Chronic Disease and Turmeric

You’ve surely been hearing a lot about the dangers of inflammation over the last two or three years. It’s become a buzz word in health circles.

Increasingly more studies are showing there are direct links between chronic inflammation and chronic diseases like cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues. You also may have heard that turmeric, an ancient Ayurvedic spice, has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation. Let's take a look at the ways turmeric has been shown to reduce and even prevent chronic disease.

What Is Chronic Disease? 

Chronic diseases are diseases that last for three or more months. Diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis are among the most common chronic illnesses. As of 2012, nearly half of all adults have one or more chronic health condition. In addition, seven of the top ten causes of deaths in 2014 were chronic diseases.    

The question is—can we lessen the instance and effects of chronic disease? The answer is—we can. In fact, many chronic diseases can be lessened or avoided all together with a healthy, informed lifestyle. Curcumin, the anti-inflammation superstar found in turmeric, is one of those healthy lifestyle choices that has shown positive outcomes on chronic diseases when used in the correct doses and consistently. Let’s take a look at turmeric’s effect on some common chronic illnesses.  

Turmeric and Diabetes

Diabetes is an endocrine disease where blood sugar and insulin fall out of balance, sometimes to deadly outcomes. Curcumin has been shown to control blood sugar and increases insulin receptor function by improving its binding capacity to sugar. Curcumin activates something called Peroxisome Proliferator-Activator Receptor (PPAR), which is an accumulation of critical nuclear proteins that moderate sugar uptake and utilization in the bloodstream. It also reduces the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Research has shown that type 2 diabetes patients experienced instances of lower blood sugar after just ten days of taking curcumin. 

Turmeric and Cancer

Turmeric has already shown promise in both preventing and treating cancer. During a Phase I clinical trial, curcumin was given to 25 patients with "pre-cancerous changes in different organs." The study suggests that precancerous changes did not develop into cancer as none of the patients developed cancer.

The Life Extension Foundation conducted research finding that curcuminoids inhibit ten factors of cancer development. Supplementing with turmeric has lead to several cancer killing outcomes such as help in destroying the cancer cell mitochondria, it “turns on” natural apoptotic switches in cancer cells resulting in what’s known as “cell suicide,” and reduces the inflammation that promotes cancer cell growth. In fact, a study out of China in which a woman with triple negative breast cancer, a cancer that finds no benefit from conventional chemotherapy and radiation, was able to induce apoptosis with curcumin supplementation.  

Turmeric and Heart Disease

Turmeric works in several ways to boost heart health. First, it helps reduce deadly plaque build up in arteries. Plaque buildup causes blood clots to form which can result in a stroke or heart attack. Turmeric has shown promise in minimizing the risk of blood platelets forming clots by relaxing the blood vessels. This also has been seen to send signals to the liver to produce mRNA which promotes LDL cholesterol receptors which ferry bad cholesterol from the body, lowering bad cholesterol levels. Finally, turmeric reduces inflammation by suppressing the COX enzyme which is what sends inflammation signals throughout the body, as well as impedes pro-inflammatory molecule production. 

Turmeric and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS)

Turmeric is being found to be a beneficial supplementary therapy for sufferers of IBS. Several recent studies show that it’s reducing symptomology in several ways. A 2004 study found that patients taking a turmeric extract for eight weeks reported less abdominal pain and discomfort. A 2010 study found that after one dose of curcumin, test subjects experienced a decrease in the length of their small intestine, suggesting that could alleviate abnormal intestinal contractions. A 2015 study also found a comparably favorable result on the intestines, notably in decreased distention of the stomach. 

These are just a few of the chronic diseases shown to benefit from regular turmeric supplementation. A simple daily supplementation in addition to a healthy lifestyle and medical care could help you reduce or alleviate symptoms to help you live a happier, more active life! 

By Team Turmerical 

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