Biological and Therapeutic Benefits
By Dr. Farzad Farahmand:
Turmeric, the popular food additive commonly used as spice, has traditionally been used as a medicinal herb in India and throughout the world. Scientific research and clinical experience over the recent decades have continuously been confirming the ancient belief of Turmeric containing Chemical compounds with medicinal properties. These therapeutic Chemical compounds are collectively referred to as Curcuminoids, the most important of which is Curcumin. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in Turmeric, comprising only about 5 percent of the total Turmeric by weight.
Most of the research studies on the therapeutic effects of Turmeric are focused on the Curcumin molecule, and involve studying the effects of high doses of Curcumin on the body, often exceeding 1 gram per day. It would be very difficult to introduce high levels of Curcumin into our bodies at therapeutic levels, by just simply sprinkling Turmeric spices on our food. Therefore, in order to enjoy the multiple therapeutic benefits of Curcumin that I will be discussing in this article, we need to take Turmeric supplements that contain extracts with significant amounts of Curcumin. And since Curcumin is generally a molecule that is poorly absorbed by the Cells in our body, synergistic formulation of other nutrients blended along with Turmeric and the Curcumin molecule in the supplements is necessary to ensure proper cellular absorption and Bioavailability.
Extensive research has been performed on Curcumin, from its role as one of the strongest of all Anti-oxidizing, or Anti-aging agent in the body, to being one of the strongest of all the natural Anti-inflammatory agents, to its role in strengthening the immune system, in supporting Heart health, Prostate health, Brain health and more. In the following sections, we will explore these benefits, and discuss how the proper preparation, formulation and supplementation of Curcumin can help improve our health, our longevity and our quality of life. So let us begin…
Curcumin as an Antioxidant (Anti-aging) agent
Research has shown Curcumin to be one of the most powerful of all the Antioxidants in the body. But what does that really mean? What are Antioxidants? A Chemistry degree may be needed to fully understand the complicated scientific mechanism behind the term Antioxidant. However, for our intended purposes, a Chemistry degree will not be required, as I try my best to explain this complicated concept in simple terms, without any mention of atoms, electrons or free radicals.
The term Antioxidant would make much more sense to most of us, when the “oxidant” portion is replaced by the word, “aging”. Oxidation is a chemical process that occurs in both living beings and non-living objects as they age. For example, just as a non-living material such as a piece of metal can oxidize, rust and change color in time, a piece of banana, apple or an avocado can rot, change color and turn brown after being left at the kitchen table for a while. A very similar chemical process occurs in the cells, tissues and organs in our body as we age. They become oxidized. Antioxidants such as Curcumin are Anti-aging agents that can slow down the aging process, by preventing or slowing down the rate at which our cells, tissues and organs become oxidized and degenerate.
The Anti-aging properties of Curcumin tend to be subtle, or in other words, invisible, for the most part. For example, prolonged healthy functioning of our organs, such as our kidneys and our pancreas may not be too obvious for us to notice in the course of supplementation. However, there are some visible signs of Anti-aging that can be noticed and observed. Among the most visible signs of the Antioxidant effects of Curcumin reported by, and seen in people who are regularly taking Curcumin supplements is healthy, shiny and young looking skin.
Curcumin as a Natural Anti-Inflammatory agent
Curcumin is known to be among the safest and the most effective natural Anti-inflammatory agents. Now, what does Inflammation mean? Inflammation is our body’s protective response against any environmental threat or foreign agents entering our body. These threats could be Physical, such as a cut on our finger, a burn on our skin, or any Physical injury to our body or to our joints causing pain and swelling. The threats could also be emotional or Psychological in nature, such as the stress of paying our rent and other bills on time, or the stressors could be Biochemical in nature, such as toxins, Parasites, Candida, Viruses and Bacteria. In all cases of a threat to our body, whether Physical, Emotional, Psychological or Biochemical, an inflammatory response is produced by the body to protect us against any outside stress, Physical injury, or foreign organism. An acute inflammatory response is necessary to fight off environmental threats to our body. However, in case the inflammation continues and becomes Chronic, it can lead to Chronic pain, and a variety of other chronic emotional and physical illnesses.
