Today I want to help you learn how to properly use Turmeric to reduce inflammation all over your body. I say properly because the way it’s currently sold in most supplement products is not only slowing down this super spice at doing its job, it may also slow your entire body’s detoxification ability.
We need to tiptoe around the word detoxification these days, due to a thriving market full of teas, wraps, pills, and crazy diets. However, detoxification was happening inside our bodies long before it became a lucrative industry.
Why is detoxification important?
Our bodies are constantly producing waste in the form of free-radicals. Every cell in your body produces free-radicals as waste from their consumption of energy. Certain activities like poor diet, drugs, and alcohol consumption, and even exercise cause your cells to increase this production.
In a perfect world, you’d get all the necessary nutrients to optimize your detoxification processes. Unfortunately, we live in a world full of stressors and environmental toxins and typically devoid of the proper nutrition needed. This sets the stage for powerful herbs, spices, and supplements to potentially come to the rescue.
Only, sometimes we screw it up even when we try to make it better.
In order to explain where the supplement companies are making a mistake, I’d like to share a brief analogy.
Let’s say you need to vacuum your home. You pull out the vacuum, plug it in, power it on, and go about cleaning the carpet. Everything is going according to plan until you realize you’re stuck vacuuming one square foot area of carpet over and over. You can’t seem to move to clean the rest of the carpet, but you’re not sure why.
This is essentially what’s been done with turmeric.
The benefit to turmeric is that it is a powerful systemic anti-inflammatory agent. Meaning it helps with inflammation all over the body. It can aid digestion, ease joint pain, reduce menstrual pains, reduce the impacts of stress, and may even help in anti-aging efforts.
The drawback…or what was THOUGHT to be a drawback, at least…is that turmeric moves through and is eliminated by the body very fast. It was discovered that by pairing turmeric with black pepper (generally in the form of a product called Bioperine, a common way to prolong the half-life of other compounds as well) turmeric’s half-life could be slowed substantially. This would cause turmeric to remain in our system for longer periods, and it was believed, allow it to provide longer-lasting benefits.
This is where the mistake was made, for the general public at least.
Turmeric actually stops something called Phase 3 detoxification, which for the sake of this article we’ll simply describe as the removal of toxins from the cell. So turmeric has been shown to stop the final phase of your body removing toxins from your cells.
By adding the aforementioned black pepper in (which is also a phase 3 inhibitor), we slow the body’s ability to remove turmeric, essentially locking in the toxins our body is trying to remove for longer periods of time.
Turmeric does its job when it’s inside the cell, which is why it stops phase 3 detoxification. The act of essentially locking the vacuum in place allows it to do its job better. But, just like you wouldn’t want to vacuum your carpet for 4 hours, turmeric doesn’t need to hang around for an extended period of time.
The only occasion that slowing turmeric’s half-life provides benefit is that of a cancer patient. In this situation, the cells in question can benefit from a very targeted, extended duration of cleaning.
If you’re not trying to target cancerous cells in your body and are simply looking for the overall anti-inflammatory benefits of this amazing spice, look for turmeric WITHOUT Bioperine. You’ll still receive all of the benefits of turmeric, without inhibiting your body’s ability to remove all those bits of carpet dust and dirt.
Rather than buy an unnecessarily expensive product, head to your grocery store and buy turmeric as a spice. Or look for organic turmeric powder in bulk. Use it on your food (or a spicy smoothie, if that’s your thing). You’ll be sure to get all the good without wearing down your carpet to the foundation.
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