Curcuminoids and turmeric health benefits
What are curcuminoids?
Curcuminoids are linear diarylheptanoids, which contain molecules like curcumin or derivatives of curcumin with different chemical groups that are synthesized to increase solubility of curcumins and make them suitable for drug production. These compounds are natural phenols and produce a distinctive bright yellow color. In this article we are going to discuss about Curcuminoids and turmeric health benefits.
Many curcumin characters are unsuitable for drug formulation by themselves. They aren’t soluble enough in water at acidic and physiological pH and they hydrolyze rapidly in alkaline solutions. As a concequence, derivatives of curcumin are formed to induce their solubility and, therefore, their bioavailability. Curcuminoids are soluble in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), acetone and ethanol, but have poor solubility in lipids. Nevertheless, it is achievable to increase their solubility in aqueous phase with surfactants or co-surfactants. Derivatives of curcumin have been assumed to be more potent than curcumin itself. Lately, there is an increasing demand for demethoxycurcumin and other curcuminoids because of their recently studied health benefits.
What is the difference between curcumin and turmeric?
Curcumin is a natural chemical compound that is found in the spice turmeric. The two words are usually used interchangeably, but the technical difference between these two is that turmeric is the bright yellow powder that is used as a spice to flavor foods, while curcumin is a chemical molecule contained within turmeric, making up between two to six percent of this spice.
Curcumin belongs to a family of chemicals known as curcuminoids, which are natural phenols that produce a bright yellow color. The pronounced color of turmeric is a result of the high levels of curcumin it contains. Turmeric is derived from the rhizomes (underground stems) of the plant Curcuma longa, which is a member of the ginger family. Turmeric and curcumin have a long history of use as a traditional herbal medicine in Indian and Asian cultures, and Western medicine has already begun to study the potential of turmeric in treating diseases like cancer and diabetes.
Curcuminoids and turmeric health benefits
Curcuminoids are lately one of the most popular topics to talk or write about and that’s because of the many health benefits are proven to have. Curcumin is the principle curcuminoid, and it is responsible for the majority of health benefits attributed to turmeric. The other curcuminoids include desmethoxycurcumin and bis-desmethoxycurcumin.
Turmeric is derived from the rhizomes of the plant Curcuma longa, which is very well known in India. The root is harvested, cleaned, dried and powdered to be used as a spice. It is responsible for the beautiful golden yellow color of Indian curry and mustard. Many Asian cultures use turmeric in nearly every meal. Turmeric has also been frequently used for centuries by Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Traditionally, turmeric was used for nearly every health condition known – from smallpox to a sprained ankle. Western medicine has researched its components at a very deep level to better understand turmeric’s remarkable health properties. The reason for its health benefits is the compound known as curcumin, which is the most powerful active compound within turmeric. Just like oranges are a source of vitamin C, turmeric is a source of curcumin. Nowadays, we extract curcumin from turmeric to use as a natural medicine.
Over the years, hundreds of studies have appeared in the mainstream literature demonstrating curcuminoids and turmeric health benefits.
Curcuminoids and turmeric benefits for skin
Curcuminoids have been used to make beauty products for centuries. Especially turmeric comes with a range of benefits for the skin. It is an inexpensive and natural way of treating several skin problems and getting a clearer and more beautiful skin. It offers valuable benefits, like antioxidants, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric is effective in the treatment of acne due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties that fight pimples and breakouts to provide a youthful glow to the skin. It can be applied as a face mask, which not only helps to clear acne scars and inflammation, but also reduces the oil secretion by the sebaceous glands.
|Tip for making a face mask for acne: Prepare a face pack by mixing turmeric powder and sandalwood powder and add lemon juice to the mixture. Apply it on the face for 10 minutes and wash it off with warm water. For acne scars, apply a mixture of turmeric powder and plain water on the marks for 15 minutes.|
Curcuminoids contained in turmeric also work for oily skin, because they regulate the production of sebum (an oily substance which is produced by the sebaceous glands). You can make a face mask by mixing turmeric with sandalwood, which acts as an astringent, and orange juice, that helps clear the blemishes.
|Tip for making a face mask for oily skin: Make a paste by mixing 1 ½ tablespoons of sandalwood powder and a pinch of turmeric powder with 3 tablespoons of orange juice and apply it on the face. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes and wash it off with warm water.|
Moreover, turmeric can help eliminate the signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, as well as dark circles. Dermatologists suggest that having a diet rich in antioxidants is effective in reducing signs of aging. Curcuminoids present in turmeric are strong antioxidants. Curcumin has antioxidant activity comparable to that of Vitamin C and E. It raises the level of antioxidant enzymes, scavenges free radicals that cause oxidative stress and inhibit lipid peroxidation (oxidation of fats present in cell membrane leading to cell death). Therefore, a diet that includes turmeric can prove to be helpful in terms of supplementing the antioxidant intake. Being an excellent exfoliating agent, turmeric, in combination with other ingredients, can also be used to prepare a face mask.
