Extraordinary health effects from curry spice


It’s difficult to refrain from hyperbole when reviewing the natural nutrient curcumin, found in the curry spice turmeric. It may well outperform statins and other arthritis, heart and dementia drugs – all without side effects.

Probably the most prestigious database for health researchers is the US National Library of Medicine, Institutes of Health. This is the conclusion of a meta-survey, published on their site under the heading Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials.

“Extensive clinical trials over the past quarter century have shown the safety and efficacy of this nutraceutical against numerous diseases in humans.

“Promising effects have been observed in patients with various pro-inflammatory diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel disease, gastric ulcer, gastric inflammation, psoriasis, acute coronary syndrome, atherosclerosis, diabetes, renal conditions, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and chronic bacterial prostatitis.”

The meta-survey makes the very important point that almost all drugs are ‘mono-targeted smart drugs’ – that is, they target just one pathway in the development of a disease.

Yet, as the authors further point out, cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological diseases, metabolic diseases, as well as cancer, are caused by abnormalities in multiple pathways.

“Thus, attacking only one of these multiple pathways is highly unlikely to be effective.”

In contrast, a compound that helps prevent multiple pathways from creating the abnormalities that lead to disease is a true wonder nutraceutical – ie. a natural compound that has pharmacological effects. And that’s exactly what curcumin does.

Curcumin fights so many life threatening and diminishing illnesses is because it is an all-rounder.

“It has been shown to exhibit anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-cancer activities.” – MD Anderson Cancer Center

So curcumin fights excess free radicals and inflammation simultaneously – and since these two threats lie at the heart of almost all age-related disease, you can see why it is a vital component of a nutritional supplement that should extend health.

Extraordinary health effects from curry spice NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals ‘Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides’
Journal of Drug Research and Development‘Reduces amyloid plaque in the brain’
Journal of Biological Chemistry

‘Relieves rheumatoid arthritis pain’
Journal of Phytotherapy Research

‘Effective against the onset of Type 2 Diabetes’
Journals of the American Diabetes Association

‘Inhibits the onset of cataracts’
Journal of Investigative Opthalmology and Vision Science

Extraordinary health effects from curry spice NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Anti-inflammation – fighting the underlying causes of ageing and age-related illness

In all, there have been over 5,000 studies on curcumin and its preventative effects. But why does it have such a positive effect on such a wide variety of illnesses?

A key reason is that it fights a problem that probably the majority of people over 50 suffer from.

That problem is chronic, sub-clinical inflammation. ‘Chronic’ means continuous and ‘sub-clinical’ means undetectable – at least without a specific test called a CRP test.

Because you don’t feel or see this type of internal, tissue-damaging inflammation, Time magazine has called it ‘The Silent Killer’. And suggests that,

“Instead of different treatments for heart disease, Alzheimer’s and colon cancer, there might be a single remedy that would prevent all three.”

 Extraordinary health effects from curry spice NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

New Scientist recently confirmed that chronic inflammation is involved in “… muscle wasting and glaucoma, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, osteoporosis and arthritis, heart failure and high blood pressure, cancers, and lung, liver, kidney and skin disorders.”

Russell Tracy, Professor of Pathology and Biochemistry, University of Vermont College of Medicine, is clear:  “Inflammatory factors predict virtually all bad outcomes in humans … having heart attacks, having heart failure, becoming diabetic … becoming fragile in old age … cognitive function decline, even cancer to a certain extent.”

If inflammation is the driver of so many age related diseases, then anti-inflammatory compounds and diets are vital to improved health and longevity.


Curcumin is possibly the strongest natural anti-inflammatory nutrient ever discovered, switching off a range of inflammatory genes, via a protein complex called the NF-kB pathway.  This is really significant because the MD Anderson Cancer Center has found the NF-kB pathway was active in a great majority of early cancers.

There is a lot of current research on curcumin’s anti-cancer properties. Because there are over 200 different types of cancer, cancer develops via multiple pathways. As we’ve seen, curcumin affects multiple pathways, increasing the activity of some, inhibiting the activity levels of others. And one promising direction is its use in combination with chemotherapy drugs.


Curcumin also may have anti-ageing effects. When researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies fed old mice with curcumin they found that their blood vessels were normalised with reduced brain inflammation and lower levels of oxidation.


A recent study even showed that turmeric stimulates the production of immune cells called macrophages and in doing so was able to remove a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis – the bacterium that causes tuberculosis.

Yet another study showed it is effective against the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which causes gastritis, peptic ulcers and is implicated in gastric cancer.


In another significant study, a group of healthy 40-60 year-olds were given either a placebo or lipated curcumin ie. curcumin in or with oil.

