Nature And Health: There Have Been a Lot of News Stories About Curcumin Powder and Health

There Have Been a Lot of News Stories About Curcumin Powder and Health

There have been a lot of news stories about curcumin powder and health. A lot of research has been done and more is ongoing. But, what is it? Should everyone consider it as a nutritional supplement? What are the possible benefits? Here's a look at those questions and more.

Curcumin is the most common of a family of antioxidants called curcuminoids. The curcuminoids are found in plants belonging to the curcuma genus, of which turmeric is the best known. Other plants containing curcuminoids include Siam Tulip, Mango-Ginger, Wild and Black Turmeric, although there are many others.

Ginger is a similar plant, but does not contain curcuminoids. All of these plants have underground stems known as rhizomes. Often confused with roots, rhizomes are large and bulbous in shape. In plants containing curcuminoids, the rhizomes are orange, yellow or yellowish orange.

In Chinese and Traditional Indian medicine, curcumin powder and health benefits derived from it have been well known for centuries. It has been used to treat indigestion, hepatitis, jaundice, diabetes, heart disease, infections and to rid the body of parasites. Modern scientific research seems to support these uses.

In research conducted between 1976 and 2008, the medicinal activity of the plant was investigated by scientists from around the world. They found it to be a natural anti-inflammatory, as well as an antioxidant. These things are important for fighting and preventing a variety of diseases. Inflammation and oxidation are involved in cancer and many age-related degenerative diseases, including those that affect the heart.

Scientists also found that the nutrient has anti-viral activity. It prevents viruses and other pathogens from replicating, which means that it may be beneficial for people with herpes or HIV.

Research that is currently ongoing has to do with curcumin powder and health benefits for people with various types of cancer or Alzheimer's. Curcuminoids are among the few known substances that can break up and prevent amyloid-beta plaques from forming. Those plaques are responsible for killing the brain cells of Alzheimer's patients.

Glycation is involved in the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and is one of the main causes of cellular aging. Research does not indicate that curcuminoids are anti-glycation agents, but Carnosine is. A supplement that contains both carnosine and curcumin would be a better choice than either of the two alone. But, is that enough?

The reason for the interest in curcumin powder and health, as well as the interest in many other nutrients and plant extracts has to do with observational data that has been gathered over the years. People in some areas of the world live longer than others, rarely get cancer and don't have much heart disease.

The explanation is not merely genetic. It seems to have more to do with a person's diet than anything else. A nutrient-rich diet that is relatively low in calories seems to be the key to living a longer healthier life.

Supplementation is simply a bit of added insurance. Especially for those of us that don't always make the healthiest food choices, curcumin powder and health supplements of other kinds may help.