Thursday, June 29, 2017

Want To Keep Your Gains? Stay Hydrated!

If you've spent any time learning about how to maximize your workout, you've probably heard about the anabolic window. This is the idea that you must consume the right amounts of carbs and proteins within 45 minutes of finishing a workout. According to the theory, if you miss this window you can kiss your gains goodbye.
Thanks to research published over the past few years, that concept has been debunked. But, other research has shown that post-workout hydration plays a major role in helping you retain your hard-won gains.
As part of a research project described in the Journal of Applied Physiology, seven healthy, resistance-trained men in their 20s did three identical workouts in three different states of hydration. For the first workout, they were all properly hydrated. A week later, they exercised while dehydrated by 2.5 percent of their bodyweight. After another week, they were dehydrated by 5 percent.[1]
Want To Keep Your Gains? Stay Hydrated!
The purpose of the study was not to look at the most obvious symptoms of dehydration, like muscle cramping, dizziness, or constipation. Instead, the researchers wanted to know what was happening to the chemicals inside the athletes' bodies.
They found that inadequate hydration after a workout "strongly increased cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, the primary stress hormones."
Any time your body is under stress, whether mental or physical, it reacts by releasing stress hormones into your system. For a body that has just completed a vigorous physical workout, the stress can come from inadequate hydration, causing the body's core temperature to rise. The body reacts by releasing cortisol, which helps break down muscle tissue to access the energy it needs to survive the stress.
Working out puts your body under stress—a state of catabolism during which your body breaks down muscle tissue. When you stop your workout, you enter a state of anabolism, when your body starts building new—and more—muscle tissue.
If your goal is to build muscle, you want to control the amount of catabolic hormones, including cortisol, in your system. When you finish your workout, you want to reduce the amount of cortisol in your body so you can move quickly from catabolism to anabolism and start building new muscle. The way you do that is by making sure you finish your workout in a fully hydrated state.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Training Outdoors: What You Need To Know To Prevent Disaster

On the surface, outdoor exercise seems fairly benign. Running down a trail couldn't possibly be as risky as curling heavy dumbbells or loading up the plates on the squat rack, could it?
Actually, it could. Mother Nature can be beautiful and relaxing, but she is not always friendly.
Between extreme temperatures, inclement weather, varied terrain, and creepy strangers, the uncontrolled environment of the great outdoors can lead to serious injury or even death. No joke. So before you head outside, brush up on your safety knowledge. Get the benefits of being outdoors—without the risks.

Be Smart About The Heat

"Exercising in warm weather is great for power-based activities," says Richard Wilcock, a strength coach and exercise studio owner with a master's degree in exercise science. "The increased temperature makes your muscles more pliable and less prone to injuries related to muscle stiffness."
Be smart about the heat
That said, exercising in the heat is not without risks. According to a 2014 study published in Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine, the number of heat stroke deaths caused by sports exertion in the United States had doubled since 1975. More deaths were reported between 2005 and 2009 than during any other five-year period.[1]
The reality is, heat-related illness is real and scary, but it's also 100-percent preventable with the right planning and preparation.
  • Try to avoid working out during the hottest hours of the day. Stick to mornings or evenings when possible.
  • Wear lightweight apparel that wicks sweat away from your body and promotes drying.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to reflect the sun.
  • Stay hydrated: Carry water with you and drink several ounces every 10-15 minutes. If you're exercising at high intensity or for longer than an hour, use a sports drink with supplemental electrolytes.
  • Acclimatize yourself to hot weather by gradually increasing your intensity and duration of exercise over the course of several weeks.
  • Seek out shady areas to avoid direct sun exposure.
  • Stop exercising if you start experiencing symptoms of heat-related illness.
"If you ever have symptoms of heat exhaustion, which precedes heat stroke, stop exercising and seek medical attention," Wilcock says. "Symptoms include dizziness, vomiting, headaches, profuse sweating, and weakness."

