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What is curcumin?
Curcumin is the primary bioactive substance in turmeric (see below). Turmeric is a spice commonly found in the culinary world.
Benefits of curcumin
Curcumin has been associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-viral and antibacterial properties (indicated by over 6,000 citations).
Curcumin regulates biochemical molecular mechanisms by controlling transcription factors, cytokines, and enzymes. The effect of curcumin on these entities mean that this compound is reported to be effective for diseases related to chronic inflammation such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndromes, osteoarthritis, and other ageing related diseases.
The antioxidant nature of curcumin makes it good for protecting skin by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation through nuclear factor-KB inhibition. As a result, it is pretty common to find turmeric in skincare products.
Why is curcumin poorly absorbed and how to fix it
The ingestion of curcumin does not typically produce the desired health benefits, which is due to its poor bioavailability. This is primarily due to poor absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid elimination.
Much of the curcumin that is ingested leaves the digestive system since only small amounts dissolve in water.
How can we improve this:
- Consume with dietary fats such as nuts/fish/avocado etc – curcumin has an affinity for fats due to its lipophilic nature, thus making it easier to be absorbed by the gut when consumed with fats.
- Black pepper – consume with black pepper: studies show that the compound piperine in black pepper increases curcumin absorption by up to 2,000%.
Should I take supplements?
Due to the lack of bioavailability of curcumin we wouldn’t recommend curcumin supplements. However, we recommend Theracurmin supplements – a highly absorptive curcumin dispersed with colloidal nano-particles. Theracurmin has been found to be over 27 times more bioavailable than curcumin in humans. Along with typical effects of curcumin, Theracurmin has been shown to exhibit an inhibitory action against alcohol intoxication after drinking in humans. In addition, theracurmin has been shown to be a viable therapeutic option for elderly patients with Alzheimer’s Disease through providing stabilization of the disease course by preventing progressive loss in cognitive functions.
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