You may by now be wondering, Why I´m throwing Turmeric Root into everything? Literally everything! (although I am as yet to chuck it the bath with me...)
Well we all know it´s a powerful anti-inflammatory and also great to soothe the intestines however here´s a few tricks you might not know about.
Here comes some spicy science...
...In a recent study to evaluate the effects of turmeric on the liver's ability to detoxify certain toxic chemicals. (the posh word for toxic is xenobiotic, just incase you want to get your geek on.) lLevels of two very important liver detoxification enzymes were so much higher in test subjects fed turmeric as compared to controls (the one´s that weren´t). The researchers commented, "The results suggest that turmeric may increase detoxification systems in addition to its anti-oxidant properties...Turmeric used widely as a spice would probably mitigate the effects of several dietary carcinogens." Well that´s a step in the right direction!! Curcumin (this is the active ingredient in turmeric that makes the magic happen) has been shown to prevent colon cancer in specific studies. When researchers set up a study to look into how curcumin works, they found that it inhibits free radical damage of fats (such as those found in cell membranes and cholesterol), prevents the formation of the inflammatory chemicals (remember inflammation bad antiinflammatory good! Unless you literally just fell down stairs!) and induces the formation of a primary liver detoxification enzymes.Our liver works soooooooo incredibly hard it´s the power house of your detox system, anything that gives this little guy a break is a welcomed addition to dinner. When test subjects were given curcumin for 14 days, their livers' production of GST (that magic enzyme we just mentioned) increased by 16%, and a marker of free radical damage called malondialdehyde decreased by 36% when compared with controls.
During this two week period, the researchers gave the subjects a cancer-causing chemical called carbon tetrachloride. In the controls (the one´s not fed turmericeric) markers of free radical damage to colon cells went up, but in the subjects showing down on our little orange friend turmeric, this increase was prevented by dietary curcumin... BOOM! So maybe we have winner in the game of prevention. It´s always better to look after your tummy first rather than cure it later.
LOVE YOUR GUT... LOVE IT!!!
Curcumin may be able to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. This might be a lot to take in but cholesterol isn´t bad. We need it to carry stuff around that beautiful body of yours. It´s just when the pesky ´free radicals´get involved and oxidise your cholesterol you´re in for a rough ride. In a nutshell that´s why we need the antioxidants (well that and a gazillion other reasons, but that´s enough for now) Since oxidized cholesterol is what damages blood vessels and builds up in the plaques that can lead to heart attack or stroke, preventing the oxidation of new cholesterol is really really good thing for everyone. In addition, turmeric is a good source of vitamin B6, which is needed to keep homocysteine levels from getting too high. Without getting too complicated let´s just say that high levels of homocysteine are considered a significant risk factor for blood vessel damage, plaque build-up (in your arteries not your teeth!), and heart disease; while a high intake of vitamin B6 is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.In research published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, when 10 healthy volunteers consumed 500 mg of curcumin per day for 7 days, not only did their blood levels of oxidized cholesterol drop by 33%, but their total cholesterol dropped 11.63% , and their HDL (good cholesterol) increased by 29%! (Soni KB, Kuttan R).How Turmeric Lowers Cholesterol.
Last bit of science I swear we´re almost done......Turmeric's cholesterol-lowering effects are the result of the curry spice's active constituent, curcumin, which research reveals is a messaging molecule that communicates with genes in liver cells, directing them to increase the production of mRNA (messenger proteins) that direct the creation of receptors for LDL (bad) cholesterol. With more LDL-receptors, liver cells are able to clear more LDL-cholesterol from the body.So there we go, this is not the last turmeric post I´ll make but in homage to all things orange start experimenting with this powerful little golden nugget, my scientific advice
...is to chuck it in everything! Up to 4grams a day...
...go out and play!!