Protect Your Skin From Sunburn And Skin Cancer

Sunburns suck. They hurt and they look terrible. But the damage doesn't stop there. As someone who had her first skin cancer removed at age 25, and her second at 30, I cannot even begin to emphasize how important it is to wear sunscreen every time you head outside. Tans may look sexy now, but trust me, that appeal wears off when you have chunks of your skin removed.
The good news is, it's easy to prevent both immediate and delayed effects of sun damage.
  • About 10 minutes before you head outside, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply at least an ounce (shot-glass size) to exposed skin.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes if you're sweating. Note: Even waterproof versions don't hold up as long when you're wet.
  • Wear UPF-rated apparel to further protect your skin.
  • Don't forget to protect your scalp by wearing a hat or headband, especially if your hair is thinning.
  • Skin cancers can also affect the thin skin around your eyes and lips, so wear full-spectrum UVA/UVB protective sunglasses and chapstick with SPF.

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

Rocky trails and bad drivers are just a few of the dangers you'll encounter when exercising outside.
"The potential for injury is always increased when you leave the confines of the gym," Wilcock says. "Impact injuries caused by slips, falls, or collisions generally result from an accident, so they're harder to prevent."
Rocky trails and bad drivers are just a few of the dangers you'll encounter when exercising outside.
But "harder" doesn't mean impossible; you just need to become a defensive exerciser.
  • Wear high-visibility clothing. Choose apparel that's light and bright with reflective tape, even if you're exercising during daylight hours. And if you're working out at dawn or dusk, invest in a headlamp or other wearable light to make yourself more visible.
  • Never assume a driver can see you. Even if you're wearing all the reflective clothing in the world, never make assumptions about your visibility. Stop before crossing streets or driveways when cars are around.
  • Ditch the noise-canceling earbuds. Your favorite playlist may keep you motivated, but if you can't hear cars or people approaching, you're unlikely to identify threats before it's too late to react. If you can't imagine getting through a workout without your tunes, try wearing a single earbud instead of two, or invest in a pair of headphones, like the ones from Aftershokz, that leave your ears open to outside noise by using bone-conduction technology.
  • Pay attention to your footing. From curbs to uneven sidewalks, tree roots to hard-to-see variations in terrain, the great outdoors doesn't always offer a smooth walkway. By paying close attention to your footing, you can avoid rolled ankles and unexpected falls. And if you're checking your phone, come to a stop. Just like texting while driving can lead to car wrecks, messing around with your phone can lead to accidents.

Watch The Weather

Weather can change at a moment's notice, and if you've ever been stuck a few miles from home in a drenching thunderstorm, you know it's an unpleasant experience. Even if it's reasonably nice out when you leave the house, make sure you check the weather before heading out. Aside from learning about storm risks, your favorite weather app can alert you to potentially dangerous humidity levels, allergen reports, or pollution levels, all of which can turn a good workout bad.

Protect Yourself From Predators

It's a sad reality that there are human predators out there bent on harming others. While you shouldn't live your life in fear, you should take steps to reduce your risk of being targeted. This is particularly true if you plan on exercising alone. Wilcock suggests three measures to follow to stay safe when exercising outside:
  • Stick to public and well-lit areas. Avoid solitary trails or dark alleys.
  • Keep your phone on you and fully charged. Not only can you use it to call for help if needed, you can also use apps like Glympse to share your location with others.
  • Vary your routine. Aside from working out at different times on different days, take different routes or exercise at different parks to prevent potential predators from honing in on your typical routine.
Depending on where you live, you could encounter feral or loose dogs. There are products on the market designed specifically to protect humans from dogs, such as dog pepper spray and ultrasonic noise deterrents. Most importantly, if you run into a dog that seems hell-bent on destruction, don't turn your back on it or run away. Instead, stand your ground, turn sideways to the dog, avoid eye contact, move slowly, and try to get to a safe spot without panicking.
If a dog does run at you, try to give it something to bite that isn't you, like a stick or a sleeve of your sweatshirt with your arm removed. In the worst-case scenario, if a dog attacks, protect your face, neck, and torso. Better the dog bites your shin or forearm than those vital areas. Scream and fight back without yanking your body away, which could cause further damage.

