Curcumin

turmeric latte

Have you guys heard about golden milk or golden lattes? What about about curcumin or turmeric being a wonder supplement that can cure almost anything that ails you?

I’ve heard vague whisperings for a few years now about how good curcumin is because of its anti-aging properties. And then all of my wellness newsletters started to mention golden milk and turmeric lattes and teas. I’ve been watching Jenny at Paleo Foodie Kitchen add it to her rice on Snapchat on a weekly basis. It’s been popping up in various new products on health food shelves too. People are even using it to try to whiten their teeth.

So what’s the deal? Well, curcumin is a component in turmeric, which is a spice that is commonly used in Asian cooking. It’s related to ginger root and helps give curry its distinctive yellow color. It has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines for centuries. Most of the benefit comes from its antioxidant properties and ability to affect cell signaling pathways. Researchers are exploring its use as a potential therapeutic agent in many chronic diseases, including cancers, pancreatitits, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. It appears to have strong anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory activities.

But it seems that scientists’ biggest challenge will be stabilizing it so that we can actually use it. It turns out that curcumin itself isn’t very well absorbed by our bodies and what is absorbed is metabolized and broken down very quickly. Despite that, it still does have some beneficial effects on enzymes in our intestines that help increase antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.

After reading a couple of different articles from peer-reviewed journals on the subject, my general take-away is that supplementing with curcumin isn’t worth the money since well over 3 grams a day is required to show any sort of medicinal effect in the body (most supplements on the market provide less than half this amount) and scientists are still learning to understand the effects it may have. And please, please, please check with your doctor before starting any sort of high dosage supplement.

But incorporating turmeric into your diet by eating good curries, having some soothing golden milk, or just finding more recipes that incorporate it could certainly be a healthy choice. Many of these foods will also include ginger, garlic, maybe some cinnamon, and other foods with beneficial properties so it’s just an overall win. I’m also curious to try Jenny’s garlic turmeric rice. At the very least it’ll be a good way to make my rice more tasty!


Resources

PureWow: How to Use Turmeric

Curcumin, Inflammation, and Chronic Diseases: How Are They Linked?

Cucurmin; Anticancer and Antitumor Perspectives – A Comprehensive Review


Hey, we’re all unique. The information on this blog isn’t a substitute for individualized advice from a healthcare professional. Check with your doctor before making any major changes to your lifestyle.


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