Curcumin can be a better alternative to the continuation of taking pain medication to resolve injury induced chronic inflammatory pain. Curcumin can also be taken long term without concerns of experiencing any of the uncomfortable side effects of pain medications, such as drowsiness, gastrointestinal symptoms, or the difficulties of getting off of the medication after continuing taking them for some time.
In addition to its Anti-inflammatory action, Curcumin is also known to play an important role in supporting and strengthening the immune system. It is often considered as a strong Anti-Fungal, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Viral, and Antiseptic (Anti-infection) molecule, amplifying the body’s own healing response.
Curcumin’s role in Brain Health & Preservation
Curcumin plays an important role in Brain health. As an Anti-oxidant, it plays a protective, Anti-aging role to slow down nerve degeneration over time. It can also act as an Anti-inflammatory agent in the Brain, just as it does in the body, to help decrease Brain inflammation, otherwise known as Neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation in the Brain can be linked to a variety of disorders and Illnesses such as Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Obsessive Compulsive disorder, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and more. Controlling Neuroinflammation can help improve energy levels in the Brain, resulting in clarity of mind, improved focus & concentration, improved memory and cognition, improved sleep and more.
According to the latest research on Epigenetics, Curcumin can also play a role in effecting our DNA, to help decrease or stop unwanted genetic information from being expressed. For example, Curcumin can play a role in decreasing or toning down the expression of the gene for Depression, by making changes to our DNA.
Furthermore, according to the latest research, when combined with Vitamin D, Curcumin may help stimulate the immune system to clear or dissolve the Amyloid plaques formed in Alzheimer’s disease, helping to prevent the Illness from occurring.
Curcumin’s Role in Cardiovascular (Heart Health)
Even Low doses of Curcumin is known to play a role in lowering Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels, while reducing Platelet formation. Platelets are components of blood responsible for blood clotting. Decrease in the number of Platelets formed can reduce over clotting in the arteries and can help reduce the risk of heart attacks. Furthermore, experiments show that a combination of Curcumin along with Omega 3 Fatty Acids, plus Vitamin D, can be helpful in slowing down or preventing heart disease. The terms Anti-ischemic, and Anti-atherosclerotic (Anti-hardening of the arteries), are sometime used to describe the action of Curcumin, in preventing and slowing down vascular illnesses.
Curcumin’s role in the treatment of Cancer
Curcumin can be an effective adjunct to the treatment of Cancer, including while receiving radiation or while on Chemotherapy treatments. It can help protect the body against radiation damage, and it can help make Chemotherapy become more effective, while protecting patients against its associated side effects. Curcumin has also been shown to help slow down, reverse or inhibit cancer development, during all the 6 stages of Cancer development.
According to the latest research, Turmeric and its extract Curcumin, have anti-cancerous properties that may stop the spread and growth of cancerous cells in general, particularly in the Prostate.
Curcumin’s Role in Liver health
Fat deposits tend to build up over time in the cells of our body, especially in the cells of our Liver, our Detoxification organ. In case the excess fat remains in the liver cells for prolonged period of time without being eliminated through detoxification, it will harden and turn into scars, resulting in a condition called Liver Fibrosis. Curcumin plays a crucial role in the process of Liver Detoxification, in addition to reducing inflammation as an Anti-inflammatory agent, and reducing the aging process of the Liver as an anti-oxidizing agent. And since Liver is the main organ of Glucose metabolism, it may be helpful in illnesses such as Diabetes.
Curcumin’s Role in Kidney Health
As an Anti-inflammatory agent, Curcumin has been shown to reduce inflammation during all stages of Kidney disease. Improvements were shown even in the later stages of Kidney disease, where patients were supplemented by Curcumin. Curcumin, together with Omega 3 and Vitamin D, can be a very helpful combination for Kidney Health.
