Experience the magical health benefits of turmeric.

by JT Smiley MD February 06, 2017

Experience the magical health benefits of turmeric.

The magic of Turmeric, the golden spice, has been well documented in traditional Chinese medicine and Indian (Auryvedic) medicine for thousands of years. And recent research confirms what the ancient gurus have always known.... that turmeric has medicinal qualities that may assist in the treatment of many common diseases. More specifically, it's one of nature's most powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxident agents.


The first scientific article on the subject was published by Oppenheimer in the Lancet 80 years ago. Since then there has been an explosion of scientific research on this medicinal plant − 5,600 scientific articles and more than 100 clinical trials have been completed. 

The majority of the research has focused on the active ingredient in Turmeric, which is Curcumin. Results show that curcumin has a wide range of medicinal properties including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-arthritic, wound healing, memory-enhancing, anti-aging and antidepressant properties. 

Curcumin's health benefits stem from its ability to influence multiple signaling pathways at the cellular level. And it’s not just curcumin that has medicinal properties. Recent studies have shown that curcumin-free turmeric (CFT) has significant anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties of it’s own. Turmeric oil has also been shown to increase the bioavailability of curcumin. How these compounds work together is not clear at this point, but there is evidence to support that whole turmeric may be more beneficial than isolated curcumin alone. In other words, eating turmeric is more beneficial than taking a curcumin supplement.

The problem is, Westerners don't get enough turmeric in the normal diet. Not only that, curcumin is hard to absorb.

Most research that discounts the benefits of Turmeric focuses on poor absorption and the fact that curcumin is readily broken down by the liver into “less active” metabolites. This has been an area of intense focus in drug development efforts, and what this research has shown is that curcumin is highly lipophilic. Therefore, combining curcumin with lipids (fats) greatly increases the absorption by way of the lymphatic system and bypasses the first metabolism of the liver. This allows curcumin to stay in the bloodstream much longer, giving it more time to influence the signaling pathways that give it such amazing properties.  

With Laird Superfood Creamer you get a healthy, daily dose of curcumin in a form that's delicious and easily absorbed. Just put two tablespoons in your morning cup of coffee and you'll get the most efficient form of curcumin available.



After studying numerous research reports on turmeric and curcumin a few common threads emerge: First and foremost both curcumin-free turmeric (CFT) and curcumin posses powerful biological activity that can be used to treat a broad range of medical conditions.  Second, even in large doses turmeric appears to be very safe and well tolerated. Third, by ingesting turmeric with healthy oils the absorption and bioavailability of turmeric significantly increases. Some studies show a 7 to 8-fold increase in absorption.  

Inflammation and Oxidation are two of the largest stresses on the human body. Chronic inflammation plays a role in almost every western disease:  arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease and even cancer.

  •  Several studies demonstrate curcumin’s ability to suppress acute and chronic inflammation. Curcumin works directly to inhibit COX-2 so does not have the GI side effects (GERD and ulcers) that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen and Aleve can have with long term use. It also works by inhibiting pro-inflamatory mediators Interlukin 6 & 8 as well as prostaglandin.  It also inhibits NF-kB (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells).  NF-kB controls transcription of DNA that regulates cytokine production.  This pathway is involved in cellular responses to stress.      
  • Anti-cancer: Turmeric inhibits both the development of malignant cancer cells and the progression.  It inhibits cancer by blocking the carcinogenic effects toxins have on the cells. It inhibits tumor growth by blocking malignant cell proliferation. The cancer preventative effects have been well studied for colon, duodenal, stomach, esophageal and oral cancers.  In China the chemical Elemine (found in whole turmeric) has been approved for use to treat cancer.  There is significant ongoing research into using turmeric as a chemosensitizer to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy and decrease the dose of chemotherapeutic agents required to achieve the desired effect, thereby decreasing the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy. There are ongoing studies for it’s use in prevention and treatment of prostate, pancreatic, colon and breast cancers as well as multiple myeloma. 
  • Brain and memory improvement:  Turmeric increases brain derived neurotrophic factor, this improves brain function and memory.  It works by helping neurons form new connections (pathways) and in certain areas of the brain it can actually help form new neurons. Brain derived neurotrophic factor works on neurons like human growth factor works on our skeletal system.  We know curcumin readily crosses the blood brain barrier and there are several studies to determine if it is effective in treating Alzheimer’s, but no results have yet been published.  In a small study (60 patients) it was shown to be as effective as Prozac for treating depression.  It’s mechanism of action for depression is by boosting dopamine and serotonin levels. 
  • Heart health: Curcumin was shown to reduce “bad cholesterol” LDL and increase “good cholesterol” HDL.  It has also been shown to decrease atherosclerosis (the build of plaque in the arteries) as well as endothelial dysfunction, which is the main cause for heart attacks. There is inflammation at the level of the intima (the inner layer of the artery) which causes plaque behind the intima to be released into the blood vessel.  When this happens plaque reacts with the white and red blood cells and forms a clot.  This is how a heart attack occurs. 
Laird Hamilton turmeric
Laird Hamilton at a turmeric farm in Hawaii.

 

Check out Laird Superfood Turmeric Creamer here...

References: 

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JT Smiley MD
JT Smiley MD

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