Turmeric, Curcuma longa comes from the ginger family, also commonly known as Indian saffron or the golden spice. Turmeric is the spice that gives curry the yellow colour and normally the ground roots of turmeric are used for cooking purposes. Turmeric has been used as a spice and medicinal plant for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It has been used to treat a wide variety of disorders including rheumatism, skin conditions, intestinal worms, liver disorders and gastrointestinal disorders. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric which contributes to its medicinal properties.
The curcumin found in turmeric has been shown to have many medicinal benefits to the human body. The variety of benefits brought by curcumin is mainly due to its strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin aids in combating chronic inflammation that might lead to cancer, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, metabolic syndrome, and various degenerative conditions.
Curcumin is also a potent anti-oxidant compound that boosts the activity of anti-oxidant enzymes and neutralises free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause oxidative damage that leads to ageing development of diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and pathologies of diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Studies have shown curcumin is effective in some of the common conditions including osteoarthritis, repair and recovery of muscle tissues, maintenance of brain health, diabetes, cardiovascular effects, gastrointestinal health, and prevention of cancer.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of all arthritis, affecting 20% of people over the age of 50 globally. Although glucosamine and chondroitin have been the classical combination for the treatment of osteoarthritis, curcumin can be taken simultaneously for a better effect on joint pain. These 3 ingredients work differently in joint health. Glucosamine is an essential element that builds the cartilage that act as a protective layer which protects the bones against friction damage, while chondroitin acts as a cushion for joints as it can replenish the synovial fluid surrounding the joint. Curcumin functions as an anti-inflammatory for the joints, therefore it is able to relieve joint pain effectively, especially when taken together with glucosamine. Research has found that a daily dose of 160mg curcumin for 90 days can reduce joint pain by 50% and is as effective as some pain killers.
Muscle damage is commonly faced by athletes and inflammation is a response initiated by the damage to the muscle tissues. Curcumin has been found to reduce inflammation in the body, assisting in muscle recovery after exercise-induced muscle damage. This would mean athletes or sports enthusiasts may be able get back to their exercise routine in a shorter time frame after having a muscle injury. '
Despite these positive effects, a major criticism of curcumin is its poor bioavailability. Curcumin has been found to exhibit very poor bioavailability, with many studies showing low, or even undetectable, concentrations in blood and extraintestinal tissue. To overcome this problem, numerous methods have been undertaken to increase its bioavailability. One of the latest technologies include Longvida®’s patented breakthrough technology of Solid Lipid Curcumin Particle (SLCPTM), designed by university neuroscientists from Verdure Science.
The Solid Lipid Curcumin Particle (SLCPTM) Technology where curcumin particles are encased in a special lipid or fat layer enables the free curcumin to be delivered to the rest of the body. LongVida® is an easily absorbed and optimised form of curcumin bypasses the breakdown of curcumin in the liver and deliver effective levels of free curcumin to the brain and the entire human body. It has been found that LongVida® curcumin’s absorption rate into the body is 65x higher than standard curcumin in healthy individuals. Multiple clinical findings show that Longvida® Optimized Curcumin® delivers free curcumin to target tissues effectively. Studied extensively by independent academic and medical centres globally, Longvida® curcumin offers a 24 hour circulation in the blood, 3 times compared to standard curcumin, allowing a once a day dosage.
Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurode generative disease that gradually worsens over time and a leading cause of dementia. One of the weaknesses of most curcumin is its inability to cross the blood brain barrier, which functions as a “wall” to protect the brain from foreign substances in the blood that may injure the brain. Longvida® curcumin being lipid-soluble has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier and contributes beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s disease due to its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The safety of curcumin is demonstrated by the fact that it has been consumed for centuries and found to be non-toxic at doses as high as 8 grams a day (100 times more than normal dose) for 3 months. Multiple studies have also found it to be safe without any effects on liver or kidney function for long term use. However, large doses for some may cause some minor gastrointestinal discomfort.
There are a few groups of people who are suitable to take turmeric curcumin including people who are physically active and elderly. People who oftencarry out exercises such as athletes and hikers tend to damage their muscles and get osteoarthritis easily due to the stress applied by high intensity exercises that fasten the progress of osteoarthritis. For the elderly, turmeric curcumin aids in improving their mobility by preventing and treating joint and muscle inflammation. Turmeric curcumin also helps to improve the mental health and prevent cognitive impairment of the elderly.
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