Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is a vibrant orange-yellow spice, that has been employed by traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to promote health. Many healthful phytonutrients are found in turmeric, but most investigators believe curcumin is primarily responsible for turmeric’s health promoting properties. Curcumin is concentrated in the underground stem of Curcuma longa and is the substance responsible for the spice’s vivid color. Curcumin is a type of polyphenol. Polyphenol’s describe a broad and large class of plant nutrients that provide many benefits when consumed through diet or supplementation. Curcumin, together with other curcumin like substances are referred to curcuminoids and make up roughly 5% of turmeric. Curcuminoids are poorly absorbed and some estimates suggest only 1% of curcuminoids are absorbed after consumption. Therefore, supplementation with higher doses may provide sufficient blood levels for therapeutic benefit.
*Potential Benefits of Rosemary for Joint, Bone, Tendon, and Muscle Health 5,6,7
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant 8,9,10,11,12
Oxidative damage is a key mechanism that causes pre-mature aging of joint and muscle tissue. Curcumin can neutralize high energy, free radicals that contain oxygen and/or nitrogen, reducing the damage these molecules can cause to joint and muscle tissue. Curcumin may also enhance the activity of many antioxidant enzymes that your body naturally produces like superoxide dismutase. Moreover, curcumin boosts the sulfur containing enzymes and substances in your body that help detoxify dangerous toxins.
Curcumin is an ant-inflammatory 13, 14,15,16
Chronic low grade inflammation is a driving force behind chronic joint and muscle injury. Curcumin inhibits the activity of nuclear factor kappa beta, the protein that is primarily responsible for promoting activation of DNA that stimulates inflammation.
Curcumin also hampers tumor necrosis factor alpha, the main signaling molecule that helps catalyze the inflammation pathway. Finally, curcumin reduces the production of local signaling molecules and enzymes that magnify the inflammatory process and aggravate pain, stiffness, and weakness.
Curcumin exhibits anti-fat properties 17,18,19
Obesity is a significant risk factor for chronic joint disease. Research implies curcumin suppresses the maturing of fat cells and some research even suggest curcumin triggers fat cell death. Also, curcumin has been shown to reduce body weight and cut of the blood supply to fat cells making fat cell survival much harder.
Safety First 20
Turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin are generally recognized as safe when consumed in usual culinary and herbal doses. As with any consideration of any form of supplementation consult your healthcare provide prior to use if you are pregnant, nursing, taking any medications or have any medical conditions. Discontinue use and consult your doctor is any adverse reactions occur.
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