Turmeric Extract, Curcumin

Turmeric is a member of the Curcuma botanical group, which is part of the ginger family of herbs, the Zingiberaceae. The root and underground stem of the Curcuma longa L. plant is crushed and powdered into ground Turmeric. Ground Turmeric is used worldwide as a seasoning, to make curry, and for its medicinal properties. Curcumin, composing 3% of Turmeric, is the herbs most biologically active phytochemical compound. It is extracted and researched for its renowned range of therapeutic effects.

  • Potent anticancer properties
  • Reduces beta-amyloids which cause Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lowers cholesterol levels in kidney and liver tissue
  • Potent antioxidant properties
  • Helps protect against or lessen the degree of kidney lesions
  • Increase the production of digestive fluids and reduce gas
  • Protected against free radical damage
  • Neutralizing of free radicals
  • Possesses anti-inflammatory actions
  • Increases catabolism of cholesterol into bile acids
  • Possesses hypolipidemic action. Helps prevent fatty liver associatted with obesity/diabetes/elevated leptin levels
  • Reduces excess gas in the stomach and intestines
  • Helps prevent oxidation of blood cholesterol
  • Possesses anti-thrombotic activity
  • Relieves pain and inflammation in mucosal tissue
  • Acts as an anti-mutagenic and chemoprotective agent
  • Possesses anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-parasitic activity

Curcumin’s documented choleretic effects support its historical use in the treatment of liver and gallbladder disorders.

Absorption from the digestive tract tends to be very poor, but is greatly enhanced when taken with bioperine.

 


Turmeric Extract, Curcumin can help with the following

Circulation  


Digestion  

Dyspepsia / Poor Digestion

Improves digestion by increasing the flow of bile from the gallbladder.



Inflammation  

Chronic Inflammation

Curcumin comes from the spice turmeric. The rhizome of this plant has been traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory agent in Ayurvedic medicine. Curcumin appears to reduce proinflammatory leukotriene synthesis and also promotes the breakdown of fibrin. In a double-blinded trial, patients receiving 1,200mg of curcumin per day experienced reductions in stiffness and joint swelling comparable to the effects of phenylbutazone, a potent anti-inflammatory drug. Curcumin has also reduced inflammation in surgical patients.



 

Tendonitis

A derivative of a common culinary spice found in Indian curries could offer a new treatment hope for sufferers of the painful condition tendinitis, an international team of researchers has shown.

Researchers at The University of Nottingham and Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich have shown that curcumin, which also gives the spice turmeric its trademark bright yellow colouring, can be used to suppress biological mechanisms that spark inflammation in tendon diseases.

Dr Ali Mobasheri of the University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, who co-led the research, said: “Our research is not suggesting that curry, turmeric or curcumin are cures for inflammatory conditions such as tendinitis and arthritis. “However, we believe that it could offer scientists an important new lead in the treatment of these painful conditions through nutrition. Further research into curcumin, and chemically-modified versions of it, should be the subject of future investigations and complementary therapies aimed at reducing the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the only drugs currently available for the treatment of tendinitis and various forms of arthritis.” [Curcumin Modulates Nuclear Factor ?B (NF-?B)-mediated Inflammation in Human Tenocytes in Vitro: ROLE OF THE PHOSPHATIDYLINOSITOL 3-KINASE/Akt PATHWAY. J. Biol. Chem. 2011, 286: 28556-28566, June 13, 2011.]



Metabolic  

Cystic Fibrosis

The death rate from cystic fibrosis was reduced in a study with mice. Researchers are planning to determine the appropriate dose of curcumin and find out specific side effects during the initial stages of future planned patient study. [USA Today April 22, 2004]



Musculo-Skeletal  

Joint Pain, General

A 2006 study suggested turmeric had a better effect in preventing joint inflammation than reducing inflammation. Research in 2010 showed long-term improvement in pain and functioning for 100 patients with osteoarthritis in the knee after taking a turmeric supplement with curcumin. A small study in 2012 indicated that BCM-95, a curcumin product, worked better at reducing joint pain and swelling for patients than a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID.

For osteoarthritis, the Arthritis Foundation recommends taking 400 mg to 600 mg turmeric capsules three times a day, or using powdered root of 0.5 g to 1 g up to 3 g per day. For rheumatoid arthritis, 500 mg twice a day is recommended.

The foundation warned that turmeric can act as a blood thinner and cause upset stomach.



Organ Health  

Fatty Liver

Obesity and Type II diabetes are often associated with high levels of leptin. This combination is also associated with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH can cause hepatic fibrosis. The mechanism of action is through hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) which become active. It has been reported that leptin stimulated HSC activation can be eliminated by the use of curcumin, a phytochemical from turmeric. [ Endocrinology, September 2010; 151: pp. 4168 – 4177]

In other words, the regular use of curcumin may help prevent the liver damage associatted with being overweight and tending toward diabetes.



