Turmeric is a yellow spice popular in many Indian and south-east Asian dishes. It grows as the root of a flowering plant. It has been shown to have many health benefits, outlined in this article. The active ingredients in turmeric are known as curcuminoids, with the most beneficial being curcumin.
Turmeric root powder contains about 0.3 - 5.4% curcuminoids, and coupled with poor absorption means you have to be careful when choosing a supplement. Black pepper has been shown to increase absorption of curcumin by around 2000%, so always look for a turmeric supplement containing black pepper, or the active ingredient, piperine1
Secondly, due to the low percentage composition of curcuminoids in turmeric powder, lots of supplements provide negligible amounts of this active ingredient. So always look for a supplement where curcuminoids are concentrated. Vitbox turmeric extract contains 95% curcuminoids, and is coupled with black pepper extract, containing 95% piperine, for maximal absorption and therapeutic effects. So what are the therapeutic effects?
Curcumin reduces low-level chronic inflammation, which has been linked to many diseases such as heart disease and cancer2,3.
Its anti-inflammatory effects have also been shown to help reduce and prevent arthritis, a disease many people have to face later in life4,5. One study even showed curcumin supplementation to be more effective than some drugs6.
As well as its anti-inflammatory properties, other effects have been seen which promote heart health, including prevention of arrhythmias, atherosclerosis and clots7,8.
Curcumin is a strong antioxidant in itself, meaning it neutralises free-radicals, which can cause damage to cells and DNA9. Further to this, curcumin has been shown to increase the body’s natural free-radical defences10.
- Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. (Shoba, 1998)
- Inflammation in atherosclerosis. (Libby, 2002)
- Inflammation and cancer. (Coussens, 2002)
- Efficacy and mechanism of action of turmeric supplements in the treatment of experimental arthritis. (Funk, 2006)
- Turmeric Extracts Containing Curcuminoids Prevent Experimental Rheumatoid Arthritis. (Funk, 2006)
- A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. (Chandran, 2012)
- The protective role of curcumin in cardiovascular diseases. (Wongcharoen, 2009)
- Currying the Heart: Curcumin and Cardioprotection. (Srivastava, 2009)
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. (Menon, 2007)
- Curcumin induces glutathione biosynthesis and inhibits NF-kappaB activation and interleukin-8 release in alveolar epithelial cells: mechanism of free radical scavenging activity. (Biswas, 2005)