If you’ve never used turmeric before, you may want to consider giving it a try. According to a 2012 study published in Nutrition Research, using turmeric daily was noticeably effective in increasing blood flow and artery dilation. In another study published in the National Library of Medicine; found that patients given
turmeric after coronary artery bypass surgery reduced their risk of a heart attack in the hospital. The authors of the study stated this was due to turmeric’s primary antioxidant compound, curcumin which has protective anti-oxidative and anti-flammatory properties.
Turmeric could reduce cancer risk
A study completed in 2009 and published by the US National Library of medicine National Institutes of Health concluded that curcumin can stop certain tumor cells from forming as well as kill a wide variety of tumor cell types. The study also stated that curcumin can selectively “obliterate” cancer cells, while it somehow knows how to spare healthy cells.
According to WebMD, while turmeric has been shown to slow the growth of tumor cells and potentially eradicate them, it could also impede the efficacy of certain chemotherapy drugs. They recommend oncology patients should definitely talk to their doctor before starting this or any other supplement.
How best to use turmeric
As we just learned, curcumin is the primary active ingredient in turmeric, however, the amount of curcumin in turmeric is only about 3% by weight. Most studies using turmeric extract the curcumin and use doses exceeding one gram per day. It is difficult to reach one gram or more per day just by using turmeric spice in foods. It is recommended to take a supplement that contains higher amounts of curcumin. It’s also important to note that, because curcumin is poorly absorbed into our bloodstream it helps to take it with black pepper (it enhances absorption) and also take it with a healthy fat (curcumin is fat soluble so the fat will also assist in absorption).