Turmeric is an ancient spice that lends the yellow color and delicious flavor to curry. There are other uses for this spice including the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Turmeric has long been believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and now studies of the elements available in turmeric supplements support this belief.
The active ingredient in turmeric is known as curcumin. This ingredient has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Since curcumin has both of these properties it is being studied at a treatment for both arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is thought that free radicals are responsible for a great deal of the inflammatory response in our bodies.
A study was conducted using the rhizome, or root, of the plant that turmeric is derived from. The study was to evaluate how turmeric works in the body to stop arthritis. What was discovered was that it inhibits the NF-KB factor from being activated in the joints. If this factor is activated then it activates production of proteins that cause inflammation. The compounds in turmeric can stop this inflammation from ever happening.
This is good news for people suffering from arthritis who are open to using alternative medicine to aid in their healing. Many more people are turning to complementary and alternative medicines for their arthritis since the FDA has issued warnings about the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
The types of turmeric used in the studies closely replicates what is available in supplement form and seems to show the same mechanisms as anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals that are in development right now. There is no need to wait for these drugs to be developed to start getting relief for the pain and joint damage caused by arthritis; turmeric supplements are widely available.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is being used to treat other illnesses that are caused by inflammation. Psoriasis is another condition caused by an inflammatory response and turmeric is showing promise in treating the auto-immune disorder. Turmeric and curcumin are also being looked at as an alternative therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.
Because it is so good at preventing and treating inflammation and because it is an antioxidant, adding a turmeric supplement to your regimen just makes good sense. So many diseases are being linked to our own body’s inflammation response that it could be a good idea for anyone to add this extra protection.
Heart disease and cancer are two more horrible diseases that emerging science is linking to inflammation. Doing what is best for you body has to go beyond just healthy diet and exercise. We are exposed to so many things that can weaken our immune systems or make us sick. You cannot get everything you need to make your body strong with good nutrition. Fortunately you can bridge the gaps with the right supplements.