Inflammation is the body’s immune system reacting to a potentially dangerous or foreign stimulus.  The immune cells release substances called inflammatory mediators that will cause a number of bodily responses, such as redness, heat, swelling, pain and loss of function.

Usually, the inflammation process is very helpful to the body and means the immune system is working well. However, sometimes in prolonged circumstances the immune system will begin to attack its own healthy cells.  Chronic inflammation and the toxins produced by the immune response can harm healthy tissue and become a cause of serious illnesses, such as arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease and Alzheimer’s.  Turmeric can work to reduce inflammation by lowering the levels of two inflammatory enzymes.  It can therefore lessen the severity of inflammation by acting on multiple biochemical targets at once. 

Curcumin has been proven to be a powerful antioxidant based off many scientific studies.  Oxidation is a normal function that results from most cell processes.  However, when oxygen is metabolised it creates unstable molecules called ‘free radicals’.  The body can cope with some free radicals, however, an overload of free radicals can cause damage over time and lead to certain degenerative diseases and an increased risk of cancer.

The molecules within turmeric can help to prevent some of the damage caused by free radicals by neutralising them and stimulating the production of the body’s natural antioxidant enzymes.  

SOURCES
Andreae S. Lexikon der Krankheiten und Untersuchungen. Stuttgart: Thieme; 2008.
Longo DL, Fauci AS, Kasper DL, Hauser SL, Jameson JL, Loscalzo J. Harrison’s Principles of internal medicine. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies. 18th ed; 2011.
Pschyrembel W. Klinisches Wörterbuch. Berlin: De Gruyter; 2014.
Fadus MCLau CBikhchandani JLynch HT. “Curcumin: An age-old anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic agent.” J Tradit Complement Med. 2016 Sep 9;7(3):339-346.
http://www.livestrong.com/article/298588-benefits-of-turmeric-on-arthritis/