 

Liver Detoxification / Support Requirement

Turmeric helps increase bile flow making it a liver cleanser that can rejuvenate your liver cells and recharge their capability to break down toxins.



 


Respiratory  

Pulmonary Fibrosis / Interstitial Lung Disease

Curcumin was shown to have important therapeutic implications in facilitating the early suppression of paraquat toxicity and subsequent lung injury. Paraquat is a weedkiller that produces delayed toxic effects on the lungs when ingested. [Life Sciences, 2000, Vol 66 (2), pp. 21-8] Curcumin, when absorbed into the body has anti-inflammatory actions.



Risks  

Increased Risk of Melanoma

According to researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, curcumin blocks a key biological pathway needed for development of melanoma and other cancers. The spice stops laboratory strains of melanoma from proliferating and pushes the cancer cells to commit suicide by shutting down nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB), a powerful protein known to induce an abnormal inflammatory response that leads to an assortment of disorders such as arthritis and cancer. [Cancer July 11, 2005]



 

Cancer / Risk - General Measures

Curcumin, the ingredient that gives turmeric its yellow color and one of the best studied of the natural COX-2 inhibitors, has been shown to inhibit the development of cancer in animals. Dr. Chintalapally V. Rao, a scientist with the American Health Foundation in Valhalla, New York, has conducted extensive animal studies with curcumin and notes that while the new drugs “undermine the activity of the COX-2 enzyme, curcumin completely blocks formation of the enzyme itself.”

The intriguing evidence of curcumin’s anticancer effects in animal studies has prompted a clinical trial of the compound. Dr. Steven Schiff at Rockefeller University in New York is assessing whether curcumin supplements (250 mg twice a day) can inhibit the development of colon cancer in humans. Much better absorption is achieved when taken with bioperine.

One of the main causes of cancer is chemical-induced changes in DNA resulting in uncontrolled cell reproduction. One of the things that sets curcumin apart from most other anti-cancer supplements is that it can actually block chemicals from getting inside cells. Importantly, curcumin can interfere with pesticides that mimic estrogen, including DDT and dioxin. Curcumin competes for the same chemical doorway as estrogen and estrogen-mimicking chemicals, and as such has the power to block access to the cell and protect the cell from becoming cancerous.

So far, in animal studies, curcumin has been found to block the cancer-causing effect of other chemicals such as paraquat, nitrosamines and carbon tetrachloride.

Curcumin has a number of cytokine-inhibiting properties such as the inhibition of angiogenic signals from tissue-like bone marrow, as well as the down-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as bFGF and HGF. It increases the expression of functional nuclear p53 protein in human basal cell carcinomas, hepatomas, and leukemia cell lines. This increases apoptosis. It also down-regulates the inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha in bone marrow stromal cells. Higher doses of curcumin would appear to be useful for cancer patients to take.

In India (where the spice is widely used) the prevalence of the top four U.S. cancers – colon, breast, prostate and lung – is 10 times lower. [Cancer July 11, 2005]



 

Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

In a study on human breast cancer cells, curcumin reversed growth caused by 17b-estradiol by 98%. DDT’s growth-enhancing effects on breast cancer were blocked about 75% by curcumin. Other chemicals which encourage breast cancer such as, chlordane and endosulfane, are blocked and the growth rate greatly slowed by curcumin. [Environ Health Perspect 1998, 106: pp.807-812]



 

Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer

Curcumin could be a potentially therapeutic anti-cancer agent, as it significantly inhibits prostate cancer growth, as exemplified by LNCaP in vivo, and has the potential to prevent the progression of this cancer to its hormone refractory state. [Prostate. 2001 Jun 1;47(4): pp.293-303]



 

Increased Risk of Multiple Myeloma

Natural News reported in the fall of 2013, that “curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric that is believed to provide the most therapeutic benefits, was found to be an effective weapon against multiple myeloma cells. Published in the peer-reviewed journal Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, a recent study on this powerful compound verified that it is an effective medicine against not only multiple myeloma and other forms of cancer but also against cognitive degeneration and arthritis.

Other research has linked sulforaphane, an anticancer compound found naturally in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, to targeting multiple myeloma. Like turmeric, sulforaphane was shown to help enhance the effectiveness of existing chemotherapeutic agents, meaning conventional cancer treatments suddenly become more viable when paired with certain natural therapeutic agents.”



