Inflammation is the process that is triggered by damage to your body. Typically, when we think of inflammation we think of heat, redness, swelling, and pain. Pain is our warning signal that something is in need of repair. Inflammation and pain are normal and necessary when we have an injury, such as a sprained ankle. Chronic inflammation that lasts and lasts, however, is not normal and is, in fact, a disease. This type of inflammation is at the root of almost all serious illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and painful conditions such as arthritis.
Relieve inflammation and you relieve pain.
Inflammation is triggered by the release of hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins, especially PGE2, and is sustained by an enzyme called cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2).
If it were possible to inhibit the COX-2 enzyme, it would be possible to control inflammation and possibly even cancer. Did you know that cancer cells are surrounded by an abnormally heavy concentration of COX-2 enzymes? And that chronic aspirin users have less cancer?
Many years ago, drug companies found that aspirin inhibited COX-2. There is a downside to chronic aspirin use, however. At the same time it inhibits COX-2, it also inhibits COX-1 which is a protective prostaglandin for the lining of the digestive tract and blood vessels. Therefore, without adequate COX-1 protection, you may have ulcers and leaking of the blood vessels.
So, for temporary use, aspirin is fine, but for extended use, it may cause serious side effects and even death. One report has estimated that over 40,000 people die annually from the overuse of drugs in the aspirin family.
Then came the “miracle” of “selective” COX-2 inhibitors such as Vioxx, Bextra, Celebrex, etc. These drugs were designed to block COX-2 without inhibiting COX-1, therefore reducing the risk of ulcers or weak blood vessels as a side effect. The expectations for these drugs were extremely high. Later, scientists found that the better results experienced (meaning fewer cases of ulcers and bleeding) were offset by the fact that they caused heart attacks and strokes because they induced clots in the blood. The risks were so great that the FDA took Vioxx and Bextra off the market, and is soon to require the “black box” warning on Celebrex, which is the strongest warning class for prescription drugs.
Remember that inflammation is the cause of pain, both acute and chronic. If an antiinflammatory product could be found that would inhibit the enzymes COX-2 and possibly 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX), without side effects, it would be superior to any other pain relieving medication. This form of therapy would stop the cause of pain. Turmeric contains the compound curcumin, an even better anti-inflammatory than cortisone, which is one of the most powerful of all the steroids.
Curcumin is extremely effective in relieving inflammation, which many medical experts believe to be the cause of 80-90% of all chronic disease, including cancer. In one double-blind study, curcumin matched cortisone as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory.
Researchers at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas stated that curcumin in laboratory studies was as effective, if not more effective, than any cancer treatment drug they have seen, even from any pharmaceutical company. But if this is not enough, over 3,672 references to articles on curcumin have been published in peer-reviewed professional journals. It has been identified as having a multitude of potent health effects. It has demonstrated anti-bacterial, antifungal (yeast), antiviral, antiallergenic, anti-inflammatory, potent antioxidant, antitumor and anticancer properties. Getting the Most from Curcumin. The majority of turmeric products on the market are regular formulas, standardized to 95% curcumin. The problem with this type of formulation is that the curcumin is poorly bioavailable, meaning that it doesn’t pass easily from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream. The curcumin that does reach the bloodstream quickly converts into other compounds. What this means for you is that you have to take huge doses of turmeric powder to get any health benefits. In some cases, cancer patients are taking as many as 16-24, 500 mg capsules a day, which is very difficult to do. Recently scientists in India isolated a curcuminoid complex (curcumin is one kind of curcuminoid) which is much more bioavailable than regular 95% curcumin in any other delivery form.
In fact, in comparison tests, their curcumin, which is mixed with turmeric oils and then micronized (meaning reduced to a small particle), was almost 7 times more bioavailable than other forms of curcumin, and it stayed active in the bloodstream much longer.
Mixing in plant phospholipids (natural substances which contain fatty acids) also aids in boosting absorption. Because it is so bioavailable, this blend is extremely effective in reducing pain and inflammation. It not only inhibits COX-2, but does it in such a way as not to block it completely since we do need some COX-2 for other body functions. And it does this without any significant side effects! Remember: it isn’t just what you take, it is what you ABSORB that counts.
Curcumin's Heart Healthy Effects and Other Benefits
Writing in the April
3, 2009, issue of the International
Journal of Cardiology, researchers
say that curcumin offers protection against drug induced
toxicity and "may prevent diabetic
cardiovascular complications." Known
technically as a polyphenol, curcumin has
anti-inflammatory effects, and can help to
keep red blood cells from
clots, which increases risk of thrombosis. By "decreasing the serum cholesterol level, curcumin
may protect against
the pathological changes
occurring with atherosclerosis."
In the February 2008 edition of the Journal of
Investigation, researchers at the Peter Munk
Cardiac Centre of the
Toronto General Hospital
reported that curcumin may dramatically
chance of developing heart failure. "When the herb
is given orally, it can actually prevent and reverse
restore heart function, and reduce
scar formation." Curcumin
molecules, when properly absorbed,
enter the cell nucleus,
beneficially turning on and
off gene switches, preventing abnormal
of the chromosome under stress, and preventing
excessive abnormal protein production. This helps
to minimize plaque
growth, just as it minimizes
damaged cell division.
