Turmeric is packed full of health benefits. Bear in mind that many of the following benefits are overlapping. The anti-inflammatory effect of turmeric for example, will help fight cancer, help you lose weight, help reduce the incidence of heart disease, and more. The improved insulin sensitivity from turmeric will also help you lose weight, and help boost testosterone, thereby helping you further to lose weight and also to boost your libido.
Turmeric is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent with no known toxic side-effects. Reducing inflammation can help protect you against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, hay fever, arthritis, osteoporosis, and more. It can also help delay aging, since studies show that inflammation plays an important causative role in age-related degenerative changes.
Turmeric is just as powerful an anti-estrogen agent as it is an anti-inflammatory agent. This is HUGE for women, and studies are showing more and more that it’s just as important for men.
Due to the increasing use of industrial chemicals that make their way into our food, water, the cosmetics we apply on our skin, and in the very air we breathe, estrogen-related conditions are on the rise.
For women, this includes breast cancer, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), breast swelling and tenderness, irregular periods, breast and uterine fibroids, endometriosis, vaginal dryness and more.
For men, this includes erectile dysfunction, benign prostatic hyperplasia, erectile dysfunction, and more.
For both men and women, high exposure to estrogen leads to weight gain, decreased sex drive, infertility, early onset of puberty, headaches, mood swings, depression, insomnia, hair loss, lack of energy, memory problems, trouble sleeping, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, and more.
The scary thing is estrogen and estrogen-like particles are on the rise in the modern environment, and they’re everywhere. According to hormone expert, Dr. John Lee, “You would have to virtually live in a bubble to escape the excess estrogens we’re exposed to through pesticides, plastics, industrial waste products, car exhaust, meat, soaps and much of the carpeting, furniture and paneling that we live with indoors every day.”.
I once read a news article about how male fish in UK streams and rivers are morphing into egg-producing female fish, just because of the high levels of estrogens in these waters. Professor John Sumpter, a fish physiologist at Brunel University in the UK, said the findings showed that estrogenic pollutants are a widespread problem and may explain why the sperm counts and fertility of Western men have declined in recent decades.
In the US, the situation is likely worse, since there are far fewer restrictions on the use of industrial chemicals in the US. Government researchers in the US recently found natural estrogens and estrogen mimickers in 80 percent of the streams they tested in 30 states.
And again, it’s not just in your water supply, estrogen and estrogen mimickers called xenoestrogens are everywhere in the modern environment. Here is an example of some common sources of estrogen exposure:
- Commercially raised meat
- Canned foods
- Plastics, plastic food wraps
- Styrofoam cups
- Industrial wastes
- Personal care products
- Pesticides and herbicides
- Paints, lacquers and solvents
- Vehicle exhaust fumes
- Birth control pills
- Artificial scents
- Air fresheners
With estrogen attacking us from every direction in the modern environment, it’s more important than ever for us to fight back. The first step is to take a defensive stance by avoiding estrogen exposure as much as possible, for example, by eating organic fruits and vegetables that are free of pesticides and herbicides, and eating organic meat and dairy that are free of artificially injected hormones.
But since estrogen is literally everywhere, you’ll never be able to avoid it all, which is why it’s also important to also take the offensive. From the research I’ve done, turmeric is likely the one natural substance that can deal the heaviest blow against estrogen dominance.
Turmeric works by directly blocking estrogen receptors on a cellular level. Studies show that curcumin in turmeric has an estrogen blocking effect that is comparable to that of the medical drug tamoxifen. The difference is that turmeric, being a natural whole food, doesn’t have any nasty side-effects, so you can take it in much larger doses and for a longer period of time. You also don’t need a prescription for turmeric from your doctor, and it doesn’t cost much at all to buy.
On the other hand, medical anti-estrogen drugs like tamoxifen, come with a long list of common side-effects, including weight gain, headaches, nausea, hair thinning, decreased libido, and eye problems.
Among all nutrients, curcumin in turmeric has by far the most evidence-based literature supporting its role against cancer. Curcumin fights cancer via so many different mechanisms, that I’m convinced this is nature’s solution against cancer.
