Saturday, July 26, 2014

Turmeric-The Golden Spice with Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Turmeric has been used since ancient times in Ayurvedic medicine to combat inflammation.  The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has antioxidant and antibacterial properties as well as anti- inflammatory properties.   A clinical review by Julie S. Jurenka,  published in 2009 goes over the anti-inflammatory properties  and therapeutic potential of turmeric which I will be summarizing.

Turmeric's Anti-Inflammatory properties and different conditions: 

Cancer:
The strong  anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin  allows inhibition of cancer cell replication, and pre-clinical research has shown  it to inhibit cancer cell growth in different types of cancers such as pancreatic, gastric, prostate, hepatic, and breast cancers.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Rat studies have shown that curcumin extracts significantly inhibited joint inflammation in rats with both acute and chronic conditions of rheumatoid arthritis

Pancreatitis:
Rats with experimentally-induced pancreatitis showed decreased inflammation when given curcumin

Post-surgery inflammation reduction:
In humans, curcumin given post surgery has showed significantly decreased inflammation in the patients.

It is however important to mention that absorption of the active ingredient curcumin is limited, as it is very rapidly metabolized in the body, as seen in studies done on rats and cancer patients, and thus it's therapeutic usefulness is limited.  Reseacher's however have found that if black pepper or long pepper are taken together with turmeric, turmeric's bio-availability increases 20 times.

Source:
http://69.164.208.4/files/Anti-inflammatory%20Properties%20of%20Curcumin,%20a%20Major%20Constituent%20of%20Curcuma%20longa:%20A%20Review%20of%20Preclinical%20and%20Clinical%20Research.pdf

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