Among the best known spices used not only in the kitchen but above all in the Galenic phytotherapy area there is the Turmeric.
It is a plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae family, the same family to which ginger belongs. Its characteristic yellow color and its flavor are used a lot for the preparation and seasoning of many dishes. But in the pharmaceutical field or in that of food supplements, turmeric is fundamentally known for the presence of substances that in recent years have been particularly studied by science: Curcumin and Curcuminoids.
Curcumin is a polyphenol with numerous biological characteristics which are described in scientific literature as follows:
Antioxidants: protecting cell structures from the harmful effects of free radicals;
Anti inflammatory: reducing the expression of enzymes involved in the development of the inflammatory reaction and modulating the response of inflammatory cells;
anticancer: on the one hand by inhibiting the process of neoangiogenesis and on the other by inducing the apoptotic process (programmed cell death).
Most of its beneficial functions are attributable to the inhibition of a cellular "switch" called NF-kB (Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cell), one of the main culprits of the inflammatory cascade. This switch is also involved in infectious and oncological pathologies.
Among the other biological activities of Curcumin, there is the desensitization capacity of the TRPA1 nociceptors (pain receptors), the same ones that are involved by Paracetamol to reduce pain.
It also regulates the expression of cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2), involved in the initiation of the inflammatory cascade.
For these reasons, curcumin and curcuminoids have been suggested for many years in the following areas:
- Treatment of inflammatory pathologies, also with chronic course
- Prevention of aging and oxidative diseases such as cataracts
- Management of arthritic and arthritic pathology
- Prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's
- Detoxification from toxic substances
To be well absorbed, Turmeric must be linked to other substances, such as piperine or bromelain, but the highest absorption is obtained with the fusion into liposomes. Turmeric is inserted into microscopic phospholipidic vesicles that can easily pass through every tissue to allow this extraordinary natural substance to be easily distributed in every tissue and organ.
Recently the Ministry of Health has requested to clearly write that in case of liver, biliary or biliary tract function alterations, the use of turmeric-based products is not recommended. If you are taking medication, you should seek medical advice.
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