Curcumin: Health benefits of supplementation

Introduction to curcumin

Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric. It is a well-known spice that has been utilised throughout history as a herbal remedy (Chainani-Wu, 2003). Curcumin has been the subject of multiple studies due to its medical benefits, with the amount of research investigations continuing to increase.


This article will explore the expanding list of health benefits provided by curcumin, some of which include the compound’s role as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and possible usage as a preventive method against neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis (Askarizadeh et al., 2020).


Additionally, this article will acknowledge potential side effects of curcumin supplementation in conjunction with the key takeaways on how curcumin can benefit you, including the combination of PRP treatment.

Curcumin as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant

The predominant properties of curcumin relate to its ability to treat inflammation and to act as an antioxidant (Hewlings & Kalman, 2017). Through its abilities, curcumin has been recognised as a compound which has a positive impact on patients with chronic and/or acute inflammation. Multiple studies demonstrate that curcumin supplements reduce inflammation in exercise, injury and diseases (Clarkson, 2000).


The study conducted by Epstein et al. (2010), demonstrated the mechanism to which curcumin supplementation assists in reducing inflammation via inhibition of multiple cytokine pathways.


Curcumin is also noted to have antioxidant properties against free radicals. Free radicals are a part of everyday life. However, they can be deadly when there is an accumulation within the body. Increased number of free radicals can cause oxidative stress which is linked to chronic and degenerative diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, ageing and many others (Pham-Huy et al., 2008). Hence, why antioxidants are important for the body as it aids in repair and protection from oxidative stress from free radicals. The health benefits of curcumin as an antioxidant should be highly acknowledged when considering the possible use of curcumin supplementation.


Impact on brain diseases

The ageing process everyone undergoes presents increasing risks of neurological and cognitive disorders. Inflammation is a major factor in ageing, with neurodegenerative diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkison’s Disease, all being associated with inflammation and referred to as neuro-inflammatory diseases (Ege, 2021). The properties of curcumin allow for the potential of protection from neurodegenerative diseases, however there is an obstacle that limits the amount of curcumin delivered to the brain, the blood brain barrier creating limitations to use of curcumin in a therapeutic capacity as stated by Benameur et al. (2021). A recent investigation from the American Chemical Society has shown developments in targeting the brain for delivery of curcumin in order to improve the benefits in the supplementation of the compound, which provides a positive outlook on the future of curcumin in the treatment and aid of neurodegenerative disorders (Ege, 2021).


Consumption and potential side effects

A human trial conducted with daily curcumin supplementation of 8000mg for 3 months discovered there was no toxicity associated with curcumin consumption. However, this was conducted with a small sample size of 25 people (Chainani-Wu, 2003). Other studies have declared that oral doses of higher amounts per day have been tolerated but not recommended. The bioavailability of curcumin in the body has shown to have increased when it is in combination with piperine (Ege, 2021). JECFA (The Joint United Nations and World Health Organisation Expert Committee on Food Additives) has suggested that the allowable daily intake is between 0-3mg/kg of body weight (Hewlings & Kalman, 2017). Short term side effects that are prevalent in trials have been predominantly diarrhoea along with instances of headaches and nausea (Hewlings & Kalman, 2017).

PRP treatment and joint inflammation

With cases of joint inflammation, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment is also a viable option that can be taken by sufferers. In combination with curcumin supplementation, joint inflammation sufferers could see more substantial relief. Multiple studies have demonstrated beneficial effects of PRP on inflammatory joint conditions. For example, Huang et al. (2018) investigated the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, concluding that PRP treatment had a positive effect in reducing the joint inflammation caused by the disease.


Curcumin and PRP for joint health

Curcumin is a thoroughly researched compound that is continuing to gather attention in the medical world, however its full capabilities are unknown. Currently known is that curcumin provides health benefits with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that also contribute to a possibility of neurological protection. The outlined research indicates that curcumin is a supplement option for individuals seeking health benefits in these areas. Similarly, PRP with its anti-inflammatory properties helps reduce joint inflammation and improve joint health. To speak to one of our health professionals regarding PRP treatment in Melbourne, feel free to contact us on 03 9822 9996 or submit an enquiry here.


References

  1. Askarizadeh, A., & Barreto, G.E. (2020, July 30). Neuroprotection by curcumin: A review on brain delivery strategies. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 585, 119476. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378517320304609

  2. Benameur, T., Soleti, R., Panaro., M.A., La Torre, M.E., Monda, V., Messina, G., & Porro, C. (2021, August 7). Curcumin as Prospective Anti-Aging Natural Compound: Focus on Brain. Recent Progress in Health Benefits from Curcumin, 26, 4794. https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/26/16/4794/htm#table_body_display_molecules-26-04794-t001

  3. Chainani-Wu, N. (2003, February). Safety and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Curcumin: A Component of Turmeric (Curcuma longa). The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 9, 161-168. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/107555303321223035

  4. Clarkson, P.M. (2000, August 1). Antioxidants: what role do they play in physical activity and health? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72, 637S-646S. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/72/2/637S/4729747?login=false

  5. Ege, D. (2021, June 16). Action Mechanisms of Curcumin in Alzheimer’s Disease and Its Brain Targeted Delivery. Biomaterials, 14(12), 3332. https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1944/14/12/3332/htm

  6. Epstein, J., Sanderson., I.R., & MacDonald, T.T. (2010, January 26). Curcumin as a therapeutic agent: the evidence from in vitro, animal and human studies. British Journal of Nutrition, 103(11), 1545-1557. ttps://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/curcumin-as-a-therapeutic-agent-the-evidence-from-in-vitro-animal-and-human-studies/225164D1A70D11C765C147A5CD022200

  7. Hewlings, S.J., & Kalman, D.S. (2017, October 22). Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods, 6(10). https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/6/10/92/htm

  8. Huang, G., Hua, S., Yang, T., Ma, J., Yu, W., & Chen, X. (2018, January 28). Platelet‑rich plasma shows beneficial effects for patients with knee osteoarthritis by suppressing inflammatory factors. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 15(3), 3096-3102. https://www.spandidos-publications.com/etm/15/3/3096

  9. Pham-Huy, L. A., He, H., & Pham-Huy, C. (2008, June). Free radicals, antioxidants in disease and health. International Journal of Biomedical Science, 4(2), 89–96. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614697/