Curcumin extracted from turmeric is probably the most studied of all natural compounds. There are research papers that cover everything from its anti-antioxidant capacity, to it helping our cancer defences, to it helping protect brain cells against age related and neurodegenerative problems, and many more. Most research, however, is focussed on its anti-inflammatory capacity.
Almost every chronic disease either causes or results in inflammation. While the inflammatory process is essential for healing, it can cause new problems or worsen existing problems.
Just think about this for a moment – heart disease is inflammation of blood vessels leading to plaques. Inflammation is part of how cancer cells spread. All autoimmune disease is inflammatory. Neurodegenerative diseases, including dementia related conditions, are inflammatory. All respiratory and allergic conditions are inflammatory. Most skin problems are caused or worsened by inflammation, and osteoarthritis is, of course, inflammatory.
Most medical treatments for these conditions centre around reducing inflammation with everything from humble aspirin through to powerful steroids. Part of the problem, though, is that some people cannot tolerate medications, or the medications cannot be used long term or, in some cases, increase the risk of other health problems.
I have a client who had battled tennis elbow for some time. While medications provided temporary relief, he decided to add my Curcumin and OPC alongside Omega 3 fish oil and a generally anti-inflammatory diet. After a few months he reported that his elbow was much better.
This should not surprise as multiple studies and research show that curcumin helps to normalise several inflammatory processes, especially inflammatory cytokine and prostaglandin production. Curcumin acts as an immune system conductor restoring natural immune balance.
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John Arts is a qualified nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health. To read more go to www.sunlive.co.nz