Turmeric's Shocking Secrets: The Mind-Blowing Benefits & Hidden Dangers Everyone is Talking About!
Updated: Oct 4
The golden spice and member of the ginger family is taking the world by storm! You've seen it in your lattes, skincare, and smoothies, but do you truly know the power of turmeric? Do you know any of Turmeric's shocking secrets? Dive in as we unveil this ancient superfood's miraculous benefits and dark side.
1. The Powerhouse of Anti-Inflammation: Turmeric doesn't just add vibrant color to your curry. Its main active ingredient, curcumin, boasts powerful anti-inflammatory effects rivaling some over-the-counter drugs!
2. Your Brain's Best Friend: Move over, fish oil! Curcumin is believed to increase brain levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a growth hormone that helps brain cells multiply. Can you say brain boost? This spice might help treat Alzheimer's by aiding working and cue memory .
3. A Natural Antidepressant: Recent studies suggest that turmeric has incredible benefits for mental health [3, 4, 5, 6,7]. Some say it's even more effective than leading antidepressants like Prozac, all thanks to our good pal, curcumin . Multiple clinical trials found curcumin has a significant antidepressant effect compared to the placebo, though the authors acknowledged that more research is needed due to the limited number of studies [7}.
4. Heart Health Hero: Turmeric doesn't just spice up your dishes; it may be giving your heart a boost! The golden wonder has been linked to improved endothelial function, ensuring your heart stays as young as you feel.
4. Other pharmacological benefits: Turmeric might also treat diabetes by improving the venoarteriolar response (skin blood perfusion) and decreasing leg swelling . It might aid in treating osteoarthritis, central serous chorioretinopathy, tumors, wound healing, periodontitis, and peripheral neuropathy [1,2].
However, read the darker version of Turmeric's Shocking Secrets below before jumping on the Tumeric Train:
1. The Dark Side of Blood Thinning: Turmeric's natural blood-thinning properties might sound like a benefit, but if you're already on blood-thinning medications, the combination could spell trouble.
2. Upset Stomach Alert: In high doses, turmeric can be rough on your stomach, leading to nausea or diarrhea. Less is more with this potent spice.
3. Risky for Pregnant Women: While it's great in food, taking turmeric supplements during pregnancy might not be the best idea. There's a potential risk of stimulating the uterus or promoting menstrual flow.
4. Allergic Reactions: Rashes or shortness of breath after a turmeric latte or a skin rash after using a turmeric scrub? You might be one of the rare few who are allergic. Always test in moderation if you're trying turmeric for the first time.
Also, Tumeric is best consumed along with black pepper. Turmeric contains curcumin, a bioactive compound with various beneficial properties, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. However, curcumin by itself has poor bioavailability when consumed, meaning only a small percentage of what is ingested gets absorbed into the bloodstream.
Black pepper contains a compound called piperine. Piperine has been shown to enhance the absorption of curcumin. Specifically, it inhibits the metabolism of curcumin in the liver and the intestinal wall, reducing the amount of curcumin that is excreted from the body. By doing so, piperine can increase the amount of curcumin available in the bloodstream.
In simple terms, consuming turmeric (curcumin) with black pepper (piperine) ensures that more of the beneficial curcumin is absorbed by the body, thereby maximizing its health benefits.
In Conclusion, with its brilliant hue and impressive list of benefits, Turmeric has rightly earned its superfood status. But like all things, it's essential to approach it with knowledge and balance. After all, too much of a good thing can sometimes lead to unexpected consequences. Always consult with a health professional before diving headfirst into the turmeric trend.
(Disclaimer: This article is designed for general informational purposes only. Always consult a medical professional regarding any changes to your health regimen.)
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2. Kocaadam B, Şanlier N. Curcumin, an active component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), and its effects on health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Sep 2;57(13):2889-2895. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1077195. PMID: 26528921.
3. Seo HJ, Wang SM, Han C, Lee SJ, Patkar AA, Masand PS, Pae CU. Curcumin as a putative antidepressant. Expert Rev Neurother. 2015 Mar;15(3):269-80. doi: 10.1586/14737175.2015.1008457. Epub 2015 Feb 3. PMID: 25644944.
4. Zhang Y, Li L, Zhang J. Curcumin in antidepressant treatments: An overview of potential mechanisms, pre-clinical/clinical trials and ongoing challenges. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2020 Oct;127(4):243-253. doi: 10.1111/bcpt.13455. Epub 2020 Jul 8. PMID: 32544307.
5. Sanmukhani, J., Satodia, V., Trivedi, J., Patel, T., Tiwari, D., Panchal, B., ... & Tripathi, C. B. (2014). Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Phytotherapy Research, 28(4), 579-585.
6. Lopresti, A. L., Maes, M., Maker, G. L., Hood, S. D., & Drummond, P. D. (2014). Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 167, 368-375.
7. Ng, Q. X., Koh, S. S., Chan, H. W., & Ho, C. Y. (2017). Clinical use of curcumin in depression: A meta-analysis. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 18(6), 503-508.