How Curcumin Prevents Age-Related Diseases

Curcumin has been used in India for thousands of years as both a spice and medicinal herb. Recently, science has started to back up traditional claims of medicinal properties.

What is curcumin?


Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.

Curcumin is one of the potent antioxidants with great potential to reduce age-related cellular damage induced by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Due to the presence of phenolic groups at the chemical structure of curcumin, it shows a powerful hydrogen-donating antioxidant activity


This suggests that curcumin may have potential as an anti-aging supplement. Given that oxidation and inflammation are believed to play a role in aging, curcumin may have effects that go way beyond just preventing diseases.

Heart Disease


Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world. Researchers have studied it for many decades and learned a lot about why it happens. Unsurprisingly, heart disease is incredibly complicated and various things contribute to it.


Curcumin may reverse steps in the heart disease process by improving the function of the lining of your blood vessels. Hence, this helps regulate your blood pressure, blood clotting and other factors vital to heart health.


Research has also found that seasoning foods with turmeric can help reduce your body’s bad cholesterol (LD). Also, preliminary studies show that curcumin may reduce the number of heart attacks bypass patients had after surgery.


Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process. In addition, curcumin can help reduce inflammation and oxidation, which can play a role in heart disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease


Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to up 70% of dementia cases.


While treatment exists for some of its symptoms, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s yet. That’s why preventing it from occurring in the first place is so important. There may be good news on the horizon because curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier.


Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease. By increasing levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein found in the brain and spinal cord that plays a key role in keeping nerve cells (neurons) healthy, as well as regulating communication between nerve cells, which is critical for learning and memory. As common brain disorders like Alzheimer’s are associated with lower levels of BDNF, turmeric (curcumin in particular) may help delay or reverse brain degeneration. 


It’s known that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, and curcumin has beneficial effects on both.


In addition, a key feature of Alzheimer’s disease is a buildup of protein tangles called amyloid plaques. Studies show that curcumin can help clear these plaques. Furthermore, curcumin may be effective in delaying or reversing brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function. This happens by triggering a growth hormone in the brain that helps spur new brain cell growth.  And, there are early signs that turmeric can even improve your memory.



Meanwhile, curcumin may help prevent diabetes through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and improve many of the factors that contribute to diabetes, including insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and hyperlipidemia (a medical term to describe elevated levels of fat in the blood; one type of hyperlipidemia is characterized by high levels of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol). 


According to a past review of studies, curcumin may help treat and prevent diabetes, as well as associated disorders like diabetic nephropathy (also called diabetic kidney disease), which affects people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. 


For example, one study found that feeding 80 mg of tetrahydrocurcumin (one of the main substances of curcumin) per kg body weight to rats with type 2 diabetes for 45 days led to a significant decrease in blood sugar, as well as an increase in plasma insulin. 

A study in type 2 diabetes published in the July 2019 issue of Nutrition & Metabolism reveals that curcumin supplements helped lower blood insulin levels after 16 weeks.

Skin Health


Currently, there’s are evidence from multiple research that turmeric or curcumin directly influence longevity, but thanks to their ability to fight inflammation, protect your body against free radicals, and potentially delay brain degeneration and other age-related diseases, turmeric and curcumin may be effective anti-aging supplements, according to past research. 


Curcumin protects the skin by combating free radicals and reducing inflammation. There is also evidence to suggest that curcumin may help the following skin conditions:

  • Psoriasis

  • Skin cancer

  • Vitiligo

  • Acne 

  • Scleroderma


Eye Degeneration


Glaucoma, a group of eye conditions, is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over age 60. And, unfortunately, once your vision is gone, it can’t be restored. In glaucoma, the optic nerve — or the nerve that links the eye and the brain — becomes damaged due to fluid buildup in the eye, which puts too much pressure on the nerve.


But preliminary research published July 2018 in Scientific Reports shows topical curcumin treatments may help protect the eyes against degeneration. Researchers applied a proprietary curcumin eye drop solution to two times per day for three weeks. By the end of the study, the untreated patients experienced a 23 percent reduction in retinal cells compared with the treatment group, suggesting that loss was prevented by the curcumin treatment. The study findings sound impressive that curcumin is effective in preventing eye degeneration in humans.


Getting Enough Curcumin


What you should bear in mind if you want to incorporate more turmeric into your diet is that it might be difficult to enjoy the advantages through food alone. Though curcumin is the primary active component in turmeric, its naturally occurring amount is just around 3% by weight. To obtain the maximum impact, or if you are already at risk for age-related diseases, you should consider taking an extract or supplement with a considerably greater quantity of curcumin.




Due to its many positive health effects, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, curcumin may aid longevity.

Chronic inflammation contributes to some common health conditions including heart diseases, Alzheimer's disease, and other degenerative conditions. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation, but its bioavailability needs to be enhanced.