Curcumin is a plant pigment commonly found in the root vegetable turmeric. It is particularly good for the reduction of inflammation. Curcumin can also help improve brain function, lower risk of heart disease, regulate blood sugar, relieve joint pain, enhance detoxification and improve skin health. It is important to note that curcumin is not very bioavailable (easily absorbed by the body) and so should be consumed with black pepper (as it contains peperins) which makes it easier for the body to absorb.
Interesting studies on curcumin:
- Black pepper (containing peperine) can increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000% (1).
- There has been evidence to suggest that curcumin can suppress the initiation, promotion, and metastasis of a tumor (2)
- Treatment with curcumin has caused a significant delay in onset type 1 diabetes and in some cases even prevented the autoimmunity by inhibiting the infiltration of pancreatic leucocyte and therefore preserving the insulin-expressing cells (3)
- Shoba G, Joy D, Joseph T, Majeed M, Rajendran R, Srinivas PS. Influence of
piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers.
Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):353-6
- Aggarwal BB, Kumar A, Bharti AC. Anticancer potential of curcumin: preclinical
and clinical studies. Anticancer Res. 2003 Jan-Feb;23(1A):363-98
- Castro CN, Barcala Tabarrozzi AE, Winnewisser J, Gimeno ML, Antunica Noguerol
M, Liberman AC, Paz DA, Dewey RA, Perone MJ. Curcumin ameliorates autoimmune
diabetes. Evidence in accelerated murine models of type 1 diabetes. Clin Exp
Immunol. 2014 Jul;177(1):149-60