Does Turmeric Lower Bad Cholesterol?
If you’ve ever eaten Oriental or Middle Eastern foods, you’ve probably come across turmeric. Turmeric is a yellow powder that is used as a food coloring and spice in a variety of foods. Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and has been used by herbalists for centuries to treat inflammation, infections and various gastrointestinal disorders.
If you want to lower your LDL levels naturally, you may find the answer in the spice rack. However, It’s not the first thing that comes to mind for healthy cholesterol, but studies have shown that one of the benefits of turmeric is that it’s one of the best natural ways to lower cholesterol levels.
Why choose turmeric
Using turmeric in cases of hypercholesterolemia is beneficial because it contains a compound called curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and prevent oxidation by removing plaque buildup in the arteries.
However, this is far from the full benefit of curcumin. Recent studies have shown that this spice has a wide range of therapeutic effects on LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol), cardiovascular health and more.
More specifically, turmeric’s benefits appear to include its ability to prevent cholesterol production in the liver, block cholesterol absorption in the intestines, and reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the artery walls.
From treating arthritis to preventing cancer, turmeric has no shortage of uses. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have also been shown to be effective in treating digestive disorders such as IBS and IBD.
New evidence also suggests that turmeric can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels under certain conditions. This study is good news for anyone looking to stabilize blood lipid levels and improve cardiovascular function.
Before we review this, we need to explain a little more about hypercholesterolemia, blood lipids and triglycerides.
How does it work?
Turmeric contains the chemical curcumin. Chemicals such as curcumin in turmeric are thought to reduce swelling (inflammation). Therefore, turmeric may help treat diseases related to inflammation.
In the early 1990s, studies began to confirm some of the links between turmeric and cholesterol, as well as the therapeutic effects of turmeric on the cardiovascular system, particularly in lowering LDL cholesterol. One of the first small studies showed that curcumin in turmeric can lower LDL cholesterol in humans.
For example, in a study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 10 healthy volunteers were given 500 mg of curcumin daily for 7 days. The results showed a 33% reduction in oxidized LDL cholesterol in the blood, as well as an 11.63% reduction in total cholesterol and a 29% increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Some, but not all, recent studies have confirmed the effect of curcumin on lowering LDL cholesterol. In a recent study, curcumin supplementation lowered triglycerides but had no effect on other lipids (e.g., LDL cholesterol). In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, obese participants were given 1 g of curcumin or placebo daily. Triglycerides were significantly reduced only 30 days after curcumin supplementation.
In this study, curcumin had no effect on total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol levels, indicating the efficacy of turmeric, but other studies have found curcumin supplementation to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
How can curcumin be used to lower LDL naturally?
By studying the effects of turmeric and the effects of curcumin in animals, researchers were able to better understand curcumin and how it lowers LDL cholesterol.
Curcumin can control LDL cholesterol and its dangerous effects on arteries through several mechanisms. It prevents the production of cholesterol by the liver, increases the amount of LDL cholesterol removed from the body by the liver, and prevents intestinal absorption of cholesterol.
Studies have also shown that curcumin decreases inflammation and reduces oxidative damage. These two processes can damage blood vessels and lead to plaque buildup, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, so preventing these two processes can help reduce the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries due to cholesterol and plaque buildup).
In mice with high LDL cholesterol, curcumin not only lowered LDL cholesterol levels, but also triglycerides and C-reactive protein (CRP), markers of systemic inflammation.
In addition, curcumin prevented the early stages of aortic atherosclerosis in mice and inhibited the process of cholesterol synthesis in the liver. This shows that the benefits of curcumin longa for cardiovascular health are significant.
Why curcumin in turmeric?
Turmeric’s powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have many benefits for the body. Numerous studies have shown that turmeric can lower blood sugar levels, stabilize blood pressure, and even detoxify the liver.
For these reasons, researchers believe turmeric may have an effect on blood lipid levels. This article reviews research on curcumin’s ability to lower cholesterol and triglycerides and build healthy blood lipids.
Spices in the diet may lower LDL levels
If you have high LDL cholesterol, coronary heart disease, or other cardiovascular diseases, you may want to supplement with curcumin to naturally lower LDL cholesterol and prevent dangerous effects on your cardiovascular system. Adding turmeric to your diet is also a great way to discover the various benefits of this colorful spice.
- Try adding turmeric to your curry.
- Try adding turmeric and cumin to lentil soup.
- Add the spice to sautéed onions or cauliflower.
- Mix turmeric with plain yogurt, omega-3 rich mayonnaise, salt and pepper to make a creamy vegetable-based sauce.
Excellent for arthritis, memory and fatigue
The benefits of turmeric are not limited to the cardiovascular system. If you suffer from any type of inflammation, such as arthritis, cognitive or memory problems, chronic fatigue or gastrointestinal inflammation, you may want to consider turmeric as effective as any other natural healing agent in promoting the body’s inflammatory processes.
Sore throat relief
Feeling a sore throat? Try the home remedy turmeric tea mentioned in this article from Rural.com.
When taking turmeric supplements, it is also important to remember that to get the most out of turmeric, it needs to be taken in some specific ways to increase its bioavailability, as turmeric has a low absorption rate in the digestive tract.
The benefits of turmeric are undeniable and this supplement or spice added to your diet should be considered as a long-term strategy for those who want to improve their health naturally.