10 Benefits of Curcumin for People with High Blood Pressure

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, refers to a disorder where blood hits the walls of the arteries with force greater than normal. It can cause severe damage to an individual’s health.

It increases the risk to conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and other heart problems.

Therefore, it needs to be regularly monitored as we age and be given the required attention if it goes beyond the normal levels (120/80-140/90).

Although it is a chronic disease which will last lifelong, suitable diet and lifestyle changes can decrease the damaging health effects caused by it. Treatment usually involves regular exercise, medication and weight loss in some cases.

What is Curcumin?

Curcumin is a naturally yellow compound which is a critical component of the spice, turmeric. It is highly bioactive and polyphenolic in nature and its administration elicits several positive effects on the human body.

Most notably, it acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Scientists have gained interest in its use as a pharmacological agent as it regulates cell signals and aids several disease conditions. Some of them even refer to it as ‘curecumin’ and are currently exploring its potential as a pharmaceutical agent.

Read: Health Benefits of Curcumin

10 Benefits of Curcumin for High Blood Pressure Patients

Curcumin can help High Blood pressure patients in several ways. Curcumin helps in lowering blood pressure. It also protects the blood vessel structure from damage caused by hypertension and regulates the activity of systems involved in blood pressure regulation. Curcumin is a cardioprotective agent and cardiac protects from fibrosis. Curcumin is an excellent anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant agent and helps in normalizing lipid profile.

benefits of curcumin in high blood pressure

Some of the benefits of using curcumin to obtain healthy blood pressure have been listed as follows:

1. Curcumin lowers blood pressure

Many scientific experiments have shown the positive effects displayed by curcumin on blood pressure and cholesterol problems. Several targeted therapeutics made from the compound are also being manufactured.

Even nanomolecular forms of curcumin have proven to be a potent antihypertensive.

Researchers have confirmed that it acts as a vasodilator (blood vessel widening agent) through keen observations from his study carried out on a hypertensive animal model.

Further investigation into this revealed that curcumin is capable of relaxing the walls of the blood vessels by controlling the Calcium channels in the surrounding cells.

In addition, it lowers the activity of angiotensin-converting enzyme and lipid oxidation reactions (the chief culprits behind high blood pressure and high cholesterol respectively).

What does this mean?
Scientific studies using curcumin for high blood pressure treatment have shown positive results due to its calcium channel regulatory activity. The vasodilator potential of curcumin can be used for cholesterol lowering as well.

2. Curcumin protects the blood vessel structure from damage caused by hypertension

In 2011, Nutrition and Metabolism published a study which was based on the use of curcumin in an animal model of blood pressure. It was carried out using a mixture of natural compounds including piperine, derived from black pepper.

The period over which the subjects were studied ranged over 6 weeks.

Through the usage of wall thickness and cross-sectional area of the aorta a measure of the extent of structural changes in artery walls post high blood pressure induction, they determined that curcumin could curb the negative changes caused by hypertension on artery walls.

What does this mean?
Through the administration of curcumin, the study of the dimensions of the aorta of the subjects involved showed that the detrimental morphological effects brought about by high blood pressure were significantly brought down.

3. Curcumin regulates that activity of systems involved in blood pressure regulation

Research has suggested that the complex renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is crucial to control of blood pressure.

Some key elements in this pathway are the AT1R in vascular smooth muscle cells and angiotensin (Ang) II receptor which works together to increase blood pressure over time

However, curcumin provides a suitable natural treatment for this.

Yonggang Yao et al.’s investigative study showed that the compound could target a multitude of molecular pathways responsible for hypertension development.

In particular, concentrations of AT1R and angiotensin (Ang) II receptor were brought down thus lowering their expression.

What does this mean?
By lowering the levels of angiotensin receptors in vascular tissues, curcumin helps improve blood pressure function and in turn,reduces the chance of occurrence of heart attacks and stroke.

4. Curcumin protects from toxin-induced hypertension

Blood pressure problems are often a result of progressive damage caused by foreign substances entering the body.

Damage and death of artery tissue over time cause loss of its stability.

