Nutraceuticals are naturally occurring compounds that have a therapeutic benefit. This includes vitamins and plant-sourced compounds like antioxidants and inorganic sources – especially minerals extracted from rocks, soils and sea water.
Nutraceuticals can also be copies of compounds our bodies make, such as enzyme Q10 for energy and Alpha Lipoic acid for nerve support.
Do a search for ‘curcumin’ in Google Scholar and you’ll be overwhelmed with the amount and quality of research into curcumin, from turmeric. This is mostly focusses on anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin. You’ll also see studies on using curcumin as part of cancer, autoimmune and mental health nutritional therapy.
It works in the same pathways as common medications. Curcumin helps balance the cyclooxygenase pathway to reduce inflammatory prostaglandins and helps regulate inflammatory cytokines – critical for autoimmune disease management.
The problem with curcumin is its low water solubility and poor absorption. However, adding piperine, a black pepper extract, dramatically increases plasma curcumin levels by inhibiting a liver enzyme that removes it. However, piperine is a gastric irritant and can cause or worsen upper digestive problems.
A few years ago scientists combined curcumin with food starches, which has dramatically improved water solubility of curcumin. The new extract BioSolve eliminates need for piperine, resulting in about eight times’ increase in absorption without causing stomach irritation.
I usually start those with inflammatory issues on 1000mg of BioSolve daily, more in some cases, and reduce it as people improve. For a client with significant nerve pain I added water-soluble curcumin and during three months they’ve much improved.
John Arts (Adv.Dip.Nut.Med) is a nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health Ltd. For questions or advice, call John on 0800 423559 or email: email@example.com Join his newsletter at: www.abundant.co.nz