Curcumin seems to be gaining momentum in the supplement space, and it’s not too surprising why.
Studies show it has a number of health benefits, including reducing inflammation and joint pain.
That said, it’s not as simple as eating a bunch of turmeric. If you want to get the most out of curcumin, you need to take the right amount of the right type.
In this podcast, you’re going to learn what curcumin is, what it’s benefits are, the best type of curcumin to take (and how much), and more.
3:24 – What is curcumin?
4:35 – Why do people supplement with curcumin?
12:48 – How can curcumin help your body?
22:27 – What are the side effects of curcumin?
Mentioned on the Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hey there, and thank you for joining me for another episode of Muscle For Life. I’m your host, Mike Matthews, and today I’m gonna be talking about a supplement that I like, which is Curcumin, which is getting more and more buzz these days, and for many different reasons. In fact, Curcumin is recommended.
All kinds of things ranging from joint pain to mental health. And many people say that it is a natural way to lower inflammation levels, to make your joints joint better, improve your mood, improve your cognition. And on the other hand, other people say that curcumin is really just a quack herbal remedy that has no.
Whatsoever or they acknowledge that curcumin can have health benefits, but they say you don’t need to supplement with it. You can just get it from food. And so those are some of the things I’m going to talk about in today’s podcast. And as I’ve already mentioned, I like curcumin. So I am going to recommend that you consider supplementing with it.
It is not essential, of course, but I think it’s worth considering. And I’m also going to explain why you should. Supplementing with it as opposed to just eating more curry. Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p one-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and all circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible, and we can do the same.
We make getting fitter, leaner, and stronger. Paint by numbers simple by carefully managing every aspect of your training and your diet for you. Basically, we take out all of the guesswork, so all you have to do is follow the plan and watch your body change day after day, week after week and month after month.
What’s more, we’ve. That people are often missing just one or two crucial pieces of the puzzle. And I bet a shiny shackle, it’s the same with you. You’re probably doing a lot of things right, but dollars to donuts, there’s something you’re not doing correctly or at all that’s giving you the most grief.
Maybe it’s your calories or your macros, maybe it’s your exercise. Select. Maybe it’s your food choices. Maybe you’re not progressively overloading your muscles, or maybe it’s something else, and whatever it is, here’s what’s important. Once you identify those one or two things you’re missing, once you figure it out, that’s when everything finally clicks.
That’s when you start making serious progress, and that’s exactly what we do for our clients. To learn more, head over to www.by legion.com. That’s bui legion.com/v. And schedule your free consultation call, which by the way is not a high pressure sales call. It’s really just a discovery call where we get to know you better and see if you’re a good fit for the service.
And if you’re not for any reason, we will be able to share resources that’ll point you in the right. Direction. So again, if you appreciate my work and if you want to see more of it, and if you also want to finally stop spinning your wheels and make more progress in the next few months than you did in the last few years, check out my VIP coaching [email protected] legion.com/vip.
Okay, let’s start this discussion with a quick explanation of what curcumin is. So it is the main molecule that’s in turmeric, which is the main spice in curry flavored foods, and it’s called curcumin because the official name of the plant is Curcuma. Long, and it’s one of a few compounds that are collectively known as Curcuminoids, and curcumin is the most common one in turmeric and in ginger as well, which many people don’t know.
And while curcumin is not the only compound in those spices, it has been researched a lot for. A few decades now since it seems to affect the body, even when you just ingest the spices, which is pretty cool and pretty unique. And then of course, scientists went from there to extracting the exact molecules they wanted and concentrating them into supplements, and then a whole new World Oak.
Opened up and for the purpose of this podcast, I’m gonna be talking about curcumin supplements, just to be specific rather than the food itself. I am going to talk briefly about Curry, and again, why curcumin supplements are better if we’re talking about getting health benefits than just eating more.
Curry. So let’s talk about some of the marketing surrounding curcumin. Why are people supplementing with this stuff? Uh, the main reason people buy curcumin is to reduce joint pain that’s caused by inflammation. And if you just browse around on Amazon, for example, look at the curcumin supplements and look at some of the marketing and a lot of it revolves around joint pain in particular.
And that’s not though how the research on that molecule. Began. It started with a very simple goal. We have a lot of people who are eating this stuff and we know nothing about it, and that might be a little bit concerning. And when there’s a molecule that’s found in a very common and popular food scientists do like to see if it helps or harms or if it really doesn’t have any effect at all.
