Turmeric Cholesterol Lowering Properties
Turmeric is a plant that is a member of the ginger family. The rhizomes of the plant are often boiled and then dried, at which point the orangey yellow spice becomes the recognizable powder that most people are familiar with. Most often used for cooking; (particularly in Indian cuisine in dishes like curries) turmeric is also useful in the making of dyes and as a coloring for foods. However, aside from culinary and manufacturing applications, turmeric also has other uses, such as those in medicine. In fact, turmeric has been useful for several millennia for a wide variety of maladies including gastrointestinal problems and liver troubles. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant and antiviral. It may also however, be one of many natural cholesterol lowering remedies. Yes, studies have recently shown that the turmeric cholesterol link may in fact be significant, making the bitter yellow spice perhaps a wise inclusion into the diets of those battling less than optimal LDL cholesterol numbers.
The usage of herbs for cholesterol reduction is not a new notion. In fact, many natural cholesterol lowering supplements harness the powerful compounds found in nature to help lower bad cholesterol without the side effects of medications. When combined with dietary considerations, exercise and other healthy lifestyle choices, some natural cholesterol lowering supplements may be able to help boost efforts and markedly reduce cholesterol. These supplements to lower cholesterol use various herbal helpers like garlic, ginger, artichoke extract, fenugreek and many others to prevent a rise in bad cholesterol in numerous ways. Some even capitalize on the turmeric cholesterol relationship, and include the pungent spice in their concoctions as well.
So what is it about turmeric that is so effective against cholesterol? Well, turmeric is not a one trick pony. The spice provides protection against cardiovascular related illnesses in two ways, according to The World’s Healthiest Foods. From a cholesterol lowering standpoint, the curcumin compound found in the spice is what is thought to be responsible for these positive effects. The curcumin talks to liver cell genes via sent messages and tells them what to do. These messages instruct the genes to ramp up their manufacture of mRNA, proteins that dictate bad cholesterol receptors. The increase in the amount of these bad cholesterol receptors means that the cells of the liver are more effectively able to boot bad cholesterol from the body. However amazing this molecular transaction may appear, it is not the only way that turmeric cholesterol benefits are apparent.
There are some small studies that have shown that the curcumin and vitamin B6 found in turmeric may be useful in preventing the cholesterol from oxidizing within the body, according to The World’s Healthiest Foods. When cholesterol becomes oxidized, the potential for blood vessels to become injured becomes more likely. This is because cholesterol that has become oxidized is the substance responsible for forming arterial plaques. Curcumin may be effective in slowing this oxidation process. Further, the turmeric cholesterol connection may also be related to vitamin B6, of which turmeric is abundant. Vitamin B6 keeps homocysteine (a compound that damages vessels) in check, and thus has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular illness.
Turmeric can be taken many ways in order to reap its heart healthy benefits. One way of course is simply ingestion, as the spice can be added to a huge variety of whole and healthy foods and main dishes for both added flavor and healthful benefit. However, another way to enjoy turmeric is in tea form. Dr. Weil discusses the benefits of the tea and notes that tea provides a suitable means to get the quantity of turmeric needed in order to obtain any healthful benefits. An easy way to make a cholesterol tea that contains turmeric is to add one teaspoon of the powder to four cups of boiling water. After allowing ten minutes of time for simmering, the beverage needs to be strained. Such cholesterol lowering tea can benefit from flavorings like honey or lemon at this stage in order to be made more enjoyable. In terms of overall benefit, using tea to harness the power of the turmeric cholesterol relationship is an excellent means of ingestion. It provides an ample dose of turmeric’s powerful compounds, in a delightful and relaxing beverage.
Turmeric is an important spice from both a historical and future perspective on natural healing. The delicate substances it contains can provide numerous benefits to increasing overall health and even potentially alleviating illnesses. However, it is important to remember that natural and herbal remedies are often not an appropriate means to lower cholesterol fast. For persons with elevated and unsafe levels of bad cholesterol, medications may be necessary. Unlike natural and herbal products, medications are able to lower cholesterol fast – much quicker than lifestyle and dietary considerations can, therefore reducing health perils in higher risk persons. It is also important that if you are considering benefiting from the turmeric cholesterol link that you discuss it with your doctor first. While normally considered safe, your doctor may want to discuss precautions with you about using turmeric relative to your particular situation.