Chronic pain: Expert says turmeric may be 'worth a try'
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Research into the potential benefits of curcugen, a turmeric-based formula used to improve plasma absorption and clinical efficacy, found the extract delivers 31-fold higher quantities of compounds into the bloodstream.
Curcuminoids in turmeric comprises of individual compounds, such as BDMC and THC.
These compounds are called curcuminoids, and the most important one is curcumin.
The compounds have a variety of therapeutic properties such as antioxidant, immune stimulatory and anti-cancer activity.
However, curcuminoids have less bioavailability to humans as they are less likely to enter the blood circulation when introduced into the body.
This prevents the compound from having an effective impact on the body, making it difficult for human to reap turmeric’s full benefits.
Curcugen is an extract designed to facilitate maximum levels of curcuminoids absorption.
Its composition is derived from turmeric and concentrated curcuminoids.
Researchers who led the study, published in Medicine, set out to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic claims of curcugen during trials which took place at the team’s criminal pharmacology unit.
A total of 16 blood samples were collected from participants to quantify levels of turmeric compounds.
Findings showed a significant difference between treatment with curcugen versus the standardised curcuminoids extract.
The data analysis supported the ‘primary efficacy measure’ that a single oral dose of curcugen can significantly increase absorption when administered under fasting conditions.
Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years as both a spice and medicinal herb.
Researchers have recently started to back up traditional claims that turmeric contains compounds with medicinal properties.
It is a natural inflammatory compound that can help fight foreign invaders and has a role in repairing damage in the body.
Scientists believes that chronic low-level inflammation can play a role in some health conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Metabolic syndrome
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Carious degenerative conditions
The spice has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavour or colour curry powders, mustards, butters and cheeses.
Because curcumin and other chemicals in turmeric might decrease swelling, it is often used to treat conditions that involve pain and inflammation.
The compound has also been studied as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment and has been found to affect cancer growth and development.
Since it is poorly absorbed into the blood stream, health experts recommend consuming it with black pepper, which contains piperine, a natural substance known to enhance the absorption of curcumin by 2,000 percent.
The compound is also fat soluble, which means it breaks down and dissolves in fat or oil, so health experts also recommend takin curcumin supplements with a meal that’s high in fat.
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