Curcumin is the bioactive compound in the spice turmeric, an ancient health remedy. Turmeric has been part of traditional Ayurvedic medicine in India for thousands of years. It is used to treat pain, heart ailments, depression, and even cancer.
The authors of a recent review published in the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy noted that curcumin also has powerful antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects that could help COVID-19 patients.
The “Wonder Drug” That May Fight COVID-19?
Other research has come to similar conclusions:
- A lab study published in the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry found that curcumin binds to the spike proteins that the coronavirus uses to invade cells. This disarms the virus.
The researchers theorize that curcumin could be “a wonder drug as a preventive measure for COVID-19 management.”
- A comprehensive review in the Journal of Clinical Immunology concluded that curcumin boosts the body’s immune response.
“Curcumin has been shown in the last two decades to be a potent immunomodulatory agent that can modulate the activation of T cells, B cells, macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells. Curcumin at low doses can also enhance antibody responses,” the authors wrote.
- A study conducted by the Pasteur Institute in Paris found that curcumin is a potent antiviral substance. It was shown to be effective against hepatitis C, dengue, Zika, and chikungunya.
- A lab study published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry found that curcumin destroyed the SARS virus. It’s a close biological relative of the COVID-19 virus.
- A scientific paper in the February 2021 issue of the journal Heliyon looked at non-clinical research on curcumin. It concludes that curcumin is safe, shows antiviral activity, may suppress COVID-19 infection, and could reduce severe inflammation caused by the disease.
One note of caution…
Human trials of curcumin in COVID patients are underway, but they have not yet been completed. So we don’t know if the supplement is an effective treatment. As soon as the results are released, we’ll post them to the COVID-19: Breaking News section of our website.
In the meantime, if you take curcumin, look for formulations designed to improve bioavailability. Typically, this means the supplement will include black pepper. Piperine, a compound in black pepper, aids absorption.
Some supplements may also include oil, which also helps absorption, since curcumin is fat-soluble. Taking curcumin with a meal that includes a healthy oil such as avocado, olive, or coconut oil can help as well.
Curcumin is the ancient health remedy that may be more valuable than ever before.
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