Major depression, inflammation with arthritis, and prostate cancer with therapy may all be supplemented with turmeric, but more importantly, the active ingredient in turmeric called curcumin. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory to help with common joint pain, recovery after surgery, and treatment for some cancers. Curcumin fights inflammation at the molecular level, as opposed to some anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed. It has shown promise in reducing inflammation in a host of conditions, but its usefulness has been limited by its low bioavailability in humans. BCM-95®, a new form of curcumin, achieves significant blood levels and remains in the blood longer. In fact, it is absorbed seven times better than curcumin itself.
One study shows that people who suffer from major depression can benefit from a more natural treatment similarly to those who took an antidepressant like Prozac (fluoxetine). This study took place over a course of six weeks, and a randomized test was performed where sixty participating patients were separated into three groups. The first group took Prozac, the second group took curcumin, and the last took both Prozac and curcumin. In the end, it was concluded that curcumin had the same healing effects as Prozac. Evidence also shows that curcumin can help boost serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
Another study suggests that prostate cancer patients can use curcumin to help stop the formation of metastases that have spread throughout the body once they’ve been diagnosed. Curcumin acts to subdue production of many of these cancer-promoting chemicals. It may be used before therapy and also after therapy if tumors have spread. As tumors are believed to be linked to inflammation, taking this supplement will help reduce the tumors’ potential growth. It can also assist with activating a defense mechanism used in treatment called cell death pathways.
Although this is a positive step forward in natural healing, please speak with your doctor before seeking out curcumin or stopping any type of cancer treatment, as it may conflict with other medications. Taking curcumin appears to be safe, but some people may experience nausea, upset stomach, and dizziness. Also, if you are diagnosed with a blood disorder, taking this supplement will cause slow blood clotting, which can then increase the risk of bleeding more. If you have any questions about if taking curcumin is right for you, please consult with your doctor or pharmacist.