Top 10 anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric
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From lattes at the coffee shop to supplements at the health store, turmeric is everywhere right now - but why? Turmeric is a major food source of the polyphenol curcumin (a chemical which gives turmeric its bright yellow colour) and it has been used for centuries across the world owing to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to benefit everything from mood to menopause. Here are 10 research-backed ways that turmeric can support health:
- Improve brain health
Turmeric has been shown to prevent cell death in the hippocampus, the learning and memory centre of the brain (1) and promotes brain plasticity, both contributing to a healthy brain (2).
- Support depression
Studies have demonstrated that turmeric supplementation can increase the production of serotonin and dopamine, hormones which play a major role in mood regulation (3).
- Promote gut health
The gut is intrinsically linked to our immune system and systemic inflammation. Turmeric may support gut health by reducing inflammation, decreasing gut permeability and amplifying microbiome diversity (4).
- Reduce stress
Cortisol is the body’s major stress hormone, increasing heart rate and blood pressure when raised. Curcumin can lower cortisol production which in turn can reduce the stress response (5).
- Support exercise recovery
Protein is vital for repairing muscle after workouts. Turmeric supplementation has been shown to promote protein synthesis, aiding exercise recovery (6).
- Manage joint pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints. Studies show turmeric supplementation can reduce pain and stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers (7).
- Limit menopause symptoms
As many menopause symptoms are the result of increased inflammation, it's no surprise turmeric supplementation has been demonstrated to reduce night sweats, and possibly hot flushes (8).
- Calm inflammation
Inflammation has been implicated in a range of diseases from ulcerative colitis to Alzheimers. Supplementation with turmeric can reduce blood concentrations of pro-inflammatory biomarkers such as interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor α (9).
- Stabilise blood sugar
Both turmeric supplementation and regular dietary turmeric consumption have been shown to reduce blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity and as such, may be useful in diabetes management (10).
- Rebalance cholesterol
A meta-analysis of 7 studies found turmeric supplementation was more effective than placebo in reducing total cholesterol in both healthy patients and those with metabolic syndrome (11).
So there you have it! Keep an eye out for my next article where I’ll be sharing an incredibly delicious recipe packed with turmeric.
DEFLAME is a plant-based liquid supplement containing 200mg omega-3 per dose, alongside curcumin, ginger and frankincense, all of which are natural anti-inflammatory ingredients designed to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. To read more about DEFLAME, click here.
- Tizabi, Y., Hurley, L.L., Qualls, Z., Akinfiresoye. 2014. Relevance of the Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Curcumin in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Depression. Molecules, 19, 20864-20879
- Lopresti, A.L. 2017. Curcumin for neuropsychiatric disorders: a review of in vitro, animal and human studies. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 31 (3), 287-302
- Kulkarni, S.K., Dhir, A. An Overview of Curcumin in Neurological Disorders. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 72 (2), 149-154
- Lopresti, A.L. 2018. The Problem of Curcumin and Its Bioavailability: Could Its Gastrointestinal Influence Contribute to Its Overall Health-Enhancing Effects? Advances in Nutrition, 9, 41-50
- Lopresti, A.L., Maes, M., Meddens, M.J.M., Maker, G.L., Arnoldussen, E., Drummond, P.D. 2015. Curcumin and major depression: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating the potential of peripheral biomarkers to predict treatment response and antidepressant mechanisms of change. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 25, 38-50
- Rawson, E.S., Miles, M.P., Larson-Meyer, D.E. 2018. Dietary supplements for health, adaptation and recovery in athletes. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 28, 188-199
- Daily, J., Yang, M. and Park, S., 2016. Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Journal of Medicinal Food, 19(8), pp.717-729
- Ataei-Almanghadim, K. et al. 2020. The effect of oral capsule of curcumin and vitamin E on the hot flashes and anxiety in postmenopausal women: A triple blind randomised controlled trial, Complementary Therapies to Medicine, 48: e102267
- Hewlings, S. and Kalman, D., 2017. Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods, 6(10), p.92
- Zhang, D., Fu, M., Gao, S. and Liu, J., 2013. Curcumin and Diabetes: A Systematic Review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, pp.1-16
Qin, S., Huang, L., Gong, J., Shen, S., Huang, J., Ren, H. and Hu, H., 2017. Efficacy and safety of turmeric and curcumin in lowering blood lipid levels in patients with cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition Journal, 16(1)