Curcumin comes from the Turmeric plant and has been in India as a spice for centuries. Traditionally, people used curcumin to add flavour to their dishes, with many cultures recognizing the spice for its many medicinal properties.

As the use of curcumin continues to grow in popularity, so does the acknowledgement of its many benefits. It is for this reason that many around the world have decided to begin integrating curcumin (mostly through the intake of turmeric) into their daily lives. The methods of doing so include simply consuming turmeric as a food source, taking turmeric extract in pill form, or ingesting highly concentrated liquid turmeric extract.

One primary reason for the explosion of publicity and scientific research over curcumin has to do with its unique relationship with diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and much more. The powers of curcumin on cancer in particular, however, have sparked a great deal of interest.

Curcumin and Cancer

The world of modern medicine has discovered that curcumin is highly effective when it comes to combating cancer in a number of trials. In one study, it was found that curcumin reduced the size of a particular type of brain tumor by a shocking 81%.

Published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry back in 2011, the groundbreaking research discovered that the compound drastically reduced brain tumors in 9 out of the 11 studies examined by 81%. What’s more, the scientists discovered no evidence of toxicity. In other words, the healing properties come at no expense — side effect free.

The findings add a large degree of credible confirmation to its heavy use within the ancient Chinese and Indian systems of medicine.

Further studies have also reached similar conclusions. Another study showing how even small amounts of the substance can be highly beneficial found that just 1,000 milligrams of curcumin can help stop the growth of cancer.

For this study, researchers from the UCLA examined the cancer-blocking nature of curcumin during a study that consisted of 21 participants suffering from both head and neck cancers. Given two chewable curcumin tablets which both contained 1,000 milligrams each, the effects were examined by an independent lab in Maryland.

The result? The lab discovered that the enzymes in the patients’ mouths which are actually responsible for spreading and promoting cancer were actually substantially inhibited by the curcumin tablets. The curcumin compound actually stopped the spread of malignant cells. And the health-promoting properties do not stop at cancer. Curcumin, and turmeric as a whole, have also been researched to aid in the fight against a wide variety of health conditions — many of which are life-threatening.

Amazingly, curcumin has been found to benefit over 560 negative conditions including: Alzheimer’s disease, oxidative stress, DNA damage, inflammation, HIV infections, and cancer. Studies performed on lab mice have even shown that curcumin also effectively treated kidney problems and restored kidney functions.

Curcumin and Alzheimer’s

The rise in Alzheimer’s disease cases has opened the eyes of the modern world to the gravity of this disease, with curcumin showing extreme promise in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s.

In fact, over 29 pieces of peer-reviewed research now available to the public have shown that curcumin can be instrumental in the treatment of this disease. It is thought for this reason that India, a region in which the consumption of turmeric (and subsequently curcumin) is especially high, has some of the lowest Alzheimer’s rates in the world.

It is reportedly due to the life-promoting properties of the spice that a reduction in Alzheimer’s risk is observed. In recent research, it was even unveiled that fruit flies live “significantly longer” when given curcumin.

While of course the research was conducted on insects and not humans, the study pinpoints just how significantly curcumin can play a role in enhancing life in all forms. More specifically, it can play a role in slowing the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

And what’s more, it is so simple to add into your daily routine.

Curcumin is even effective in lowering bad cholesterol levels naturally. Curcumin is effective in lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL, or good cholesterol. When taken on a daily basis, curcumin may significantly decrease LDL levels.

Preliminary findings on studies in the use of curcumin in the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) have shown that the virus does react to curcumin treatment. As more health professionals become aware of this information, we could possibly see curcumin being formally used in the treatment of HIV in the future.

Curcumin is also used in the treatment of arthritis and cataracts. As studies on the health benefits of curcumin are being performed routinely, more and more health benefits are expected to be seen in the future.