The food we consume serves as the body’s primary source of energy. Because of this, making sure our digestive system remains healthy is paramount. Part of keeping our digestive system healthy is watching what we eat and ensuring we receive the right nutrients that support gut health. One such nutrient is curcumin, but let’s first understand the basics of our digestive system.
The digestive system
The human body is a complex system, composed of several specific yet interconnected systems that keep a person alive. The particular sub-system in the body that is essential in providing the body the energy and nutrients it needs to function is the digestive system. The digestive system breaks down the food we eat and allows the body to absorb the nutrients. Proteins break into amino acids; fats break into fatty acids and glycerol; and carbohydrates break into simple sugars (1).
The digestive system is structurally a long one starting from our mouths, down the oesophagus, into the stomach, passing the small and large intestines and finally, out the anus. This is also called the gastrointestinal tract and is the path food takes as it gets broken down into absorbable nutrients. It is also home to the solid organs, the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder (2).
Taking care of your gut
Here are a few tips of making sure your gut remains healthy:
Include fermented foods into your diet
Fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi may help strengthen your gut microbiome, or the bacteria that live inside your digestive tract (10). Making sure your gut microbiome has plenty of good bacteria is key to keeping not just your digestive system healthy, but avoiding other health conditions as well, including obesity and neurodegenerative problems (10).
Eat plenty of fibre
Foods that are high in dietary fibre can help you improve your gut health. High fibre foods help you normalise bowel movements by making stools easier to pass. They also help you avoid irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammation of the intestine. High fibre foods include barley, nuts, fruits, and beans (11).
Opt for supplementation
While eating healthy is the best way to ensure you receive all the right nutrients, supplements can help you achieve their daily requirements. Consider probiotics, zinc, and curcumin to support gut health.
Curcumin for digestion
If you are a foodie, you would likely know of turmeric as one the common ingredients used for various cuisines around the world. Turmeric is a curry spice that comes from the root of the tropical Curcuma longa Linn plant (3). It is part of the ginger family. Turmeric’s hidden nutrient benefits lie in its active major ingredient, curcumin.
Benefits of curcumin
The following are some of the benefits of curcumin for digestion:
Curcumin helps prevent inflammation
Poor dietary choices may cause the growth of bad bacteria in your digestive system. Allowing the bacteria to thrive in your body triggers the natural inflammatory response of the immune system (4). Leaving the bacteria unchecked can cause these inflammations to get out of control. The inflammation can then attack healthy cells and organs, leading to potential serious ailments or diseases.
The key takeaway from curcumin is its benefits in managing inflammation. There are a number of studies looking at the effectiveness of curcumin for digestion, as well as helping control inflammation in internal organs. It can help chronic conditions where inflammation starts to affect tissues in your body. In one study of patients with ulcerative colitis, those who took 2 grams of curcumin a day along with prescription medication were more likely to stay in remission than those who took the medicine alone (5).
Curcumin supports digestive health
In 1999, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended curcumin for treatment of acid reflux, flatulence, and functional dyspepsia, as used in Ayurvedic medicine (6). This was a testament to the benefits of curcumin for our digestive systems.
Another clinical study involving 207 irritable bowel syndrome patients, showed improvement in their symptoms after the researchers had them take turmeric tablets (7).
Curcumin supplements for digestion
For premium quality vitamin supplements, try Vitable Australia’s curcumin to support digestion and gastrointestinal health. Vitable produces an extract from turmeric roots using gentle solvents. The extraction is made to ensure that the supplement resembles the composition of natural turmeric root.
More importantly, Vitable’s curcumin contains Piper nigrum (black pepper) for enhanced absorption of curcumin by the body. The piperine found in black pepper to be exact, is found to enhance curcumin absorption, making it more readily available to be used by your body.
Support gastrointestinal health today with Vitable Australia’s curcumin supplements. We also offer a vitamin subscription box where you can create the vitamin packs tailor-made for you. For your convenience, we also have a vitamin delivery service that delivers your package right to your doorstep!
Find out more about other supplements that can support digestion:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
- Health Direct. Digestive System. Published on https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/digestive-system. Accessed Dec 9, 2021.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Your Digestive System and How it Works. Published on https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/digestive-system-how-it-works. Accessed Dec 9, 2021.
- Oregon State University. Curcumin. Published on https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/curcumin. Accessed Dec 9, 2021.
- 1MD Nutrition. How Turmeric Helps Heal the Gut and Your Body. Published on https://1md.org/article/curcumin-gut-health-1md. Accessed Dec 9, 2021.
- Cleveland Clinic. 7 Health Benefits of Turmeric. Published Nov 10, 2021 on https://health.clevelandclinic.org/turmeric-health-benefits/. Accessed Dec 8, 2021.
- GI Society Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. Many Benefits of Turmeric. Published on https://badgut.org/information-centre/health-nutrition/many-benefits-turmeric/. Accessed on Dec 9, 2021.
- Moussavi M et al. Curcumin mediates ceramide generation via the de novo pathway in colon cancer cells. Carcinogenesis. Published 2006. Accessed Dec 9, 2021.
- Ukil I et al. Curcumin, The Major Component of Food Flavour Turmeric, Reduces Mucosal Injury in Trinitrobenzene Sulphonic Acid-Induced Colitis. Published 2003 on British Journal of Pharmacology. Accessed Dec 9, 2021.
- World J Gastrointest PAthophysiol. Therapeutic potential of curcumin in gastrointestinal diseases. Published Feb 15, 2011 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3097964/. Accessed Dec 9, 2021.
- Bilodeau, K., Fermented foods for better gut health. Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School. Published n.d. On https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/fermented-foods-for-better-gut-health-2018051613841. Accessed Dec 20, 2021.
- Robinson, L., Segal, R.,. High-Fiber Foods. HelpGuide. Last updated Oct 2020 https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/high-fiber-foods.htm. Accessed Dec 20, 2021.