Turmeric And Blood Pressure
Weve seen research emerge suggesting that turmeric can help treat a broad spectrum of medical conditions. From aiding weight loss in people with metabolic disorders to treating arthritis and joint pain, it appears that curcumin can benefit almost any ailment. Turmeric can even be used as a blood thinner or as a natural supplement for liver detox.
Recently, turmeric has shown an ability to modulate blood pressure and assist the cardiovascular system under certain conditions. If youre dealing with high blood pressure , curcumin may be a natural means to manage it.
Before we get into the studies, lets explore hypertension in a bit more detail.
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Spices For A Healthy Heart Let Food Be Your Medicine
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates said, Let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food. Often referred to as the father of medicine, Hippocrates suggested that disease was caused by behavioral factors, including diet and lifestyle, and not by a curse from the gods.
And, if disease is caused by diet, lifestyle, and other environmental factors, then it should be able to be cured by changing these same factors, including diet.
Nothing in your environment is quite so packed with potential healing agents as your spice cabinet. Spices have been included in cuisines from around the world for as long as people have been eating to improve the taste of food and to provide health-promoting benefits.
Several of these spices, found in nearly every spice cabinet in America, offer particular benefits for a healthy heart and blood vessels. Although many of the constituents in these spices have made their way into your medicine cabinet, the intension of this blog is to guide you in their use in the kitchen with clinically relevant support for nutritionally relevant amounts of these spices.
Cayenne pepper is a popular spice in Mexican, Cajun, Creole, and Asian cuisines sometimes used fresh, but more often used in the form of dried powder or flakes.
Cayenne pepper also offers potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which further benefit the cardiovascular system.
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If you’ve eaten Indian food, you’ve probably tasted turmeric. This yellow spice is commonly used in curries and gives other foods, including some types of butter and mustard, their yellow color. People have also used turmeric for many years as a traditional herbal remedy to improve digestion and reduce inflammation. One potential benefit from including more turmeric in your diet is lower cholesterol, although research is still in the preliminary stages.
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A New Study Suggests Supplements May Not Offer The Same Nutrient Benefits As Food
Aid Weight Loss Its unclear whether turmeric can actually help you lose weight, but preliminary research suggests it may enhance your efforts. In one study of 44 people and published in November 2015 in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, people with metabolic syndrome who lost nearly 2 percent of their body weight added an 800 mg curcumin supplement to their daily diet. After 30 days, this group lost close to 5 percent of their body weight, helping them reduce their body fat by more than 8 percent.
Complement Cancer Treatment Its unclear whether turmeric can prevent cancer growth in humans, according to the American Cancer Society. Yet this spice may offer potential, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to a past review. Authors of past research note that turmeric may prevent tumors from forming and becoming cancerous, though more research in humans is needed.
Support Skin Health Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant-rich spice, making it potentially effective for treating skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis, though more studies are needed. Due to its poor bioavailability, it likely wouldnt be a standalone treatment for skin disorders but rather complement existing treatments, write the authors of an article published in September 2019 in Nutrients.
A Daily Dose Of Turmeric Could Help You Better Deal With Depression
An estimated 18 million Americans have depression. What many such ones may not know, however, is that inflammation appears to play a role. One 2016 study found that “interactions between inflammation and the brain appear to drive the development of depression and may contribute to non-responsiveness to current antidepressant therapies.” And as a proven fighter of inflammation, that means that turmeric or more specifically curcumin can be a powerful weapon against depression.
In a 2013 study of the spice’s effectiveness in this role, researchers gave 60 depressed patients daily doses of the antidepressant fluoxetine, a 1,000 mg supplemental dose of curcumin, or a combination of both medications. They found that people responded positively to both treatments at nearly the same rate and the combination of both pills was slightly more effective at treating depression than either pill on its own. In another study of 108 men with depression conducted in China, a 1,000 mg dose of curcumin taken daily for six months was more effective than a placebo for improving effects of depression.
However, this doesn’t mean you should replace your antidepressant with turmeric. “The herb should only be used under your doctor’s supervision to complement your existing treatment plan,” Healthline advised.
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What Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is common and very dangerous. Just like the name suggests, high blood pressure is a condition where the long-term force of the blood flowing through your artery walls is higher than it should be.
Most people with high blood pressure may not experience any symptoms, even if BP readings are at dangerously high levels. Thus, youll continue to incur damage to your heart and blood vessels without ever suspecting an issue. Hypertension is universally known as the silent killer for this reason.