To do that, they need to get at least enough evidence to prove that it doesn’t do much of anything. And sometimes with such research, you get practical outcomes. You get practical findings that even medical doctors appreciate. Like, for example, uh, eat a few servings of fatty fish every week and especially when you’re pregnant.
And if you’re not gonna do that supplement with some omega three s through a fish oil or acry oil, or even an ala plant based supple. And then there are sometimes practical tips that, uh, come out of this kind of research regarding things we should avoid doing, right? So don’t eat a lot of certain types of fish that have a lot of mercury in them, for example.
And if the. Food that is being researched has benefits that scientists can trace back to a specific molecule. Then what happens is people start to wonder what’ll happen if we concentrate that molecule into a powder and throw that powder into a pill and swallow it every day? Now, that sounds like a pretty good plan, but usually, Doesn’t work out because isolated compounds often don’t do very much, or they don’t do the thing that scientists are after.
They don’t do the thing that scientists see When people ingest the food that contains the compounds. What also often happens when the molecule is isolated and concentrated is the results are not. That great. They’re not as good as the results seen in the food, and they’re not as good as other stuff that’s already on the market.
So, for example, if a molecule improved blood flow and did nothing else, it just improved blood flow. And if making a supplement. Out of it would cost consumers, let’s say $20 a bottle and a bottle lasts a month. And let’s say though that it improves blood flow to a lesser degree than just grape seed extract, which is very cheap than why bother, right?
It’s not an exciting product. There’s no real reason to bring it to market, and many, many plants and compounds. Fall into that bucket. Their actions are either not unique or they’re not potent or cheap enough to be interesting to the scientists or the consumers. Percumin though is a winner because it has unique effects, very unique actually, and it’s probably as popular as it is because scientists just kept finding new things that it.
Well, I mean, there’s a lot of research on curcumin, and if you take abstracts at face value, it can sound almost like a cure all, and that’s why curcumin has been marketed like that. It has been marketed like a natural panacea. Unfortunately though for all of its benefits, curcumin cannot fill those shoes.
No natural supplement can so beware any supplement seller who claims that anything can do everything. So let’s get into those benefits and specifically the ones that we should actually. Care about. So let’s talk about inflammation because that’s kind of a preface to how curcumin helps the body. So inflammation refers to actions of the immune system specifically.
So you can think of the immune system as the police force of the body, right? It can go anywhere and it can support, or it can suppress different functions depending on what those actions are directed to do. So the process of strengthen. Bolstering, repairing, growing, defending. That’s what we refer to as inflammation.
It’s very good in small amounts when it’s needed, but if you try to force that stuff to happen when it’s not needed, or if you try to force it to go on for longer than it needs to go on for the body at a microscopic level, it starts to harm itself. Now, anti-inflammation is passive. It’s rather than trying to shut down.
The borders of the cells due to imminent threats, it simply just lets things happen. So when used medically, it’s called immunosuppression, and it’s usually used when it comes to organ transplants. And you want your body to not reject the organ. You want the immune system to just let things happen. Now, when it comes to the average person though, there’s a balance.
That needs to be struck. Too much inflammation is self-harm, too little inflammation actually lets infectious parasites have free reign over your body. So despite this balancing game, on average, many of us are at a higher. Level of inflammation than we would normally like. And a lot of that comes down to lifestyle choices.
Eating poorly, not exercising enough, not sleeping enough, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol on and on and on. Too much stress, et cetera. Now, because of that, for many people, anti-inflammatory compounds are a bit more important to include in their diet and in their lifestyle than inflammatory ones. And curcumin is a powerful.
Anti-inflammatory supplement, and it’s rather unique because it does a few things. It inhibits an enzyme called Cox Cyclooxygenase in a method that’s similar to a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and curcumin has a preference for one of the co enzymes, in particular known as Coxs two, and it prefers that one over Cox one and inhibiting both of those CAS enzymes at the same time.
Is. Potent. The effect is larger, of course, but can also lead to some unwanted intestinal side effects like ulceration. That’s something we see with NSA IDs and curcumin though. It just inhibits that CO to specifically so you don’t run into the common side effects that are associated with taking NSA ds.
Now, if that’s all curcumin did was inhibit COX two, it would make it safe, but it would be rather weak, however, It also inhibits another enzyme called lipo oxygenase or lox, and that makes it more powerful as an anti-inflammatory supplement, and it also makes it a bit more safe than something that would inhibit both cos one and Cox two.
