Step aside, turmeric shots. We’re here with a better way to get curcumin into your diet. But wait, why do we want curcumin around?
What is Curcumin?
If you’re wondering, “Is curcumin turmeric?” you’re not far off. Curcumin is a polyphenol (a micronutrient) found in turmeric. Many of the benefits turmeric is known for is specifically because of the curcumin inside.
Benefits of Curcumin
Curcumin has been widely studied with a lot of consensus on its three main, beneficial qualities: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer. Basically, it’s a warrior, fighting for better health.
In a 2005 review of published information, researchers for the European Journal of Cancer introduced: “Curcumin has been the subject of hundreds of published papers over the past three decades, studying its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cancer chemopreventive and potentially chemotherapeutic properties.”
Curcumin as antioxidant - what research says
First off, what is an antioxidant? Besides a buzzword in nutrition news, antioxidants are substances that prevent or minimize damage caused by free radicals (“unstable molecules within the body as waste”).
Curcumin has been shown again and again to be an effective antioxidant agent in research from the pharmacological and food industry alike. In fact, for most research at this point, the focus is in applying curcumin’s antioxidant qualities into specific applications against disease, rather than proving Curcumin’s abilities.
Curcumin as anti-inflammatory - what research says
Likely the most applicable benefit of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory properties of this yellow pigment have been shown repeatedly for a variety of different instances of inflammation-related pain.
For post-operative patients, trials with 90 randomized participants following a tooth-removal surgery found that curcumin decreased pain related to post-op swelling. This wasn’t the first research of this kind, prior research with rats shows earlier support for curcumin for post-operative pain.
For patients with rhematoid arthitis, a double-blind study found a decrease in inflammation symptoms. An earlier, larger study, supported the same conclusion in support of curcumin for rheumatoid arthritis pain.
For everyone else, there’s hundreds of applications and dozens of scientific explorations exploring how curcumin’s anti-inflammatory processes can be used, but they all support the same core concept: curcumin is great for inflammation (and in turn, pain). I won’t talk your ear off about it all though, now!
Curcumin as anti-cancer - what research says
Curcumin has been attributed with anti-cancer properties based on its effect on biological pathways involved in mutagenesis, oncogene expression, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, tumorigenesis, and metastasis. Simplified, curcumin blocks some cancer activities and can, in some instances, block tumor growth.
Research that clarifies how we can use curcumin to treat cancer is still ongoing and a protein smoothie isn’t going to be the new go-to treatment for major diseases. However, the research does show that curcumin has benefits, particularly for inflammation (when ingested). So, introducing it into your diet to cut down on pain and discomfort due to post-workout or repeat strain inflammation isn’t a bad bet.
Now, we hate to brag, but Empathy complete plant protein definitely tastes better than turmeric shots. For all the same benefits of curcumin (and turmeric) without pinching your nose, try our silky-smooth protein powder instead.