Keep your gut healthy with this amazing “super spice”

Turmeric continues to prove that its benefits go beyond its culinary use. Various studies have linked turmeric to a plethora of health benefits, especially when it comes to the digestive system. Thousands of peer-reviewed reports and studies have demonstrated that turmeric and its healing compound curcumin are more potent in preventing diseases compared with conventional drug treatment.

Turmeric protects the body from digestive issues

A meta-analysis of more than 6,000 studies revealed that curcumin in turmeric exhibited utmost efficacy in managing a host of intestinal conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Data showed that curcumin supplementation helped patients stop corticosteroid therapy. Corticosteroids may induce damage to the intestinal lining over time. Taking curcumin supplements did not result in intestinal damage in patients. The compound’s anti-inflammatory properties were even shown to heal the guts and promote the growth of probiotics.

Aside from being a potent anti-inflammatory spice, turmeric was also touted for its strong astringent properties. The spice can help soothe the bowel and digestive tract lining, thereby reducing the risk of a condition called leaky gut syndrome. Turmeric may also inhibit the excess production of acid in the stomach. Overproduction of stomach acids can lead to chronic stomach upset and intestinal damage. Regular turmeric consumption is also tied to reduced odds of gastro-esophageal reflux. Turmeric has also showed protective properties against gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Turmeric was also shown to prohibit enzymes that negatively impact stomach health. Turmeric also promotes the secretion of stomach mucous, which in turn helps protect the body from damage caused by gastric acid and other irritants. The spice also contains an antispasmodic property, which helps the smooth digestive muscles to relax. This helps keep digestive spasms at bay.

According to the Global Healing Center, the curcumin compound in turmeric aids in digestion by keeping the smooth muscles of the digestive tract relaxed. This then helps food to pass gently though the guts, which discourages gas and bloating symptoms. Turmeric was also found to promote cholesterol excretion by increasing bile production in the liver. Incorporating turmeric in high-fiber meals can result in more effective liver cleanses and subsequent cholesterol elimination.

Curcumin also facilitates the regeneration and healing of colonic crypts. Colonic crypts are glands found on the inner surface of the colon. The turmeric compound was also found to suppresses EGR-1, a protein that enabled damaged DNAs to be expressed. Curcumin regulates the cells and ensures that proper protein replication takes place.

A 2009 study published in the journal Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications also found that turmeric supplementation helped reverse insulin resistance and hyperglycemia in patients with diabetes. Researchers at the Auburn University in Alabama also found that curcumin in turmeric is up to 400 times more potent in improving insulin sensitivity in patients compared with the diabetes drug metformin. The compound’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties were also shown to prevent the onset of diabetes-related complications.

Super spice triggers suicide in colon cancer cells

Colon cancer remains to be the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. More than 50,000 Americans were affected by colon cancer in 2013 alone. Previous studies have established curcumin’s efficacy in preventing colon cancer. To test this, researchers at the Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada examined three types of colon cancer cells. The researchers found that the compound caused all three cancer cells to self-destruct.

Data also showed that curcumin triggered a process called phosphorylation in the cancer cells. The process was characterized by a complete change of function and activity in certain protein enzymes. This effect proved beneficial as oxidative stress was relieved while superoxide anion production was promoted.

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