Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is associated with the curry spice, turmeric, and to a lesser extent ginger. This is a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae and is sold as an herbal supplement, cosmetics ingredient, food flavoring, and food coloring. Chemically, curcumin is a diarylheptanoid, belonging to the group of curcuminoids.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. The curcumin content of turmeric is around 3% and is a natural phenol which is responsible for turmeric’s yellow color. It was first isolated in 1815 when Vogel and Pierre Joseph Pelletier reported the isolation of a “yellow coloring-matter” from the rhizomes of turmeric and named it curcumin.
Most importantly curcumin is a natural strong anti inflammatory compound that will helps the body to fight against the forign intruders and are also good for repairing damages. Curcumin also is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure. But curcumin also boosts the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
Other Benefits of Curcumin
- Lower the risk of Heart diseases
- Microbial infections: It’s anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial
- Help prevent Cancer
- Spinal cord injuries
- Useful for the prevention and treatment of the Alzheimer’s disease
- Diabetes/Insulin response
- Weight management
- Reduces depression and stress
- Metal toxicity and Flouride toxicity.
Adults can consume 10 gram per day as per human studies. But some people may experience side effects when they take them in large doses as supplements. High doses of turmeric may leads to Kidney stones. Also commercial turmeric powders may contain fillers such as cassava starch or barley, wheat or rye flour that will cause adverse symptoms in people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Some test tube studies suggest that high concentration of curcumin can cause DNA damage as well as it may suppress the immune system.