What is Curcumin
What is Curcumin? You might wonder what makes curry dishes yellow. The spice included in your food is responsible for that. You would be surprised to know that spice not only gives the color and flavor but also contains compounds that provide impressive effect on your health. Exactly what spice and compound is that?
Turmeric is spice belonging to the ginger family that has been used for centuries in Indian cuisine. Inside it is Curcumin, a very powerful compound that has only been found to contain health benefiting agents in recent years. Curcumin has a very distinct characteristic and that is the bright-yellow color. This is the reason why including Turmeric in your curry dishes results in the yellow color.
While a lot of people say that Curcumin is only a simple spice used in cooking curry dishes and food coloring, it also has a deep purpose in human health.
Turmeric has been used in treating numerous diseases in Indian medicine for thousands of years. Since Curcumin is defined as an active substance in Turmeric, then it shall posses the same benefits as that of Turmeric. In recent studies, it is found that Curcumin extract contains substances that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. This finding is very important because our lifestyle these days is very prone to inflammation conditions. We have arthritis, colitis, and other inflammation related ailments in the body. Curcumin now comes to aid as a supplement to make up for the deficiency we have in our diet.
Curcumin also helps reduce the risk of colon cancer. Clinical studies performed in mice exposed to carcinogens showed lower incidence of colon cancer when Curcumin was included in their diets. Curcumin caused colon cancer cells to die but did not cause cell death in non-cancer cells. Something very different from chemotherapy at the moment (healthy cells get killed together with the bad cancer cells).
There are scientists that focus their studies on whether Curcumin might have brain-boosting effects. Although more proof is required, the initial results suggest the Curcumin may be a good food for the brain. Furthermore, in countries where Turmeric is consumed in large quantities daily, there is a very low incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.
To get the nutrients from Curcumin, you have two choices. One, you can take Curcumin supplements in capsule or liquid form or two, you can add a good amount of turmeric spice powdered in your veggies, soup, or fish. It is better and will be less expensive the latter way. But if you’re not a fan of spicy dishes, you can always go with the capsule supplements available in medical centers. Either way it may relieve pain, reduce the risk of certain cancers and possibly inhibit the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
But there is a little snag to trying Curcumin. A University of California – Los Angeles professor, Greg Cole who has been studying Curcumin for several years says that the compound is poorly soluble and poorly absorbed. That is why Curcumin supplements are given at high dosages.