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IPFS News Link • Health and Physical Fitness

Healthy Additions for Your Heart

• DR. SHERRI TENPENNY

Inflammation has been shown to play a major role in most chronic illnesses, including neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, autoimmune and neoplastic (cancer) diseases.

For centuries it has been known that turmeric exhibits anti-inflammatory activity, but extensive research performed within the past two decades has shown that the activity of turmeric, a member of the ginger family, is due to curcumin. Turmeric comes from the root of a perennial plant that is difficult to grind; hence, it is usually sold as a powder. Curcumin, the active component of turmeric, is what gives turmeric its yellow hue. 

Curcumin: A Big Deal

Curcumin is a powerfully rich antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that positively affects every organ in the body. Curcumin has been found to be protective against more than 70 conditions, including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer. Studies have shown that curcumin is more effective in reducing inflammation than aspirin and ibuprofen, more effective in suppressing breast cancer recurrence than tamoxifen, and is more potent than Vitamin C or Vitamin E as an antioxidant. Its effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) are profound.

Is it any wonder that the American diet, loaded with sugar and salt and lacking in nature's herbs and spices, has perhaps the highest incidence of CVD in the world?

More on Curcumin

Comprehensive research suggests curcumin's effects against CVD take place through several different mechanisms, but primarily through the modulation of a cytokine called NF-kB (pronounced NF-kappa-beta.) NF-kB activation is a major mediator of inflammation in most chronic diseases (including cancer), and inhibition of NF-kB can prevent or resolve many chronic diseases.

Curcumin has strong artery-protecting effects. Atherosclerosis is characterized by vascular inflammation and lipid accumulation within the vessel wall. It has been shown in animals to lessen fatty plaques, lower LDL (bad; inflammatory) cholesterol, and helps regulate blood pressure. It can reduce the size of blood clots after a hemorrhagic stroke and can improve circulation in the brain after a stroke or traumatic brain injury.


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