And so curcumin suppresses those cosin locks enzymes, which turn anti-inflammatory molecules into inflammatory ones, and that lowers inflammation. Levels as opposed to acting on the cells genome or its storage of genetic data. So curcumin is more of an indirect type of inhibition of inflammation compared to something like aspirin or ibuprofen, which directly block those enzymes ability to act on cells.
And curcumin actually does a lot more than just limiting the actions of the Coxs and locks enzymes. Those mechanisms are not necessary for the discussion I wanted to have with you today, which is just the primary benefits of curcumin and those come from the suppression of the Cox and locks enzymes.
If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p one-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped. All ages and circumstances, lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible. And we can do the same for you.
Okay, so curcumin is a potent and it’s a safe anti-inflammatory. Now let’s talk about how that can help your body. Let’s talk about joint health because again, that is currently the number one marketing button used to sell curcumin supplements. Now, what do I mean by joint? Health? Well, I’m talking about issues that pertain mostly to the knees, hips, and back, that come from either exercise or just physical activity using your body or age related degenerative diseases.
So in practice, this means that people with poor joint health tend to experience creaky joints, particularly creaky knees, joint pain when they’re moving or exercising. Especi. If they haven’t been moving for a bit and then they get moving and their joints initially hurt and they have to get warmed up for their joints not to hurt many people with poor joint health experience, a reduced range of motion and an overall reduced quality of life because basically every movement that they make is accompanied by at least some degree of pain or discomfort or inconvenience.
Joint pain sucks. Now people with good joint. They just don’t experience any of those things. It’s one of those things where you just don’t know how good you have it until you don’t have it anymore. That’s joint health Now, curcumin has been investigated thoroughly for its role in joint health because of how it has similar mechanisms in the body to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and we know those drugs help reduce joint pain and help people.
Function better. And so if a very strong anti-inflammatory drug can help, then the theory was, hey, maybe curcumin can help as well. And studies show that that is the case. Common measurements of joint mobility, joint pain, and quality of life all seem to be improved by curcumin when compared to a placebo.
And at this point there is a large body of evidence for this. A lot of well designed, well executed human trials. We have research reviews, we have meta-analyses. The weight of the evidence is very clear. Curcumin can help improve. Joint health, but there is a catch. Curcumin is poorly absorbed in the intestines, so much so that if you take it by itself, you are probably not going to experience any benefits at all.
You need to take it with another supplement called Black Pepper Extract, which has been shown to enhance the absorption. Or you can take the form that has been used in many studies. It’s a patented product called Marva, or Meriva, M E R I. And it is not just curcumin, but it is curcumin plus lety, or the technical term phosphide choline.
So if you look at research on meriva, you’re gonna see phosphide, choline, curcumin complex, and that is lethicin plus curcumin. And when you put them together in the way that the compound is created, You greatly enhance absorption and in my joint supplement in Legion’s, fortify, that’s the name of the product, fortify.
For a while we were using Curcumin plus black pepper extract because Phosphide Curcumin was merva. That product was very expensive. I wanted to use it, but it was just not worth allotting that much of the. To the product when we could get the same effects with a much less expensive option. However, now that Legion has grown and I’ve been able to leverage those economies of scale and bring product costs down, I’ve been able to replace the curcumin and black pepper extract with the Meriva compound, and I wanted to do that for two reasons.
That is the exact product used in a lot of the research that’s worth something. And two, the black pepper extract in particular can have negative interactions with certain medications. It’s not common or a major risk, which is why basically every curcumin supplement on the market that is not meriva is curcumin plus black pepper extract.
And the FDA has not expressed any concerns over this. But again, I figured if I can use the exact molecule used in a lot of the best research. And I can eliminate a very small risk that maybe somebody just can’t take the product because they are taking certain medications, then why not? Anyway, going back to curcumin and it’s anti-inflammatory benefits and particularly in the joints, it’s pretty neat because when you compare.
It to other drugs known as references in research because you don’t want to know just that curcumin, quote unquote works. You need to know how well it works. You need to know if it works better than what people are already taking, for example. And there are studies that show that curcumin actually works better than diclofenac sodium and about as well as ibuprofen.
And that’s pretty cool because curcumin is a natural supplement with fewer side effects than those drugs. With other benefits. Now let’s talk about another one of those benefits, which has to do with depression. How can curcumin possibly help with depression? Well, research shows that depression and inflammation are linked to a degree, and as curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory supplement, scientist wondered if it could help.
