Taking Charge of Your Health

Hey everyone! Welcome back to another edition
of Ask The ND. I’m Dr. Jeremy Wolf. In today’s episode, I wanted to spend time talking about
an herb that has been used for more than four thousand years. The herb I’m referring to
is, Cucuma longa; more commonly knows as turmeric. Turmeric has long been believed to be beneficial
for inflammation, fighting off infections, cancer, digestive issues, and a whole slew
of other conditions. Belonging to the ginger family, turmeric is derived from the rhizome,
or root of the Curcuma longa plant. Turmeric is native to India, China and Indonesia, as
well as other parts of the tropics where it is commonly used as a spice or food dye. I
always get a lot of questions about what’s the difference between turmeric and curcumin.
Curcumin is essentially the active constituent of the turmeric plant and may be why this
plant has so many health benefits. Let’s take a further look into how turmeric functions
in the body – here’s the rundown. One of the most talked about benefits of turmeric is
in its role as an anti-inflammatory. Research has shown curcumin may be able to help interact
with numerous targets involved in inflammation. For example, it down-regulates the activity
of COX-2, which is similar to how NSAIDs work. Some inflammatory conditions that turmeric
may benefit include rheumatoid arthritis, dyspepsia, and inflammatory bowel diseases
like ulcerative colitis and Chron’s. In general, curcumin can act as an antioxidant. Some studies
have shown that it is comparable to vitamin C and E, and may even protect DNA from oxidative
damage. Research has also shown that curcumin may prevent LDL oxidation, which is a critical
factor in atherosclerosis. It may also play an important role in our lipid profiles. It
seems that it may be able to lower our LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and increase
HDLs, the beneficial fats. It inhibits platelet aggregation, which is part of the sequence
of events leading to clot formation. Lastly, it is believed that turmeric may have antimicrobial
and anti-fungal properties when applied to the skin topically. Studies have shown that
curcumin is rapidly metabolized and excreted by our body, making its availability limited.
However when combined with other substances such as piperine, a constituent of black pepper,
or attached to a phospholipid, a complex known as Meriva, its availability and absorption
increases. Curcumin acts strongly on the liver and may stimulate the gall bladder to release
bile into the digestive tract. Therefore, it should be avoided if you have any gall
stones or gall bladder obstructions. It should also be avoided if you have gastric ulcers.
Turmeric also has slight blood thinning properties, so it’s important to check with your healthcare
provider before starting your supplement regiment. Thank you for watching another edition of
Ask The ND. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly tips to help you on your journey
towards happy wellness. From all of us here at LuckyVitamin – spread the wellness!

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