CURCUMIN: Boost Yourself with Turmeric and Black Pepper

Curcumin is one of the most popular supplements for pain, inflammation as well as digestion.

So, what is it and how does it work

Turmeric is a spice from the root stalk of a tropical plant in the ginger family. It is golden in color and is commonly used in our kitchen. It has been used in India for thousands of years as both a spice and a medicinal herb. Curcumin is its active component and is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties. It also improves the symptoms of depression, anxiety and arthritis.

Scientists have studied about turmeric extensively. Most studies are with large doses of curcumin only. Based on their researches, Curcumin capsules are necessary.

How does curcumin work?

Curcumin has shown to possess anticancer effects by blocking the transformation in the body. Low incidence of colon cancer among Indians has been attributed to the use of turmeric in Indian cooking. In addition to its anticancer effects, curcumin has been effective against a variety of conditions such as reduction in blood sugar and improvement of type-2 diabetes. Curcumin appears to suppress oxidative damage, inflammation, cognitive deficits, and amyloid accumulation in Alzheimer's disease. It also appears to show protective effects in cystic fibrosis, viruses, and treat alcoholic liver disease.

As with any nutrients from food, you need to be able to digest and absorb it. Curcumin is not easily absorbed and needs a catalyst. With cooking, combining turmeric with black pepper makes it more bioavailable.

Why black pepper?

Black pepper is about 5% piperine, the active component that helps in the absorbability of curcumin. Piperine provides pungent flavor and inhibits the metabolism process of water soluble substances so that they are more slowly excreted. The piperine in black pepper not only enhances curcumin’s effectiveness, it has its own anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and disease fighting qualities. In addition, it triggers your stomach to increase the secretion of hydrochloric acid to help with protein digestion.

Research is also showing promising results for metabolism boosting, nervous system benefits, and increasing the bioavailability of other beneficial compounds in your food. It is known to help prevent gas.

Another way to boost curcumin’s absorbability is to use the whole food turmeric root (fresh or dried as a powder) because the natural oils in the root and powder can enhance the bioavailability by seven to eight-fold. Curcumin is fat soluble, so it is best to take the capsule with a meal that includes a healthy fat or use the spice on dishes that include fats, such as olive or avocado oil.

What does curcumin do?

Curcumin is anti-inflammatory. How?

It fights inflammation at the molecular level by blocking a molecule that enters the nuclei of your cells to turn on an inflammation gene. This is important because although short-term inflammation is beneficial, such as when an injury is healing, scientists now know that low grade, long term inflammation can lead to many chronic diseases.

Curcumin can be an anti-oxidant. How?

It has been found to neutralize free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons cause by oxidative stress.

Curcumin also boosts the body’s own resources for anti-oxidant activity – enzymes our immune systems produce. Therefore, Curcumin packs double anti-oxidant activity, making it a very powerful anti-oxidant. This is important because oxidative damage plays a part in aging and many diseases.

There are studies showing Curcumin benefits in brain function, heart disease, arthritis, and perhaps even cancer-fighting.

Since inflammation and oxidative stress plays a crucial role in all chronic diseases, as well as in aging. It is important to add anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant substances wherever you can, both in your diet or in the supplement form. While the curcumin supplement will give more immediate and long term relief for your specific issues.

Using turmeric is an overall anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant component. The spice blend we carry can be mixed with water for a cool drink or put into hot water for a tea- or broth-like drink. In cooking, add it to curries, soups, dishes, vegetables, and in many more. Use Curcumin in the blend for its best effectiveness.

 In India, turmeric is generally prepared with black pepper and fat!