Main Health Benefits of Curcumin
- Reduces joint inflammation and swelling
- Increase joint mobility
- Relieves the pain of osteoarthritis
- Protects the body from the damaging effects of free radicals
- Supports liver and gallbladder function
- Helps maintain healthy digestive function
- Improves cholesterol ratios
- Supports healthy blood sugar control
- Protects and repairs skin damage
- Improves immune function
- Eases period pain
- Reduces the ageing of our cells
Other common names
Curcuma longa L., Turmeric
What is The History of Curcumin?
The name turmeric originated from the Medieval Latin name terramerita, which became terre- merite in French, meaning 'deserved earth' or 'meritorious earth'.
Since 1900 B.C. turmeric was known as Haridra (the yellow one) in Sanskrit and held a place of honour in India’s traditional Ayurvedic system of medicine. It has also been a mainstay in curries on the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years and gives curry blends their yellow colour. In addition to its role in cooking, the herb was used for the preservation of food and valued more than gold or precious stones.
Researchers believe that turmeric reached China about 700 A.D., East Africa about 800 A.D., West Africa about 1200 A.D. and then Jamaica in the eighteenth century.
The name Curcuma derives from the Persian word kurkum meaning 'saffron' because the orange-yellow rhizome colour is reminiscent of saffron. Marco Polo, in 1280 A.D., mentioned turmeric as growing in the Fokien region of China and is reported to have said “I have found a plant that has all the qualities of saffron, but it is a root.”
Touted by researchers as ‘Indian solid gold’, ‘a spice for life’ and ‘an age-old herb for old age’, it is considered a symbol of prosperity and known as a cleanser for the whole body. Turmeric has been used through the ages as a ‘herbal aspirin’ and ‘herbal cortisone’ to relieve discomfort and inflammation associated with an extraordinary spectrum of infectious and autoimmune diseases.
Turmeric has become associated with many Hindu customs and traditions and has been used extensively in various Indian ceremonies for millennia. It is used in every part of India during weddings and other religious ceremonies.
Turmeric was also highly esteemed by the ancient Indo-European people for its golden-yellow dye resembling sunlight. This culture, known as Arya, worshipped the solar system and attributed special protective properties to those plants, which, like turmeric, contained sun-coloured yellow dyes.
Curcumin, which gives the yellow colour to turmeric, was first isolated by Vogel in 1842, and its chemical structure (diferuloylmethane) was determined by the researchers Lampe and Milobedeska in 1910.
Pharmacological investigations into the anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric and its constituents began to attract research interest in the 1980s. Currently, curcumin is regarded as a natural compound of great interest and of considerable therapeutic potential because of its multiple properties which include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chemo-preventative, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, antimetastatic, antiangiogenic and cardioprotective activities.
Targets and Mechanisms of Action
Researchers have identified about 235 compounds in curcumin. The most popular and powerful are the lipophilic polyphenols, collectively known as curcuminoids. These are now the focus of an unprecedented number of clinical trials with hundreds of research papers and clinical trials involving over a thousand patients being performed. Curcumin is the primary curcuminoid, followed by demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin respectively.
Current research indicates these curcuminoids have synergistic effects. This has been demonstrated in studies which found an enhanced anti-inflammatory effect and improved stability when using the three primary curcuminoids combined compared to just using curcumin alone.
Curcumin C3 Complex® is a highly purified extract of turmeric with documented bioactivity. It has been standardised to a specific compositional ratio of the three primary curcuminoids. Consistency is essential to reproduce positive outcomes and clinical efficacy.
An important point to remember is that we are co-administered our curcumin with piperine, the active substance from pepper, which can increase curcumin’s level in the blood by as much as 30 times so we can obtain as much active compounds in the serum as possible.
