In today's Eden's ingredient spotlight, we're going to delve into turmeric, and the health benefits of turmeric. Turmeric is one of the five polyphenols we used in Eden's, delivering numerous therapeutic and health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, pro-microbial, and cardioprotective properties. We source our turmeric in a concentrated powder called "Curcuminoids," which is enhanced to improve absorption and clinical efficacy — making it one of the best turmeric supplements you can buy. If you're looking for a turmeric supplement with a wealth of other ingredients to bolster your health, check out Eden's synbiotic.
Let's dive into what makes turmeric such a great ingredient.
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What is turmeric?
Easily recognized by its vivid yellow-orange color, turmeric is a common spice that provides earthy, woody, floral and bitter notes. Turmeric comes from the leafy tropical plant in the ginger family, Curcuma longa, which grows as a perennial in the wild. For thousands of years, turmeric has been used as a medicinal spice. And sure enough, turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which research shows has a long list of health-promoting properties — including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiproliferative, antiangiogenic, antidiarrheal, and anticancer benefits, among others.
Considered a polyphenol, turmeric’s health benefits relate largely to its action as an antioxidant, protecting your cells from free radicals and boosting immunity against chronic disease. Given the challenge of consuming enough turmeric as a spice, scientists have formulated turmeric into dietary supplements. Eden's contains a carefully selected and tested turmeric dose, together with a menu of four other polyphenols, five prebiotics, and four probiotics.
What are the health benefits of turmeric?
While its mechanisms and precise impacts remain uncertain, turmeric has been studied in humans and has demonstrated, in concentrated and higher dosages, a wide variety of benefits, including:
- Powerful anti-inflammatory properties: Chronic, low-grade inflammation is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, cancer proliferation, metabolic syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease, to name a few disorders and diseases. Curcumin is one of the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds studied to date. Curcumin can inhibit pro-inflammatory transcription factors and reduce proinflammatory cytokines, down-regulate enzymes and inhibit pathways that trigger oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
Researchers have found that curcumin is effective at suppressing inflammatory processes of obesity.
Turmeric is known for its power to decrease the inflammation associated with arthritis symptoms. Several studies have shown that curcumin supplements improved rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, even showing more efficacy than some anti-inflammatory drugs. (However, while a range of dosages demonstrate varying degrees of efficacy, more research regarding optimal dosing is needed.) A 2016 meta-analysis of clinical trials concluded that turmeric supplements alleviate joint tenderness, mobility, and discomfort. Multiple studies have also shown that curcumin supplements can even decrease exercise-induced joint discomfort.
- Antioxidant and anti-aging properties: The chemical structure of curcumin allows it to act as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals and stimulating actions of other antioxidants. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can cause oxidative damage and wreak havoc on biological mechanisms, factors associated with many diseases and the aging process. Therefore, curcumin has the potential to play a vital role in preventing diseases caused by inflammation and oxidative stress — such as cancer, neurodegenerative disease, metabolic syndrome, liver and immune function, and atherosclerosis.
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and hyperlipidemia: Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have been shown to have protective effects on atherosclerosis, cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, aortic aneurysm, stroke, myocardial infarction, and diabetic cardiovascular complications. Curcumin can help prevent clogging of blood vessels and endothelial dysfunction, major drivers of heart disease; and studies have shown significantly better serum lipid and blood glucose levels with curcumin supplements.
- Stabilizes blood glucose levels and aids in management of type 2 diabetes: Multiple large-scale, long-term human studies have shown that curcumin supplements contribute to reducing risks for developing diabetes. One study showed that a curcumin supplement could be 400 times more powerful than metformin (a common diabetes drug) by activating an enzyme (AMP-activated protein kinase, or AMPK) that reduces insulin resistance.
- Improves skin: A 2021 systematic review describes turmeric as an effective therapy for treating multiple skin conditions, increasing skin’s glow and luster, controlling psoriasis flares, speeding up wound healing, and calming pores to decrease acne and acne scarring.
Neurons, the messengers in your brain, are capable of forming new connections throughout the lifespan. One of the key pieces of this process is a protein called brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF). BDNF plays a major role in learning and memory and is also found throughout the central nervous system, the gut, and other tissues. Decreased levels of BDNF are associated with neurological degeneration. Clinical studies have found that curcumin may increase levels of BDNF and may delay or even improve neurological diseases, improve memory and cognitive abilities. However, most studies have been performed on animals, and much more research is needed in this area.
Natural sources of turmeric
Turmeric is a common spice found at most grocery stores and is an easy way to ingest the curcumin compound. Curcumin is fat-soluble, meaning it breaks down and becomes most bioavailable when combined with fatty foods. Some research suggests that combining turmeric with black pepper can lead to increased absorption.
The best turmeric supplement
The health benefits of turmeric and curcumin have been shown, predominantly, in patients taking supplements that contain much higher doses of these compounds than what you’d ingest through food every day. Given the challenge of consuming enough turmeric as a spice, scientists have formulated turmeric into dietary supplements. This is where Eden's comes in as the best turmeric supplement. We source our turmeric in a concentrated powder called "Curcuminoids," which is enhanced to improve absorption and clinical efficacy.
Supplement doses vary, and it’s important to read the label to avoid taking too much.
Side effect profile: Aside from a few cases of gastrointestinal discomfort, no adverse side effects have been reported in research studies of supplements containing turmeric derivatives. However, consult your medical professional before taking any supplements, and certain groups of individuals in the following categories should be especially cautious in taking turmeric supplements:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Gallbladder disease
- Bleeding disorders
- Gallbladder disease
- Undergoing chemotherapy or radiation
- Taking prescription medications
- Allergic to plants in the Curcuma genus
Turmeric’s primary yellow component is curcumin, a polyphenol that exhibits anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer and neuroprotective effects. These benefits have been demonstrated in supplement doses without adverse side effects. Enter Eden’s, a synbiotic supplement that contains — along with 13 other ingredients — a high-quality source of concentrated turmeric powder, enhanced to improve efficacy.