I’ve known since 2012 I am celiac. The ‘discovery’ came quite coincidentally. One year before I was diagnosed with celiac disease I met a Sicilian woman on a Ryanair flight from Trapani to Eindhoven. We were unable to stop talking. Months later we met for dinner in an Italian restaurant cooking without gluten. She was celiac and I only had a vague clue what it meant. Cut a long story short, I ate what she ate, slept well, woke up without a headache for the first time in months maybe years.
It led me to take some tests, and the rest is history.
Since the day I stopped eating gluten, turmeric ( in some languages referred to as kurkuma ) is part of my daily diet. I take it in the morning in the form of curcumin capsules. I add turmeric to each and every dish I prepare: fried eggs, brown organic yamani rice, soups … name it. I not only cook with turmeric for its color and its flavor, I know it’s good for me and my table guests.
I have not had a single cold or flue or infection. I am aware this is partly due to the fact I do not eat gluten, almost zero lactose and sugar just occasionally. But turmeric is what binds it all together.
So I dare to say I am confident corona is not for me!
Shocked? Bear with me, I’ll explain you why I think that is.
I could send you right off to reading the two books I call my 2 Bibles: ‘Brain Maker‘ by D. Perlmutter and ‘The End of Alzeimer’s‘ by D. Bredesen. Both are available on Amazon UK and USA. But before I do, read this. I strongly urge you to struggle through the text even where it gets a bit more/too scientific.
The Wonderful World of Turmeric
The use of turmeric dates back nearly 4000 years to the Vedic culture in India, where it was used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance. It probably reached China by 700 ad, East Africa by 800 ad, West Africa by 1200 ad, and Jamaica in the eighteenth century.
Turmeric is a popular root/spice, and curcumin is a highly potent chemical in turmeric, but hardly the only one.
Turmeric has been put to use as a foodstuff, cosmetic, and medicine. It is widely used as a spice in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. It lends curry its distinctive yellow color and flavor. It is used as a coloring agent in cheese, butter, and other foods. So now you probably understand why I love it.
Curcumin what makes Turmeric so Great
CURCUMIN is a yellow pigment found primarily in turmeric. It’s a polyphenol with anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to increase the amount of antioxidants that the body produces.
Polyphenols are produced by a wide variety of plants to offer them protection from the sun’s radiation and to help defend against disease. They protect us in a similar way by acting as antioxidants to help combat everyday insults (UV radiation, cigarette smoke, free radical formation) to improving immunity through their activation of key genes.
POLYPHENOLS are mainly natural, but can be synthetic or semisynthetic too. They are organic chemicals characterized by the presence of large multiples of phenol structural units.
PHENOLS Many foods in a healthy diet contain high levels of naturally occurring phenols. Fruits like grapes, apple, pear, cherries and berries contain up to 200–300 mg polyphenols per 100 grams fresh weight. The products manufactured from these fruits also contain polyphenols in significant amounts. Typically, a glass of red wine or a cup of tea or coffee contains about 100 mg polyphenols. My days starts with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, two strong cups of organic coffee. And at the end of the day I poor myself at least 1 glass of Malbec wine!
In America only 1 out of 10 adults meets the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables per day. But even a healthy diet would require a high level of consumption to reach the recommended amount of 500mg to 1500mg per day.
The Medicinal Use of Turmeric
Throughout the Orient, turmeric is traditionally used for both prevention and therapy of diseases. Modern in vitro studies reveal that turmeric is a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antimicrobial, and anticancer agent.
Supplementation of curcumin reliably reduces markers of inflammation and increases the levels of endogenous antioxidants in the body. Research also supports a small to moderate improvement in the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Turmeric Against Corona Virus
A virus does not have all the enzymes needed for its replication as a single unit. The virus uses cellular machinery for its metabolic processes and reproduction. The corona virus is no different.
The antiviral agents should prevent the growth of viruses in infected cells without harming the healthy cells.
The processes of the replication of the viruses, including attachment, penetration, uncoating, genome replication, and gene expression are potential therapeutic targets.
Some known effects of curcumin include impeding the viral infection by targeting the penetration of the virus and attacking the components required for viral replication.
Studies show that when curcumin was applied to the cells before or after infection, it attenuated the infectivity of certain viruses, enveloped viruses, including members of pox virus, flavivirus, herpes virus, and orthomyxovirus. Curcumin could alter the surface protein structure in viruses and block the entry of viruses to the cell. In addition, the positively charged curcumin on the surface is subjected to electrostatic interactions with PEDV or cell membranes and competing with the virus to bind with the cells.
