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Do You Believe in the Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Turmeric?

Do You Believe in the Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Turmeric?

Turmeric has been touted for its anti-inflammatory benefits, but is the hype true?

Ben Brown, MD, from Ornish Lifestyle Medicine will answer the question: Is curcumin a tasty spice or a powerful anti-inflammatory supplement?

Actually, it’s both.

Curcumin, the yellow pigment in the spice turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb/spice/supplement and has been used for centuries as a treatment for inflammatory diseases.

How does curcumin decrease inflammation?
To keep it simple, curcumin works as an anti-inflammatory herb in a variety of ways that are very powerful. 

Below is a summary of the extensive research over the past 2 decades that has shown that curcumin works to decrease inflammation:

  • It down regulates inflammatory transcription factors (such as those linked to cancer, autoimmune disease and other inflammatory conditions) so they make less templates to create the bad stuff.
  • It changes specific pro-inflammatory enzymes to decrease inflammation by decreasing the enzyme that helps make the bad stuff.
  • It decreases cytokines: less cytokines means less inflammation, which means less bad stuff.

It also works in other ways.

Because of the crucial role inflammation plays in most chronic diseases, the potential anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin has been examined for cancer, heart, lung, brain, diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

For those of you dealing with heart disease, here is some exciting information:

  • As an antioxidant, curcumin reduces diabetic cardiovascular complications.
  • As a blood thinner, it helps prevent heart attacks and strokes (similar to aspirin).
  • The anti-thrombotic, antiproliferative, and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin and its effect in decreasing the serum cholesterol level may protect against atherosclerosis.
  • The anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin may help prevent atrial arrhythmias and it may play a role in the prevention of some ventricular arrhythmias.
  • The inhibitory effects of curcumin have been demonstrated to decrease the development of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure in animal models.
  • Curcumin decreases risk for post-bypass heart attack. In a study in Thailand that followed 121 patients who had bypass surgery between 2009 and 2011, curcumin decreased the risk for post-bypass heart attack by 65%. 

So, go ahead, spice it up with turmeric, add some black pepper and enjoy the flavor of healing.

Looking for other ways to live a healthier, happier life? Reverse heart disease and diabetes, lose weight and reduce your cancer risk with these tips from Dean Ornish.

This content originally appeared on Ornish Living.