Sweat The Small Stuff

Compared to dog attacks and skin cancer, blisters and chafing may seem trivial, but they're some of the most annoying and easy-to-prevent injuries that can come with outdoor exercise. Plus, even a small injury can halt a workout in its tracks and, if bad enough, interfere with exercise for extended periods of time.
Compared to dog attacks and skin cancer, blisters and chafing may seem trivial, but they're some of the most annoying and easy-to-prevent injuries that can come with outdoor exercise.
Reduce the likelihood of developing blisters and chafing by wearing moisture-wicking socks and well-fitting shoes. Apply Vaseline or products like Body Glide to areas that experience lots of friction during activity; namely, between your thighs or around your armpits. When you're shopping for workout apparel, look for products with flat seams that won't rub and chafe.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Best Beginner Weight-Training Guide With Easy-To-Follow Workout!

Recently decide to get fit? Want to take up a strength or weightlifting program, but don't know where to start? Everyone has been in this position at least once before; you're new at the gym, and you don't know where to go or what to lift or how to use the machines. Well, help is here!
I am going to tell you the basic guidelines and rules for starting out in a weightlifting program; whether it is for strength, weight loss, lean muscle gain, or just overall fitness, this article and workout can help you figure things out and get started off on the right foot toward your health and fitness goals.
Strength training provides remarkable results in those who have tried and failed at overhauling their fitness with just diet or cardio. Consistent training (more than twice per week, for 12 weeks) can provide such benefits as:
  • Increased muscle-fiber size
  • Increased muscle contractile strength
  • Increased tendon strength
  • Increased ligament strength
All of these add up to a much healthier, fitter body that is less likely to be injured. You end up looking pretty good, too!
"Strength training provides remarkable results in those who have tried and failed at overhauling their fitness with just diet or cardio."
"Strength training provides remarkable results in those who have tried and failed at overhauling their fitness with just diet or cardio."

A Few Rules Of Lifting Etiquette

  • To start, always bring a towel and be kind enough to wipe off the machines, benches and equipment you use.
  • Be sure to rerack all the weight and replace all the dumbbells or barbells that are used.
  • Don't rest for extended periods of time on a machine that someone is waiting for; if possible, work in with them between sets. Most people are more than willing to share when asked nicely.
  • Finally, please leave your cell phone in your locker or car; nothing is more distracting than listening to another person's conversation unwillingly.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

  • Using too much weight, too soon; always start lower than your expected ability and work your way up that first workout. If your form suffers, you are swinging the weight, or using momentum, this indicates you may be using too much weight. Greater momentum increases the potential for injury and reduces the effectiveness to the muscle group being targeted.
  • Not using enough weight; always play it safe, but if you can perform 30 reps with a certain weight, it's likely time to increase it a bit. Tip: Increase the weight no more than about 5% at a time.
  • Moving through repetitions too quickly, going too fast; there is nothing gained by lifting weights fast. Some of the perks of lifting weight in a slow and controlled manner, include more total muscle tension and force produced, more muscle fiber activation both slow and fast twitch fibers, and less tissue trauma. Remember, a joint is only as strong as the muscles that cross it; if you haven't lifted in a long time, or ever, be careful what you ask of your joints.
  • Not resting long enough, or resting far too long; both can be a workout killer. Tip: The recommended rest period is between 30-90 seconds, for overall fitness.