Stephen Coles, M.D., Ph.D.
Cognitive Decline and Dementia
Even in the absence of injury or toxicity, loss of cognitive function is a hallmark of aging. Memory loss is believed to begin by age 50, and, by age 80, it’s predicted that nearly half of all individuals will advance to some form of dementia.1
Wondering if curcumin might protect aging brains from cognitive decline, Asian scientists conducted an epidemiological study of curry consumption and cognitive function among the elderly. They found that men and women who consumed turmeric-laced curry “occasionally,” “often,” or “very often,” had significantly better scores on a standardized test of mental status than subjects who “never or rarely” consumed curry. The investigators described these findings as “tentative evidence of better cognitive performance from curry consumption in nondemented elderly Asians…”2
Alzheimer’s Disease Protection
Curcumin may offer protection against the most common cause of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the accumulation of a malformed protein, amyloid-beta. Ordinarily, immune cells known as macrophages identify these defective proteins, engulf them, and destroy them. But for reasons that are not entirely clear, macrophages fail to perform this crucial function in Alzheimer’s disease.3 Using animal models of Alzheimer’s, scientists have shown that curcumin can enhance clearance of amyloid-beta, while reducing fibrils, which are also associated with Alzheimer’s pathology. Curcumin’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and directly bind to plaques may be important in its anti-amyloid activity.4
Los Angeles-based researchers tested the anti-amyloid activity of human macrophages taken from Alzheimer’s disease patients. After incubation with curcumin in the laboratory, uptake of amyloid-beta by macrophages from half of the patients significantly increased. The researchers concluded that this modification of the innate immune system by curcumin, “might be a safe approach to immune clearance of [abnormal amyloid-beta accumulation] in Alzheimer’s disease brain.”5 These data appear to indicate that curcumin is protective against the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and that it may even help reverse the disease process, once begun.
Curcumin’s Natural Partners.
There are many natural ingredients that can support and work synergistically with curcumin to relieve both acute and chronic pain.
Boswellia is another traditional herb that is excellent at reducing inflammation and therefore, relieving pain. The majority of boswellia’s anti-inflammatory activity is linked to the array of boswellic acids in the extract. When scientists dug deeper into these activities they found that every single boswellic acid has anti-inflammatory properties – except one. One boswellic acid (beta) was actually pro-inflammatory.
They wondered what would happen if they removed this beta boswellic acid, and found that with its removal, boswellia’s activity greatly increased. Research studies have found that it is especially potent at reducing joint pain associated with arthritis. It does this by inhibiting the inflammatory enzyme, 5-LOX. Together, curcumin and boswellia reduce the activity of the two most significant pain pathways in the body – COX-2 and 5-LOX. The pain reliever DLPA (dl-phenylalanine) contains two forms of the amino acid phenylalanine. The “l” form improves mood-elevating chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. The “d” form of phenylalanine appears to block a nervous system enzyme (enzyme carboxypeptidase A) that intensifies pain signals. The current theory is that DLPA prevents the breakdown of one of the brain’s natural pain-killing substances, enkephalins, which are in the same family as endorphins.
DLPA supplements combine the “l” and “d” forms of phenylalanine, which work synergistically to reduce chronic pain and improve mood – two concerns that are interconnected. Many people confuse DLPA (found abundantly in fish, yogurt and tofu) with aspartame (NutraSweet® or Equal®) that also has the amino acid phenylalanine as an ingredient.
These are not the same compounds and do not act in the same way in our body. Aspartame breaks down into an unnatural toxic substance not found in the human diet, which can cause some people to be sick or have migraine headaches. When DLPA breaks down, it converts to tyrosine, which is a precursor to helpful substances like dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine, helpful neurotransmitters in the brain; melanin, a healthy pigment in the skin; and thyroid hormone. It does not metabolize into toxic substances. There are no health concerns with DLPA causing migraine headaches or other problems.
The third natural partner for curcumin is the enzyme nattokinase. This enzyme from fermented soybean increases circulation, enabling other compounds that are carried in the bloodstream (such as curcumin, boswellia, and pain-killing endorphins) to reach the areas where they are needed the most. It also balances fibrinogen in the body, a compound that is associated with muscle damage and muscle fiber stiffness. Potent Combination.
Curcumin, boswellia, DLPA and nattokinase make one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory and pain relieving combinations you can find. These ingredients have been proven time and again to be highly effective and safe for extended use. When you use natural ingredients such as turmeric or its active compound curcumin, you are using wisdom of the ages backed by 5,000 years of use as a food and medicine in India.
