmeric has been shown to reverse diabetes.

Turmeric and anti-ageing

When blood sugar imbalances occur without sufficient regulation, glucose cross-links are formed with functional proteins. These new molecules are called Advanced Glycolytic Enzymes (AGE) that damage cell membranes, vital enzyme systems, and perpetuate inflammatory conditions in the body. [2]

Turmeric and fat loss

In one such study from the Xi'an Jiaotong University School of Medicine (3), it was found that turmeric can even counter the negative effects of a 'junk food' diet.

The study also found that curcumin (a compound within turmeric) consumption directly decreased levels of insulin resistance and leptin resistance, two factors heavily linked to fat gain.

Turmeric as an antioxidant

Turmeric is the 4th highest antioxidant rich spice with an impressive ORAC score of 159,277; these antioxidants such as curcumin are very powerful modulators of oxidative stress.

Turmeric and anti-cancer properties

Researchers at UCLA [4] found that curcumin, the primary component in turmeric also responsible for its colour, exhibited these cancer blocking properties during a study involving 21 participants suffering from head and neck cancers.

The Life Extension Foundation (LEF) has conducted extensive research [5] into the anti-cancer properties of turmeric and found that the spice targets an astounding 10 factors involved in cancer development, including DNA damage, chronic inflammation, and disruption of cell signalling pathways. Countless hundreds of published studies, it turns out, have also shown that curcumin is a potent anti-cancer food that blocks cancer development in a number of unique ways.

Curcumin also interferes with production of dangerous advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that trigger inflammation which can lead to cancerous mutation. [6]

Turmeric has proven highly effective in combating female cancers; it has the ability to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in a variety of hormone negative cancers, including the highly aggressive triple negative breast cancers. [7] [8]

Turmeric and brain health

Turmeric improves blood flow and reduces brain inflammation, thus making you cognitively sharper while protecting against Dementia, Alzheimer`s, Parkinson`s and every other neurodegenerative disorder. [10]

Turmeric and skin damage

It has been shown to speed up wound healing from cuts & burns while reducing inflammatory skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema.

See my simple recipe to get turmeric into your diet every single day.

References

[1] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/turmeric-extract-puts-drugs-knee-osteoarthritis-shame

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22449800

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19176142

[4] http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/cancerresearchnews/2011/UCLAStudyTurmeric

[5] http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/mar2011_How-Curcumin-Protects-Against-Cancer_01.htm

[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9973181

[7] http://www.hoajonline.com/journals/pdf/2052-6199-1-6.pdf

[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19809577

[10] http://www.examiner.com/article/sacramento-area-scientists-examine-turmeric-s-health-benefits-for-the-brain