Properties of Golden Paste
Golden paste (GP) is a combination of high grade turmeric that contains 4.5% curcumin, cracked black pepper and coconut oil. Coconut oil is used instead of just water to enable the curcuminoids in turmeric to be more readily absorbed as they are only soluble in oil. Black pepper contains piperine which also acts to enhance the bioavailability of turmeric. One study found that when 2g of curcumin was ingested, its serum levels were very low, however when 20mg of piperine was added the bioavailability increased by 2000%.
Inflammatory pathways are integral to most disease processes and curcumin has the ability to impose desirable effects upon multiple targets within the inflammatory cascade and its related signalling pathways in the treatment of various chronic inflammatory diseases including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular and neuro-degenerative diseases, allergy, bronchial asthma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis, scleroderma, and certain types of cancers. Curcumin inactivates NF-kB an important transcription factor regulating cellular activity, particularly with respect to stress and injury, and is therefore critical to the inflammation and immune response. Curcumin has also been found to suppress several inflammatory cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), interleukins (IL-1, -1b, -6, and -8), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).
The anticancer activity of curcumin is reported to be through multiple pathways, which has been reviewed extensively. Curcumin blocks tumour initiation and modulates the response and growth of immune cells causing suppression of NK-kB and reduction of IL-2 which inhibits T-lymphocyte proliferation. Curcumin also regulates the activity of macrophages and natural killer cells which may be related to down-regulation of NO and the cytokine response which enhances the phagocytosis by macrophages and reduces the ability to produce reactive oxygen species.
The antioxidant activity of curcumin was reported as early as 1975. It acts as a scavenger of oxygen free radicals. Its derivatives demethoxy curcumin and bis-demethoxy curcumin also have antioxidant effect. Curcumin has the ability to protect lipids, haemoglobin and DNA against oxidative degradation.
Useful links to watch
- Mix GP with food DAILY. Once a day to start with, increase to 2.
- Start with 1/8 or 1/4 of a teaspoon and build up (if needed) to an approximate maximum of 2 heaped teaspoons over a few weeks (if no improvement is seen, further increase of dose may be appropriate).
- Keep paste in fridge and use within 1 month
- Contraindicated in dogs on blood thinning medication
- Mix GP with food or take directly.
- Start with 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon depending on tolerance, increase to 2 or 4 heaped teaspoons per day (if no improvement is seen, further increase of dose may be appropriate, however seek medical advice first).
- Contraindicated in humans taking blood thinning medication such as Warfarin.
Some conditions GP is used for
ARTHRITIS: Curcumin inhibits the breakdown of cartilage and has been shown in some studies to be as effective as hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone (bute) in relieving the symptoms of arthritis such as inflammation, swelling and joint stiffness. Even better, it does so without the significant side-effects of those drugs, and has been shown to be safe at very large doses.
LIVER FUNCTION: Turmeric has a hepatoprotective (liver-protecting) action. That is, it both prevents and repairs liver damage. It protects the liver from inflammation and improves ‘the clearing function of the liver when it has been damaged.’
GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT: In vitro studies have shown extracts of turmeric and curcumin inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori a bacterium associated with both gastric & duodenal ulcer formation and gastric & colon cancers. Other studies have indicated that turmeric (at appropriate doses) can enhance the healing of gastric ulcers via an increase in gastric wall mucus production. Further, turmeric has been shown to have an antispasmodic effect on the gastro-intestinal tract. In addition, turmeric and curcumin have been investigated and found to be protective against Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
CARDIOVASCULAR EFFECTS: Curcumin improves the liver’s ability to clear the body of LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol), and increases the proportion of HDL (‘good’ cholesterol). In addition it prevents the oxidation of both LDL and HDL (oxidised cholesterol leads to blood vessel damage and plaque build up that can result in heart attack or stroke).
Curcumin stops the action a group of compounds known as histone acetylases on heart DNA and prevents hypertrophy. The heart is able to put all its effort into a single, synchronized heartbeat so blood flows more evenly and efficiently out of the heart to the rest of the body.
DIABETIC animals fed curcumin not only had a significant reduction of blood cholesterol levels (LDL fraction) but also of blood triglycerides and phospholipids (elevated levels of both are associated with the disturbed lipid metabolism characteristic of diabetes).
Turmeric is a good source of VITAMIN B6, a high intake of which is associated with a lowered risk of heart disease.
Curcumin exhibits ANTICOAGULANT effects – allowing blood to flow correctly and inhibiting abnormal blood clot formation (thrombosis).
ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: In addition to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection turmeric/curcumin affords against neurodegenerative diseases, curcumin has been shown, after crossing the blood-brain barrier, to inhibit formation of the plaques between neurons (nerve cells) that disrupt brain function.
As well as all the above, turmeric has demonstrated the ability to suppress cataract development, promote wound healing and have a topical anti-fungal effect. It is an excellent source of iron and manganese, and a good source of vitamin B6 and potassium.
ACTIONS: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, carminative, chemopreventive, antimicrobial, depurative (“blood purifying”), hepatoprotective, antithrombotic.
Irving, G, Karmokar, A, Berry, D, Brown, K & Steward, W 2011, ‘Curcumin: The potential for efficacy in gastrointestinal disease’, Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 519-534.
Shehzad, A, Rehman, G, Lee, Y 2013, ‘Curcumin in inflammatory diseases’, Biofactors, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 69-77.
Shoba, G, Joy, D, Joseph, T, Majeed, M, Rajendran, R & Srinivas, P.S 1998, ‘Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human studies’, Planta Medica, vol. 64, no. 4, pp. 353-356.
Suresh, S, Yadav, V & Suresh, A 2006, ‘Health Benefits and Therapuetic Applications of Curcumin’, Clinical Research & Regulatory Affairs, vol. 23, no. 3/4, pp.191-210.