Curcumin acts as an antioxidant and protective agent. Through increasing vascular responsiveness and modulating the blood pressure levels, it lessens the impact of damaging chemicals.

These properties have been tested in an animal model of Cadmium-induced hypertension and have displayed positive results.

What does this mean?
Experimental trials with curcumin for hypertension treatment have shown positive results due to its cell regulatory activity. The toxin protective activity of curcumin can be put to use for lowering blood pressure effectively.

5. Curcumin protects from cardiac fibrosis

Fibrosis refers to the process of deterioration or scarring of a connective tissue over time. Some molecules and pathways are interconnected causing this damage, some of these are collagen fibres and angiotensin receptors.

A 2014 ActaPharmacological Sinica study illustrated how spontaneously hypertensive rats treated with curcumin had decreased systolic blood pressure. This, in turn, resulted in suppression of angiotensin receptor activity as well.

A year after this study, Xue-Fen Pang, et al. published another paper further validate these findings.

They saw that curcumin administration helped regulate the expression of angiotensin II (Ang II) receptors and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) which are chief influencers of myocardial fibrosis.

What does this mean?
The curcumin in turmeric possesses anti-fibrotic properties i.e. it can bring down the damaging effects of angiotensin related enzymes. It monitors oxidative damage enabling it a useful in antihypertensive.

6. Curcumin is a cardioprotective agent

Heart problems sometimes arise as a direct effect of other blood pressure disorders, for instance, Ischemic heart disease or heart attacks.

It is believed that curcumin protects heart function by modulation of several molecular mechanisms.

This was investigated by Abderrahim Nemmaret al. where they saw that animals when treated with curcumin, showed enhanced resistance to diesel exhaust particle (DEP, a compound that causes lung inflammation and blood vessel-damaging events).

Thrombosis i.e., the formation of clots within vessels that obstructs blood flow was also mitigated, in turn, preventing pulmonary and cardiovascular disorders.

What does this mean?
The administration of curcumin activates the behavior-modulating mechanisms in the blood vessels. This ability to manipulate cell signals and reactions imparts blood pressure attenuating ability to the compound.

7. Curcumin improves vascular function

Several recent scientific studies are indicative of the positive effects of turmeric on blood flow regulation.

Earlier this year, Jessica R. Santos-Parker and colleagues attempted to determine how curcumin administration could improve endothelial function in arteries.

Through investigating various parameters such as artery stiffness and circulating biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation, it was seen that curcumin supplementation helps regulate relaxation and constriction of artery walls systematically by bringing about increased nitric oxide bioavailability.

This, in turn, allows unhindered blood flow and smooth vascular functionality.

What does this mean?
Turmeric is rich in antioxidant compounds like curcumin that prevent and reverse damage to cells by obliterating harmful free radicals. These compounds also regulate cell signals and thus are believed to be responsible for the complex’s vascular protecting abilities.

8. Curcumin normalizes lipid profile

Considering the growing popularity of the compound and its increased usage, scientists decided to analyse its efficiency in reducing lipid-related reactions.

This study was conducted on animal model and they evaluated the levels of LDL, triglycerides, and phospholipids post administration of curcumin.

It was seen that the concentration of the lipids and cholesterol was brought down significantly along with lowering the rate of lipid peroxidation.(degradation of lipids by oxidative damage)

What does this mean?
Since the compound, curcumin present in turmeric is capable lowering lipids and cholesterol, it has potential to be used for hypertension treatment.

9. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory activity

Inflammation takes place due to the body’s attempts to repair damage caused by a wound or infection. It is often a matter of concern in hypertensive patients.

Endothelial cells play a major role in the maintenance of vascular function. This is through secretion of cell mediator molecules and enzymes. Disturbances in the concentrations of these substances could cause inflammation which can lead to vascular dysfunction.

Researchers have conducted extensive animal model-based studies of the compound to conclude its highly potent anti-inflammatory effects.

The evidence of such abilities was provided through the 2016 Plant Medica study which showed that curcumin blocked several pro-inflammatory markers like interleukin-1 and – 6, interferon-γ, and tumour necrosis factor-α.

