Curcumin stands as a giant among supplements because both the breadth and the strength of the mechanisms by which it alters health for the better seem staggering. In its use repertoire, it boasts anti-oxidant benefit, pain control benefits, general anti-inflammatory benefits, detoxification capabilities, brain protection capabilities, and even anti-Lyme benefits.
Anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory: With greater than 60 molecular targets, curcumin lowers the oxidative stress produced by normal metabolic functioning as well as addressing external triggers of oxidative stress. The Aggarwal article lists the following benefits in this category: down regulation of NF kB, COX2, LOX, Cell Proliferation, MMP9, iNOS, TNF and up regulation of Nrf2, apoptosis, HER2. Curcumin’s reach extends far and wide. The review in Foods also notes many of these same benefits.
Arthritis & Pain: Beyond general anti-inflammatory benefit, curcumin helps many patients with osteoarthritis. Often it is more effective at pain relief than ibuprofen.
Detoxification: Curcumin touts the ability to protect heavy metal exposed individuals and protect the brain from organophosphates. It also up regulates phase 3 detox systems to remove toxins and their metabolites from the body. At Sanctuary we use curcumin in the detoxification process for mold toxicity given its potent anti-inflammatory effects and Nrf2 upregulation for detoxification systems.
Cancer: Studies are ongoing concerning its use in the prevention of colon cancer.
How to Get the Benefits of Curcumin: Curcumin is a chemical derived from turmeric, a spice used in cooking. There remains much controversy over its poor bio-availability (absorption) which is why at Sanctuary we only use liposomal curcumin products. These greatly improved absorption. We also consider using bioperine to increase curcumin’s duration of action.
Anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory:
Aggarwal B et al. 2003 Anticancer Research 23:363-98
Jurenka, J. S. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Alternative Medicine Reviews 2009;14(2):141-153.
Aggarwal, B. B. and Harikumar, K. B. Potential therapeutic effects of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory agent, against neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic,
autoimmune and neoplastic diseases. International Journal of Biochemical Cell Biology. 2009;41(1):40-59.
Satoskar, R. R., Shah, S. J., and Shenoy, S. G. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory property of
curcumin (diferuloyl methane) in patients with postoperative inflammation. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutic Toxicology. 1986;24(12):651-654.
Hewlings, Susan J and Douglas S Kalman. “Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health” Foods (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 6,10 92. 22 Oct. 2017, doi:10.3390/foods6100092
Arthritis & Pain:
Kulkarni, R. R., Patki, P. S., Jog, V. P., Gandage, S. G., and Patwardhan, B. Treatment of
osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: a double- blind, placebo-controlled, crossover
study. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 1991;33(1-2):91-95.
Deodhar, S. D., Sethi, R., and Srimal, R. C. Preliminary study on antirheumatic activity of
curcumin (diferuloyl methane). Indian Journal of Medical Research. 1980;71:632-634.
Chopra, A., Lavin, P., Patwardhan, B., and Chitre, D. A 32-week randomized, placebo controlled
clinical evaluation of RA-11, an Ayurvedic drug, on osteoarthritis of the knees. Journal of
Clinical Rheumatology. 2004;10(5):236-245.
Antony B, Kizhakedath R Benny M Kuruvilla BT. Clinical Evaluation of a herbal product
(Rhulief™) in the management of knee osteoarthritis. Abstract 316. Osteoarthritis Cartilage
Daniel S Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 2004 Feb; 98(2): 266-75
Canales-Aguirre AA et al. Nutrition Neuroscience. 2012 Mar;15(2):62-9.
Asher GN et al. Alternative Therapies Mar/April 2013; 19 (2): 20-22
Carroll RE et al. Cancer Prevention Research (Phila).2011 Mar;4(3):354-64. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-10-0098. Phase IIa clinical trial of curcumin for the prevention of colorectal neoplasia.
Aggarwal, B. B. and Sung, B. Pharmacological basis for the role of curcumin in chronic
diseases: an age-old spice with modern targets. Trends in Pharmacology Science. 2009;30(2):85-94.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more… offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.