While short term inflammation can protect the body from infection and damage, long term inflammation is now believed to play a key role in the development of many chronic health conditions such as heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Therefore, anything that can help reduce systemic, long term inflammation is going to help protect us from developing these diseases. Thankfully curcumin, which is naturally found in turmeric, is a potent anti-inflammatory compound and a great way to naturally support your body. Its effectiveness has even been found to be comparative, if not better than some anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs (1,2).2. Curcumin is not only a potent antioxidant but it also increases our body’s own natural antioxidant capacity.
Antioxidants help protect the body from oxidative stress, which is one of the main mechanisms behind ageing and also many diseases. They do this by reacting with these oxidative molecules (i.e free radicals) and in doing so neutralizes them so they can’t harm other body cells. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and may also be able to boost our body’s own natural antioxidant capacity making it a powerful natural diseases fighting compound (3,4).3. Turmeric may be able to prevent or slow the progression of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Depression.
Studies have shown that Brain–Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF), a type of growth hormone, is lower in those with certain brain diseases (5). Interestingly, curcumin has been shown to increase BDNF which may help prevent or delay the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer's and Depression (6).4. Turmeric may be able to prevent the development of certain cancers.
The cause of cancer is complex but key features include the abnormal growth of cells, the spreading of these cells to other parts of the body (metastasis) and the growth of new blood vessels in the tumors. Curcumin has been studied extensively and has been shown to be effective at reducing the growth of certain cancer cells in animals and may also be protective against cancers of the digestive system (7,8).5. Turmeric may help delay ageing and age related conditions such as Arthritis and Heart Disease.
Seeing that Turmeric contains powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds it stands to reason that it must also support healthy ageing. A study conducted in 2012 on Rheumatoid Arthritis patients found that curcumin was able to relieve most of their symptoms, proving to be even more effective than some pharmaceutical drugs (9).
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