|Tip for making a face mask for fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles: Prepare a face pack by mixing turmeric powder and rice powder with raw milk and tomato juice and apply it on the face and neck for 30 minutes. Wash it off with warm water. If you have dark circles, add a pinch of turmeric powder to 2 tablespoons of buttermilk and apply it around the eyes for 20 minutes. Wash it off with cool water.|
As curcuminoids penetrate into cell membrane and enhance its resistance power, they can help lighten stretch marks. For this purpose, apply a mixture of besan (gram flour) and turmeric with yogurt/raw milk/ water on the stretch marks for 30 minutes and wash it off with warm water.
Being an excellent antiseptic and anti-inflammatory factor, turmeric is effective in treating skin conditions like burns, poison ivy, eczema and psoriasis. Applying a mixture of turmeric and aloe vera gel on a burn will lead to wound healing in no time. On the other hand, eczema is quite itchy and often a painful and chronic disease characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin. Topical use of kasturi turmeric mixed with milk can soothe the skin and reduce the inflammation and redness.
Curcuminoids and turmeric benefits for hair
Curcuminoids can be beneficial for hair in a number of ways. The use of turmeric with other ingredients can promote hair growth and can treat several scalp and hair conditions.
One of curcuminoids and turmeric health benefits is hair growth. Especially, when it comes to hair regrowth, turmeric is one of those treatments that is effective, at least for people who lost their hair as a result of vitamin B deficiency (after a condition that interferes with normal eating or after treatment with the chemotherapy drug methotrexate) or as a result of alopecia areata (an autoimmune condition).
Curcuminoids can also help with hair loss. Hair loss may occur for various reasons, like an unhealthy diet, stress or some disease. Curcumin tends to inhibit the activity of the growth agent TGF-b1, which causes the death of hair follicles resulting in hair loss. Turmeric powder mixed with organic honey and milk can be extremely beneficial for reducing the negative effects on hair.
Moreover, the yellowish tone of turmeric makes it usable both as a textile dye and as a natural hair dye for brightening your hair color.
|Tip for making a natural hair dye: Measure 2 tablespoons ground turmeric or 1/4 cup fresh turmeric and add the spice to boiling water (2 cups) while stirring with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the burner and allow it to cool completely. Afterwards, pour it over your head. Leave it for 15 to 20 minutes and wash off to get a vivid color. Turmeric can also be combined with other yellow colored herbs and flowers, such as saffron, calendula and chamomile tea.|
In addition, turmeric removes the signs of dandruff by enhancing the circulation in the scalp and providing nutrients to the hair follicles.
|Tip for making a mixture for dandruff: Prepare a mixture of turmeric powder and organic olive oil and apply it on the scalp before taking a shower. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash it off with a natural shampoo.|
Due to their anti-inflammatory, antiallergic and antiseptic properties, curcuminoids can be used in the treatment of several scalp conditions, such as dermatitis and eczema, which lead to itchy and flaky skin, hair thinning and inflammation of the scalp. They may also work for cicatricial alopecia (a scalp ailment caused by inflammation that damages the hair follicles) and fungal infections which can cause hair loss.
Curcuminoids and turmeric benefits for diabetes
Diabetes is a common disease which is caused by inherited or acquired deficiency in the secretion of insulin or by the ineffectiveness of the insulin produced by the pancreas. This deficiency leads to increased levels of glucose in the bloodstream, which in turn damage many of the body’s systems, such as the eyes, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels.
Insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalances are significant factors that promote inflammatory conditions in the body. Elevated blood sugar creates hazardous glucose cross-links with proteins, which cause Advanced Glycolytic Enzymes (AGEs) to form. AGEs damage cell membranes, vital enzyme systems and perpetuate inflammatory conditions in the body.
When it comes to curcuminoids and turmeric health benefits, blood sugar stability is surely one of them. Curcuminoids modify blood sugar and improves insulin receptors function by improving their binding capacity to glucose. They activate PPARs (peroxisome proliferator-activator receptors), which are a group of nuclear proteins that regulate gene expression and modulate glucose uptake and utilization in the bloodstream.
