My #1 Supplement for a Healthy Inflammatory Response
January 3rd, 2020
Inflammation is the root cause of a very long list of chronic diseases and conditions. It plays a key role in Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, depression, and fatigue.1,2,3 It’s involved in nearly every modern chronic illness, including many autoimmune diseases. In fact, the more inflammation you have, the further along the autoimmune spectrum you’re likely to be.
When your immune system is working optimally, acute inflammation is a critical weapon that protects you against severe and immediate stressors—for example, fighting off a bacterial infection or healing a wound. This type of inflammation is localized (think a sore throat or red, inflamed skin around a cut), and subsides once the threat is gone.
However, chronic inflammation in your body is a big problem. Chronic inflammation is systemic and ongoing, and puts your body in a state of constant alert. This type of inflammation sets you on the path to chronic illness and/or autoimmune disease, and absolutely must be addressed for your return to optimal health. Where does chronic inflammation come from? Learn the top 5 sources of inflammation in this article.
To fight inflammation at its source, I first recommend changing your diet and lifestyle, including eating anti-inflammatory foods, repairing your gut, reducing your toxic burden, healing your infections, and relieving your stress.
My next tool in supporting a healthy inflammatory response is curcumin, an extremely potent free-radical fighting compound that naturally occurs in the spice turmeric. Curcumin offers a huge range of benefits you can enjoy no matter what level of inflammation your body experiences. Let’s explore exactly what curcumin is, and then I’ll get into why it’s my #1 supplement to support a healthy inflammatory response.
What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is one of the three main active compounds, or curcuminoids, that give turmeric its bright yellow color, alongside demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethozycurcumin.4
Curcumin has recently soared in popularity. However, turmeric has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used topically on the skin for wounds, acne, and parasitic infections; administered orally for colds and urinary tract diseases; and even inhaled for chronic rhinitis and inflammation in the nose due to hay fever.5 It is used in curries in India, as an antiseptic in Malaysia, served in drinks in Korea, and added to cheese, butter, and mustard for color in the U.S.6
Curcumin makes up 90% of the curcuminoid content in turmeric, though turmeric is only around 5% curcuminoids by weight. This means that to get any benefit from the curcumin that occurs in turmeric, you’d practically have to eat nothing BUT turmeric. Consuming the extract in the form of a supplement is the best way to enjoy the benefits of curcumin.7
The Benefits of Curcumin
Curcumin has been shown to support a healthy inflammatory response in thanks to its many powerful properties.It has also been shown to reduce oxidative stress.8 This is important because inflammation can lead to oxidative stress, and vice versa.9,10
Curcumin acts in a number of different ways, including:
- Increasing the activity of antioxidants in your body, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH) and lipid peroxides.11,12
- Scavenging various forms of free radicals, including reactive oxygen and nitrogen species.13
- Inhibiting certain enzymes, such as lipoxygenase/cyclooxygenase and xanthine hydrogenase/oxidase.14,15
- Acting in the same way as the chain-breaking antioxidant Vitamin E, scavenging free radicals and breaking them apart so they can be transported out of your body as waste.16
A primary reason why curcumin is thought to be a powerful ally s that it has the ability to seek out certain types of molecules in your body and inhibit them.17
One of these molecules is nuclear factor (NF)-kB, which is activated by environmental pollutants, cigarette smoke, certain types of bacteria, causing viruses, stress on a physical, psychological and chemical level, and other disease-causing factors. Curcumin has been shown to block NF-kB activation.
What’s more, curcumin has been shown to inhibit or blockade other substances including platelet-activating factor, prostaglandin E2, and others.18
Curcumin & Chronic Disease
There is a TON of research on curcumin. Did you know it supports healthy inflammation levels, optimal cognitive function, your cardiovascular system, and overall health even if you’re dealing with a chronic illness such as autoimmune disease and arthritis? Let’s go deeper.
Curcumin directly supports maintenance of your body’s immune system. This means it could be a key substance for you to explore if you’re struggling with multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, or another autoimmune condition.
NSAIDS are notorious for damaging your liver and intestinal lining. Unlike NSAIDs, curcumin has been found to be safe even at high doses, such as 1125-2500 mg per day. It is also thought to be safe for long-term use. This is understandable, since the average intake of curcumin in India, where it’s used extensively in cooking, is 60-100 mg, daily!
Inflammation and oxidative stress play a major role in the deterioration of cognitive function. This is so important as you age! Think about the older folks you know! Curcumin has been shown to support strong vascular tissue in the brain. This is so important if you want to maintain memory and nimble mental activity.
Cardiovascular health relies on so many diverse factors, and curcumin is thought to be able to support heart health in a variety of ways. Who doesn’t need a healthy heart? Curcumin may support the function of the lining of your blood vessels just as well as exercise does!
Metabolic issues are so prevalent in our society, especially given the Standard American Diet, or SAD. Your metabolic health involves everything from your blood sugar to your cholesterol levels. Thankfully, curcumin supports all of these areas and more. Research shows curcumin supports a healthy and normal insulin response, normal blood sugar levels, and healthy “good” cholesterol in your body.
The Best Way to Add Curcumin
As I mentioned above, turmeric contains very little curcumin, which is why taking a supplement is the most efficient way to reap all the benefits it can offer. In addition, another important piece of the puzzle you need to consider is that your body struggles to absorb this powerful substance.
My new Liposomal Curcumin tackles both these issues. First, I’ve ensured the ideal potency. Each two-teaspoon dose is packed with 500mg of naturally derived curcumin without the artificial sweeteners or additives that may be found in other brands.
I then took things a giant step forward by creating a delicious liquid, liposomal formula for the greatest possible bioavailability. Let me explain. A liposome is a microscopic pocket of fat that forms a protective, single-cell layer around the curcumin. This micelle, or thin layer, allows the curcumin to travel to the small intestine and into the bloodstream, so it can be delivered throughout your body directly to your cells that need it.
With typical curcumin supplements, the desirable nutrients are often not combined with a fat, nor are they in a form that can survive digestion. These inferior types of curcumin are very likely to be oxidized, neutralized, and even expelled before they can do any good at all. However, in my Liposomal Curcumin, the liposome, or fat pocket forms a protective coating that survives digestion, and also provides the fat that your body needs to process the curcumin.
With all the research on curcumin—and this is one of the most-studied supplements in the world—it’s clear it has incredible potential to impact your health in a positive way. It is shown to support normal inflammation levels, optimal cognitive function, your cardiovascular system in general, and your overall health even if you’re dealing with chronic illnesses such as autoimmune disease and arthritis.
Curcumin is my first choice for supporting a healthy inflammatory response and veryday wellness. The proven benefits of curcumin are extensive. Why not make it part of your daily routine, too?