February is Heart Health Month, and one of the best ways to take care of your heart is by incorporating curcumin into your diet. Curcumin is an orange-pigmented compound found in turmeric, a spice commonly used in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine. Research has shown that curcumin has numerous health benefits, including regulating the normal inflammatory process, supporting the brain, muscles, and joints, liver function, and prostate health.
In this article, we’ll dive into how curcumin can benefit your heart health, and why it’s a must-have ingredient for anyone looking to improve their overall well-being. We’ll cover the science behind curcumin’s health benefits and the best ways to incorporate it into your diet.
The Science Behind Curcumin's Heart-Healthy Benefits
One of the reasons that curcumin is such a powerful ingredient for heart health is that it has several different mechanisms of action. One very important mechanism is curcumin’s antioxidant effect, which can help reduce oxidative stress in the body. Our bodies are constantly utilizing oxygen and creating metabolites from our minute-to-minute biochemistry that can be damaging to our tissues. These are called free radicals. We have mechanisms in our bodies that deal with these molecules, but depending on lifestyle, exercise, diet, and genetics, we may need assistance. This is where compounds like curcumin can be very beneficial. Since oxidative stress can contribute to many cardiovascular issues, it can be beneficial to take curcumin. In addition to its antioxidant effects on bodily tissues, curcumin also inhibits the oxidation of cholesterol, which is more damaging to blood vessels than non-oxidized cholesterol.
Curcumin has also been shown to support the function of the endothelium — the fragile lining of the inside of blood vessels. When the endothelium is damaged or isn’t functioning properly, it can contribute to cardiovascular issues. The vascular endothelium regulates the elasticity of blood vessels. In turn, the endothelium relaxes the muscles that surround the blood vessels and increases blood flow as needed. This process also helps regulate blood pressure.
Cells within the heart muscle have the richest density of mitochondria of any cellular structure in the body. This is because the heart always needs fuel and the mitochondria provide that cellular energy every second you are alive. But, if your mitochondrial cellular furnaces are damaged or not provided with what they need to function optimally, this can reduce heart function, and blood vessel function, and accelerate cellular aging. Curcumin increases the activity of specific enzymes and molecules that increase the number of mitochondria and improve their efficiency, which benefits heart and blood vessel function.
How to Incorporate Curcumin into Your Diet
If you’re interested in incorporating more curcumin into your diet, there are a number of different ways to do so. One of the easiest is to simply add more turmeric to your cooking. Turmeric is a staple in many Indian and Southeast Asian dishes, and it can add a bright, warm flavor to a wide range of dishes. However, it may be difficult to get enough turmeric via your diet, so this is where supplementation is beneficial.
There are several different types of curcumin supplements available, including capsules, powders, and liquids. However, curcumin is very poorly absorbed. Because of this, many supplement companies put other substances in their curcumin, like black pepper extract. Although this helps absorption, it is a crude method of doing so. And, the black pepper extract causes some biochemical changes in the intestines and liver that make other substances, including toxic substances, more easily absorbed and harder to detoxify. The answer is liposomal curcumin. Liposomal curcumin is a proven method of significantly increasing the absorption of curcumin without the negative effects of black pepper extract.
Try safe, effective, tasty liposomal curcumin today.
- Cox FF, Misiou A, Vierkant A, et al. Protective effects of curcumin in cardiovascular diseases—impact on oxidative stress and mitochondria. Cells 11,(3):342-365. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11030342.
- Zhang HA, Kitts DD. Turmeric and its bioactive constituents trigger cell signaling mechanisms that protect against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Mol Cell Biochem. 2021;476(10):3785-3814. doi:10.1007/s11010-021-04201-6
- Oliver JM, Stoner L, Rowlands DS, et al. Novel form of curcumin improves endothelial function in young, healthy individuals: a double-blind placebo controlled study. J Nutr Metab 2016;2016:1-6. doi:10.1155/2016/1089653