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Help Out Your Immune System with Curcumin

Curcumin Benefits photoYou have probably heard of Curcumin before and all its health benefits. This relative of ginger that gives Turmeric its yellow-orange colour,  is well-known for boosting weight loss, treating disease, and relieving arthritic pain. But now research has shown that Curcumin has the amazing ability to fight infection, which takes some of the load off your immune system. Adding this important property to Curcumin’s list of health benefits has categorised Curcumin as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-cancer substance.

Holy Powder and Curcumin

Turmeric is an ancient curry spice not only used in Indian food, but also in Indian medicine. India’s ancient form of natural, wholistic, and preventive medicine, known as Ayurveda, has been around for over 2,500 years. Interestingly, Ayurvedic medicine commonly refers to Turmeric as “Holy Powder.” After all, with its ability to treat wounds, infections, and many other health conditions—Turmeric does seem holy! However, science has revealed that Curcumin is the most biologically active component of Turmeric and actually boosts Turmeric’s overall anti-oxidant ability. As a matter of fact, Turmeric has 5 to 8 times the anti-oxidant ability of Vitamins C and E.

Is Curcumin that important?

Consuming Curcumin helps your immune system fight bacteria, free radicals, and inflammation while reducing bad cholesterol and preventing diabetes. Curcumin also prevents the development of cancer by regulating the expression of over 700 genes and improving communication between cells. These qualities make Curcumin especially useful in preventing or treating:
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer
  • Cataracts
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Gallstones
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Muscle degeneration
  • Psoriasis
  • Sports injuries
  • Tendonitis
So the answer is YES, Curcumin is very important! India has extremely low occurrences of breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer and as a nation; they consume large quantities of Turmeric. Chinese medicine too recognises the benefits of Curcumin.

How does Curcumin function?

Curcumin is able to do so much in the body because it inserts itself into the cell membranes and makes those membranes more orderly. Orderly membranes allow information to pass into the cell easier, which means the cell can receive the information and react that much faster. In the case of the immune system, Curcumin boosts the function of a molecule called cathelicidin antimicrobial, or CAMP. CAMP is a component of the immune system that identifies and removes bacteria and other unfamiliar agents from the body. So increasing CAMP activity essentially increases your immunity! Additionally, since Vitamin D also increases CAMP activity, Curcumin and Vitamin D together form the perfect defense against infection, inflammation, and cancer. This duo even protects the digestive system, specifically the stomach and intestinal tract.

How much Curcumin is necessary?

Although curry powder contains Turmeric, it really does not contain enough Turmeric for Curcumin to be effective. Instead, you should use only pure Turmeric in your diet that has not been adulterated by fillers or additives. High doses of Curcumin are mostly necessary for the benefit of fighting cancer. So when it comes to other conditions, you may need higher or lower levels of Curcumin to treat them. Overall, the best thing to do is to ‘Ask a Naturopath’ how much Curcumin is right for you and your current health status.