There are certain risk factors to keep in mind that may increase your odds of developing HBP.
Its essential to seek medical help immediately if you have several risk factors. If left untreated, you have a greater risk of a stroke or developing heart disease. Prolonged hypertension may even lead to dementia, metabolic syndrome, or aneurysm.
Turmeric Helps In Acute Coronary Syndrome
The acute coronary syndrome refers to a condition of heart problems and chest pain due to obstructed blood flow to the heart due to cholesterol-clogged arteries.
In 1996, PB Godkar et al studied the ability of turmeric to aid this hypercholesterolemia condition in an animal model.
Through their experiment, they observed a 10% improvement in turmeric extract treated subjects when compared to their control group.
A similar study in an animal model was published in the Journal of Atherosclerosis in 1999 where oral administration of curcumin at low concentrations aiding the management on LDL lipid peroxidation thus preventing its build up.
This was followed up by human studies addressing turmerics healing abilities for the same.
Doctors in Jakarta administered curcumin to acute coronary syndrome patients and evaluated their lipid levels.
They found that the compound had positive effects even when provided to patients at low concentrations.
By analyzing parameters such as body mass index, waist circumference, and blood pressure, it was observed that curcumin effectively lowered LDL and up-regulated HDL activity in a dose-dependent manner.
What does this mean?
The extracts and curcumin obtained from turmeric possess anti atherogenic properties i.e. they act against plaque build-up in the arteries. They monitor damage enabling turmeric useful in acute coronary syndrome therapy.
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Ginger Is Beneficial For Indigestion
Do you ever feel gassy, bloated or a burning sensation in your chest, chances are that you might be suffering from indigestion. It is more common than you think. One in every four people in the USA is affected with indigestion or dyspepsia every year . A study was conducted to see how ginger affected gastric motility in people with functional dyspepsia or chronic indigestion. The subjects were given three ginger capsules or a placebo followed by a soup after an hour. The results showed that the subjects gastric emptying was faster after consuming ginger supplements than placebos . This is essential because gastric emptying is associated with relieving discomfort from indigestion.
Does Turmeric Reduce Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels
Some studies suggest that taking turmeric or curcumin may lower hemoglobin A1c a long-term measure of blood sugar control and fasting blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
In one review of 11 clinical trials, taking curcumin decreased peoples fasting blood sugar levels by 8.8 mg/dL and their HbA1c by 0.5%, on average.35 However, results varied among the different trials.
Several trials that tested curcumin or turmeric supplementation in people with type 2 diabetes found no benefits on blood sugar levels, even though triglycerides and some other health markers improved.36
Because curcumin may potentially lower blood sugar, its important to speak with your doctor about taking it if you are on insulin or insulin-stimulating medications . Combining curcumin with these medications could cause your blood sugar to drop too low.37
Early research suggests that taking 300 to 1,500 mg of curcumin per day may reduce insulin levels and improve insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes and in women with polycystic ovary syndrome .38 However, more studies are needed to confirm these effects.
What else can you do to lower your blood sugar and insulin levels? Strong science confirms that eating a keto or low-carb diet can reliably reduce blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.39
Typical dosages used in trials that evaluated blood sugar and insulin changes: 250 to 4,000 mg of curcumin per day.
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Benefits Of Turmeric For High Cholesterol & Dosage
Blood cholesterol in humans is a description of levels of low-density lipoprotein , high-density lipoprotein , and triglycerides in an individuals blood.
The general standard levels of cholesterol lie between less than 200 mg/dL for healthy individuals and between 200 239 mg/dL is considered borderline. Values over 240mg/dL are considered unhealthy.
The main reason high cholesterol poses a threat to the human body is the close relation it has to heart health.
Cholesterol build up can have some harmful side effects which include obstruction of steady blood flow due to plaque accumulation i.e. atherosclerosis and chances of heart attacks occurring.
The main culprit behind cholesterol level increase is LDL- it is the cause of blockage in the arteries. It is crucial for HDL, good cholesterol to counter the activity of LDL to ensure uninterrupted blood flow and prevent damage to the arteries.
Since high cholesterol does not show any symptoms on its own, it often goes unchecked until major damage to the heart or other organs take place.
It is therefore essential for regular blood tests to be carried out to keep LDL in the blood in check.
There are certain contributors to high cholesterol such as age, sex, and gender which are out of our control.
However, other modes of control such as maintaining a balanced diet, watching our weight and regular physical activity can be easily monitored.
