Curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer molecule with powerful, metabolic, band-aid like abilities, similar to that of fish oil. It is an active component in turmeric and, to a lesser degree, in ginger as well.
This yellow-pigmented substance is a tiny molecule that can be classified as the prototypical “curcuminoid.” In relation to a variety of polyphenols such as stilbene and flavonoid, it does carry impacts related to others of its kind, but also differs from them due to the distinct class it is in.
It exerts powerful anti-inflammatory abilities that appear to be quite protective against some types of cancer development. Besides this, curcumin also has separate anti-cancer benefits, which makes it a greatly investigated molecule for both the prevention and therapeutic use against cancer. It also promotes heart health, helps treat diabetes, slows down cognitive decline due to aging, and lowers lipid levels and plaque concentration in arterial blood vessels.
Its main problem, however, is that it has a poor oral bioavailability. Only a small percentage of what you eat of the compound is absorbed. To improve this, other elements such as piperine, the extract of black pepper, and physocurcumin, are added. That is unless you prefer it in your own colon, since it is also a good anti-inflammatory agent in the organ and will be able to help in digestive functions. In this case, you do not need to couple it with another enhancement. Dosing up to 8g per day has been shown to have cognitive and anti-cancer benefits and as of this time, over-dosing has not been an issue.
Curcumin has the capacity to protect cells based on supplementing their glutamate excitotoxicity as it functions on the TrkB receptor. Its peak effectiveness seems to happen at dosing on 10 µM of the substance with a 24-hour pretreatment, while definite defense results has been pointed out somewhere in the hippocampal cells on a 15 µM dose.
It is believed that the glutamate-induced drop in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is fully counteracted with only 2.5-10 µM dose of curcumin, and that it performs an important role in brain functions. The defending impact of the substance against its negative reactions runs through retinal cells (15µM), hippocampal cells (5-15µM), and even the cerebellar granule cells.
A rat study with a control group demonstrated the effects high dose curcumin has on nerves. It demonstrated that the compound, at 500 ppm dosage, boosts BDNF by about 140% compared to control.
Curcumin at 500 ppm in rodents for four weeks on either a high fat or regular diet who were then given a fluid percussion injury, showed that the higher oxidation in the brain was reduced to about 45-47%. The dosing is also similar to that in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and cognition. BDNF levels were normalized. Intellectual efficiency declined after injury but was minimized compared to controls.
Curcumin can also slow down the accumulation of beta-amyloid proteins responsible for neural swelling in the human brain. The proteins have been documented in almost all cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Supplementing with curcumin has helped these to decrease beta-amyloid protein concentration in the brain.