Turmeric is a south Asian plant closely related to ginger. It’s been cultivated for culinary uses for thousands of years and is the primary spice in a range of different curry dishes. It also plays a role in several different traditional medicine systems (e.g. Ayurvedic practice), and Western research has confirmed that the herb has significant health benefits. This has made it a popular ingredient for dietary supplementation. These turmeric supplement benefits have been key in popularizing the herb.
When taken regularly, turmeric supplements reduce the levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream. Taking supplements twice daily for three months or more has been confirmed to improve cholesterol levels.
Turmeric makes an effective treatment for osteoarthritis, reducing the amount of pain the condition causes and improving sufferers’ mobility. Research has shown that turmeric is at least as effective as ibuprofen for managing arthritis pain, and its effects may be even greater when combined with other herbs.
Besides the cholesterol-reducing effect described above, there are further turmeric supplement benefits that can help individuals who are at risk for developing diabetes. In studies people diagnosed with prediabetes on a twice-daily turmeric extract regimen were less likely to develop full diabetes than those in the control group. This strongly suggests that turmeric is generally useful in preventing the development of the disease.
Anti Inflammatory Benefits
Curcumin, one of the key active ingredients in turmeric, is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that interrupts the chemical processes which lead to inflammation. Turmeric supplementation can be broadly effective in treating a range of different chronic inflammatory conditions. Its potency rivals that of pharmaceutical drugs in many cases. Turmeric solution, for instance, is a commonly-prescribed natural treatment for throat inflammation caused by chemotherapy.
Another significant advantage of supplements that contain curcumin is that they are potent antioxidants. Antioxidants are vitally important in protecting the body from free radicals, loose molecules that can cause unwanted and potentially-harmful chemical reactions. Besides being an active antioxidant that blocks free radicals itself, curcumin also stimulates the activity of the enzymes which produce natural antioxidants within the human body.
Turmeric has been strongly linked to the production of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, a hormone which controls the growth and repair of neurons in the human brain. By stimulating higher levels of BDNF, turmeric supplements may provide a number of mental health benefits including reduced susceptibility to Alzheimer’s Disease and lower incidence of depression. Studies have shown that turmeric can be as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in managing depression.
This list of benefits is by no means comprehensive. These are just some of the most well-known and verified advantages of taking turmeric supplements. Further research has suggested that the herb may be useful in treating an even wider range of conditions, including several forms of cancer and many different digestive maladies like Crohn’s disease. In time, the potency of turmeric, as well as its lack of serious side effects may make it one of the most popular herbal supplements in widespread use.