There’s no shortage of health claims about curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.
Turmeric is also known for having potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Turmeric’s inflammation-fighting powers can be credited to curcumin. In fact, in the right dose, curcumin may be a more effective anti-inflammatory treatment than common inflammation-fighting medications such as Advil (ibuprofen) and aspirin.
Research has shown that chronic inflammation is associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
As inflammation is linked to tumor growth, anti-inflammatory compounds such as curcumin may play a role in treating and preventing a variety of cancer types, including colorectal, pancreatic, prostate, breast, and gastric cancers.
Thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin may be a safe and effective long-term treatment option for people with osteoarthritis and diabetes.
Turmeric may even protect your brain against common degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Like Alzheimer’s, depression is also associated with lower levels of BDNF. Thanks to turmeric’s ability to boost levels of BDNF, the spice shows promise as an effective antidepressant
Unfortunately, turmeric (and curcumin on its own) doesn’t absorb well into the bloodstream.
The compound in black pepper called piperine actually helps to make turmeric more bioavailable.