Tumors, Malignant  

Prostate Cancer

Curcumin could be a potentially therapeutic anti-cancer agent, as it significantly inhibits prostate cancer growth, as exemplified by LNCaP in vivo, and has the potential to prevent the progression of this cancer to its hormone refractory state. [Prostate. 2001 Jun 1;47(4): pp.293-303]



 

Multiple Myeloma

Natural News reported in the fall of 2013, that “curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric that is believed to provide the most therapeutic benefits, was found to be an effective weapon against multiple myeloma cells. Published in the peer-reviewed journal Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, a recent study on this powerful compound verified that it is an effective medicine against not only multiple myeloma and other forms of cancer but also against cognitive degeneration and arthritis.

Other research has linked sulforaphane, an anticancer compound found naturally in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, to targeting multiple myeloma. Like turmeric, sulforaphane was shown to help enhance the effectiveness of existing chemotherapeutic agents, meaning conventional cancer treatments suddenly become more viable when paired with certain natural therapeutic agents.”



Key

May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended

Glossary

Herbs

Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with one teaspoon herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Tinctures may be used singly or in combination as noted. The high doses of single herbs suggested may be best taken as dried extracts (in capsules), although tinctures (60 drops four times per day) and teas (4 to 6 cups per day) may also be used.

Phytochemicals

Substances that occur naturally in plants and have been shown in research to possibly prevent or cure disease.

Alzheimer's Disease

A progressive disease of the middle-aged and elderly, characterized by loss of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the brain, leading to loss of mental functions such as memory and learning. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia.

Cholesterol

A waxy, fat-like substance manufactured in the liver and found in all tissues, it facilitates the transport and absorption of fatty acids. In foods, only animal products contain cholesterol. An excess of cholesterol in the bloodstream can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.

Antioxidant

A chemical compound that slows or prevents oxygen from reacting with other compounds. Some antioxidants have been shown to have cancer-protecting potential because they neutralize free radicals. Examples include vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, beta carotene, the minerals selenium, zinc, and germanium, superoxide dismutase (SOD), coenzyme Q10, catalase, and some amino acids, like cystiene. Other nutrient sources include grape seed extract, curcumin, gingko, green tea, olive leaf, policosanol and pycnogenol.

Free Radical

A free radical is an atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron. Because another element can easily pick up this free electron and cause a chemical reaction, these free radicals can effect dramatic and destructive changes in the body. Free radicals are activated in heated and rancid oils and by radiation in the atmosphere, among other things.

Anti-inflammatory

Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms, without directly acting on the cause of inflammation, e.g., glucocorticoids, aspirin.

Bile

A bitter, yellow-green secretion of the liver. Bile is stored in the gallbladder and is released when fat enters the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) in order to aid digestion.

Fatty Liver

Accumulation of triglycerides in the liver.

Diabetes Mellitus

A disease with increased blood glucose levels due to lack or ineffectiveness of insulin. Diabetes is found in two forms; insulin-dependent diabetes (juvenile-onset) and non-insulin-dependent (adult-onset). Symptoms include increased thirst; increased urination; weight loss in spite of increased appetite; fatigue; nausea; vomiting; frequent infections including bladder, vaginal, and skin; blurred vision; impotence in men; bad breath; cessation of menses; diminished skin fullness. Other symptoms include bleeding gums; ear noise/buzzing; diarrhea; depression; confusion.

Stomach

A hollow, muscular, J-shaped pouch located in the upper part of the abdomen to the left of the midline. The upper end (fundus) is large and dome-shaped; the area just below the fundus is called the body of the stomach. The fundus and the body are often referred to as the cardiac portion of the stomach. The lower (pyloric) portion curves downward and to the right and includes the antrum and the pylorus. The function of the stomach is to begin digestion by physically breaking down food received from the esophagus. The tissues of the stomach wall are composed of three types of muscle fibers: circular, longitudinal and oblique. These fibers create structural elasticity and contractibility, both of which are needed for digestion. The stomach mucosa contains cells which secrete hydrochloric acid and this in turn activates the other gastric enzymes pepsin and rennin. To protect itself from being destroyed by its own enzymes, the stomach’s mucous lining must constantly regenerate itself.

Choleretic

Agent stimulating the liver to increase bile production.

Gallbladder

A small, digestive organ positioned under the liver, which concentrates and stores bile. Problems with the gallbladder often lead to "gallbladder attacks", which usually occur after a fatty meal and at night. The following are the most common symptoms: steady, severe pain in the middle-upper abdomen or below the ribs on the right; pain in the back between the shoulder blades; pain under the right shoulder; nausea; vomiting; fever; chills; jaundice; abdominal bloating; intolerance of fatty foods; belching or gas; indigestion.

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