Circumin, the amazing anti-inflammatory
A new study, just recently published, indicates that adding spice, in the form of curcumin to the daily diets of people at risk for heart disease, may lower inflammation.
There are many forms of inflammation in your body and it is implicated in a wide range of diseases. Most of us think of inflammation as a visible entity that occurs in our knee or ankle after an injury. But internal inflammation is implicated in a wide range of illnesses from various forms of heart disease to cancer. In an eight week trial, researchers found significant reductions in signs of inflammation such as C-reactive protein and other blood markers. The lead author of the study was Amirhossein Sahebkar, a researcher at Iran’s Mashhad University of Medical Sciences.
Circumin is the active ingredient of the famous spice tumeric and has a long history of culinary and medicinal use in India and other Asian countries. The two key effects of circumin that account for most of the therapeutic effects of this compound are its strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The properties of circumin have been shown in many animal studies but there have been very few studies that strictly involved humans. So Dr. Sahebkar and his team designed a randomized controlled clinical trial to see if the short-term use of a circumin supplement could reduce inflammation in people with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors for heart disease.
This is absolutely the trifecta of serious heart disease leading to premature death. In order to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you must have a large waistline, high blood pressure, high blood sugar (Type 2 diabetes or the beginning of this disease), low levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and high levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and high triglycerides. I use the term trifecta because any person with 3 or more of these conditions is labelled as having the medical condition known as metabolic syndrome. This means that you are at a much higher risk of developing heart disease, diabetes or both.
When the study was published in the journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dr. Sahebkar’s team also included inflammation as a feature of metabolic syndrome. In their study they enrolled 117 participants who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Half were given capsules containing one gram (1000mg) of circumin powder, and the other half were given similar-looking capsules with no circumin inside. This is known as a double blind study because no one knows if they are taking the real supplement or a placebo and this is done to prevent the placebo effect from skewing the results. All the participants took the supplements every day for 8 weeks.
The study found that the people who took circumin had improved levels in all three biological markers, as well as reduced fasting blood-sugar and hemoglobin A1C, a measure of long-term blood sugar levels. The placebo group had higher glucose (blood-sugar) levels and higher levels in the inflammation markers or no change at all in the biological markers.
When you do a study, very often you research the previous data that relates to your study. The team found data from eight previous studies that showed ciurcumin had shown a significant reduction of C-reactive protein concentrations in a total of 281 patients.
Their findings, along with the previous studies allowed the team to conclude the usefulness of daily use of circumin for the prevention of several diseases, especially inflammatory heart disease. This was a short-term study and so the long-term effects of using curcumin for years was not looked into.
The study was funded by the Clinical Trial Research Centre in Tehran and the Iran National Science Foundation. It is important to note that one of the authors in the study is the CEO of Sabinsa Corporation and Sami Labs Ltd., manufacturers of circumin supplements.
In the study, because most of the patients had metabolic syndrome, they were all taking many prescription medications for their ailments. The patients continued to take their prescribed drugs and circumin was simply added to their regimen. The authors emphasize that people on prescription medications must not discontinue any of their meds while they are taking circumin unless they have consulted with their physician. No side-effects of any kind were reported among all the participants in the study.
The researchers compared the use of the spice turmeric used daily in food as compared to using the supplement. It turns out that turmeric actually has very low quantities of circumin, usually less than 5 per cent and circumin has a very low absorption in its raw form. Usually less than 1 per cent of raw circumin is absorbed when taken orally.
The supplement used in the study contained 1000mg of circumin powder. However we now have in the health food store a new product called Nutri Cure made by Naka that is a concentrated form of circumin with more than 7 times the potency of the m
aterial used in the study.
If you are looking for the best circumin in a one a day dosage then this product is my recommendation.