What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a rhizome or better known as a rootstock and is in the ginger family classified under Zingiberacaea. It has been a key component with traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine (medical system dating back 3,000 years ago in India) and people utilize it for medicinal purposes, as well as for a spice and yellow dye.
Have you ever heard the term, “bio availability,” when it comes to a substance being used to improve one’s health? Well simply put and not so scientific, bio availability is the amount of an ingested substance that is actually taken in by our bodies. In other words, substances with low bio availability will not be beneficial to the healing process of whatever ailment you are trying to treat.
With this being said, turmeric contains what are called curcuminoids which are the active compounds from within. These compounds are polyphenolic pigments and include curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. However, the compound, curcumin accounts for 77% of the three curcuminoids found in turmeric.
Unfortunately, turmeric alone has a low bioavailability and in fact, very low blood serum levels have been identified after curcumin was given orally. These levels can be contributed to the pathway of administration, as well as how the substance was prepared prior to.
Turmeric and treating prostate cancer
However, studies have shown combining adjuvants (treatments that enhance an existing medical regimen, as a pharmacological agent added to a drug to increase or aid its effect) to turmeric can increase its bio availability to a more therapeutic form. In addition, researchers have discovered the combination of turmeric, red grapes, and apple peels as a way to treat prostrate cancer which is the second most common cancer affecting men in the U.S. behind skin cancer. As part of this research, tests were conducted on prostrate cancer cells taken from humans and mice. The discovery was that three compounds (curcumin from turmeric, ursolic acid from apple peels, and resveratrol from red grapes) were observed slowing down the cells responsible for prostate cancer progression. Also, when the three compounds were given to mice test subjects having prostrate cancer, they blocked glutamine (an amino acid necessary for prostate cancer to spread) and essentially, caused the cancer cells to die off.
Due to the fact that the compounds curcumin, resveratrol, and ursolic acid are natural, there was no toxicity concerns for the mice. The downside side to this experiment was that the amounts of the three compounds given to the mice were greater than what humans typically get from their diet. Therefore, it’s still a work in progress to find ways of upping the concentration of these compounds to levels necessary for elimination of prostate cancer cells. Either way, it’s quite apparent that turmeric has the ability to offer amazing therapeutic benefits to its recipients!
Have you ever thought of adding black pepper to turmeric? Better yet, do you know of all the health benefits of just black pepper?
- Alzheimer’s and dementia patients receive comfort from black pepper
- Minimizes memory deterioration and cognitive impairments
- Decreases the risk of cancer, cardiovascular, and liver ailments
- Helps with the symptoms resulting from sinusitis, asthma, and nasal congestion
- Assists in curing Vitiligo (the loss of skin color in blotches)
Adding some fresh black pepper is going to enhance turmeric’s absorption by a whopping 2,000%!
What else can you do to increase turmeric‘s bio availability? How about you TURN UP THE HEAT?
- Sprinkle 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric into some warm oil
- Heating the oil and adding the turmeric equates to bioavailability to you
How about we “fatten up” our turmeric?
- Turmeric is fat-soluble so in order to maximize its health benefits, let’s combine it with a fat.
- The combination of turmeric with a fat (such as coconut oil or ghee) causes curcumin to go directly into the bloodstream by way of the lymphatic system and avoiding the liver.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, dosage guidelines are as follows: cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day, dried powered root: 1 – 3 g per day
How about some turmeric tonight?
There’s your synopsis of turmeric and its therapeutic benefits! Here’s to living your best life ever! Feel free to leave me a comment or any insight you may have regarding the usage of turmeric.