Inflammation can be caused by many different factors. It may present as a sign from your body that it is fighting an unknown irritant, or it could be the reparative process after an injury or muscle recovery. The supplement with the most diverse use in our practice, and the number one fighter of inflammation, is turmeric or curcuma longa.
This spice is widely used in many countries, and it is what gives yellow curry its color. It also has been used in traditional medicine for the past 5,000 years. The medicinal compounds of turmeric are called curcuminoids, and the most potent curcuminoid is curcumin (diferuloymethane). However, curcumin is the term often used to refer to all curcuminoid compounds of turmeric.
Turmeric is part of the ginger family and each root contains only about 2-5% curcumin, and unfortunately, is also poorly absorbed in the body, which is why curcumin extract is the most advantageous form to consume if used for medicinal purposes.
What it can be used for?
Curcumin has many beneficial effects on the body, and it is often referred to as the “miracle herb”. Its overall greatest effect is its ability to reduce inflammation and assisting in detoxification. The results of these two processes, reducing inflammation and detoxification, includes combatting inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, allergies, eczema, rheumatism, and controlling blood sugar such as with diabetes.
Another of its many uses includes muscle recovery. There are several small studies which focus on the effects of curcumin in decreasing inflammatory proteins that are present with muscle damage, and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in humans and mice. The studies have shown that curcumin is likely to reduce DOMS, and enhance muscle recovery. It is one of the most popular supplements athletes at our office swear by and can’t live without.
As a clinician I recommend curcumin to many patients. Other than muscle recovery, the conditions which I see benefit the greatest with are nerve irritation, muscle pain, digestive healing and detoxification, and post-concussive symptoms. It seems hard to believe that something as simple as a spice can have so many benefits.
What are the best methods for ingesting?
Since the percentage of curcumin in turmeric is very low it is important to find products that are curcumin extracts. Look for products which are around 95% standardized curcumin. Technologies such as micronization and nanotechnology are some of the more successful methods to assure maximum absorption. Research may be best before purchasing certain products.
At Positive Motion we carry Integrative Therapeutics brand for our curcumin called Theracurmin HP. This product has been extensively researched, and it is the first water-dispersible curcumin (check out this short video to learn more). This allows it to be dissolved quickly and allows it to be 27x more bioavailable (how well it can be utilized by our body) than most curcumin extracts. The concentration of curcuminoids per dose is greater than most products, thus less pills are needed for the same effect.
If you have any questions about the many uses of this product feel free to contact Dr. Pedersen or Dr. Nordin. There are very few side effects from consuming curcuminoids (other than feeling amazing!), however, it is always best to consult a medical professional before consuming, or if you feel you are experiencing abnormal symptoms.
In Positive Motion,