It is easy to recognize turmeric extract as it usually appears as a bright orange-yellow color in the form of a very dry powder. The final product is usually fat soluble and presents neither any flavor nor aroma what so ever. In the presence of oil the product is very capable of coloring food. On the other hand its amazing medicinal properties and the health benefits associated with turmeric extract are partly due to the attributes relating to its strong antioxidant characteristics.
Benefits of Turmeric Extract
You could write a book about the health benefits of turmeric. There are that many of them. In fact, all of the scientific papers that have been written about turmeric extract benefits would fill volumes. Media coverage has referred to the research as “explosive”. It has even been referred to as “Indian Gold”.
All of the news coverage concerning the turmeric benefits has driven supplement sales through the roof, but consumers must be very careful about the supplements that they buy. Many are simply ineffective, but some of them could actually cause health problems, because the dosage is too high.
One of the turmeric extract benefits is to the health of the heart. It reduces platelet aggregation; the risk of blood clots and hardening of the arteries. But, these health benefits of turmeric would be a risk for someone that has bleeding disorders, is recovering from surgery or becomes injured. You can get the turmeric extract benefits, without the risk, if you choose the right dosage. 50mg per day is sufficient.
Decreased Cancer Risk
Many of the health benefits of turmeric have to do with a decreased risk of various types of cancer. There are studies on-going concerning the use of the active compound, called curcumin, for the treatment of pancreatic and other types of cancer. But, in order for a person to see these turmeric benefits, curcumin must be able to get into the blood stream. Researchers have shown that even after eating large amounts of turmeric, the blood levels of curcumin are relatively unchanged. They call this low bio-availability.
In order for a supplement manufacturer to overcome the issue of low bio-availability and actually provide all of the turmeric extract benefits, the company must use a tablet form that has an enteric coating. Powders and capsules are quickly degraded by stomach acid. An enteric coating allows the supplement to pass through the stomach and into the upper intestine, where it can pass through and enter the bloodstream directly. These supplements will cost more, but the cheaper ones are a waste of money.
To further increase the bioavailability of curcumin and provide the health benefits of turmeric, a manufacturer can include piperine in the formula. Piperine, an element of black pepper, has been shown to increase the absorption of curcumin by 2000%.
Other turmeric benefits include its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity. It inhibits the production of inflammatory molecules like COX-2 and prostaglandin. This explains some of the turmeric extract benefits for cancer prevention, as these molecules play a role in the progression of the disease.
More Turmeric Health Benefits
Those are not all of the health benefits of turmeric. Others include anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and antioxidant activity. It may be beneficial for relieving a variety of conditions, as long as the manufacturer selects the best extracts, include piperine and protects the whole thing with an enteric coating.
The best supplements contain a variety of plant extracts, as well as essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The turmeric benefits are great, but they won’t reduce your risk of nutritional deficiencies, which seem to be on the rise.