Within 4 weeks the curcumin group saw a reduction in triglyceride levels (heart protective), a reduction in beta amyloid proteins (dementia protective) and a reduction in free radical formation (protection against abnormal cells).

The reduction in beta amyloid proteins is very significant. Research shows that curcumin can cross the blood brain barrier and not only helps inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta-amyloids in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, (ie. preventative) but also breaks up existing plaques associated with the disease (ie. may well help improve an existing condition).

People with Alzheimer’s tend to have higher levels of inflammation in their brains, and curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory.


Curcumin has been shown to inhibit the activity of COX2 and 5-LOX enzymes, which are pro-inflammatory. That same protective effect has direct implications for preventing or alleviating osteoarthritis – because COX2 and 5-LOX are drivers of the inflammation behind this condition too.

Even more effective when bio-availability can be improved

Pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, cholesterol reducer, potential cognitive enhancer, even skin improver and immune booster – yet the effects of this wonder nutrient can be further improved.

Curcumin has one drawback – it normally has low bioavailability UNLESS it is consumed at the same time as oil. The best choice for that would be alongside Omega 3 oil, because that not only helps increase bio-availability but adds another level of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effect.

Based on the results of many clinical trials, you need to look for a standardised curcumin at a preventative dose of 250 mg per day – higher for an existing condition. (Standardisation means that the active ingredients are concentrated and made up to a consistent level).

To see a combination of curcumin with Omega 3 and other natural nutrients (lycopene, vitamin D3, green tea catechins, polyphenols) that have multiple pathway effects, including positive effects on gene expression, check out the premium supplement NutriShield. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button below.


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Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive healthExtraordinary health effects from curry spice NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients, including ALL those mentioned above. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.

Extraordinary health effects from curry spice NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsDr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from most good bookstores. See the website www.healthdefence.com for excerpts and links to buy direct from the publisher.


Subash C. GuptaSridevi Patchva, and Bharat B. Aggarwal Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials The AAPS Journal: January 2013, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 195-218

Disilvestro RA, Joseph E, Zhao S, Joshua B. Diverse effects of a low dose supplement of lipidated curcumin in healthy middle aged people. Nutr J. 2012;11(1):79. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-79.[PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

Gupta SC, Patchva S, Koh W, Aggarwal BB. Discovery of curcumin, a component of golden spice, and its miraculous biological activities. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2012;39(3):283–299. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1681.2011.05648.x. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

Dhillon N, Aggarwal BB, Newman RA, Wolff RA, Kunnumakkara AB, Abbruzzese JL, et al. Phase II trial of curcumin in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2008;14(14):4491–4499. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-0024. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]



Best vitamins for the elderly

Dr Paul Clayton 2014

Ensuring older people have enough nutrition can be a challenge. It’s not just a question of preventing deficiency – the real focus should be on making sure they have the optimum range and optimum amount of the nutrients that can reduce the risk of what are termed ‘age-related’ illnesses.

On average, metabolism declines by about 5% per decade – as much as 20% between ages 30 and 70. The result is that older people tend to eat less in order to control their weight and less food means less nutrients.

Additionally the body becomes less efficient at absorbing certain key nutrients (like B12), appetite can decline and there may even be difficulty in digesting some foods.

More importantly, damage to DNA builds up through excessive free radical action. And damage to internal body tissue starts to accumulate though what is called ‘chronic sub-clinical inflammation’ – about which more later.

So if you have an older parent – or are in that age group yourself – here are the most important nutrients to ensure are adequately present in your daily food and nutritional supplements.

We will start with the vitamins and minerals that are most likely to be deficient and how to get them – but they are not necessarily even the most important nutrients! Because we now know the key reason that health declines with age – and how to combat it.


Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, and therefore maintain bone density, and therefore prevent osteoporosis – which is an issue for both men and women as they get older. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen.

But vitamin D does a lot more – there is good evidence that it helps protect against some chronic diseases, including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune diseases. Many older people (as many as 70%) are deficient in vitamin D, which is mainly produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight.

Few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Those that do include fatty fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, and eggs. Many experts think that vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins to supplement for older people, since the skin becomes less efficient at producing the vitamin from sunlight as we age. The RDAs for vitamin D are currently under review to be upgraded.

An optimum level for a vitamin D supplement would be 20 micrograms of the D3 form.

Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make normal DNA. B12 also helps prevent a type of anaemia that makes people tired and weak. Older people can’t absorb it from food as well as younger people.

There are several other important B vitamins and they all have different functions, including helping to break down energy from food, keeping the skin, eyes and nervous system healthy, and helping to form red blood cells. People who are B-deficient are at increased risk of anaemia and neurological problems such as memory loss.