- Improves beta-cell function of the pancreas
- Increases adiponectin levels
- Improves insulin sensitivity by lowering C-peptide and HOMA-IR
- Improves fasting glucose and HbA1c levels in the blood
- Decreases protein levels in the urine
- Lowers serum free fatty acids and triglycerides
- Increases the activity of serum lipase
- Reduces HDL/LDL-peroxidises, LDL cholesterol and Apo-B
- Increases HDL cholesterol and Apo-A (both improving atherogenic defences)
- Decreases total serum cholesterol
- Lowers plasma fibrinogen levels
- Reduces SA-β-gal activity in the aorta and the level of an inflammatory marker, MCP-1, in serum
Anti-Inflammation and Antioxidant Activity
- Lowers malondialdehyde (MDA), endothelin-1, and interleukin-6 (IL-6)
- Decreases 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) levels
- Decreases transforming growth factor-B and interleukin-8 (IL-8)
- Increases plasma antioxidant capacity
- Lowers serum inflammation markers erythro-sedimentation rate (ESR) and c-reactive protein (CRP)
- Down-regulates the expression of NF-kB and COX-2
- Improves salivary and blood levels of vitamin C and E
- Improves superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione (GSH) levels
- Increases non-transferrin bound iron in serum
- Affects biological processes such as the redox state
- Can cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and can alleviate neuroinflammation
- Significantly reduces the severity of radiation dermatitis and moist desquamation
- Shows good improvement in active psoriasis symptoms
- Decreases phosphorylase kinase (PhK), keratinocyte transferrin receptor expression, and density of epidermal CD8+T cells
- Reduces the severity of parakeratosis
- Significantly reduces irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) prevalence
- Reduces the pain and discomfort of IBS
- Gives dramatic improvement in the relapse rate of ulcerative colitis (maintains remission)
- Is a powerful adjunctive treatment for ulcerative proctitis
- Reduces gallstone formation by improving gallbladder contraction and bile movement
- Gives relief to crohns disease patients and improves the crohns disease activity index (CDAI)
- Curcumin-induced senescence protects against liver fibrosis
- Shows ability to modulate gut microbial composition and biodiversity
- Improves vision in chronic and recurrent uveitis
- Decreases aqueous flare and keratic precipitates
- Improves anterior and posterior iris/cornea adhesion (synechiae)
- Improves eyeball movement and reduces local orbital swellings
- Decreases serum paraprotein levels involved in myeloma
- Lowers urine levels of cross-linked N teleopeptide of type 1 collagen (uNTx), a highly specific marker of osteolysis
- Increases the rate of cancer cell death
- Decreases serum tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) levels
- Enhances expression of p53 molecules in tumour tissue
- Down-regulates phosphorylated signal transducer
- Activates transcription 3 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells
- Decreases activation of constitutive pSTAT3 implicated in tumorigenesis and chemoresistance
- Improves cancer/chemotherapy symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and constipation
- Improves survival time when used in conjunction with chemotherapeutic drugs
- Increases activity of β-glucuronidase responsible for deconjugation of glucuronides
- Improves joint swelling, morning stiffness and walking time in rheumatoid arthritis
- Shown to be as effective as diclofenac sodium (voltaren) and ibuprofen for treating osteoarthritis
- Reduces damage to DNA
- Induces sirtuin genes (sirt1 and sirt2) and AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) expression
- Activates broad cellular responses to external stimuli by interacting with many receptors such as EGFR/CXCR4; growth factors - EGF, TGFβ; kinases - MAPK, FAK; transcription factor - STAT1-5; enzymes - DNA pol; adhesion molecules - ICAM-1, VCAM-1; apoptotic regulators - survivin, Bcl-2; proinflammatory cytokines – interleukin-8 (IL-8); and other proteins - cyclin B1
- Regulates different kinds of miRNA
- Mimics caloric/diet restriction and increase the benefits coming from mild physical activity
- Influences epigenetic changes by inhibiting DNA methyltransferases and regulating histone modifications via effects on histone acetyltransferases and histone deacetylases
- Inhibits the oxidative stress-induced senescence of WI38 fibroblasts
- Inhibits mTOR levels and activity which affects autophagy
- Shows modulating ability by both activating and inhibiting the properties of autophagy
- Induces the degradation of misfolded proteins or damaged organelles
- Induces the biogenesis of lysosomes by activating transcription factor EB (TFEB)
- Restores the physiological level of HSP70, which facilitates proper cargo loading into lysosomes
- Induces mitophagy which improves neuronal survival
- Inhibits downstream signalling from the EGFR, namely PI3K/Akt/mTOR and ERK/MAPK cascades