The Difference Between Turmeric & Curcumin
As an ancient spice celebrated for centuries as both food and medicine, turmeric is one of mother nature’s finest anti-inflammatory substances. This root acts as a COX-2 inhibitor, by preventing the enzymes in the arachidonic pathway from making inflammatory cytokines in the same way that pharmaceuticals like neurofen, voltaren and non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS do. Turmeric however does so without the side effects that NSAIDS provide like ulceration of the stomach lining.
Turmeric is made up of over 300 different phytochemicals or nutrients that can generally be divided into two main families, give or take a few: the curcuminoid and turmerone family. Curcumin is one phytonutrient out of the 300, from the curcuminoid family and gives turmeric its vibrant colour and distinct flavour. As a COX-2 inhibitor it offers key anti-inflammatory properties, however it is only one constituent of many that make Turmeric the powerful root it is.
Research shows that if you take turmeric and remove the curcumin, the remaining product still has a more powerful therapeutic outcome than that of the extracted curcumin on its own. Mother Nature intended turmeric to be used as a whole, not a part with both delivering positive outcomes but the whole food offering much more than the isolated component. For instance, the turmerones in Turmeric are the components that support brain health, not the curcuminoids.
Consider Turmeric as the orchestra, playing a symphony. The depth and variety create an overall impact that is breathtaking. Then if you take the first violinist, in this case the curcumin, out of the orchestra and have them play a solo, it’s still fantastic however the performance is nothing like when they rejoin the whole orchestra. Isolated components lack the synergistic effects that occur when all the elements in whole foods work together to produce a more powerful response, and this is the case with turmeric.
Another consideration is the side effects you may experience by using only one component of any whole food. Mother Nature is smart, providing very powerful medicinal, highly bioactive components and surrounding them with other components that nullify any of the negative side effects that may be experienced when a key component is isolated. That’s why when turmeric is taken as a whole food, people don’t experience negative side effects. However, when curcumin tablets are taken in isolation and in high doses to achieve results, people find they can experience an upset stomach.
Essentially, turmeric taken as a whole has been shown to reduce inflammation in the brain and the rest of the body, stimulate regeneration of liver cells and offer no negative side effects where long term side effects have been shown with curcumin use along with no brain support. That is why we have included turmeric as a key ingredient in our Turmeric Blend, carefully sourced from the Alleppey region in southern India because of it’s high bioactive ingredients content. This is measured by its curcumin content which needs to be a medicinal level to be completely effective.
Our team is incredibly particular about the ingredients we use and where they’re sourced from. When our turmeric arrives in Australia we have it tested for a myriad of contaminants, including, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, heavy metals, arsenic, paint and gluten to name but a few. We do so to confirm that any contaminants in the powder we are using is well below any of the Australian food standard regulations and even below those allowed in organic farming.
Inflammation is the driver of disease and with modern lifestyles leading us to produce more and more chronic inflammation, it’s more important than ever to counteract this. The incredible anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-oxidant benefits of turmeric are the reason we designed the turmeric blend and continue to encourage people to include this powerful ingredient into their diet.
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You might also be interested in “Introducing: The Prebiotic Blend“.