Turmeric as an anti-inflammatory
Have you gotten on board the new craze that is turmeric? Or are you still wondering what all the hype surrounding this bright yellow spice, is about? Turmeric is the root of a flowering plant from the ginger family. Turmeric contains many important vitamins and minerals, but it’s the curcuminoids that really have people talking. Curcumin is the active ingredient found in turmeric. It has naturally occurring anti-inflammatory properties, which can have a similar effect to taking an anti-inflammatory tablet. Numerous studies have found relatively minimal side effects associated with using turmeric, hence it’s popularity, as it can be used alone, as a natural anti-inflammatory remedy, or in addition to other anti-inflammatory medications. Acute inflammation is your body’s natural response to tissue damage. It causes a cascade of activity within the body, which may lead to heat, redness, swelling and pain in the affected area. Although inflammation is necessary to help protect you after tissue damage and to stimulate the healing process, long-term or chronic inflammation may cause damage to your own tissue. Long standing, low grade inflammation has also been linked with many diseases, such as heart disease, osteoarthritis, Chrones disease and Alzheimer’s disease. So you have read the above information and decided to get yourself a turmeric latte to help with your sprained ankle; What you need to know is that an everyday addition of turmeric to your diet might not have quite the impact you were hoping for. The bioavailability (how easy your body takes up the compound) of curcumin is quite low, meaning you need the right amount of tumeric to get the desired effect. Taking turmeric (or cucumin) it in a concentrated tablet can help ensure a therapeutic dose. Alternatively, combining tumeric with black pepper (which contains the active compound piperine) can help increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%. The benefits of high dose turmeric or curcumin may include: A reduction in arthritis symptoms Reducing chronic joint inflammation can help to alleviate symptoms such as pain and restricted mobility. A study showed that taking curcumin was as effective as taking ibuprofen for osteoarthritis symptoms, with less gastrointestinal side effects. Antioxidant properties Antioxidant properties may help neutralize free radicals and further stimulate the body to produce its own antioxidant enzymes. Prevention of heart disease Increasing the function of the endothelial cells, which line the walls of blood vessels, may help to regulate blood pressure and blood clotting. Gut health Consumption of curcumin may help increase the diversity of the gut microbiome. However, the results of this study showed that the outcome varied between participants, and highlighted the importance of bioavailability and dose. Please note, that while this wonder spice is generally safe (and delicious) to consume, in high doses, it may interfere with blood thinning medication, as it can have a similar effect on the body. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check with your local pharmacist or GP before taking a medicinal level of any supplement, to ensure it won’t have adverse effects or interact with existing medications.
Retrain Health is based in the Northern Rivers, NSW. From our Byron Bay and Ballina clinics, our team provides a range of quality healthcare services and products.
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