If for some unfathomable reason I lost my mind and decided to join the cast of Survivor, and they allowed me to take just a handful of supplements with me for the season, one of them would definitely be curcumin.
Curcumin has anticancer activity, it supports liver health and it’s a powerful antioxidant. But the one property of curcumin that stands out is its enormous power as an anti-inflammatory.
As you’ll soon see, it may be the most effective natural pain fighter ever seen.
The Heavyweight Champion of Pain Fighters
Curcumin is the general name for a group of active ingredients found in the spice turmeric, the spice that gives curry its yellow color. In India, where 94% of the turmeric in the world originates, curcumin is used to relieve arthritis. It’s good for muscle pains as well as joint inflammation.
You can think of curcumin as a kind of natural NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, like Advil or Ibuprofen).
A promising treatment for Alzheimer’s?
In animals, curcumin reduces– or even reverses—the formation of amyloid plaques which are found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. (And just for the record, the rate of Alzheimer’s in the US is nearly four times that of India—where turmeric is always on the menu!) An exhaustive review of the effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease concluded that “curcumin will lead to a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s disease”.
And then there’s cancer…
A Natural Anti-tumor Agent
There are dozens of published studies indicating that curcumin has an antitumor effect (either reducing the number or size of tumors or the percentage of animals who developed them). One researcher recently called curcumin “an ideal chemopreventive agent with its low toxicity, affordability, and easy accessibility” No wonder. Just for example, a 2013 study showed that curcumin suppresses a cell signaling pathway that drives the growth of head and neck cancer.
While no one is claiming that curcumin cures cancer, there is plenty of reason to believe that it is a really useful adjunct to the diet of everyone concerned with staying healthy.
(For those who want to really delve into the curcumin/turmeric research, my friend Sayer Ji (founder of GreenMedInfo.com) has assembled an exhaustive list—complete with links– to all the studies. You can view those studies here )
Curcumin has powerful antioxidant properties as well, making it a great adjunct to a heart-healthy diet. In one study, curcumin provided significant protection from cataract development.
Another study, in the journal Toxicology, demonstrated curcumin’s significant liver protection abilities. Dr. Mark Stengler, author of the Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies, also recommends it for hepatitis and says that it is frequently used to lower elevated liver enzymes.
As of this writing, the National Library of Medicine (PubMed) lists over 5,000 published studies on the effects of curcumin. My friend Chris Kilham, Fox News’ “Medicine Hunter” is a huge fan, as is Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic. And when I spoke at the first annual anti-aging medical conference in Sao Paulo Brazil, the only other English speaking speaker—Dr. Tom O’Bryan—chose curcumin as the subject of his talk, arguing that it was as close to a “super-supplement” as anything we’ve ever seen.
Turmeric or curcumin?
There’s some controversy about this. Some people claim that turmeric (the spice) contains other compounds (like oils) that can be beneficial, but the lion’s share of research has been done on curcumin, which is what most health professionals (including me) recommend. One exception is Dr. Andrew Weil (who recommends turmeric) but when you read his stuff carefully, most of the studies he refers to are on curcumin. Note well that the beneficial compounds in the spice are not well absorbed, but absorption can be significantly enhanced by using black pepper along with turmeric. A compound in pepper—called piperine—significantly increases the bioavailability of curcumin by an astonishing 2000%!
There are many choices for curcumin supplementation, but the downside of many of them is the absorption problem. However I’ve found one company that has created a product that is light years ahead of the rest. And you can get it anywhere- even on Amazon.
Terry Naturally, a top supplement company that specializes in curcumin products, fixed this absorption problem by using a patented special blend of curcumin known as BCM-95 that uses micronized curcumin blended with turmeric essential oils. This produces a formula that’s up to 10 times better absorbed than standard curcumin, and also has an 8-12 hour retention time in the body.
CuraMed by Terry Naturally
This is the formula I take on a daily basis. It’s for all of us who want to get the incredible anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant benefits of curcumin in a highly absorbable formula that provides great support for a healthy inflammation response, a healthy immune and cardiovascular system, and resistance to free radical (oxidative) damage.
Curamin by Terry Naturally
Curamin Pain Formula by Terry Naturally is what I give all my tennis buddies who are constantly complaining of aches and pains. It’s pretty magical.
The formula combines the BCM-95 curcumin found in Curamin with a purified, highly potent form of boswellia called BosPure™ . Boswellia is one of the most anti-inflammatory herbs on the planet, but it contains a few pro-inflammatory compounds as well. With BosPure™ you get all the anti-inflammatory power of boswellia but the inflammatory compounds have been removed.
Rounding out the formula is nattokinase which has a direct impact on muscle pain via its ability to balance fibrinogen levels in the body.
I gave this formula to my tennis coach Benny, who had pretty much retired from playing due to joint and muscle pain. After two weeks he told me, “Wow! I can move again!” The great naturopathic cardiologist Decker Weiss, NMD says this of Curamin: “When my patients ask for pain relief, my number one recommendation is Curamin. It is safe, effective and I feel confident when I recommend it”.
For supplements mentioned above please visit: https://www.terrynaturallyvitamins.com
I would give my right arm if any of this is true in fighting cancer. But, as you know, over the counter “drugs” don’t get the same scrutiny as prescription drugs. And I would need to ask my husband’s oncologist to be sure it would not interfere with his current treatment plan. So I will try it myself to se if it works because I do have some aches and pains from the simple act of living. Thanks for discussing it!
I wish you had written more about how to use turmeric and how beneficial it is. For the many folks desperately seeking better health the cost of these wonderful sounding supplements is prohibiive. The number of seniors living below poverty level is immense. No one on $11,000 a yr. income can shell out 30 or 40 dollars a month YET turmeric and black pepper cost a fraction of supplements. I’m not saying your suggested supplement isn’t great, I’m saying lets learn more about turmeric which got a really bad rap in your article.