Beginner Weight/Strength Training Workout

Beginner Workout
Running, Treadmill
1 set, 5-10 minutes
Leg Press
1 set
Lying Leg Curls
1 set
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
1 set
1 set
Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment
1 set
Machine Bicep Curl
1 set
Machine Shoulder (Military) Press
1 set
Ab Crunch Machine
1 set
Air Bike
1 set
Guidelines For This Workout
This workout is designed for overall health and fitness gains of a healthy, adult individual who has never lifted weights before, or who is very inexperienced at it.
You may note that the majority of exercises are machine based; this is intentional as an unconditioned beginner, has less integrity in the joints, less stability in the core which supports the entire body during training; and this makes one more apt to be injured when attempting to lift free weight (dumbbells, barbells) when just starting out.
Using machines provides support for these weaker areas and allows the intended muscle to be isolated and strengthened before progressing to free weight.
  • Perform this workout at least two times per week, significant strength and fitness gains are obtained with only two workouts per week.
  • Take one day off from weight training between each workout.
  • For health gains, at least one set of 8-12 repetitions should be performed to fatigue; this means a weight heavy enough to tire the muscle significantly in 8-12 reps.
  • For fitness gains, two sets of 8-12 repetitions should be performed to fatigue; again with a weight heavy enough that the muscle is tired and unable to continue without a 30-90 second rest period.
  • It should take four to five seconds to complete one repetition through a complete range of motion; in a slow and very controlled manner.
  • Rest at least 30 seconds and no more than 90 seconds between sets of each exercise; and 1 to 2 minutes between each exercise.
Training Tips
A few tips to make your new training program work for you more effectively:
  • Stay hydrated! Be sure to drink at least the minimum USDA recommended 8-10 glasses of water each and every day; dehydration can make you weak, and sick and less effective in the weight room. Drink a lot of water during your workout as well.
  • Eat a small, balanced meal with equal portions of lean protein (lean chickenturkey, beef or fish) and complex carbohydrate (oatsrice) 30-60 minutes prior to each workout; and again within 60 minutes after you train with weights. A huge meal is not necessary, just enough protein and carbohydrate to refuel and encourage healing in the body.
  • If also performing cardio work for weight loss, do so after you train with weights, not before; or at separate times of the day all together.
  • Keep a record of what you do, and when you do it... an awesome tool I love within the community is the BodySpace work-out tracker - it's really interactive and lets you set things like sets, reps, weight used, and even lets you input exercises that aren't listed and keeps a running tally of your progress! All you have to do is register for your very own FREE BodySpace profile... You can check that out and register here.
  • Also, once you are on your way to being super fit, you can also take progress pictureskeep track of weight loss or gain progress, and measurements of all your body parts. This tool is also part of your free BodySpace profile, there is so much you can track and record... even a BodyBlog!
  • Be sure to check out all the aspects of BodySpace while you record and update your daily workouts, and don't forget to stay fit!

12 Reasons You Should Start Lifting Weights Today

Just because you're not vying for 20-inch biceps or thunderously strong thighs like the muscle heads in the gym doesn't mean you should shun the weight room. Lifting weights gives you an edge over belly fat, stress, heart disease, and cancer—and it's also the single most effective way to look hot in a bikini. Yet somehow women are still hesitant: Only about a fifth of females strength train two or more times a week.

Here are 12 reasons you shouldn't live another day without hitting the weights.

You'll Lose 40 Percent More Fat
If you think cardio is the key to blasting belly fat, keep reading: When Penn State researchers put dieters into three groups—no exercise, aerobic exercise only, or aerobic exercise and weight training—they all lost around 21 pounds, but the lifters shed six more pounds of fat than those who didn't pump iron. Why? The lifters' loss was almost pure fat; the others lost fat and muscle.

Other research on dieters who don't lift shows that, on average, 75 percent of their weight loss is from fat, while 25 percent is from muscle. Muscle loss may drop your scale weight, but it doesn't improve your reflection in the mirror and it makes you more likely to gain back the flab you lost. However, if you weight train as you diet, you'll protect your hard-earned muscle and burn more fat.

Your Clothes Will Fit Better 
Research shows that between the ages of 30 and 50, you'll likely lose 10 percent of your body's total muscle. Worse yet, it's likely to be replaced by fat over time, says a study. And that increases your waist size, because one pound of fat takes up 18 percent more space than one pound of muscle.

You'll Burn More Calories
Lifting increases the number of calories you burn while your butt is parked on the couch. That's because after each strength workout, your muscles need energy to repair their fibers. In fact, researchers found that when people did a total-body workout with just three big-muscle moves, their metabolisms were raised for 39 hours afterward. They also burned a greater percentage of calories from fat compared with those who didn't lift.

Lifting gives you a better burn during exercise too: Doing a circuit of eight moves (which takes about eight minutes) can expend 159 to 231 calories. That's about what you'd burn if you ran at a 10-mile-per-hour pace for the same duration.

Your Diet Will Improve
Exercise helps your brain stick to a diet plan. University of Pittsburgh researchers studied 169 overweight adults and found that those who didn't follow a three-hours-a-week training regimen ate more than their allotted 1,500 calories a day. The reverse was also true—sneaking snacks sabotaged their workouts. The study authors say both diet and exercise likely remind you to stay on track, aiding your weight-loss goals.