There’s the anti-inflammatory and anti-estrogen effects of turmeric that I’ve already mentioned, both help fight cancer. Then there’s the fact that curcumin in turmeric impedes vascular epithelial growth (thereby starving cancer cells of their oxygen and fuel source); activates multiple different tumor suppressor genes; stops metastatic spread of cancer cells; prevents regrowth of cancer stem cells; and initiates apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancer cells.
What’s really great about curcumin as an anti-cancer agent, is unlike with conventional anti-cancer treatments, which destroy cancer cells as well as regular healthy cells, curcumin selectively destroys cancer cells without causing any damage to normal cells.
Turmeric is widely used in India, and it’s no coincidence that the prevalence of common cancers like breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer, is around 10 times lower in India than it is in the West. Taking prostate cancer as an example, out of every 100,000 people, 104.3 people will get prostate cancer if they live in the U.S., compared to just 4.6 people if they live in India.
Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Most people know insulin as the diabetes hormone. People get type II diabetes because their cells lose their sensitivity to insulin. By improving insulin sensitivity, turmeric can help reverse type II diabetes.
But there’s more to insulin sensitivity than just diabetes. Insulin is the main fat storage hormone in the body. You may have noticed that most people with type II diabetes are overweight. This is because there’s a direct relationship between how insulin sensitive you are and how overweight you are.
People with type II diabetes have low insulin sensitivity. When you improve insulin sensitivity with turmeric, you not only prevent or reduce diabetes, you also lose weight.
Helps You Lose Weight Via Multiple Different Mechanisms
The anti-inflammatory and anti-estrogen effects, and improved insulin sensitivity bought about by turmeric, all help promote weight loss. But turmeric helps you lose weight via other mechanisms too.
Curcumin in turmeric also helps you lose weight by converting white fat cells to brown fat cells. Unlike white fat cells, which just store fat, brown fat cells are powerhouses packed with mitochondria, which burn calories to generate body heat. This means turmeric helps boost thermogenesis, which increases your basal metabolic rate, which increases how many calories you burn at rest.
Additionally, a 2009 study in the Journal of Nutrition, found that turmeric prevents fat cell differentiation, causes fat cell apoptosis, and reduces the formation of fat cells by preventing angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels needed to support new fat cells in your body).
To confirm their findings, the researchers of the same study took 18 mice and split them into different groups. One group was fed a high calorie diet (HC), and another group fed a high calorie diet supplemented with turmeric (HC+T). After 12 weeks on the same diet, the HC group had almost twice the amount of body fat (20.9g) as the HC+T group (11.8g). So in this study, turmeric protected mice against fat gain.
And Countless Other Benefits
Turmeric is also known to be a powerful anti-oxidant. It’s five to eight times stronger than vitamins C and E. It’s also known for its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
There seems to be no system in your body left untouched by this powerful, all-encompassing natural remedy. It delays aging, helps improve digestion, heals your joints, boosts your immune system, promotes healthy liver function, improves alcohol detoxification, improves your cholesterol profile, and even strengthens your bones. It has been studied in human trials to be at least as effective as Prozac for depression, as powerful at boosting cardiovascular health as exercise, and able to prevent the progression of prediabetes to diabetes in 100% of those tested.
In my past career working as a medical doctor in the UK, recommending a natural remedy like turmeric to my patients was frowned upon by my peers. Having studied the science, it seems unethical NOT to recommend this natural, side-effect free nutrient that has such a powerful all-encompassing effect on the human body.
Turmeric has been used traditionally in India for thousands of years as a remedy for an endless list of ailments, including aches, pains, sprains, wounds, and disorders of the liver, lung, digestive system and skin. It’s no wonder then that turmeric is revered in India as “holy powder,” and is almost worshipped in its extensive use in ceremonies, weddings and religious festivals.
If turmeric on its own doesn’t directly and completely cure you of whatever problem you are suffering from, the least it will do is energize you and prime your mind and body to better handle life’s stresses. It will sharpen your mind, improve your memory, boost your exercise tolerance, and help you get a better handle on your diet and lifestyle.