Curcumin’s Role in Gut Health
Our Gut is considered as our body’s first line of defense against Bacteria, Viruses, other harmful microorganisms, and all toxins in general. The lining of the Gut is the selective barrier that allows certain material to be absorbed, while keeping others from entering the body. Curcumin plays a crucial role in keeping the integrity and the health of the lining of the Gut, in addition to reducing any inflammation that may be present in the Gut.
There are beneficial (Good) Bacteria or Probiotics, and harmful (Bad) bacteria in our Gut. There needs to be a healthy ratio between the Good and the bad Bacteria in the Gut. A disturbance in this ratio results in a condition known as Dysbiosis. Curcumin, in addition to keeping the integrity of the lining of the Gut, can contribute to preventing the condition of Dysbiosis, which can be crucial to strengthening our immune system and preventing inflammation in the body.
Illness to Wellness most recommended Turmeric / Curcumin product
Ukon is the Japanese name for the Turmeric plant. Ukon Sigma (Σ) is the name of the most potent Turmeric dietary supplement, containing absorbable and Bioavailable Curcumin in combination with other nutrients, botanicals and essential oils, manufactured by Enagic International, a reputable Japanese company established 1964 in Okinawa, Japan. Enagic is best known for manufacturing the most reliable Water Ionizer machines, as discussed in my article, Change Your Water, Change, Your Life. Ukon, is grown 100% organically in Yanbaru, the northern tip of the island of Okinawa in Japan, in a completely pesticide-free environment, and free of harmful chemicals used in conventional Turmeric farming. And there are no preservatives added to the final product.
There are two types of Ukon, Spring Ukon grown in Spring, and Autumn Ukon grown in Autumn. Spring Ukon is abundant in minerals and essential oils, while Autumn Ukon contains high contents of Curcumin. Once harvested, the Ukon plants are washed with strong Kangen (Alkalized) Water (11.5 pH), sterilized with strong Acidic Water (2.5 pH), and then blended together. These meticulous sterilizing processes are very important in removing any residues and impurities.
In addition to the Curcumin rich Turmeric content in 1 serving (5 capsules) exceeding 1 gram, the supplement contains mineral rich Olive and Perilla essential oils, Flaxseed Oil containing Omega 3 Fatty Acids commonly found in Fish Oil, Primrose Oil known to help with maintaining Cholesterol and Blood sugar levels that are already within normal limits, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B9 (Folic Acid), B12, E, and C. The Gel capsules are 100% vegetarian (Botanical), containing ingredients such as Olive oil, Perilla oil and Flaxseed oil, in addition to a seaweed derivative called Carrageenan.
The island of Okinawa where the Ukon plant is grown is famous for having an environment that is consistently free of pollution. This may be the contributing factor to its rich soil. The plant is grown organically without the use of any chemicals, further contributing to the rich nutrient content in the final product.
The packaging uses innovative technology that repels moisture and prevents oxidation. Each box contains 100 capsules. Enagic recommends taking 5 to 6 capsules daily for maximum benefits and best possible performance for adults. Enagic adheres to the highest levels of sanitation and production standards, to ensure maximum purity and potency, in all of their products.
Curcumin is considered to be among the most essential nutrients to be supplemented, next to Omega 3’s, Vitamins, Minerals, and Amino Acids. Curcumin’s multiple Biological and therapeutic benefits and its high safety profile places it among the list of nutrients to be supplemented with food at all times.
I hope that I have been able to effectively present and describe the science and the latest research on this wonderful natural molecule.
As always, I wish all of you a well deserved lifetime of Health, Joy and Peace of Mind.
Dr. Farzad Farahmand
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For a Free phone or in office consultation, please call: 818 501 2000
Farzad Farahmand, D.C.
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Woodland Hills, Ca. 91367