Recently, a molecular ducking study indicated that curcumin possesses better binding capability to the receptors and may inhibit the entry of COVID‐19 virus.
ACE2 is the receptor that binds with SARS‐CoV‐2 spike glycoprotein which facilitates membrane fusion and viral infection occurs through endocytosis. Therefore, spike glycoprotein is a potential candidate for drug targeting to inhibit the entry of virus. Early studies revealed that curcumin could potentially inhibit ACE2 to suppress COVID19 entry to the cell.
Mason researchers recently discovered that curcumin shows promise in fighting devastating viruses. Curcumin stopped the potentially deadly Rift Valley Fever virus from multiplying in infected cells.
How to take Curcumin?
The use of turmeric as a spice and as a household remedy has been known to be safe for centuries. To date, no studies in either animals or humans have discovered any toxic effects associated with the use of turmeric and it is clear that turmeric is not toxic even at very high doses. Some warn that excess of it can cause an upset stomach, nausea and dizziness. But there are no studies that show this is true.
The beneficial effects of turmeric are traditionally achieved through dietary consumption, even at low levels, over long periods of time.
CURCUMIN + PIPERINE
For curcumin to be effective one needs to get 500 to 1,000 milligrams of curcumin per day. Curcumin is best taken together with food.
By itself, curcumin is poorly absorbed. For better absorption, curcumin is paired with piperine, found in black pepper. Research shows that the piperine in black pepper enhances the absorption and bio availability of curcumin by up to 2000%
NEWER FORMULAS – BCM-95
BCM-95® (Curcugreen®) is Arjuna’s patented formulation and flagship product which is manufactured by synergistically combining curcumin and Ar-turmerone, the essential oil of turmeric. The therapeutic benefits of turmeric are maximized by combining curcumin with Ar-turmerone. In BCM-95® (Curcugreen®), this unique synergy forms a 95% bioactivity-enhanced curcuminoid complex that makes it the world’s most bio active turmeric extract.
CURCUMINE + BROMELAIN
The bromelain widely used as a food supplement is extracted from the pineapple stem. Bromelain is readily absorbed by the body in the gastrointestinal tract and remains functionally intact. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is used to prevent post surgical inflammation and trauma. Curcumin is often formulated with bromelain for the same reason as it paired with piperine: increased absorption and enhanced anti-inflammatory effects.
The latest key to curcumin absorption is phytosome technology. Meriva is a unique curcumin extract that is significantly better absorbed than other curcumin extracts. It is obtained through phytosome technology whereby the curcumin extract is attached to phosphatidylcholine (PC), an essential component of human cells. Our bodies can make PC, but we can also get it from food or supplements.
The results demonstrated a >20-fold increase in absorption of curcumin from Meriva versus a standard curcumin preparation.
Is it safe to take a curcumin dietary supplement with other medications?
Curcumin can interact with various medications. It may ( recommendations from the Mayo clinic ):
- Increase the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) for individuals on an anti-diabetes drug
- Increase the risk of bleeding if used with a blood-thinning medication (anticoagulant), such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) and others
- Interact with the drugs talinolol and sulfasalzine (Azulfidine EN-tabs)
- Interact with certain chemotherapy drugs
If you are considering taking a curcumin dietary supplement, check with your health care professional first, especially if you are pregnant or have a health condition.
The Best Turmeric Supplements to Take
So which one should you choose? The choice is there and it is entirely yours. But here are a few guidelines.
1 Availability will depend on where you are and which brands & combinations are available on your market. I know for a fact I cannot find the curcumin-piperine combination in Argentina. I source the curcumin+bromelain from Brazil in stead.
2 Try to look at how the product is made: where are the ingredients grown and harvested, how is the product control done ( in the USA, look for a 3rd party control agent like NSF and USP for any certification ); and last but not least check to see if the label is clear about the content.
3 Be smart about herbs interfering with drugs ( see the paragraph above )
4 Check the Current Good Manufacturing Practices: in America food supplements are almost as well regulated as drugs; that might not be necessarily true with products from different origins.
5 And then there is the economic reality. With the knowledge gained from the 4 steps above, try to find a brand within your budget.
Fully allergy safe and with clear product information as a bonus, THORNE really stands out. Thorne has its own active clinical trials department. They have also developed close working relationships with trusted research institutes.
Another popular brand on Amazon praised and lauded by over 14,000 buyers is NATURE’s Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine.
It comes in packs of 60,120,180 or 240 veggie caps. When you buy the 240 pack, you’ll safe almost 7 USD .