2181 mg, 60 capsules
How it Works: A unique combination, this formula combines ingredients with multiple mechanisms of action to support the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response and relieve occasional muscle pain due to exercise and overuse. Curcumin and boswellia inhibit different inflammatory compounds in the body. DLPA promotes positive mood and nattokinase increase circulation to move the beneficial compounds to the areas of the body where they are needed.*
DLPA DL-phenylalanine is an amino acid consisting of equal parts D-phenylalanine and L-phenylalanine. D-phenylalanine inhibits the breakdown of compounds called enkephalins. Enkephalins are associated with positive mood and have been shown to relieve occasional muscle pain due to exercise or overuse.* L-phenylalanine is converted into tyrosine, which in turn is used to produce the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine.6-8
Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) Clinically tested boswellia (BosPure) helps reduce the activity of the inflammatory enzyme, 5-LOX (lipoxygenase).* A compound (beta boswellic acid) found in boswellia which interferes with its beneficial activity has been removed, greatly increasing the effectiveness of this extract.9-10
Curcumin (Curcumin longa) Curcumin, a compound found in the spice turmeric, inhibits multiple inflammation pathways in the body. It is also a potent antioxidant. Some of the benefits associated with curcumin include immune system modulation, protection from oxidative stress, and support for the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response.* The specialized extract in this formula has up to 10 times the absorption and blood retention time of standardized 95% curcumin extracts.11-17
Nattokinase The enzyme nattokinase helps promote blood flow, aiding the other ingredients in the formula to reach all areas of the body.*18, 19
Serving Size 3 Capsules - 60 capsules per container
Servings Per Container 20, 30, or 60 depending on how many you take a day
Amount Per Serving
DLPA (dl Phenylalanine), Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) Extract (BosPure®) standardized to contain >70% boswellic acids with AKBA >15%, with less than 5% beta-boswellic acids, Curcumin (Curcuma longa) Extract (BCM-95®) standardized for curcuminoid complex (curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin), Nattokinase
Other ingredients: vegetable cellulose capsule, silicon dioxide and vegetable source magnesium stearate. Contains Soy (less than 5 parts per million)
Contains no: sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, dairy products, artificial coloring, artificial flavoring or preservatives. It contains only natural ingredients. Color variations are normal.
Dosage and Use
Take up to three per day
1. Braverman ER, Chen TJ, Prihoda TJ, et al. Plasma growth hormones, P300 event-related potential and test of variables of attention (TOVA) are important neuroendocrinological predictors of early cognitive decline in a clinical setting: Evidence supported by structural equation modeling (SEM) parameter estimates. AGE. 2007; [Epub ahead of print].
2. Ng TP, Chiam PC, Lee T, et al. Curry consumption and cognitive function in the elderly. Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Nov 1;164(9):898-906.
3. Fiala M, Lin J, Ringman J, et al. Ineffective phagocytosis of amyloid-beta by macrophages of Alzheimer’s disease patients. J Alzheimers Dis. 2005 Jun;7(3):221-32.
4. Yang F, Lim GP, Begum AN, et al. Curcumin inhibits formation of amyloid beta oligomers and fibrils, binds plaques, and reduces amyloid in vivo. J Biol Chem. 2005 Feb 18;280(7):5892-901.
5. Zhang L, Fiala M, Cashman J, et al. Curcuminoids enhance amyloid-beta uptake by macrophages of Alzheimer’s disease patients. J Alzheimers Dis. 2006 Sep;10(1):1-7.
6. Ehrenpreis S. Analgesic properties of enkephalinase inhibitors: animal and human studies. Prog Clin Biol Res. 1985;192:363-70.
7. Ehrenpreis S. D-phenylalanine and other enkephalinase inhibitors as pharmacological agents: implications for some important therapeutic application. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1982;7(2-3):157-72.
10. Poeckel D, Tausch L, Altmann A, et al. Induction of central signalling pathways and select functional effects in human platelets by beta-boswellic acid. Br J Pharmacol. 2005 Oct;146(4):514-24.
11. Jurenka JS. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Altern Med Rev. 2009 Jun;14(2):141-53.
12. Jacob A, Wu R, Zhou M, Wang P. Mechanism of the Anti-inflammatory Effect of Curcumin: PPAR-gamma Activation. PPAR Res. 2007;89369.
13. Johnson SM, Gulhati P, Arrieta I, et al. Curcumin inhibits proliferation of colorectal carcinoma by modulating Akt/mTOR signaling. Anticancer Res. 2009;29(8):3185-90.
14. Ravindran J, Prasad S, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin and cancer cells: how many ways can curry kill tumor cells selectively? AAPS J. 2009;11(3):495-510.
15. Seehofer D, Schirmeier A, Bengmark S, et al. Curcumin Attenuates Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Response in the Early Phase after Partial Hepatectomy with Simultaneous Intraabdominal Infection in Rats. J Surg Res. 2008 Dec 31.
16. Biswas S, Rahman I. Modulation of steroid activity in chronic inflammation: a novel anti-inflammatory role for curcumin. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 ;52(9):987-94.
17. Benny B, Antony B. Bioavailability of Biocurcumax (BCM-95). Spice India. September, 2006:11-15.
18. Hsia CH, Shen MC, Lin JS, et al. Nattokinase decreases plasma levels of fibrinogen, factor VII, and factor VIII in human subjects. Nutr Res. 2009 ;29(3):190-6.
19. Fujita M, Hong K, Ito Y, Fujii R, Kariya K, Nishimuro S. Thrombolytic effect of nattokinase on a chemically induced thrombosis model in rat. Biol Pharm Bull. 1995 ;18(10):1387-91.
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