Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) and one of its active constituents, Curcumin, have many health benefits including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral and anti-thrombotic properties.
Colds and Flu have a wide range of clinical manifestations, ranging from upper respiratory infections to critical illness like pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Flu can also cause a hyperinflammatory condition called a cytokine storm. This emphasizes the need for a strong anti- inflammatory treatment to alleviate the over activation of the immune response, which causes this cytokine storm. Greater severity and mortality rates are associated to people who have hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, advanced age and obesity.
In a recent randomised, double blinded clinical trial published on the NCBI PubMed.gov Website, a group of patients in a Health Centre were given a Curcumin supplement with Piperine to see what the effects would be. Patients in their control group were given a dose of Probiotics twice a day and the patients in their study group where given Curcumin (525mg) and Piperine (2.5mg) in a tablet twice a day.
The group who received the Curcumin showed better clinical outcomes than the control group. The study group showed early symptomatic recovery of their coughs, fever, sore throat and breathlessness. Better ability to maintain their oxygen saturation levels above 94% and less deterioration. The study group also had reduced time spent in hospital.
It was concluded in their outcomes that Curcumin with Piperine could substantially reduce morbidity and mortality and is a safe, natural adjuvant therapy for treatment.
In another medical journal Cureus Published Sept 08, 2021, a peer-reviewed case reported two cases of patients who had lost their sense of smell and taste. One patient had symptoms for over 45 days, after taking just one Turmeric capsule (1000mg) with Piperine, experienced complete restoration of smell and taste within ten minutes of consuming. Curcumin has been shown to bind and block the active site of Mpro, the main protease utilized by the virus to produce proteins required from viral genomic RNA. Curcumin found in Turmeric may also hinder the formation of spike protein ACE2, preventing viral entry into cells and the anti-inflammatory properties of Turmeric may reduce nasal mucosal swelling.
To get the safest and most health benefits it is best consuming Turmeric and not just a Curcumin extract, just as eating an orange is better for your health than just taking a vitamin C pill. Curcumin is one of the most commonly known compounds found in Turmeric. But Turmeric contains more than three other curcuminoids and Turmerones which also contribute to Turmeric’s natural health properties. Various chemical constituents have also been isolated, including polyphenols, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenoids, sterols, and alkaloids. Turmeric is also nutrient rich being high in Manganese, iron, vitamin B6, copper, potassium and dietary fiber.
As Turmeric is not well retained and absorbed by the body, to make it more bio-available, research shows that it should be taken with a healthy fat, with Piperine found in black pepper and cooking helps release its starches so more easily absorbed.