What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is a portion of the common Indian spice turmeric which is widely used in Indian cooking, especially curries. Starting about 3000 years ago, tumeric started being used in Ayurvedic medicine. Tumeric’s yellow coloring provides an appealing color variation. But the benefits of turmeric go much deeper than taste and color. The primary ingredient believed to be responsible for tumeric’s health benefits is the family of compounds known as curcumin or curcuminoids.
In India, the typical daily intake of turmeric is about 2 to 2.5 grams per person delivering about 60mg to 200mg of curcumin. Standard turmeric contains about 4% curcumin, versus up 95% in many curcumin extract products.
Curcumin Inhibits the Development of Fat Cells
Studies show that curcumin inhibits angiogenesis (the growing of new blood vessels) that is necessary both for the growth of cancerous tumors and fatty (adipose) tissues. It also inhibits the maturation of fat cells (adipocytes) and lowers blood serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, and free fatty acids. Finally, it reduces weight gain from a fatty diet.
This finding was made from a mouse study in which subject mice were divided into three groups:
1. Low-fat group was fed a 4% fat diet with no curcumin supplements
2. High-fat group was fed a 22% fat diet with no curcumin supplements
3. Curcumin group was fed a 22% fat diet with 500mg/kg of curcumin
The study went on for 12 weeks. At the end, the curcumin supplemented mice (group 3) had lower total cholesterol, triglycerides, and free fatty acids than both the other groups.
The curcumin group also had a lower liver weight (indicating less fat accumulation) than the high-fat / no-curcumin group. The curcumin group mice also had less new blood microvessel development in fat tissues, thereby allowing them to keep weight gain between that of the high-fat and low-fat groups that did not take curcumin.
The problem is that curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. However, Super Bio-Curcumin absorbs up to seven times better than conventional curcumin. Studies indicate that one 400 mg capsule a day of this turmeric compound can provide curcumin blood levels equal to ingesting 2,500-2,800 mg of commercial curcumin supplements. Each 400 mg capsule of Super Bio-Curcumin is equivalent to 2,772 mg of a typical 95% curcumin extract.
Alison Grey is a freelance writer and vitamin fanatic. She is also a regular contributor to the Health and Nutrition section of angiEmedia.com