Turmeric as Effective as 14 Drugs - NL-028
Turmeric, the golden spice, is hailed as one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory herbs out there and going by the studies it could very well be as effective as a variety of conventional drugs that are commonly used to treat inflammation, pain, arthritis, depression, type 2 diabetes and endothelium dysfunction.
Doctors typically treat chronic pain, inflammation and depression with the help of prescription and over the counter medications such as NSAIDs, opioids and antidepressants. Reckless and prolonged used of such drugs cause serious side effects on the gastrointestinal health, heart health and immunity. Long term use can damage your liver and kidneys. It can also lead to addiction problems.
Curcumin, the most studied bioactive compound in the spice turmeric, has been found to be as effective (if not more effective) than these medications to reduce pain and inflammation.
Studies show that curcumin can help improve endothelial functions, support heart health, and reduce pain, inflammation and other symptoms in arthritis. Turmeric, with its rich curcumin content, can also help improve liver functions.
Curcumin may even prevent the development of diabetes in pre-diabetic people. With its anti-oxidant properties, curcumin protects beta cells of the pancreas from oxidative damage.
A 2014 study, published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging, found that turmeric can be as effective as ibuprofen in reducing pain and in improving joint function in people with knee osteoarthritis. In fact, evidence from clinical trials show that curcumin may even work better that the standard anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac in reducing swelling, pain and tenderness in the joints in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
A 2008 study published in the journal Drugs in R & D found that curcuminoids from turmeric improved endothelial dysfunction by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in people with type 2 diabetes. This effect was found to be comparable to that of the drug atorvastatin (Lipitor).
A 1999 study showed that curcumin worked as effectively as steroids in managing chronic anterior uveitis, an inflammation of the eye.
Studies on animals found that curcumin benefits compared favourably to other drugs such as corticosteroid drug (in protecting lungs from transplant associated injury), Prozac/Fluoxetine & Imipramine (in reducing depression), and aspirin (in reducing blood clots).
A very interesting study found that curcumin can be extremely valuable in treating type 2 diabetes. Initial studies suggest that curcumin can be 500 to 100,000 times more effective than metformin in activating AMPK, an enzyme that improves glucose uptake by the cells. Studies show that curcumin, when used as an adjunct with metformin, improves markers such as inflammation, oxidative stress and blood glucose levels.
Curcumin is also emerging as an adjunct therapy in cancer treatment. It has been found particularly effective in drug-resistant cancers. Studies show that curcumin can make the cancer cells sensitive to chemotherapy drugs and radiation. Clinically, curcumin formulations are widely used in combination with chemotherapy drugs.
How does curcumin work?
Curcumin works by targeting a wide range of proteins, enzymes, inflammatory molecules and signalling pathways that promote pain and inflammation in the body. For example, it blocks the production of pro-inflammatory molecules such as cytokines, prostaglandins and NF-κB.
Curcumin also blocks the production as well as the activity of COX2 enzymes (these enzymes produce chemicals that cause pain, inflammation and fever).
Curcumin also works as a powerful anti-oxidant and limits the oxidative damage in the tissues.