Curcumin is a chemical compound, a polyphenol obtained through the extraction of rhizomes of a plant called the long knife, also known as turmeric. It is grown in India, China as well Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines). Curcumin is the main ingredient of the curry. It has a number of health properties for the human body.
Health-promoting action of curcumin
Mentioned about its properties began to appear in the notes of scholars from the 7th century AD
Curcumin for cancer
Due to the presence in the composition of tumeran – a substance supporting the multiplication and differentiation of brain cells – it prevents neurodegeneration and supports the reconstruction of the brain after head injuries. In addition, research into its usefulness in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is ongoing. In the light of recent research, it becomes more and more possible final proving that BDMC (active ingredient of curcuminoids – natural substances present in rhizomes of turmeric) stimulates the immune system to eliminate proteins whose deposits inhibit the conduction of nerve signals within certain areas of the brain, causing memory problems and various types of personality impairments in patients, as well as leading to neuron dying . In addition, curcumin takes active, positive participation in anti-cancer therapies.
Moreover, it has been proven that the administration of curcumin causes regression of the intestinal polyps, which are precancerous, prevents metastasis of breast cancer to the lungs and functions as a maintenance therapy during treatment with an anticancer drug – taxol.
Curcumin as antioxidant
Curcumin acts cholagogue, stimulates the production of gastrin, secretin and pancreatic enzymes, is an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial (including Helicobacter pylori, who is responsible for gastric ulcer), as well as diastolic. Currently, turmeric is used as an ingredient of combined preparations used in the course of pancreatic dysfunction as well as in digestive disorders.
In addition, turmeric substances have a protective effect on liver cells. It is also a component of many drugs used in states of functional disorders and hepatic insufficiency, manifested by inadequate bile release, also in inflammatory conditions of the liver parenchyma and bile ducts.
Curcumin inflates the level of cathelicidin (CAMP) – a peptide helping to suppress the development of bacterial (including tuberculosis), viral and fungal infections
The first tests also showed the beneficial effect of curcumin in the treatment of dry eye syndrome, conjunctivitis, glaucoma and ischemic retinopathy.
Curcumin for cholesterol
Studies in mice prove that curcumin regulates the level of sugar and cholesterol in the blood.
Curcumin for joints
The basic ingredient of turmeric has a positive effect on people struggling with joint diseases because it relieves symptoms of inflammation and can be more effective than other medicines. Curcumin is used to treat depression because it has antidepressant potential and reduces anxiety. It has a positive effect on serotonin, which is also known as the hormone of happiness and dopamine responsible for positive emotions, such as joy and energy for action.
Curcumin – nutritional values
In 100 grams of curcumin we can find:
- About 10% of protein,
- over 3% fat (including more than 2% saturated fatty acids)
- over 67% of carbohydrates (including more than 3% of simple sugars)
- over 22% fiber.
There are also vitamins: C, E, K, B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid and minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
The permissible daily intake of curcumin according to the recommendations of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is 3 mg / kg body weight. However, Polish regulations do not regulate this amount.
Other uses of curcumin
Thanks to its strong scent, its characteristic bitter taste and its strongly orange color (by which it is called Indian saffron) it is used to prepare many dishes (including curry, mustard, Worchestershire sauce or turmeric paste) and seasoning stewed dishes, soups , marinades, fish and seafood, broth and rice, as well as, from the 6th century AD, as a dye – among others cosmetic. Here it is used for the production of hair rinses and antiseptic masks , as well as a remedy for discoloration. It is also dyed with textiles (mainly cotton), and even food: curries, confectionery (eg cakes), fish sticks (suitable for breading), margarines, processed cheese and spicy rice. In industry, it is used as a chemical indicator.