Intensive research has been carried out for years on the traditional Ayurvedic medicinal plant turmeric and in particular on its secondary plant substance curcumin. As a beacon of hope in cancer therapy and a preventive nutritional component against inflammatory diseases in the focus of science, the mode of action of curcumin in our immune system is now becoming increasingly apparent. We don’t want to withhold from you how turmeric can also enrich your health and what useful bond curcumin has with vitamin D to protect against bacterial infections!
Curcumin – The active ingredient in turmeric
Turmeric (bot. Curcuma longa), also known as turmeric, is known to many as an intense yellow-orange spice with a musky flavor in Indian curries. However, anyone who has reduced the turmeric plant from South Asia from the ginger family to its taste and color properties does not do justice to its importance as an important medicinal plant in the millennia-old Ayurvedic art of medicine. In western naturopathy, turmeric is primarily known as a medicinal plant that stimulates bile flow and promotes digestion.
International studies also deal with the health-promoting potential of turmeric. From a medical point of view, the antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric extract are particularly interesting, which claim to be effective against various ailments such as intestinal, lung, and liver diseases, inflammatory diseases, heart attacks, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. In addition to the essential oils, the bioactive phytochemical curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric root.
Curcumin – natural remedy in cancer therapy
Curcumin not only gives Asian spice powders their characteristic color. Consumed regularly, the dye contained in the turmeric root is said to unfold its healing powers. Due to its suspected chemopreventive properties, oncology in particular deals with curcumin as a natural remedy in cancer therapy. A number of laboratory tests with animals have confirmed its anti-cancer effect on the stomach, intestines, liver, and skin in particular. Even advanced metastasis formation has been shown to be reduced by curcumin.
Curcumin’s resistance to potentially carcinogenic free radicals is based not least on its immune-stimulating ability. Studies have shown that the secondary plant substance has a positive effect on the cells of the human immune system by curbing the growth of so-called cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. Current research on this topic has now discovered an astonishing connection between curcumin and the proliferation of an antimicrobial protein in the human immune system.
Curcumin activates antimicrobial protein
Scientists from Oregon State University recently published the results of their curcumin study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Accordingly, the secondary plant substance curcumin is said to cause a measurable increase in the protein cathelicidin in the human organism. This protein is an antimicrobial peptide (cAMP), more precisely an organic compound made up of several amino acids, which in curry mixtures can defend itself against bacteria and thus prevent infections and chronic diseases.
Omega-3 fatty acids have also been studied in the past for their role in protein balance. However, it turned out that the cAMP-activating effect of curcumin is three times stronger than that of omega-3 fatty acids. Further investigations made it clear that the curcumin-activated cAMP content in the human body continues to rise as soon as vitamin D comes into play.
Curcumin and vitamin D
Like the secondary plant substance curcumin, vitamin D also has properties that strengthen the immune system. The interaction of both substances in turn should lead to increased production of the cAMP peptide and correspondingly mobilize resistance to pathogens. With double healing power, the antioxidant duo combats inflammatory processes that are considered to be the origins of various chronic diseases.
This research reveals a new pathway for the regulation of cAMP gene expression. Regular consumption of turmeric combined with vitamin D contributes to health and in particular, can prevent infections in the gastrointestinal tract,
commented study leader Dr. Adrian Gombart on the findings.
Future research needs to focus on how exactly both curcumin and vitamin D activate gene expression (i.e., making the protein based on the DNA code) of the cAMP peptide, Gombart says, for potential use against a variety of bacteria. which are responsible for bacterial infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.
For the best possible protection against bacteria, experts recommend taking 500 mg of a curcumin supplement and 2000 to 5000 IU of vitamin D daily. Transferred from the research laboratories to practical life, it can certainly be stated fundamentally: Enjoy dishes from the Ayurvedic healing cuisine refined with turmeric, best in a nice place in the sun.