Sunday, August 09, 2009

Curcumin: Liver Detox & Free Radical Fighter in One

Neutralizes free radicals that help prevent and soothe osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol, cancer and infections ...

You are probably familiar with turmeric (Curcumin) as the spice that gives curried dishes their characteristic colour and flavour. Turmeric (Curcumin) contains antioxidant chemicals, called curcuminoids, for neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause damage to the body’s tissues when they bump into healthy cells. Thus turmeric can be used to stop infections, protect the liver from toxins and may be useful for cancer.

The same molecules inhibit inflammation, thus acting as pain relieving agents. Turmeric has been shown to improve joint mobility and reduce the pain and swelling associated with all forms of arthritis. This activity is equivalent to the effect of some NSAID drugs. Turmeric lowers the level of harmful, or LDL, cholesterol and increases the level of helpful, or HDL, cholesterol. It also increases circulation and blood flow. All of these properties make turmeric a good choice for individuals with compromised circulation, heart disease and high cholesterol.

Curcumin can be used as a spice, encapsulated herb, dried herb, tincture or liquid extract. Better quality supplements are standardized which is an assurance that the product contains turmeric and has some active properties. Turmeric is found as a component of pain relieving, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering formulas. Turmeric may be found in topical creams or gels for pain relief. Turmeric supplements are sometimes labelled as curcumin.

Turmeric contains substances that decrease your blood clotting ability therefore those with active bleeding, or those who use blood thinners, aspirin or NSAIDs should use caution. For the same reason, stop using turmeric 2 weeks prior to surgery or dental procedures. Turmeric may alter the effectiveness of some heart and cholesterol medications. Turmeric may irritate the gastrointestinal tract and liver or gallbladder, in some individuals, because it causes the release of digestive juices.

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