Key Ingredient in Turmeric May Help Treat Arthritis

| 8/16/2011 2:04:35 PM

J.PattonIn the United States, one in five adults report having doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Now, researchers may have found some relief for those millions of adults—and it isn’t in the form of a pill. In fact, it may be hiding in your cupboard as you read this sentence.

Turns out, the ingredient that gives curry spice turmeric its bright yellow color, called curcumin, could give arthritis and tendonitis sufferers a break from the ongoing pain. Studies found that while curcumin will not completely cure arthritis or tendonitis, it can help to suppress inflammation.

Curcumin, the ingredient that gives turmeric its yellow color, provides many
health benefits to those who consume it on a regular basis.
Photo by flit/Courtesy

Arthritis sufferers aren’t the only ones who will benefit from a diet rich in curcumin. Its powerful antioxidant properties have been shown to dramatically reduce the risk of cancer. Here’s how: Curcumin helps to build up immune system function by restoring the function of key immune cells, which helps the body in its fight.

Curcumin can also keep you from joining the 785,000 Americans who experience their first heart attack each year. It reduces the formation of dangerous coronary artery plaque, thus lowering the chances that a heart attack will occur.

In addition, a diet that includes curcumin may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have noted that societies where curcumin is often added to meals have a much lower incidence of the disease. Antioxidants in curcumin limit the accumulation of memory-damaging plaque in the brain. So, memory is preserved rather than eliminated.