With depression, and it turns out that it may, for example, there are three different studies that showed that curcumin benefits major depression, people with major depression, it can reduce the symptoms. There are three other studies that showed nonsignificant benefits, meaning that there were benefits that seemed to occur, but they didn’t seem to amount to much, they weren’t up to the accepted level that scientists would put their faith in.
And there’s. Trial that I know of, that was a failure. So yeah, that’s a pretty good weight of the evidence so far. There does seem to be a positive trend, and hopefully there’s gonna be more research because different studies use different measurements of what it means to help depression. And so you’re not really comparing like with like, but again, the current outlook.
Positive. That said, the benefits did seem to be contingent upon how depressed people were. The more depressed they were, the more beneficial the curcumin supplements seemed to be. So if someone’s dealing with minor depression, for example, curcumin may not be able to help there. So while it is not exactly accurate to call curcumin an antidepressant period, it does seem to be able to help some people who are dealing with depression.
Now, the next benefit of curcumin that I want to talk to has to do with metabolic syndrome, which is a term that’s used to refer to a state that. People reach when they live very unhealthily. That’s usually why. And they have become obese with pre-diabetes and also they have elevated cardiovascular risk factors and this.
Condition metabolic syndrome could be described at least in part by the body, just getting used to high levels of inflammation and oxidation rather than regulating these processes. Instead, these processes just get perpetuated and amplified, and the body just basically keeps flogging itself until it fails.
Now, what is interesting about metabolic syndrome is people who have this. Condition may not technically have any disease state yet. They may, but they may not. But generally the stability of their health is poor. It is a house of cards and a hurricane is coming now. Diet and exercise are obviously needed.
Those are the go-to options. No supplements could ever replace those things in treating metabolic syndrome, but many compounds have been researched to help with that to. Ease the process of losing weight and of getting fitter and eating better, or just speeding the results up a little bit before the disease can really manifest itself now due to a combination of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Curcumin is a winner for people with metabolic syndrome. It reduces inflammatory measurements in the blood. It increases anti-inflammatory ones. It increases antioxidant measurements. Studies also show that curcumin can improve lipids and blood glucose levels when it’s being taken concurrent to weight loss.
And it also can reduce LDL cholesterol levels so it can help convert the more harmful form of cholesterol to a. Harmful form, and so practically speaking then Curcumin is a great supplement for people who are very overweight and who are pre-diabetic or have diabetes even, and who are working to lose that weight and get to a healthy body composition.
All right, so those are the main benefits that you can expect from supplementing with curcumin. There are other things, but those are the ones that most people are after. One other thing I’ll mention that’s kind of interesting is PMs, you probably have not heard that curcumin can reduce symptoms of PMs, but there are at least two studies that have shown that, which is pretty cool because for a while Chase Berry was the only evidence based option for women.
Trying to alleviate symptoms of PMs, and that’s in Legion’s, multivitamin for women. By the way, triumph for Women has chased Berry, and so anyway, there is evidence that curcumin may be able to help here as well. All right, so what about side effects? Does Curcumin have any side effects? The great news is at this time, It does not appear to have any major side effects.
I mean, every now and then a study will find that a few subjects report some gastrointestinal distress, but the amount of those side effects, the effect size is pretty low. And many supplements report those side effects. For example, we at Legion, we hear from people every so often who get an upset stomach from creatine.
They just can’t take creatine any form, upsets their stomach within 10 minutes of swallow. Their stomach is not feeling good. They’re getting gassy, they’re getting bloated, maybe even a little bit of pain, and that’s unfortunate, but that is common with supplements. Some people’s bodies just do not do well with certain supplements.
Okay, well if you’re still listening, chances are. You are either taking curcumin or you are now considering taking curcumin. And I mentioned this earlier, but I just want to repeat it very quickly that if you’re gonna supplement with curcumin, you wanna make sure that you are taking a supplement that has curcumin plus black pepper extract or has meriva, the phosphide choline compound where you havein and curcumin combined.
And if you want to try my joint support supplement that has. The marrow of a compound, as well as other stuff that reduces joint pain and inflammation and improves joint health. You can find it [email protected] and it’s called Fortify. All right. Well, that’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful.
And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or. Wherever you’re listening to me from, in whichever app you’re listening to me in, because that not only convinces people that they should check out the show, it also increases search visibility. And thus, it helps more people find their way to me and learn how to get fitter, leaner, stronger, healthier, and happier as well.
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And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.
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