Turmeric is Amazing!
The beauty of this earth is that many of the remedies we need to enhance health can be found in nature! Turmeric is one of those that I just love for many ailments that originate from inflammation! Turmeric (curcumin) is a polyphenol-rich natural remedy that has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (Basnet & Skalko-Basnet, 2011). According Prasad et. al, turmeric is pleiotropic with anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, wound healing, and antimicrobial activities (Prasad, Tyagi, & Aggarwal, 2014). It would benefit this client in many ways. Various experimental studies have reported that curcumin has ability to inhibit proinflammatory transcription factors NF-κB in several types of cancer, making it a potent anti-inflammatory agent (Prasad et al., 2014). Curcumin from turmeric also downregulates various pro-inflammatory cytokine expressions such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), interleukins (IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12) and chemokines (Basnet & Skalko-Basnet, 2011). “As a traditional medicine, turmeric has also been extensively used for centuries to treat a diversity of disorders including rheumatism, body aches, skin diseases, wounds, intestinal worms, diarrhea, intermittent fevers, hepatic disorders, biliousness, urinary discharges, dyspepsia, inflammation, constipation, leukoderma, amenorrhea and colic inflammation (Basnet & Skalko-Basnet, 2011). A very promising natural remedy!
However, evidence from numerous literatures revealed that curcumin has poor absorption, bio-distribution, metabolism, and bioavailability (Prasad et al., 2014). The absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion studies of curcumin in recent years suggest that curcumin undergoes a rapid metabolism, making it demonstrate low bioavailability in vivo (Basnet & Skalko-Basnet, 2011). A study conducted in 1978 reported that after oral administration of 1 g/kg of curcumin in Sprague-Dawley rats resulted in negligible amounts of curcumin in blood plasma of rats. This could be due to its poor absorption from the gut (Prasad et al., 2014). Another study administered curcumin orally at a dose of 1,000 mg/kg to rats resulted in approx. 75% of the dose being excreted in feces and negligible amounts were detected in the urine (Basnet & Skalko-Basnet, 2011). When the study was repeated in humans at a dose of 2g/kg, the serum levels were undetectable as well.
According to Prasad et al, “to increase the bioavailability, longer circulation, better permeability, and resistance to metabolic processes of curcumin several formulations have been prepared which include nanoparticles, liposomes, micelles, and phospholipid complexes (Prasad et al., 2014).
One way scientists have attempted to improve bioavailability of curcumin is with the technology of nanoparticles. Oral administration of curcumin-PLGA-nanoparticles has been shown to increase the relative bioavailability was increased 5.6-fold and has a longer half-life compared with that of native curcumin. “This improved oral bioavailability of curcumin found to be associated with improved water solubility, higher release rate in the intestinal juice, enhanced absorption by improved permeability, inhibition of P-glycoprotein-mediated efflux, and increased residence time in the intestinal cavity” (Prasad et al., 2014). In addition, “nanocurcumin retained the mechanistic specificity of free curcumin, inhibiting the activation of the seminal transcription factor NF-κB and reducing steady state levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines like ILs and TNF-α (Basnet & Skalko-Basnet, 2011). However, there are some obstacles with nanotechnology, so it probably is not a top choice. According to Srinivas et. al, little is known about the absorption and excretion of nanoparticles by experimental animals or in humans (Srinivas et al., 2010). The very properties of nanostructured materials that make them so attractive could potentially lead to unforeseen health or environmental hazards (Srinivas et al., 2010) “Some of these properties include high aspect ratio, bio-persistence, reactive surfaces and points that are capable of producing reactive oxygen species, composition and solubility” (Srinivas et al., 2010).
Liposomes are considered as effective drug carriers because of their ability to solubilize hydrophobic compounds and to alter their pharmacokinetic properties. In rat oral administration of liposome-encapsulated curcumin (LEC) showed high bioavailability of curcumin. Curcumin is expected to accommodate itself inside the hydrophobic interior of liposomes, resulting in higher drug loading capacity (Basnet & Skalko-Basnet, 2011). Liposomal curcumin consistently demonstrates suppression and decreased the expression of pro-inflammatory activity of NF-κB as well as COX-2 and IL-8 (Basnet & Skalko-Basnet, 2011) The formulation liposomes loaded with curcumin has been found to increase bioavailability 2.35 to 7.76 fold higher, respectively, than that of curcumin suspensions” (Prasad et al., 2014). Interestingly, a new type of liposomes-propylene glycol liposomes (PGL) were developed to increase intracellular delivery. “It has been observed from cell experiment in vitro, PGL exhibited the highest uptake of curcumin compared with that of conventional liposomes and free curcumin solution (Prasad et al., 2014). Faster rate and better absorption after oral administration in rats where achieved as compared to non-liposomal curcumin. “These results indicated that liposomal encapsulation enhanced the gastrointestinal absorption of curcumin”(Basnet & Skalko-Basnet, 2011). The good news is, liposomal delivery is available easily on the market and available to consumers. I currently use and recommend Empirical Labs Liposomal Curcumin and Resveratrol. My mother has used it when she has had acute pain and has claimed that is has helped her.
Here is a link of the liposomal curcumin, which has some reservertrol added for a bonus healthy punch!
YOU CAN BUY THIS ON AMAZON, here is the link below
Piperine is a major component of black pepper. It is well known as an inhibitor of hepatic and intestinal glucuronidation which has the ability to increase the bioavailability of curcumin (Prasad et al., 2014). Interestingly, this effect of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin has been shown to be much greater in humans than in rats. “In humans, curcumin bioavailability was increased by 2,000% at 45 minutes after co-administering curcumin orally with piperine, whereas in rats, it has been found that concomitant administration of piperine 20 mg/kg with curcumin 2 g/kg increased the serum concentration of curcumin by 154% for a short period of 1-2 hours post drug” (Prasad et al., 2014). Intestinal absorption of curcumin was also found to be higher and remained longer in body tissues (Prasad et al., 2014) One thing to keep in mind is that turmeric and piperine is best taken with fat to maximize absorption (Greger, 2015). So if the client plans on using turmeric in cooking, make sure to add some fat and pepper together.
I love this product, I mix this with ginger (another anti-inflammatory agent) and coconut milk and avocado oil (source of fat) for a wonder anti-inflammatory drink!
YOU CAN BUY THIS ON AMAZON, here is the link below
WARNING : Do not take curcumin with NSAID’s or Diabetes medications! It looks like curcumin can interact with them. For example, the US Department of Health and Human Services has recommended, based on published laboratory and animal studies, that co-administration of curcumin with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or anti-coagulant drugs (heparin, clopidogrel, aspirin) may result in an increased risk of bleeding (Basnet & Skalko-Basnet, 2011). In addition, based on animal studies, there has been some data indicating that curcumin may enhance the hypoglycemic effects of anti-diabetic medications (Basnet & Skalko-Basnet, 2011).
Basnet, P., & Skalko-Basnet, N. (2011). Curcumin: an anti-inflammatory molecule from a curry spice on the path to cancer treatment. Molecules, 16(6), 4567-4598. doi:10.3390/molecules16064567
Prasad, S., Tyagi, A. K., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2014). Recent developments in delivery, bioavailability, absorption and metabolism of curcumin: the golden pigment from golden spice. Cancer Res Treat, 46(1), 2-18. doi:10.4143/crt.2014.46.1.2
Srinivas, P. R., Philbert, M., Vu, T. Q., Huang, Q., Kokini, J. L., Saltos, E., . . . Ross, S. A. (2010). Nanotechnology research: applications in nutritional sciences. J Nutr, 140(1), 119-124. doi:10.3945/jn.109.115048