Can Turmeric Help Heal Nerves?

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The golden spice turmeric is known for numerous health benefits, including enhancing nerve function and recovery.

History of Turmeric

Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine revere turmeric for its anti-inflammatory, digestive, and wound-healing properties. 

Modern science recognized its potential in 1937 when scientists identified the structure curcumin, an active compound in turmeric. Studies documented curcumin’s antibacterial properties. In the 1970s, researchers uncovered its anti-inflammatory effects.

Since the 1990s, researchers discovered turmeric’s potential to protect peripheral nerves, repair damaged brain neurons, and diminish cognitive decline.

Recent clinical trials focus on turmeric’s healing capacity for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, Huntington’s, and Spinocerebellar Ataxia.

How are Nerves Damaged?

Various aspects of life in the modern world damage the nerves over time. 

Free radicals, highly unstable molecules caused by oxidative stress, wreak havoc with nerve health. Due to the current toxic load on our bodies, oxidative stress is at an all-time high. These free radicals are a large part of the reason peripheral neuropathy and neurodegenerative diseases are escalating. 

Vital Nutrients in Turmeric Protect Nerves

A common misconception is curcumin, the active compound, is the only powerful nutrient in turmeric. However, turmeric contains thousands of active compounds, providing various health benefits, from potent anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants to pain-relieving properties.

These agents, known as curcuminoids, contain many other powerful healing agents like turmerones and Zingiberene. 

Tumeric helps repair peripheral nerves through these combined compounds. 

The plant inhibits most pro-inflammatory pathways. Curcuminoids suppress inflammatory cytokines like interleukins and inflammatory enzymes like Cox and Lox pathways. These pathways are known to cause significant neurodegeneration.

How Does Turmeric Support Nerve Regeneration?

Turmeric’s antioxidant properties neutralize free radicals. Besides its arsenal of antioxidants, turmeric increases the body’s glutathione production. 

As one of the body’s most potent antioxidants, glutathione also supports detoxification pathways, minimizing cellular damage from chemicals entering the body. Furthermore, it plays a critical role in supporting the immune system for healing and maintaining healthy cells and tissues. 

Protection from oxidative stress prevents worsening nerve damage and hindrances to regeneration. 

Research also shows that turmeric’s bioactive compounds promote neurogenesis, which supports the growth of new healthy nerve cells. It promotes this growth through BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), essential for the survival, development, and maintenance of new healthy nerves. 

BDNF recently became a hot research topic. Scientists discovered this molecule plays a crucial role in brain health and the growth of new neurons in the peripheral and central nervous systems.

Furthermore, the compounds in turmeric enhance nerve growth factors. BDNF and NGF support the growth and repair of damaged nerves and stimulate nerve regeneration. 

Further studies found curcuminoids remove and prevent up to 40% of the formation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Beyond the benefits to nerves, curcuminoids improve mitochondrial function and decrease mitochondrial oxidative stress. Over the last ten years, Dr. Coppola and Dr. Monteiro noticed a growing trend in neuropathy cases with significant mitochondrial damage. 

Furthermore, curcuminoids control the activity of pain receptors to reduce pain signals–a massive benefit to peripheral neuropathy sufferers.

Turmeric Helps Prevent Diabetes

Turmeric prevents pre-diabetes from transitioning to diabetes. Medical researchers who conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial study found that curcuminoids increased insulin sensitivity and improved the function of pancreatic beta cells, which produce and secrete insulin.

How to Take Turmeric for Nerve Health

We highly recommend eating turmeric as a whole food to maintain your nerve health. If you are afflicted with a chronic illness or disease, such as peripheral neuropathy, and cannot eat enough turmeric to supply your body with the nutrients it needs, we recommend supplements. 

Most places state that curcumin-based supplements have poor bioavailability, meaning the body doesn’t absorb it well. Yes, biologically active compounds from turmeric, whether as a whole food or supplement, do not have great direct cellular absorption. However, the body reaps the health benefits without direct absorption.

Several research studies recently found that gut microbiota works to utilize the healing power of curcuminoids despite turmeric’s poor bioavailability. 

Curcumin interacts directly with the gut microbiota–the microorganisms in the intestines. First, curcuminoids help regulate and make the gut microbiota healthy. In turn, the microbiota transforms curcuminoids into high concentrations of other compounds, which provide the health benefits associated with turmeric.

While you’ll hear all the experts say to take black pepper or piperine for absorption, the latest research shows it is unnecessary. 

If you struggle with GI issues like acid reflux or IBS, we recommend taking black or white pepper along with turmeric. With significant gut dysbiosis, it takes time for the turmeric to heal the gut enough to utilize bioactive compounds. So, it doesn’t hurt to play it safe. 

How Much Turmeric for Nerve Health?

Studies show that beneficial doses of turmeric for nerve health range between 500 mg and 2,000 mg. 

The studies that Dr. Coppola and Dr. Monteiro reviewed with pre-diabetes, they used 1,500 mg of turmeric, daily. For most of their patients, they prescribe 1,500 to 2,000 mg daily.

Unlike medications, turmeric presents no serious side effects. The worst reported incident from consuming too much turmeric is GI upset. 

There are many brands of turmeric supplements for nerve health on the market. We always recommend doing thorough research before choosing a turmeric supplement. Dr. Coppola and Dr. Monteiro typically recommend one of these brands:

  • Thorne Curcumin Phytosome capsules
  • Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme
  • Pure Encapsulations Curcumin 500 with Bioperine
  • Premier Research Labs Turmeric

For concerns with absorption, we recommend taking one peppercorn, white or black, and swallowing it with the capsules. 

How to Add Turmeric to My Diet?

There are many simple ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet.

Turmeric-Golden-Milk
Turmeric-Golden-Milk
  1. Put turmeric into a smoothie.
  2. Make homemade turmeric tea (not tea bags because turmeric oxidizes very quickly).
  3. Make Golden milk or turmeric late. Use milk or nut milk, turmeric, maple syrup, cinnamon, and black pepper.
  4. Put turmeric in soups or curried dishes.
  5. Add it to rice.
  6. Add it to egg dishes.

Outside of these simple methods, YouTube and Google provide various recipes.

Curcumin spice does not provide the same therapeutic benefits as fresh turmeric for nerve health. Curcumin rapidly oxidizes, and there is no way of knowing how long the spice has been in the bottle.  

From reducing inflammation to promoting nerve cell growth, and improving overall health, turmeric is admittedly our most important golden ally. 

Struggling with Neuropathy?

Dr. Coppola and Dr. Monteiro’s dedication to combating neuropathy is deeply personal, stemming from Dr. Monteiro’s experience with her mother’s severe chemo-induced neuropathy. This personal journey fueled their commitment to develop a systematic, drug-free approach to reversing neuropathy.

They founded the San Antonio Neuropathy Center, where they’ve successfully treated over 18,000 patients over the past two decades. Their acclaimed book, “Defeat Neuropathy Now in Spite of Your Doctor,” along with their neuropathy product line, stands as a testament to their expertise and innovative solutions.

Recognized as leading neuropathy specialists in America, Dr. Coppola and Dr. Monteiro offer a beacon of hope for those diagnosed with this challenging condition. If you or a loved one is seeking relief from neuropathy, reach out to us at 844 400-0101 or email us through our contact page – Click here.

Your path to healing can start today.

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