Turmeric is a traditional Indian spice coveted throughout various regions of the world on account of its bold, earthy flavors that give any meal extra zing. It is used to give curry and mustard their bright yellow appearances, and serves as a great addition to many dishes with meat and vegetable bases.
While turmeric’s uses in the kitchen are certainly factors to be appreciated, the wonderful nature of this spice extends far beyond its culinary impact. Recent research concerning the effects of turmeric supports traditional claims of chemical compounds within the spice that have medicinal properties. As a result, turmeric has become a very popular nutritional supplement.
To understand the workings of turmeric, the science behind its effects, and the duration of time it takes for turmeric to yield tangible results, we’ll have to do some further exploring into the full potential of this delicious spice.
Continue reading to learn more about:
- General information regarding turmeric and its uses
- The positive impacts turmeric may have on your health
- How long turmeric supplements take to work
What is Turmeric?
A Quick Rundown of the History and Background of Turmeric
Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family that is native to southeast Asia, where it is grown commercially throughout the region, most notably in India. Historically, India has made prominent use of turmeric for culinary and medicinal purposes, using the spice to treat problems in the digestive system, upper respiratory tract, joints, and skin disorders.
Though a lot of research remains to be done in regards to turmeric’s beneficial effects, contemporary science indicates these praising sentiments have substantial value. Turmeric is commonly found in the health and wellness sections of supermarkets as a dietary supplement capable of addressing problems like arthritis, respiratory infections, liver disease, and other severe health conditions.
All of the magic of turmeric is possible due to one simple chemical compound: circumin.
The main active ingredient in turmeric, circumin possesses many health-boosting properties that can drastically improve someone’s quality of life. More and more research is being performed every day to learn all about the wondrous potential of turmeric, and we’re going to dive into some of the possible benefits shortly.
The Health Benefits of Turmeric
Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound
Proper inflammation is vital to staying in good health. Inflammation is responsible for repairing your body’s damaged tissue and fighting off foreign hazards, which means you’d be worse off without it.
That being said, inflammation that overstays its welcome can pose certain health risks. Chronic inflammation occurs when your own cells are being attacked in the inflammatory response, which may play some role with certain health conditions, a few of them being heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Turmeric is believed to lessen the severity of inflammation and keep your body’s tissue healthy. While it may not have any effect on an active flare-up of inflammation, turmeric might be beneficial in prolonging remission.
If turmeric has the potential to fight off chronic inflammation, then taking daily turmeric supplements may do wonders for combatting health issues as you age.
Increase Antioxidant Capacity
Oxidative damage is one of the leading mechanisms behind the effects of aging and many diseases. Free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons, can negatively interact with important substances in the body like proteins, fatty acids, and DNA.
Antioxidants work to protect your body from free radicals, and the antioxidant properties of turmeric can neutralize free radicals on account of circumin’s chemical structure. Additional animal and cellular studies suggest that circumin may block the action of free radicals and stimulate the action of other antioxidants.
There’s even reason to believe turmeric works as a protective agent for the liver. Circumin can assist liver enzymes in flushing out toxins and repairing liver tissue, making it a perfect spice to aid in filtering out your body. A good liver is crucial if you want to lead a healthy life, so do your best to take care of it.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Another wonderful health benefit of turmeric supplements is the role they play in reversing steps in the heart disease process. Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the world, but what we know about heart disease is still limited, and there is no outright cure for the disorder.
Turmeric may help minimize certain symptoms of heart disease. Circumin, the active compound in turmeric, improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining in your blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction is a major contributor to heart disease and makes it so the endothelium cannot regulate blood pressure, blood clotting, and other important factors.
The reduced levels of inflammation and oxidation may also be beneficial to your well-being, since they both play a role in heart disease.
Improve Brain Health
Turmeric supplements can boost production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a gene that is responsible for making a protein that is vital to promoting the life of neurons. This BDNF protein is essential for various brain-related functions, two notable ones being memory and learning.
A clinical trial shows that circumin, when taken twice daily at ninety milligrams, helped improve memory performance in adults who struggle with dementia. Since a lack of BDNF protein is linked to common brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, it would make sense that taking a supplement to boost BDNF presence will improve brain health overall.