The richest source of vitamin B12 is beef liver with fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products as good sources. An optimum level for a B12 supplement would be 6 micrograms a day and for vitamins B1 and B2 would be 7.5 milligrams a day.

Magnesium is an essential mineral for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining normal heart rhythm, and building strong bones. A deficiency in magnesium is associated with muscle loss, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, and osteoporosis.

Good sources of magnesium include dark green vegetables like spinach, also fish, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds. But absorption of magnesium decreases with age and some prescription medications, including diuretics, may also reduce magnesium absorption.

B vitamins Folate/Folic Acid and Betaine
A deficiency of the essential B vitamin Folic Acid (B9) is known to contribute to anaemia. In addition we know that raised levels of a blood protein called homocysteine is strongly associated with a raised risk of heart attack.

Folic acid, together with other B vitamins and especially a lesser known B vitamin called betaine, can reduce homocysteine levels – and therefore the risk of heart troubles.

Good sources of folate – the natural form of folic acid – are leafy green vegetables. An optimum level for a folic acid (B9) supplement would be 200 mcg and of betaine would be 450mg.

One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will break a bone, mainly because of osteoporosis. Calcium is essential for building and maintaining strong bones and for normal heart function. If you don’t get enough calcium, your body will leach it out of your bones.

However, it’s not enough to take just extra calcium. For the body to USE dietary calcium, it needs both vitamin D and vitamin K – and ideally Omega 3.

Good sources of calcium include dairy products, almonds and leafy green vegetables. The ideal source of calcium is dairy foods, rather than supplements, but these can help. A smoothie made from yogurt, vanilla ice cream and fruit is ideal.

Potassium also helps keep bones strong – and has been shown to help reduce high blood pressure and the risk of kidney stones.

Bananas, prunes, plums, and potatoes with their skins on are good sources of potassium.

Less than half of older people eat enough fibre – which helps promote healthy digestion by moving foods through the digestive tract.

Good natural sources of fibre include whole grains, nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, and these all have many other health benefits, including protecting against heart disease.

Vitamins E and C
There is convincing evidence that older people with higher levels of vitamin E have a lower mortality risk. However, vitamin E is fat-soluble and can therefore accumulate. So mega-doses are to be avoided – as with any nutrient. A good supplement level would be about 13 mg per day provided as mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols – which are different types of vitamin E that protect in different ways.

Combine vitamin E with 500mg of vitamin C, as these vitamins work synergistically with each other. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that helps to fight disease and infections and aids healing.


Earlier I stated that we now know a key reason that health declines with age. Health researchers have identified what is called ‘chronic sub-clinical inflammation’ as a – possibly the – key cause of age related disease – from cancer to Alzheimer’s to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis; not to mention ageing of the skin, and indeed the bulk of the ageing process itself.

This type of inflammation is different from external inflammation – which is typically a positive external immune response to a cut or infection. This is an insidious and initially undetectable internal process that causes increasing damage to body tissue over time – ultimately ending in a degenerative disease.

READ MORE on inflammation as a key driver of age-related diseases.

So to stay healthy as you age, you need to reduce the factors that trigger this type of inflammation and increase the level of anti-inflammatory foods and daily supplements.

The two most important anti-inflammatory nutrients are Omega 3 and what are called polyphenols and flavonoids – some of the most active protective ingredients in fruits and vegetables.

These unsaturated fats, found in fish, are associated with reduced symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis, improved brain function (and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s), better heart health and slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that causes reduced vision in the elderly.

Health researchers recommend at least two, and ideally four, servings of oily fish a week. Wild salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are especially high in omega-3 fats. Since few people will eat four portions of fish a week, a daily Omega 3 supplement should contain at least 500 mg of EPA/DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) – the active fatty acid components of Omega 3.

Why does the American Cancer Society now recommend as many as nine portions of fruits and vegetables a day? Because they contain a range of compounds that are cardio-protective, brain-protective and create an internal body environment that is hostile to cancer.

Some of these compounds are polyphenols and flavonoids, many of which give fruits and vegetables their colour. Again, if nine portions are not realistic, older people can get flavonoids in supplement form as green tea extract, grape-seed extract and as lutein, lycopene and beta carotene – all of which have impressive evidence behind them as risk-reducing health supplements.

So the best supplements to protect the elderly should contain much more than the classic vitamins and minerals – they MUST include anti-inflammatory nutrients like Omega 3 and polyphenols/flavonoids.


Yes, 8 glasses of fluids a day (which includes tea and coffee). And regular exercise – including walking, gardening, active house-cleaning – amounting to at least 30 minutes for 5 days a week.

A regime like this will put over-60s in the top 1% of healthy seniors on the planet!