Turmeric (Curcumin) May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
7 minute read
Since heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, it has become increasingly important to care for your heart. The presence of risk factors for heart disease at midlife increases risk for heart disease in later years. Heart attack risk factors are also associated with future dementia.
| Related: Turmeric (Curcumin) Keeps Old Age at Bay |
There are a number of conditions that come under the term heart disease and equally as many causes; cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, obesity and dysfunctional blood vessels. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one compound that addressed each of the possible causes?
Therapy from Your Kitchen
The good news is that there is a single compound that has been proven to promote heart health and ward off heart diseases. Of course, it is not a miracle cure, and you will need to make some dietary and lifestyle changes, too, but a simple spice will definitely make everything nice.
Turmeric is more commonly known for the rich flavor and golden color it gives to curries, but has also been used in India and China for medicinal purposes for centuries. Luckily for the heart, health of Americans, Western medicine is starting to see the benefit of turmeric.
1. It protects your heart: The properties in turmeric that protect the heart include anti-inflammatory action, antioxidant activity and anti-platelet actions. Cardiac arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm and calcium homeostasis balances calcium levels in the body. Turmeric has been shown to impact calcium homeostasis and combined with its anti-inflammatory properties, arrhythmia can be prevented.
2. Anti-inflammatory properties: Inflammatory conditions like cardiac fibrosis, myocarditis, and atherosclerosis can all trigger serious heart complications. Curcumin, the critical compound in turmeric, has the ability to reduce and inhibit inflammatory cytokines. In addition, curcumin prevents the migration of immune cells to the inflammation site, giving it an opportunity to subside.
3. Antioxidant powers: Antioxidants are good for your overall health but have a significant impact on heart health. Antioxidants like curcumin work to control inflammation and lower cholesterol, which, in turn, lowers your risk for heart disease. The antioxidant power of curcumin is comparable to that of vitamin C and E, which are thought to be the best available. A daily turmeric supplement can reduce the risk of obesity-related cardiac surgery, diabetes, and cardiotoxicity.
4. Protection from heart attacks: Curcumin acts on the genes that affect cardiac repair and function after a heart attack. The impact on inflammation and oxidative damage protect the heart from potential damage. In the event you still suffer a heart attack, a curcumin regimen has been shown to boost cardiac repair. It is therefore strongly encouraged for those undergoing heart surgery or recovery.
5. Reduce risk of atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is characterized by the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels, typically as a result of high cholesterol. The presence of these plaques constricts the vessel, affecting blood flow and blood pressure.
| Related: Studies Prove Turmeric is Good for High Cholesterol |
More strain is placed on the heart, which can cause cardiac damage. Curcumin has the ability to ameliorate lipid/fat levels in the blood, to reduce inflammatory enzyme expression, protect the liver and prevent the formation of fatty streaks (precursor to plaques). There is an overall improvement to metabolic health which prevents atherosclerosis.
6. Benefits myocarditis: Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle and since turmeric possesses such powerful anti-inflammatory properties, it is ideal for this condition. In fact, curcumin acts specifically on the inflammatory enzymes that lead to myocarditis. The inhibition of these provides protection from myocarditis and the immunomodulatory property regulates immune function.
7. Improves vascular function: This is associated with the health of your blood vessels, specifically the balance between substances that support constriction and relaxation. Endothelial dysfunction occurs when there is a state of imbalance. Curcumin added to the diet has been shown to increase flow mediated dilation, which improved endothelial or vascular function.
8. Helps with thrombosis: Thrombosis is a serious condition caused by clot formations. Clots can not only interfere with blood flow, but can become dislodged and move to any area of the body. The anti-platelet property of curcumin is ideal for handling this problem. Studies have found that turmeric is just as effective in treating thrombosis as aspirin and blood thinners.
9. Benefits cardiac fibrosis: This is the scarring of your cardiac tissue and is the underlying cause to many heart diseases. The thicker muscles lead to a reduced size in heart chambers, which can cause arrhythmia. Curcumin is able to reduce collagen synthesis and facilitate collagen breakdown, which benefits those with cardiac fibrosis. It also has the ability to interfere with the enzymes that are responsible for triggering scarring of cardiac tissue.
10. Therapeutic for coronary artery disease: Your coronary arteries are linked directly to your heart via the aorta. Coronary artery disease is characterized by a plaque buildup in these arteries and just so happens to be one of the most common heart diseases.
Curcumin has the ability to prevent the buildup of plaques, just as with atherosclerosis. It also decreases blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels, all of which benefit the health of your heart.
11. Lowers blood pressure: High blood pressure or hypertension places an enormous amount of strain on your heart. Curcumin acts on the angiotensin receptors that are responsible for the regulation of kidney function and blood pressure. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties also help with other aspects of metabolic health that might serve as risk factors for high blood pressure.
12. Lowers cholesterol: Curcumin exerts hypocholesterolemic effects which mean it can lower blood cholesterol. Too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to buildup and blockages, which will damage arterial walls and interfere with blood flow. A low dose curcumin plan can even help boost HDL cholesterol, which is the good version that your body likes.
13. Protects your heart during aging: Each of the unique properties already mentioned in curcumin (turmeric) are excellent natural defenders against the aging process. By supporting heart health, it is sure to beat longer so get your turmeric tea or supplement now.
The Bottom Line
Heart disease is the most common cause of mortality in the world. Risk factors for heart disease are also associated with increased risk for dementia. Turmeric and its active component curcumin are effective at addressing numerous cardiovascular conditions, including atherosclerosis and hypertension.
Turmeric is an effective tool to address many risk factors for multiple types of heart disease and is a beneficial addition to the diet, either through food or even more effectively, as a supplement.
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