With dozens of known benefits, 11,416 scientific studies, and countless thousands of happy consumers, turmeric and its primary extract curcumin have been taking the natural health world by storm for years. One of its most powerful (and appealing) properties is its ability to reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to nearly every disease or health condition. It makes pain feel worse, it depletes energy and it sets the stage for accelerated aging. Bottom line- it sucks!
With herbs such as turmeric, we now have weapons we can employ in the fight against chronic inflammation and we can build on the positive anti-inflammatory effects of a healthy diet and regular exercise. Turmeric works by inhibiting two of the key enzymes that drive the inflammatory process- the COX2 and the 5-LOX enzymes, and by blocking a protein that triggers swelling and pain. It has been shown to help lower the key blood markers of inflammation and more importantly to most consumers, it has been shown to increase joint comfort. In fact, what got me thinking about writing this article was the glowing report one of my clients had after only a few days of taking turmeric. She said that she feels less stiff and sore and she isn’t having to reach for the Aleve like she was before. I love it!
Some studies have indicated that taking turmeric extract may be more effective than taking turmeric whole. The total amount of curcumin in the dose is thought to be the main determinant of its anti-inflammatory effects so many turmeric supplements are concentrated extracts that maximize the curcumin. It has also been shown to be more absorbable when it is combined with black pepper extract so be sure to find one with that in it as well. If you’d like to read more about turmeric, check out these articles:
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