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TERRY LEMEROND - EUROPHARMA

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Terry Lemerond is a natural health expert with over 45 years of experience. He has owned health food stores, founded dietary supplement companies, and formulated over 400 products. As a published author and radio program host, Terry is in demand as a guest speaker and media commentator on natural health. His continual dedication, energy, and zeal are part of his on-going mission—to improve the health of America.

Is Curcumin the Ultimate Natural Medicine?

By Terry Lemerond

Although the variety of healing botanicals is massive, and the use and research of many of them date back thousands of years, curcumin from turmeric (Curcuma longa) may very well be the ultimate natural medicine. Its use throughout Asia—and now the world—has led to astonishing discoveries of the herb’s many benefits. In India, curcumin consumption has been linked to the reduction of pain and inflammation, lower levels of Alzheimer’s among the population, and many overall health benefits. Current research shows that it protects DNA, stops free radical damage, alleviates arthritis, reduces symptoms of depression, and treats many diseases.

The reason that curcumin from turmeric in the traditional Indian diet is so effective is because it is a part of the diet from childhood, and it’s consumed with the natural oils from turmeric. But if you’ve been eating a standard Western diet for most of your life, simply eating more curry is not the answer. However, curcumin that is extracted from turmeric and then blended with turmeric essential oil has enhanced absorption, blood retention, and the added benefit of turmerones. Additionally, it shows powerful, clinically proven benefits.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

For example, in one study following 45 individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, three groups were randomized to receive either a prescription drug (diclofenac sodium), curcumin (BCM-95®) alone, or curcumin (BCM-95) combined with the drug. The results for curcumin were impressive: it was more effective than diclofenac sodium at reducing joint pain and swelling, and combining it with the drug was no more effective than using curcumin alone. Taking the drug alone was actually less effective.

Curcumin promotes neurogenesis and stops the damage of inflammation in the brain. It has been shown to reduce beta-amyloid levels and shrink the size of accumulated plaques in experimental models of Alzheimer’s by over 30 percent. It also protects levels of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF helps create neurons and maintains the existing ones. Aside from that, BDNF is an essential element for brain plasticity (how the brain adapts and learns), learning, and other major functions. The fact that curcumin can help preserve the resilience of the mind makes it incredibly valuable.

Curcumin has been shown to be extremely effective in fighting depression, as well. A clinical study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research focused on individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). It compared the efficacy and safety of curcumin enhanced with turmeric essential oil (BCM-95) to the prescription anti-depressive fluoxetine (alone or in combination with curcumin) to determine whether this extract could be a viable therapeutic treatment for patients with MDD.

The best response was in the group using the combination of fluoxetine and curcumin at 77.8 percent. But a striking comparison between the single-therapy groups—fluoxetine at 64.7 percent and curcumin at 62.5 percent—shows them scoring almost exactly the same.

Curcumin Is Effective

There are two important conclusions from the result of this study. First, curcumin worked as well as the prescription drug fluoxetine in terms of the measurable changes in the HAMD-17 score from baseline to six weeks of treatment. Second, this study provides the first human clinical indication that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe treatment for patients with MDD without causing concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders, which are side effects often seen in prescription drugs.

For tumor reduction and cancer prevention, there are few alternatives that work along as many pathways as curcumin. In one example, curcumin was found capable of “reawakening” the sleeping genes that power the body’s own tumor suppression activity that keep cancerous tumors from growing and spreading.

Curcumin can increase the activity of cancer drugs and helps cancer drugs kill tumors more efficiently, and protects normal cells from the toxic effects of cancer treatments. In fact, a recent clinical trial showed that curcumin decreased the severity of adverse effects of radiation therapy on the urinary tract in men with prostate cancer.

I think more discoveries about the benefits of this compound are yet to come. The right curcumin, enhanced with turmeric essential oil for added absorption, blood retention, and the added strength of turmerones, deserves top billing in everyone’s list of natural medicines.