Have you heard about this thing called curcumin? Curcumin is found in Turmeric which is a plant in the ginger family and used as a key ingredient in many Asian foods. What you might not have heard is that there are the numerous health benefits of curcumin. Many of these health benefits are the reason turmeric has been used as a form of medicine in Asian cultures for hundreds of years. Recently researchers have found that the chemical curcumin in turmeric may be what gives turmeric its healing properties.
A recent study using a form of curcumin called Theracumin was performed with patients with mild memory complaints. The authors gave the participants either a placebo or the Theracumin for 18 months. The participants who took the Theracumin had improved memory function and less amyloid in the specific parts of the brain that correlates with Alzheimers disease. Amyloids are proteins that have been connected to a number of different disease. Really cool findings.
A few things of note. Theracumin appears to be a lab created version of curcumin in a nanoparticle (extremely tiny particles) form. From my digging the research/medical world has found that curcumin is not absorbed well, as a single supplement. My thoughts is this might be because curcumin was never meant to be pulled out of turmeric to be used alone. Since we, humans, are always looking for the easiest answer taking a pill is much easier than cooking the right foods in the right way. Perhaps, instead of taking curcumin in a pill form we should be preparing food with more Turmeric in it.
There are other interesting findings that show curcumin has a positive role in treating various cancers, diabetes, and kidney disease. Very few of these have findings have been due to studies on humans so it is difficult to say with certainty that curcumin would help cancer, diabetes, and other diseases. What we can say is that turmeric has been used for its medicinal properties in Asian cultures for hundreds of years and they didn’t need randomized clinical trials to prove it usefulness, it just was.