Furthermore, curcumin reduces the activity of specific liver enzymes which release glucose into the bloodstream while activating enzymes that store glucose as glycogen. Research on diabetic rats resulted in blood glucose stabilization and lowered triglyceride levels in the group that consumed curcumin.
Curcuminoids and turmeric benefits for cancer
Lately, researchers have been studying curcumin as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment. Research done by the Life Extension Foundation suggested that curcuminoids target ten factors involved in cancer development. These include chronic inflammation, DNA damage and disruption of cell signaling pathways.
Other studies have shown that curcuminoids can reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors) and metastasis (spread of cancer), as well as contributing to the death of cancer cells. Curcumin was shown to destroy cancer cell mitochondria, disrupt the cancer cell cycle and arrest stem cell development that facilitates further cancer cell formation. Curcuminoids can also reduce inflammatory prostaglandins that promote cancer cell growth. A study made in China showed that curcumin was able to induce the apoptosis within triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells.
However, whether high doses of curcumin (preferably with an absorption enhancer like pepper) can help in treating cancer in humans has not yet been tested properly. After being intensively studied, maybe someday curcumin will be used along with conventional cancer treatment.
Curcuminoids and turmeric benefits for Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease worldwide and has many complications and side effects. People with Alzheimer’s disease suffer from gradual memory loss which makes the daily routine hard to manage.
One key feature of Alzheimer’s disease is a buildup of protein tangles called amyloid plaques. Several studies show that curcumin can help clear these plaques. Also, inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease and as we know, curcumin has beneficial effects on both. Curcumin tones down the brain inflammation by blocking the pathway of the COX-2 enzyme. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin reduce inflation in the brain and therefore, curcumin may also delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
However, whether curcuminoids can actually delay or even reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease needs to be properly studied.
Other curcuminoids and turmeric health benefits
Besides the benefits analyzed above, there are plenty other curcuminoids and turmeric health benefits.
- Curcuminoids help in liver detoxification, which further prevents the risk of hepatitis, cirrhosis and jaundice. Turmeric juice preserves a balance between bilirubin and bili verdin. These two liver secretions play a key role to maintaining liver health.
- Curcuminoids also aid in fat metabolism(like apple cider vinegar) to help manage the weight along with improving conditions like indigestion, constipation and bloating. Turmeric juice eases digestion by increasing the metabolic rate in the body. Hence, it helps with digestive disorders such as gas and constipation. Also, turmeric is a cooling agent and includes many healing antioxidants. Turmeric juice restores the normal pH level of the stomach. Therefore, it makes a healthy drink against acidity and gas and can also be used in ulcer treatment.
- The consumption of turmeric extracts or bitters twice per day for two weeks before the expected menstruation cycle will relieve women of the monthly menstrual cramps.
- Curcuminoids boost the immunity system due to their strong antioxidant activity that fights off free radical attacks in the system. Turmeric juice is an herbal formula that can keep the body toxin free.
- The strong anti-inflammatory properties of curcuminoids also act against the development of rheumatoid arthritis and delay it. In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was equally as effective as an anti-inflammatory drug. When taken as supplements, it also aids in reducing joint pains.
- Turmeric regulates the homocysteine levels and, therefore it controls the cholesterol level. It also improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels. Consequently, it may be useful to ward off cardiovascular diseases.
Where can you find curcuminoids and turmeric?
|Three things you need to know before purchasing curcuminoids and turmeric:
ü Curcuminoids and turmeric health benefits will be more intense if you consume curcuminoids and turmeric with black pepper that increases the absorption of curcumin.
ü At any given time, the dosage of turmeric should not exceed over 4 doses of 500 mg ingested orally.
ü While most people do not complain of any side effects, few may suffer from dizziness, nausea, stomachache or diarrhea.
Curcuminoids are mostly found and consumed as supplements (capsules or tablets).
As for turmeric, you can find it in several forms. You can purchase roots, powder, supplements (capsules or tablets), creams, liquids and drops.
These days, turmeric roots are widely available in supermarkets.
Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine (a natural substance that increases the absorption of curcumin by 2000%).
The articles are purely informative and do not replace the opinion of the treating physician. The content of the articles is for informational purposes and should not replace any advice, diagnosis or therapy provided by a doctor, a qualified health scientist. Every organism is unique and has different shortcomings, needs, abnormal findings and psychological features. Ask for specialist help exclusively for your case. ahealthystyle.com and its editors are not responsible for any use. As with any kind of “remedy”, consult your doctor first before you start consuming it. Only doctors know and will advise you responsibly on those kind of changes.