What does this mean?
The use of curcumin provides a potential remedy for inflammation. It lowers swelling and enables deactivation of inflammatory molecules.

10. Curcumin is a natural Antioxidant

Free radicals are harmful chemicals found in our body in an unbound state. These are kept in check with antioxidant compounds.

If the rate of build-up of free radicals exceeds the rate of their elimination, toxic condition known as oxidative stress takes place.

Studies have indicated that curcumin plays an active role in halting blood vessel-damaging processes mediated by oxidative stress.

These primarily include free radicle mediated alteration of membranes of cells through reactions with their lipid components and harm to genetic components such as DNA and proteins.

Coupled with its anti-inflammatory effects, curcumin’s radical scavenging capacity makes it useful for therapy of vascular dysfunction cases.

What does this mean?
Curcumin could be potentially used as first aid to eradicate harmful free radicles which are released at the site of damage. It reduces oxidative stress by improving antioxidant enzyme activity.

Curcumin Dosage

A specific dosage of curcumin has not been prescribed for hypertension. However, some studies utilize a dose of 300 mg twice a day for such conditions.

Most research studies utilise a dose of 500-1000 mg of curcumin per day. It is best to consult a doctor for the appropriate dosage and formulation of curcumin.

There are several types of curcumin supplements available in the market.

If you are looking to buy curcumin supplements, do read our detailed article on types of supplements and best brands

Always start with a low dosage and increase gradually over weeks. Curcumin supplements are best taken after meals and avoid taking them at the same time as any other medication. Maintain a 3-4 hour gap.

Precautions with Curcumin

Turmeric as a spice and part of the diet is very safe.

Read: 100 Health Benefits of Turmeric

Most studies have demonstrated that curcumin, even at high dosages, is safe. However, a few precautions must be noted (Read: Side effects & Precautions of Curcumin)

Rule out any allergies with turmeric and curcumin.

Avoid taking curcumin supplements on an empty stomach as they may trigger acid reflux in susceptible individuals.

Gastric discomfort is possible with the sudden introduction of curcumin, especially at high doses. Start with small dosages and increase gradually over weeks to recommended dosages to minimise gastric side effects. In case of serious gastric side effects, discontinue use of curcumin.

Curcumin interferes with drug metabolism. Hence it is advised to avoid taking curcumin supplements at the same time as taking other medicines. Maintain a 3-4 hour gap. Also, consult a health practitioner with regards to this to avoid any drug interactions.

Curcumin has blood thinning activity. If taking blood thinners or suffering from a bleeding /clotting disorder it is advisable to avoid curcumin supplements in this case. (Read: Is turmeric a blood thinner?) Consult a health practitioner with regards to this.

Discontinue curcumin supplements 2 weeks prior to surgical procedures to avoid bleeding risk.

If suffering from gallstones or bile duct obstructions, avoid curcumin supplements. (Read: Is turmeric safe in gallstones?)

Avoid turmeric supplements during pregnancy and lactation.

Ensure that you opt for good quality curcumin supplements that are free from toxicity, heavy metal contamination, fillers or additives.

It is best to take curcumin supplements with bioperine or other agents that increase its bioavailabilty.

Consult a health practitioner before taking curcumin supplements.

Bottomline

Through the above studies, we can see that curcumin offers a variety of benefits for high blood pressure. As such, scientists are now trying to use the compound to develop formulations to aid hypertension.

Along with regulating enzymes responsible for vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress conditions, it also displays uniquely potent anti-inflammatory effects.

Therefore, it is advisable for patients suffering from high blood pressure to give curcumin a try. The results will surely not disappoint.

About the Author

TurmericForHealthTeam

Turmeric for Health's writer team consists of passionate writers from the fields of biotechnology, pharmacy, nutrition, Ayurveda & microbiology.Our writers are highly qualified with many having Ph.D., M.Tech & MSc degrees while others having B.Tech, BSc, B.Pharm. Our differentiation lies in researching and presenting ONLY FACTUAL SCIENTIFIC information. We spend 10s of hours to write a single article. Info of our articles is sourced from reliable scientific sources which are also provided as a link alongside for readers to refer if they want. You can read more about our team in the " About us" section.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.