Turmeric And Blood Pressure: How Do They Relate
Individuals suffering from kidney disease can often benefit from short-term use of an oral supplement of turmeric to help decrease their blood pressure. There are a number of animal studies that state that curcumin can help to inhibit protein action and prevent damage to the heart cells from high blood pressure. Turmeric can also help to prevent plaque from forming in your arteries and reduce your cholesterol levels. This can help you maintain your current blood pressure. Turmeric extract has also proven beneficial in dilating and relaxing the blood vessels in animals, which means it could do the same for people struggling with heart problems.
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Risks And Side Effects
Is it safe to take turmeric? According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Turmeric in amounts tested for health purposes is generally considered safe when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. High doses or long-term use of turmeric may cause gastrointestinal problems.
What is the maximum dosage of turmeric? Typically, a recommended dosage of turmeric is not over 2,000 milligrams per day.
Turmeric Is Really The Wonder Spice
It’s by no coincidence that a traditional Hindu word for turmeric, haldi, actually means ‘healthy’. Recent continually accumulating researches have medical scientists convinced that turmeric actually is a wonder/miracle spice like no other. Hundreds of studies have proven its ability to prevent and cure over 600 different ailments and diseases. Turmeric affects the body in over 175 unique ways by acting as an antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory, a neuro-protectant, an endocrine modulator, a natural antibiotic and an anti-cancer agent among more.
As mentioned earlier, the wide range of healing abilities of turmeric have for long been used by practitioners of medicine like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. And now modern medicine has finally caught up with the healing abilities of turmeric by proving these ancient claims correct.
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Ginger Can Help You Shed Those Extra Pounds
If you are looking to shed those extra pounds naturally, go gorge on some ginger. Researchers conducted a systematic review to see the effect of consumption of ginger on weight loss in overweight and obese people. The researchers concluded that the consumption of ginger saw a decrease in body weight and an increase in HDL cholesterol levels in the subjects, thus proving the goodness of good old ginger .
Can I Improve My Heart Health With Garlic & Turmeric
Are you really what you eat, like your mother always told you? In general, the foods you eat can certainly make a difference in how you feel now and the health of your body overall. However, is there reason to believe that certain foods can have a direct impact on specific aspects of your health? Some people believe that common household ingredientslike garlic and turmericcan have an impact on heart health . But how much of this is medicine that you can rely on?
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Is Turmeric Beneficial For Acne And Other Skin Conditions
Early evidence from clinical trials suggests that taking turmeric or curcumin orally may be beneficial for certain skin conditions, including psoriasis and lichen planus, an inflammatory autoimmune skin condition.48
In a 12-week trial of 63 people with psoriasis, those who added 2,000 mg of curcumin per day to standard treatment experienced a dramatic reduction in skin redness, thickness, and scaling, along with a decrease in inflammatory markers.49
One research team tested curcumin in 20 people with oral lichen planus, a chronic inflammatory condition that affects mucous membranes inside the mouth. They found that taking 6,000 mg of curcumin daily for two weeks led to significant improvement in symptoms compared to taking a placebo.50
Although some of the research on curcumin for treating certain skin conditions is promising, there havent been many studies, and those that exist have been small. More high-quality trials are needed.
At this time, taking curcumin for acne lacks evidence. However, following a low-carb diet may provide relief from breakouts in some people.
Typical dosages used in trials that evaluated changes in skin: 600 to 6,000 mg of curcumin per day.
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Other Forms Of Natural Cholesterol Support
If you are serious about controlling your cholesterol levels and avoiding the use of cholesterol medication, simply adding turmeric to your diet may not be enough. Additionally, you will want to reduce your consumption of inflaming foods so you can control your cholesterol levels from the outside in. A few other supplements are also helpful in reducing bad cholesterol levels, including:
Garlic: According to a 2004 study from Monash University in Australia, supplementing with garlic for 12 weeks was able to significantly reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels in participants.
Vitamin E and C: A 2003 study conducted by the University of Kuopio in Finland found that supplementing with vitamin E and C for six years was able to slow atherosclerotic progression in study participants.
Vitamin B5: Vitamin B5 , is highly effective at controlling cholesterol levels. A study from the National Academy of Sciences in 2001 found that rats given vitamin B5 had lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Gum Guggul: A study from 1994 by the Medical Hospital and Research Centre found that supplementing with gum guggul for 24 weeks was able to reduce overall cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol levels.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Policosanol: A mix of policosanol and omega 3 fatty acids were able to reduce cholesterol levels by around 24 percent in a 2005 study from the Surgical Medical Research Center in Cuba.