New curcumin uses are being reported every day. Just a few days ago, researchers concluded that the extract from the turmeric spice suppressed cancer of the neck and head, when combined with chemotherapy. But, wait just a minute before you run out and buy a supplement.
When you read stories like that, you must remember that the setting was controlled. The patients were also being treated with drugs. The supplement was modified to increase the bioavailability or the method of administration was changed to make sure that the nutrient ended up in the bloodstream.
Taking the supplement by mouth may be a waste of time. Very little is absorbed into the bloodstream according to researchers.
To overcome that fact, some supplement manufacturers recommend large doses. Large doses can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
The better supplement manufacturers include a small dose of piperine, an element found in black pepper. Research has shown that piperine enhances absorption or increases bioavailability. So, it is possible to take a more reasonable dose and get the same benefits.
Turmeric was used historically by Ayurvedic practitioners in India as an antibacterial and an anti-inflammatory agent. It was recommended for stomach problems, including irritable bowel. It was said to aid healing and reduce recovery time.
Cancer is only one of the curcumin uses being investigated today. Research is ongoing in the areas of arthritis, Alzheimer's, liver disease and heart disease.
As a preventative, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity may help prevent many age-related diseases. But there are other important nutrients you should be aware of, before you buy this single ingredient supplement.
Resveratrol, which is found in the skins of red grapes, has similar benefits and is also a calorie-restriction mimetic. Calorie-restriction has proven benefits in animal studies for extending the animal's lifespan. Resveratrol turns on the same longevity genes that are activated by calorie restriction.
Unique benefits are associated with the catechins found in green tea, the astaxanthin found in pink salmon and the lycopene found in tomatoes. For preventing eye diseases, nothing works better than the lutein and zeaxanthin found in kale and other leafy greens.
The curcumin uses are not all that surprising and the single ingredient can't do everything. Consider purchasing a multi-nutritional supplement instead.