Get rid of inflammation to stay healthy in older age.
Health experts now recognise that inflammation is at the root of many of today’s illnesses, including many of the conditions associated with advancing age
These include dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and osteoarthritis. While acute inflammation is a normal part of the body’s healing response, it’s the persistent, low-grade (chronic) inflammation that many people live with that slowly erodes health and vitality.
Studies show that two to four-fold elevations in circulating levels of pro-inflammatory markers (such as C-reactive protein and interleukin are typically found in the elderly when compared to younger individuals, even in the absence of chronic disease. This phenomena is commonly referred to as inflammageing.
Diet and lifestyle can greatly influence the degree of inflammation in the body. Certain nutrients and botanicals have been shown in studies to have a strong effect on decreasing markers of inflammation.
Similarly, physical activity is associated with exerting an anti-inflammatory effect so its essential we keep some regular exercise in our daily regeme.
Could Curcumin be the answer to all our problems?
Curcumin, the compound derived from the culinary spice turmeric, is responsible for the characteristic orange-yellow colour of this spice. Research Curcumin possesses diverse effects which are quite incredible, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial and hepatoprotective (liver-protecting activities).
Although historically the poor bioavailability of curcumin has been a limiting factor for realising the full potential of this compound, new enhanced delivery systems have overcome this problem.
Curcumin is very hard to absorb!
For best therapeutic results look at LSC Nutrition, a very high strength organic Turmeric with added Black Pepper for enhanced absorption or Solgars Curcumin 185 which is probably the finest curcumin product on the market.
A primary mechanism of curcumin relates to its actions as an anti-inflammatory agent. Rather than just influencing one anti-inflammatory pathway, it appears that curcumin has several modes of action, allowing it to deliver broad-spectrum support to anti-inflammatory pathways.
Many anti-inflammatory agents inhibit either Cyclooxygenase (COX) or Lipoxygenase (LOX) enzymes, whereas curcumin can block both, which subsequently inhibits both prostaglandin and leukotriene signalling molecules. Curcumin also reduces inflammation via the inhibition of Inducible Nitric Oxide (iNOS), a pro-inflammatory enzyme.
There is a growing consensus among nutritional scientists that low-grade inflammation is a major contributory factor in many common ailments. As such, curcumin’s multi-faceted actions in reducing inflammation means that it has great potential.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin have created an interest amongst scientists studying cardiovascular disease. As a result, there is now evidence suggesting that curcumin may indeed have a supportive role in cardiovascular health. Atherosclerosis, a serious and progressive condition, refers to the build-up of fatty deposits (plaques) in the walls of the arteries. Amongst the many causative factors for this condition are inflammation and oxidative stress within the vessel wall. Studies have shown curcumin’s anti-atherosclerotic actions are wide-ranging, but include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Additionally, studies show that curcumin plays a role in the modulation of cholesterol homeostasis and the inhibition of platelet aggregation.10 In patients with coronary heart disease, the administration of curcumin resulted in a reduction of total and LDL cholesterol.
Another study reported that 10mg of curcumin given twice daily for 2 weeks significantly lowered plasma fibrinogen (a blood clotting factor) levels in humans with atherosclerosis.
By simultaneously working on multiple inflammatory pathways, curcumin’s role in the management of both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis shows promise.