Curcumin is often advertised as a cure-all, and the truth is that curcumin is an astonishingly versatile health supplement. One of the most significant facts about curcumin is that even a single dose can make a difference, and the multitude of benefits of curcumin isn’t just theoretical. Curcumin is clinically proven.
Medical scientists at Ohio State University tested the effects of giving healthy people aged 40 to 60 just a single, tiny dose of curcumin once a day for 4 weeks. Although the researchers used a liposome form of curcumin to enhance its absorption into the bloodstream, the dose of curcumin tested was just 80 mg per day. Nineteen volunteers were given curcumin and nineteen volunteers in the control group were given a placebo.
What did taking just 80 mg of curcumin a day do for healthy people. The volunteers in the curcumin group, but not in the placebo group, benefited from:
- Lowered triglycerides. The storage form of excess calories from sugar and fat, triglycerides are a frequently overlooked risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- Lowered beta-amyloid concentrations. Beta-amyloid is the protein that causes “tangles” between neurons in the brain that are found in Alzheimer’s disease.
- Lowered activity of an enzyme called salivary amylase. This enzyme breaks down the sugars in food while it is still in the mouth so they enter the bloodstream more quickly. Inhibiting salivary amylase helps keep blood sugar levels lower after meals, and counteracts a phenomenon called insulin resistance, which often leads to overweight and then type 2 diabetes.
- Lower bloodstream levels of a protein called slCAM. This protein is serves as an “adhesion molecule.” When there is less slCAM in the blood, red blood cells aren’t as sticky and clots are less likely to form.
- Lower levels of a chemical marker of liver tissue destruction called alanine transferase (ALT).
- Increased plasma nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is the chemical that keeps arteries open. Keeping arteries open lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. In men, NO powers erections.
- Increased activity of an enzyme called plasma catalase. Lower levels of this enzyme are associated with increased risk of aneurysms.
- Increased bloodstream concentrations of an enzyme called myeloperoxidase, without increased inflammation (that is, without raising levels of another substance known as C-reactive protein, or C=RP). White blood cells use myeloperoxidase to dissolve bacteria. When myeloperoxidase levels go up but C-RP levels stay the same, the immune system is attacking pathogens without attacking healthy tissue.
All of these curcumin benefits that the Ohio State University researchers observed in live, healthy people are consistent with findings of literally hundreds of non-clinical studies done before theirs.
The bottom line of this study is that, if you are in your 40′s or 50′s, then taking curcumin every day helps you avoid the diseases that can rob you of quality of life in your 60′s and 70′s. And it isn’t necessary to take a lot. As little as 80 mg a day makes a measurable difference. It’s OK to take more, even a lot more, if you have a specific health objective. But just a little curcumin every day will help keep you healthy and young.
In this section of the site, we’ll look at some specific diseases and how curcumin may be able to help.
Disilvestro RA, Joseph E, Zhao S, Bomser J. Diverse effects of a low dose supplement of lipidated curcumin in healthy middle aged people. Nutr J. 2012 Sep 26;11:79. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-79.