You'll Handle Stress Better
Break a sweat in the weight room and you'll stay cool under pressure. Scientists determined that the fittest people exhibited lower levels of stress hormones than those who were the least fit. Another study found that after a stressful situation, the blood pressure levels of people with the most muscle returned to normal faster than the levels of those with the least muscle.

You'll Be Happier
Yoga isn't the only Zen-inducing kind of exercise. Researchers found that people who performed three weight workouts a week for six months significantly improved their scores on measures of anger and overall mood.

You'll Build Stronger Bones
As you age, bone mass goes to pot, which increases your likelihood of one day suffering a debilitating fracture. The good news: A study found that 16 weeks of resistance training increased hip bone density and elevated blood levels of osteocalcin—a marker of bone growth--by 19 percent.

You'll Get Into Shape Faster
The term cardio shouldn't describe only aerobic exercise: A study found that circuit training with weights raises your heart rate 15 beats per minute higher than if you ran at 60 to 70 percent of your max heart rate. This approach strengthens muscles and provides cardiovascular benefits similar to those of aerobic exercise—so you save time without sacrificing results.

Your Heart Will Be Healthier
Researchers at the University of Michigan found that people who did three total-body weight workouts a week for two months decreased their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by an average of eight points. That's enough to reduce the risk of a stroke by 40 percent and the chance of a heart attack by 15 percent.

You'll Be Way More Productive
Lifting could result in a raise (or at least a pat on the back from your boss). Researchers found that workers were 15 percent more productive on days they exercised compared with days they didn't. So on days you work out, you can (theoretically) finish in eight hours what would normally take nine hours and 12 minutes. Or you'd still work for nine hours but get more done, leaving you feeling less stressed and happier with your job--another perk reported on days workers exercised.

You'll Live Longer
University of South Carolina researchers determined that total-body strength is linked to lower risks of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Similarly, other scientists found that being strong during middle age is associated with "exceptional survival," defined as living to the age of 85 without developing a major disease.

You'll Be Even Smarter
Muscles strengthen your body and mind: Brazilian researchers found that six months of resistance training enhanced lifters' cognitive function. In fact, the sweat sessions resulted in better short- and long-term memory, improved verbal reasoning, and a longer attention span.

10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumi

Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence.
Many high quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain.
Here are the top 10 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric.

1. Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.
Recently, science has started to back up what the Indians have known for a long time… it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties (1).
These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high… it’s around 3%, by weight (2).
Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day. It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.
Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, then you need to take an extract that contains significant amounts of curcumin.
Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine… a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000% (3).
I personally prefer to swallow a few whole peppercorns along with my curcumin supplement, in order to enhance absorption.
Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.
Bottom Line: Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.

2. Curcumin is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound

Turmeric in Wooden Bowl
Inflammation is incredibly important.
It helps the body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage.
Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over our bodies and kill us.
Although acute (short-term) inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it is chronic (long-term) and inappropriately deployed against the body’s own tissues.
It is now believed that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions (456).
Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases.
It turns out that curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory, it is so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs (7).
Curcumin actually targets multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway, at the molecular level.
Curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases (89).
Without getting into the gory details (inflammation is extremely complicated), the key takeaway here is that curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level (101112).
In several studies, its potency has compared favorably to anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs… except without the side effects (1314).
Bottom Line: Chronic inflammation is known to be a contributor to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can inhibit many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.

3. Turmeric Dramatically Increases The Antioxidant Capacity of The Body

Turmeric in Bowl and Spoon
Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases.
It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons.
Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins or DNA.
The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial, is that they protect our bodies from free radicals.
Curcumin happens to be a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure (1516).
But curcumin also boosts the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes (171819).
In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant mechanisms.
Bottom Line: Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

4. Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases

Young Indian Woman Holding a Plate With Turmeric
Back in the day, it was believed that neurons weren’t able to divide and multiply after early childhood.
However, it is now known that this does happen.
The neurons are capable of forming new connections, but in certain areas of the brain, they can also multiply and increase in number.
One of the main drivers of this process is Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in the brain (20).
Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone. This includes depression and Alzheimer’s disease (2122).
Interestingly, curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF (2324).
By doing this, it may be effective at delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function (25).
There is also the possibility that it could help improve memory and make you smarter. Makes sense given its effects on BDNF levels, but this definitely needs to be tested in human controlled trials (26).
Bottom Line: Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain.

