Curcumin is a polyphenol – a micronutrient that occurs naturally in plants – with known anti-inflammatory properties as well as the ability to increase antioxidant numbers in the body.
However, simply consuming turmeric on its own is unlikely to deliver the sort of benefits a person might be seeking. Nowadays, curcumin supplements are widely available. And because of the extraction methods used to draw out the curcumin, supplement consumers receive a much more potent effect than if they had just eaten turmeric.
More research needs to be done, but so far curcumin has shown promise in the treatment of depression, anxiety, pain and osteoarthritis. Cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose have also seen reductions when curcumin has been applied.
Other areas where positive results have been found include liver disease, type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis.
Potential Side Effects
There are, however, certain cautions people should apply before introducing curcumin supplements into their diet. Curcumin is generally well-tolerated, but some side effects recorded in clinical studies include constipation, nausea, vomiting and stomach ache.
Curcumin can also increase the secretion of bile in the body, so any person with an obstruction of the bile duct, gallstones or any other biliary disease should consult a doctor before consumption.
Food supplements can sometimes be sold unlicensed, thus the quality and safety of the product cannot always be guaranteed. Consumers should only ever purchase from a trusted source which freely provides information about third-party testing before sale.