Turmeric is a popular spice for treating a variety of ailments, but how does it impact inflammation in the body?
Inflammation or chronic inflammation is a non-communicable disease that is closely linked with various chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, pulmonary, and cardiovascular. Inflammation is a response of the immune system to injury, irritation or infection caused by invading pathogens, radiation exposure, very high or low temperatures or auto immune processes. It is therefore a mechanism for removing damaged cells, irritants or pathogens. Inflammation that persists longer is known as chronic inflammation as it is characterized by simultaneous destruction and healing tissue. There are various factors known to induce chronic inflammation and they include bacterial, viral and parasitic infections, chemical irritants and non digestible particles like silica and asbestos.
Over the years, a lot of studies have been carried out to show the importance of plant foods in fighting chronic inflammation and diseases. Epidemiological studies have shown that the consumption of fruits and vegetables may offer protective effects against many chronic diseases. These diets high in fruits, legumes, fiber and certain spices have been have been shown to prevent the development of chronic diseases because of their clinical and experimental properties such as cardamonin, capsaicin, gingerol, piperine, thymoquinone, just to mention a few.
One of the most important clinical properties is the curcumin, which is found in turmeric. It is important because of the roles and benefits attributed to it. Its proven properties includes antioxidant, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective (protecting liver function), immunostimulant, antiseptic and antimutagenic. Turmeric is used as an anti-inflammation drug as it treats all symptoms of inflammation through its effect on prostaglandins metabolism. Curcumin controls the action of certain cytokine, transcription factors, kinases, redox status of enzymes and all other adhesion molecules that are associated with the inflammation process.
The use of curcumin can also help us avoid medication and the toxic side effects that contribute to ulcers, lowered white blood cells, and bleeding. Turmeric protects the heart from ischemia and reperfusion by preventing a drop in the rate of the heartbeat and blood pressure. Curcumin in turmeric also reduce the risk of heart failure and inflammation by suppressing the expression of inflammatory genes. It also prevents the elevation of certain enzymes such as lactate dehydrogenase that rise following ischemia.
An aid to almost every system in the body, turmeric helps treat inflammations associated with bronchitis, asthma, allergy, diabetes, arthritis, among others. It also has a role in the treatment of periodontal diseases and oral cancers. Turmeric can also be used as a pit and fissure sealant, mouth wash and subgingival irrigant in different preparations.
Turmeric can be a wonderful, natural tool to help treat your inflammation and ailments. Contact us at Strategic Health & Wellness for a nutrition consultation to learn how to easily add turmeric to your health strategy.