Did You Know…that an inexpensive spice curcumin extract might be the secret to reducing obesity and metabolic diseases?
Curcumin is a phytochemical extract of the turmeric root, a perennial herb prized in Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric powder is derived from the root of the Curcuma Longa plant, a member of the ginger family that grows in Southern Asia and the Himalayas. Most Westerners know turmeric as the gold-colored Indian spice in curry and mustard.
Although the words turmeric and curcumin are often used interchangeably, they’re not the same thing. The therapeutic properties of curcumin are much more potent in an extracted form than in substances made from the whole root.
In March of 2011, Korean scientists reviewed articles published between 2000 and 2010 that addressed that one of curcumin’s benefits was helping in the role of reducing obesity. The review produced exciting evidence for turmeric’s effects against obesity.
The researchers also highlighted curcumin’s extremely low cost, saying it could be a cheaper, safer, and more effective alternative to any current anti-obesity drug treatment.
Curcumin Benefits: A “Spicy” Cure for Obesity?
Curcumin’s benefits of medicinal use dates back 6,000 years, when ancient Egyptian pharaohs and Ayurvedic medical practitioners in India first discovered its beneficial properties. Today, researchers from many fields are eager to study curcumin’s many effects.
Curcumin’s actions in the body are:
Bharat B. Aggarwal, one of the authors of a high-profile study done at MD Anderson Cancer Center on curcumin’s amazing benefits for treating and preventing cancer, published a second study on curcumin and weight loss.
Aggarwal’s in-depth study uncovered the effects of curcumin on obesity and metabolic diseases. The MD Anderson Cancer center doesn’t conduct “surface level” research.
The information in the study on curcumin benefits is highly specific about precisely which molecular and genetic pathways curcumin targets.
This research reveals at least 7 important ways that curcumin can help you shed pounds and prevent disease, including its powerful effects on 4 key functions:
- Regulating key hormones
- Improving organ function
- Correcting inflammatory signaling
- Optimizing metabolic functioning
This new science also shows that another one of the many curcumin benefits, can regulate the formation of fat cells and lower the production of leptin in fat cells. This is exciting because 99.9% of overweight people produce way too much leptin due to their extra pounds of fat.
Unfortunately, excessive leptin is very destructive. For example, too much leptin can cause your liver to accumulate fat cells, leading to “fatty liver” and liver malfunction (including type 2 diabetes). Curcumin can protect your liver from leptin’s negative effects.
Advocates of this research point out that if any drug in existence could achieve even one of those results, the company selling it would stand to make billions.
So, it’s no wonder the pharmaceutical industry is fighting to control curcumin and find a way to manufacture a synthetic version!
How Curcumin Can Break the Link Between Obesity and Food Sensitivities
“An estimated 60 to 80 percent of people are sensitive to one or more foods,” says Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., CNS. “Food sensitivities are also one of the most common causes of weight gain!”
Fortunately, curcumin can help offset this problem. To understand how, it is important to understand why food sensitivities and obesity go hand in hand…how food sensitivities develop…and how they affect your body.
Researchers suspect that repetitive, monotonous eating habits may be to blame for rising rates of negative food reactions in developed countries.
If you eat a food to which your body is sensitive, a domino line of negative consequences can befall you:
• The body retains water in an effort to flush out the reactive food
• Blood vessels expand and contract, resulting in inflammation and swelling
• Addictive cravings for the foods you’re sensitive to
• Metabolic disruptions and discomfort
Over time, such unpleasant consequences can also lead to stubborn weight gain.
Curcumin can help halt this process and prevent you from putting on pounds. One way it does this is by fighting inflammation, which decreases or even prevents the symptoms of food allergies and sensitivities.
Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help relieve allergic symptoms, which are more severe than sensitivity reactions. The many uses of curcumin benefits have been used as an allergy cure in alternative medical systems like Ayurveda, Unani, and naturopathy for ages.
According to clinical research published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research in 2008, curcumin “blocks mast cells…from releasing histamine, thereby preventing allergic reactions.”
Another one of the curcumin benefits is that it also increases the body’s natural defenses against allergens by increasing antibody response and protecting the immune system.
How to Use Curcumin
Curcumin be found in health food stores, natural food stores, and from online retailers. This herb is available in many forms, including root, powdered root, standardized powder (often as a capsule), tincture, and liquid extract.
Health practitioners use curcumin for a variety of conditions, and the doses they recommend also vary depending on your reason for taking curcumin. For general use including weight loss, most practitioners recommend the following doses:
• Standardized curcumin powder: 400 to 600 mg 3 times daily
• Tincture (1:2): 15 to 30 drops up to 4 times daily
• Liquid extract (1:1): 30 to 90 drops daily
Paired with a healthy diet rich in fruits and veggies, 8 or more glasses of pure water a day, and adequate exercise, curcumin could be the key to a fitter, trimmer you.
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