Studies demonstrate curcumins unique ability to inhibit or slow down protein breakdown after trauma, bed rest or injury. Even more exciting studies show that curcumins benefits extend to cachexia which is muscle wasting from chronic diseases such as cancer or bedridden elderly people. Found in the turmeric root, this extract can also support cognitive and overall health since it passes the blood-brain barrier.
Much of curcumins benefits are talked about for its antioxidant benefits but there are other, perhaps, larger benefits that we're going to get into.
Curcumin and joint pain
Studies on curcumin and exercise show a reduction in exercise induced inflammation and other markers of muscle damage. It does so while also boosting exercise recovery. For athletes or hard training individuals, it appears that curcumin supplements can prevent muscle breakdown while increasing muscle recovery which are both essential for building lean muscle tissue, gaining strength and increasing endurance.
Out of control inflammation is linked to a variety of diseases including cancer and diabetes. Not to mention the fact that our typical diets increase inflammation as well. Curcumin supplementation has been show to block two major inflammatory pathways, Tnf-a and NF-kB. Curcumin also may act similarly to aspirin to both prevent and reduce inflammatory signals at the COX2 pathway. Further research on curcumin and joint pain show that not only did subjects experience less joint pain but they also reported less joint discomfort which is important for resuming daily activities.
So that's less joint pain and less discomfort which means you can potentially get back to activity levels sooner.
German research in rats found that curcumin may also lower intestinal inflammation and strengthen your intestinal wall. Considering that inflammatory bowel syndrome is so prevalent today, curcumin should be considered as an adjunct method for reducing pain.
Can curcumin boost insulin sensitivity?
As often discussed on this website, the goal for anyone looking for an athletic performance physique is to optimize their insulin sensitivity to gain muscle and prevent unwanted body fat gain. Exciting research suggests that curcumin may block a mechanism that lowers insulin signaling. What this means in the real world is that curcumin may increase insulin sensitivity and prolong the increased insulin signaling from your workout.
While more research on this topic is needed, this may mean that curcumin can help your muscles store more amino acids and carbohydrates
Curcumin can also help fat loss since it inhibits fatty acid synthase while increasing beta-oxidation. Basically you burn fat.
Curcumin and Pesticides
A cool study done on curcumin gave subjects organic foods and gave a second group non organic foods. The group that ate non organic food showed increased oxidative stress in their white blood cells, until they took curcumin. Curcumin decreasd oxidative stress caused by eating conventional foods.
Can curcumin boost testosterone?
There’s a few points that we need to discuss about curcumin and testosterone. The research clearly shows a relationship between curcumin and improved testicular health. Curcumin has also been show to block the conversion of testosterone to DHT, the male baldness hormone.
Currently, there is some research that shows curcumin supplementation may lower estrogen which is an opposing hormone to testosterone. So in that sense curcumin may boost testosterone.
The problem with curcumin
Curcumin is known for having a huge bio-availability issue, meaning that it doesn’t absorb well. That’s fine as there’s several ways to boost your curcumin for optimal absorption.
For starters, The Physique Formula curcumin is c3 complex which a patented blend shown to have increased absorption over other forms of curcumin. This is a very important distinction as curcumin generally is not absorbed efficiently. The Physique Formula curcumin delivers therapeutic levels of curcumin to produce the same results in the studies mentioned.
You can also use curcumin with piperine which is a black pepper alkaloid shown to boost absorption.An additional study also found that taking curcumin with olive oil leads to increased curcumin blood levels.
How Much Curcumin Should You Use?
I generally advocate that you take 1 capsule of curcumin with your breakfast and one capsule with your dinner.