Turmeric for Liver and Digestive Health
The liver and gastrointestinal tract have a very close relationship. Both organs make nutrients available for the body and also help to remove different types of waste from the body.
The job of the liver is particularly difficult as it is also responsible for filtering all of the blood in the body. At around 3 pounds in adults, the liver filters about 1.4 liters of blood per minute, the equivalent of 47 ounces or 5.8 cups. The liver captures metabolic waste, bacteria, metals, and potentially harmful chemicals. With the help of the gallbladder, the liver transfers this waste into a bile that leaves the body through both the kidneys and bowels.
But what happens when the liver and digestive system aren’t up to the task? Alcohol, prescription drugs, pollution from the air and water, processed or unhealthy foods, and so many other things commonly found in the modern world can affect how both organs function.
That’s where turmeric comes in. This spice contains an antioxidant known as curcumin. You may have heard of it if you use turmeric to help with temporary relief from occasional pain. When ingested, research shows that curcumin may help to protect the tissue and liver and make sure both are working optimally.
Let’s look at the research and learn why turmeric may be ideal for maintaining your health.
Turmeric for Liver Function
As mentioned above, the gallbladder produces a bile that the liver uses to transport toxins through the bowels and into the kidneys. Researchers have found that turmeric helps to increase contractions in the gallbladder and bile productions. This helps to move more toxins from the liver, freeing the liver up to absorb nutrients better and filter the blood.
A study looking at the effect of how antioxidants in turmeric protect liver cells found that turmeric helped to protect healthy liver cells from being damaged by arsenic, alcohol, and potentially harmful microorganisms like bacteria.
Turmeric for Digestive Health
Inflammation in the gut can lead to various disorders that affect the stability and strength of the gastrointestinal lining, ability to absorb nutrients, acid reflux, excess gas, and other discomfort.
One study found that curcumin helps regulate inflammation and may be effective as a therapeutic aid for patients with a gastrointestinal disease. In this study, patients were given between 360 mg and 550 mg of curcumin at differing times during the day over two months. Analysis of the patients found an overall improvement in gastrointestinal function at the end of the study.
Easy Ways to Add Turmeric to Your Diet
You can start using turmeric today by visiting the spice aisle of your grocery store. Sprinkle a little on your food or add it to your morning tea. You can also find turmeric in supplements, which may be the best way to provide your body with curcumin because of how companies process the spice.
Before giving turmeric to kids, learn about what the research says about the safety, risks, and many potential benefits.
Modern extraction techniques allow companies to separate curcumin from turmeric and concentrate it into pill form. This method of taking curcumin may improve absorption in the body and allow for more immediate health benefits, especially if your gut isn’t working at its best.