What Are the Benefits of Curcumin or Turmeric?

Curcumin, a substance in turmeric, is thought to be an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, but there is little evidence suggesting its health benefits, according to WebMD. Some evidence suggests that it may be effective in alleviating symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Curcumin, a spice that is heavily used in India and many parts of Asia, has also been studied due to its possible anti-cancer properties, notes WebMD. It may help treat skin problems, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, HIV and gastrointestinal issues, but more evidence and research are needed before broad medicinal statements can be made with regard turmeric or curcumin.

Curcumin and turmeric have long been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for treatment of gastrointestinal issues. The spices are mixed with ointments to help treat bowel problems, stomach issues, fatigue and arthritis. Studies propose that curcumin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a potential remedy to prevent and fight cancer. The National Institutes of Health advises users to take the compound in moderation to avoid side effects such as stomach upset, irritation and diarrhea.

Curcumin in turmeric has potential healing properties for a variety of diseases, ranging from obesity to arthritis. Research by Arthritis Foundation indicates that curcumin has the potential of blocking certain inflammatory enzymes responsible for swelling, stiffness and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The spices have the potential of lowering blood triglyceride levels, controlling the risk of heart diseases. Some lab studies link curcumin and turmeric as a possible remedy for Alzheimer’s disease, uveitis, stomach ulcers and colitis.