5. Curcumin Leads to Various Improvements That Should Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Large Wooden Spoon Filled With Turmeric Powder
Heart disease is the biggest killer in the world (27).
It has been studied for many decades and researchers have learned a lot about why it happens.
It turns out that heart disease is incredibly complicated and there are various things that contribute to it.
Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process (28).
Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease, is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels.
It is well known that endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease and involves an inability of the endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors (29).
Several studies suggest that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function. One study shows that is as effective as exercise, another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin (3031).
But curcumin also reduces inflammation and oxidation (as discussed above), which are also important in heart disease.
In one study, 121 patients who were undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery were randomized to either placebo or 4 grams of curcumin per day, a few days before and after the surgery.
The curcumin group had a 65% decreased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the hospital (32).
Bottom Line: Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.

6. Turmeric Can Help Prevent (And Perhaps Even Treat) Cancer

Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells.
Turmeric Roots and a Jar of Turmeric Powder
There are many different forms of cancer, but they do have several commonalities, some of which appear to be affected by curcumin supplementation (33).
Researchers have been studying curcumin as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment. It can affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level (34).
Studies have shown that it can reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors), metastasis (spread of cancer), as well as contributing to the death of cancerous cells (35).
Multiple studies have shown that curcumin can reduce the growth of cancerous cells in the laboratory and inhibit the growth of tumours in test animals (3637).
Whether high-dose curcumin (preferably with an absorption enhancer like pepper) can help treat cancer in humans has yet to be tested properly.
However, there is some evidence that it may help prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system (like colorectal cancer).
In one study in 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day for 30 days reduced the number of lesions by 40% (38).
Maybe curcumin will be used along with conventional cancer treatment one day. It’s too early to say for sure, but it looks promising and this is being intensively studied as we speak.
Bottom Line: Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.

7. Curcumin May be Useful in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

A Pile of Fresh Turmeric Roots
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and a leading cause of dementia.
Unfortunately, no good treatment is available for Alzheimer’s yet.
Therefore, preventing it from showing up in the first place is of utmost importance.
There may be good news on the horizon, because curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier (39).
It is known that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. As we know, curcumin has beneficial effects on both (40).
But one key feature of Alzheimer’s disease is a buildup of protein tangles called Amyloid plaques. Studies show that curcumin can help clear these plaques (41).
Whether curcumin can really slow down or even reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease needs to be studied properly.
Bottom Line: Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.

8. Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin Supplementation

A Plate Full of Turmeric Powder
Arthritis is a common problem in Western countries.
There are several different types, but most involve some sort of inflammation in the joints.
Given that curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory, it makes sense that it could help with arthritis. Several studies show this to be true.
In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was even more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug (42).
Many other studies have looked at the effects of curcumin on arthritis and noted improvements in various symptoms (4344).
Bottom Line: Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.

9. Studies Show That Curcumin Has Incredible Benefits Against Depression

Turmeric Roots and Powder
Curcumin has shown some promise in treating depression.
In a controlled trial, 60 patients were randomized into three groups (45).
One group took prozac, another group took a gram of curcumin and the third group took both prozac and curcumin.
After 6 weeks, curcumin had led to improvements that were similar to prozac. The group that took both prozac and curcumin fared best.
According to this (small) study, curcumin is as effective as an antidepressant.
Depression is also linked to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area with a role in learning and memory.
Curcumin boosts BNDF levels, potentially reversing some of these changes (46).
There is also some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (4748).
Bottom Line: A study in 60 depressed patients showed that curcumin was as effective as prozac in alleviating the symptoms of depression.

10. Curcumin May Help Delay Aging and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases

If curcumin can really help prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s… then this would have obvious benefits for longevity.
For this reason, curcumin has become very popular as an anti-aging supplement (49).
But given that oxidation and inflammation are believed to play a role in aging, curcumin may have effects that go way beyond just prevention of disease (50).

11. Anything Else?

If you want to buy a turmeric/curcumin supplement, then you can get it online or from various health food and supplement stores.
I recommend that you find one with bioperine (another name for piperine), which is the substance that enhances absorption of curcumin by 2000%.
Without this substance, most of the curcumin just passes through your digestive tract.