Curcumin as Powerful as Exercise for Cardiovascular Health
Everyone knows exercise is good for the heart. We should all strive for at least a good 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. But no matter how hard we try, this isn’t always easy to do. Work deadlines, family events and other commitments often deter even the most dedicated exerciser from their normal routine.
If this sounds familiar, you’ll be glad to hear that curcumin, the compound found in curry spice, may offer heart-healthy benefits that are similar to those you get from regular exercise. (Though, if you’ve ever looked into the impressive research behind curcumin you’re probably not surprised. It seems there’s nothing this “Healing “King of All Spices” can’t do.)
Can you even imagine your daily routine without your ability to see well? According to the National Eye Institute, nearly 40 million American adults suffer from serious vision impairment and eye problems.
But deteriorating vision is not an inevitable part of aging! There is one simple thing you can do to help maintain sharp, crystal clear vision into your 60s, 70s, 80s and even beyond.
Curcumin Found to Be as Powerful as Exercise for Cardiovascular Health
A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension recently compared the effects of taking 150 mg of curcumin daily versus exercise among two groups of postmenopausal women.
The exercisers started out with a 30 minute low-intensity exercise session three days a week. As their performance improved, this was increased to higher intensity workouts lasting 40 to 60 minutes per session. (The curcumin group was instructed not to change their activity level.)
At the end of eight weeks, both groups showed similar improvements in blood pressure and endothelial function.
In other words, it didn’t matter if a participant exercised or took curcumin. In either case he or she experienced the same physiological changes that help reduce the build up of plaque and development of blockages in the arteries.
But this isn’t all that curcumin can do for your heart health.
The Curcumin Spice Improves Markers of Heart Health
The study’s authors also discovered that curcumin increased nitric oxide bioavailability. This is a gaseous molecule produced by the endothelial cells of the arteries. And it has an important job to do.
Nitric oxide is crucial when it comes to keeping the arteries smooth, relaxed and elastic. As a result, it plays a major role in maintaining a healthy circulatory system. It keeps blood flowing smoothly through the arteries and helps regulate blood pressure.
Curcumin has also been shown to decrease the oxidation of cholesterol. This is of particular interest, since oxidized LDL particles are the ones that slip into the inner linings of your arteries and become deadly.
As a matter of fact, curcumin works so well to improve cardiovascular health that when a team of researchers tested it on heart attack patients after bypass surgery, the results were stunning.
The risk of a second heart attack during hospitalization dropped from 30% in the placebo group to only 13.1% in the curcumin group. Additionally, the patients taking curcumin experienced a reduction in several markers associated with oxidative stress, inflammation and heart disease.
1. Akazawa N, et al. Curcumin ingestion and exercise training improve vascular endothelial function in postmenopausal women. Nutr Res. 2012 Oct;32(10):795-9.
2. Santos-Parker JR, et al. Curcumin supplementation improves vascular endothelial function in healthy middle-aged and older adults by increasing nitric oxide bioavailability and reducing oxidative stress. Aging (Albany NY). 2017 Jan 3;9(1):187-208.
3. Miquel J, et al. The curcuma antioxidants: pharmacological effects and prospects for future clinical use. A review. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2002 Feb;34(1):37-46.
4. Wongcharoen W, et al. Effects of curcuminoids on frequency of acute myocardial infarction after coronary artery bypass grafting. Am J Cardiol. 2012 Jul 1;110(1):40-4.
Dana Nicholas is a freelance writer and researcher in the field of natural and alternative healing. She has over 20 years of experience working with many noted health authors and anti-aging professionals, including James Balch, M.D., Dr. Linda Page, “Amazon” John Easterling and Al Sears M.D. Dana’s goal is to keep you up-to-date on information, news and breakthroughs that can have a direct impact on your health, your quality of life… and your lifespan. “I’m absolutely convinced that America’s misguided trust in mainstream medicine – including reliance on the government to regulate our food and medicine supply – is killing us, slowly but surely,” she cautions. “By sharing what I’ve learned throughout the years I hope I can empower others to take control over their own health.”