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Functional Neurology: Health Benefits and Risks of Turmeric

Functional Neurology: Health Benefits and Risks of Turmeric | El Paso, TX Chiropractor



How often do you feel unclear thoughts or concentration and brain fog? How often do you experience pain, discomfort, and/or inflammation? How often do you feel mental and physical fatigue after eating meals? Inflammation is an essential immune response, however, chronic inflammation, especially in the brain and the joints, can cause a variety of health issues. Fortunately, there are many natural remedies that can help reduce inflammation, including turmeric or curcumin.

Turmeric, sometimes known as Indian saffron or the golden spice, is a tall plant that grows in Central America and Asia. The turmeric that we commonly see on shelves and in spice cabinets is made of the ground roots of the plant. Moreover, the bright yellow color of processed turmeric has inspired many cultures to use it as a dye. Ground turmeric is also the main ingredient in curry powder. Capsules, powders, teas, and extracts are several ways that turmeric is available commercially.

Curcumin is the active ingredient found in turmeric and it has many powerful biological properties. Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Indian system of treatment, recommends utilizing turmeric for a variety of health issues, including chronic pain and inflammation. Western medicine has started to evaluate the use of turmeric as a pain reliever.  In the following article, we will discuss the health benefits and risks of turmeric as well as how these can affect overall health and wellness.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

According to the Arthritis Foundation, research studies in which turmeric has been utilized helped reduce chronic inflammation in the clinical trial participants. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, or curcumin, may help reduce arthritis joint pain and discomfort. Together with other supplements, such as an Nrf2 activator, research studies have shown that these can reduce inflammatory cytokines by dampening NF-κB activity and down-regulating COX, LOX, iNOS, matrix metalloproteiases, INF-a, and interleukines-1, 2, 6, 8, 12 as well as chemokines. The Arthritis Foundation suggests taking capsules of 400 to 600 milligrams (mg) of turmeric or curcumin up to three times per day for chronic pain and inflammation.

Many researchers and healthcare professionals believe that turmeric may not only be efficient at reducing inflammation but it may also be safe and effective as a chronic pain reliever. As previously mentioned, the spice is reputed to help relieve arthritis as well as fibromyalgia symptoms. Research tudies seem to support the utilization of turmeric for pain relief, with one source noting that it seemed to work as well as ibuprofen (Advil) in people with arthritis. Although dosing recommendations seem to vary, those who participated in the research study took 800 mg of turmeric in capsules, each day.

Turmeric has also recently been getting a lot of attention because of its antioxidant abilities. The antioxidant effects of turmeric appear to be so powerful that it may even help stop or prevent your liver from being damaged by toxins. This could be good news for people who take strong medicines for diabetes or any other health issues that may damage their liver through long-term utilization. Curcumin has also shown great promise as a type of cancer treatment. Research studies suggest that curcumin can have protective effects against pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma.

Turmeric is utilized in curry powder is because it helps add a delicious element to foods. However, turmeric can also play a fundamental role in the digestive process of that food. Because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric can help promote healthy digestion. It's utilized in ayurvedic medicine as a digestive system healing agent. Today, Western medicine has started to evaluate how turmeric, or curcumin, can help with gut inflammation as well as gut permeability, two measures of your digestive efficiency. Turmeric is even being explored as a possible treatment approach for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Turmeric can have many health benefits but curcumin supplements may also have several health risks.

Health Risks of Turmeric

The same healing agents in turmeric that support healthy digestion can unfortunately also cause irritation when consumed in large amounts. Several research study participants looking at the utilization of turmeric as a type of cancer treatment had to drop out of the clinical trial because their digestive system was so negatively affected by the spice. Turmeric stimulates the stomach to produce more gastric acid. Although this can help with digestion, it can negatively affect digestion for others.

Turmeric's purifying properties may also make you bleed more easily. It's not completely understood why this happens. However, people who take blood-thinning medicines, such as warfarin (Coumadin) should avoid consuming large doses of turmeric or curcumin.  Researchers and healthcare professionals hypothesize that turmeric's other benefits, including its capability to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, may have something to do with how turmeric affects your blood. Furthermore, researchers and healthcare professionals believe that the way curcumin is extracted from turmeric can be the cause of this health issue. Approximately 95 percent of curcumin in the U.S. is extracted by carcinogenic solvents.

You may have also heard that eating foods seasoned with curry can stimulate labor. Although there's little evidence to back up this claim, research studies suggest that turmeric can help ease symptoms of PMS. But perhaps, there may be some truth behind the old wives' tale. Because of its blood-thinning effects alone, however, pregnant women are recommended to avoid taking turmeric supplements. Adding small amounts of turmeric as a spice to food or meals shouldn't be a problem.

The Takeaway of Turmeric

It appears that there are many health benefits to including turmeric as a part of your regular diet. The golden spice supports a healthy immune system, helps relieve chronic pain, and can even help promote healthy digestion, among other health benefits. However, because of some of its health risks and side effects, turmeric or curcumin may not be worth taking for several people. It's essential to utilize caution when deciding whether turmeric is something you may want to try. As with any alternative treatment option, talk with your doctor before you utilize turmeric to treat any health issue. If you want to buy a turmeric or curcumin supplement, then there is an excellent selection online with thousands of great customer reviews.


El Paso Chiropractor Staff and Doctor
Turmeric, or curcumin, is a powerful, natural remedy which has been demonstrated to have many health benefits, especially for chronic pain and inflammation, among others. However, too much of the powerful, golden spice can also have several health risks and side effects. It's fundamental to talk to a healthcare professional to discuss if turmeric or curcumin is a good treatment option. Turmeric, or curcumin, can be utilized for a variety of health issues, including arthritis and fibromyalgia. Make sure to talk to a doctor before using turmeric or curcumin supplements. - Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight


How often do you feel unclear thoughts or concentration and brain fog? How often do you experience pain, discomfort, and/or inflammation? How often do you feel mental and physical fatigue after eating meals? Inflammation is an essential immune response, however, chronic inflammation, especially in the brain and the joints, can cause a variety of health issues. Fortunately, there are many natural remedies that can help reduce inflammation, including turmeric or curcumin.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez



Additional Topic Discussion: Chronic Pain

Sudden pain is a natural response of the nervous system which helps to demonstrate possible injury. By way of instance, pain signals travel from an injured region through the nerves and spinal cord to the brain. Pain is generally less severe as the injury heals, however, chronic pain is different than the average type of pain. With chronic pain, the human body will continue sending pain signals to the brain, regardless if the injury has healed. Chronic pain can last for several weeks to even several years. Chronic pain can tremendously affect a patient's mobility and it can reduce flexibility, strength, and endurance.





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Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate neurological diseases. The Neural ZoomerTM Plus is an array of neurological autoantibodies which offers specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus is designed to assess an individual’s reactivity to 48 neurological antigens with connections to a variety of neurologically related diseases. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus aims to reduce neurological conditions by empowering patients and physicians with a vital resource for early risk detection and an enhanced focus on personalized primary prevention.

Food Sensitivity for the IgG & IgA Immune Response

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Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate health issues associated with food sensitivities. The Food Sensitivity ZoomerTM is an array of 180 commonly consumed food antigens that offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. This panel measures an individual’s IgG and IgA sensitivity to food antigens. Being able to test IgA antibodies provides additional information to foods that may be causing mucosal damage. Additionally, this test is ideal for patients who might be suffering from delayed reactions to certain foods. Utilizing an antibody-based food sensitivity test can help prioritize the necessary foods to eliminate and create a customized diet plan around the patient’s specific needs.

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