The growth of new neurons throughout different regions of your brain is extremely important in keeping your brain healthy as you age, and turmeric may hold the power to stimulate increased levels of BDNF hormone.
Possibly one of the best qualities of turmeric is its potential to help prevent cancer. While much more research concerning the effects of high doses of circumin in humans with cancer must be completed, current studies hint at the possible benefits.
Circumin can contribute to the death of cancerous cells, reduce the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, and reduce the overall spread of cancer cells. It’s difficult to say if turmeric is of much use if a cancer is too far advanced, but it definitely seems to help during the beginning stages when the cancer is still developing.
Additional Health Benefits
The previously mentioned beneficial qualities of turmeric are certainly worth celebrating and even have the potential to change your life around. That being said, turmeric can do so much more than we have time to discuss in detail.
Some of the other health benefits of turmeric include the following:
- Manages arthritis and joint pain
- Helps fight depression with BDNF
- May fight against aging and age-related disease
- Potentially useful in fighting Alzheimer’s disease
How Long Does Turmeric Take to Work?
If you’re someone who craves relief from instantaneous results, then it might be disappointing to hear that turmeric isn’t going to give you a quick fix. As a matter of fact, many people believe that their turmeric supplements aren’t properly working because of the waiting factor. With enough time and consistent doses, turmeric supplements will produce results that you will notice and appreciate.
Not put off by having to wait? That’s great to hear! With all the amazing benefits that turmeric can give to your health, a little waiting is practically nothing in comparison.
Unfortunately, I cannot give you an exact timeframe in which to expect substantial results since turmeric will react differently in every person. Some individuals may notice changes before others, despite starting the supplement at the same time. This shouldn’t be taken as a sign to give up; rather, it should motivate you even further to continue taking turmeric supplements.
Generally speaking, it is safe to assume there will be some noticeable improvements to your health within four to eight weeks since beginning daily turmeric supplementation.
It should also be mentioned that the human body is only believed to absorb a fraction of the nutrients from pills and powders, in stark contrast to those found in liquid form. Due to this outstanding factor, it is important to take turmeric supplements that will allow you to extract the full health-boosting effects of curcumin.
A Good Supplement Goes a Long Way
If you’re going to go out of your way to take a turmeric supplement every day, then it makes sense you’d do some research on the different types of supplements available to you. It’s important to get a feel for a product’s quality and look into the ingredients used in its composition.
The curcumin in turmeric is what you need to be concerned with. This active compound contains all the health benefits of turmeric, so to ensure sufficient absorption it is best to take a supplement that utilizes fresh turmeric and black pepper. Piperine (black pepper) can enhance curcumin absorption by nearly 2000%.
When choosing the right turmeric supplement, it is vital that you pick one that can provide circumin in its most bioavailable form. There are plenty of products out there with increased bioavailability and more being invented by the day to produce the most effective health results possible.
Does Turmeric Sound Like the Right Supplement for You?
If you read through this entire article and feel a growing itch to try a turmeric supplement for yourself to witness its health-boosting qualities in action, then there really is no harm in giving it a shot. Turmeric is naturally occurring and completely safe when taken orally or topically applied in recommended amounts.
As is the case with any substance used for medication purposes, it’s best to communicate openly and honestly with your doctor. Any use of dietary supplements, even one as benign as turmeric, should be done with your doctor’s knowledge. Tell your primary doctor about your interest in the potential health benefits of turmeric and get their input before making a final decision.
There’s little risk in beginning supplementation usage without informing your doctor beforehand, but it is always possible for unwanted side effects to occur. Supplements can have unexpected interactions with natural body functions and may lead to cumbersome health issues, even dangerous ones. To make the most of your supplement experience, be mindful of your health as your body reacts to routine usage of the supplements and report any changes to the appropriate medical professionals.
Turmeric can do plenty to improve various aspects of your health and increase your overall quality of life, but it’s important that you take the measures necessary to ensure safe consumption. A supplement is only as good as the individual who regularly takes it, and if you don’t put in the effort to make substantial changes to your health, then you aren’t going to see the results you really want.
Stay dedicated to your wellness journey and enjoy all the health benefits that supplements have to offer!