“Kirk here. What’s the matter, Scotty?”
“Captain, it’s Security! They’ve been brainwashed!”
“Aye, Captain. Security deployed to arrest an invading alien, but now they won’t stop! They’re arresting the crew.”
“Just fix it, Scotty. And curry!”
Inflammation, like the Starship Enterprise’s Security force, is essential for keeping your body safe from invading microorganisms; inflammation helps to kill the invaders and start the healing process. But chronic inflammation, when the body ends up attacking itself, can lead to a galaxy of problems. Inflammation has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome (which can lead to stroke and diabetes).
So what’s a Scotsman in outer space to do? Hit the intercom and say “Curcumin!”
(Not laughing? Re-read the first line of this post. Still not laughing? I blame your Scottish accent.)
Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric, a root that gives curry and mustard it’s yellow color. Curcumin is both a very strong anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. (A green tea toast to that!) The bad news is that turmeric (and therefore curry) doesn’t contain a whole lot of curcumin; most medical benefits are seen from taking curcumin extracts, not from eating Indian food 24/7. That’s a bummer, because I was hoping that hitting our local Indian buffet could be considered “fighting cancer”. Sigh.
A bottle of curcumin extract will run your anywhere from $15-30. I’m not usually one to take extracts; I barely remember to take my daily multivitamin. But I also like the idea of giving my body a Star Trek spring cleaning.
First there’s Kirk. He seeks out new life and new civilizations and, if they’re evil, he squashes them. He prevents evil empires from spreading to other planets, fights the enemy in hand to hand combat, and roots out injustice all over the galaxy. Curcumin stops cancer tumors from spreading, stops tumors from growing, and even reduces pre-cancerous lesions. Best to let Kirk coom in.
Then there’s Spock. Logical to a fault and owner of the coolest ears this side of Vulcan, Spock increases the knowledge of everyone around him. Curcumin raises the level of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) in our brains. BDNF is what allows your brain to keep learning and growing throughout your life, and decreased levels of BDNF have been linked to depression and Alzheimer’s. So, curcumin makes you Spockier.
Last of our Star Trek spring cleaners is Doctor Bones McCoy. McCoy has a big heart and curcumin improves the function of the lining of the blood vessels, which affects blood pressure, clotting, and other important stuff that you need McCoy’s medical tricorder to observe properly. In short, curcumin helps prevent heart disease because “Darn it, Jim, McCoy’s a doctor, not a chef”.
If you do try curcumin, please talk to your doctor or at least google the side effects first. They don’t sound bad unless you’re taking certain kinds of chemotherapy or trying to get pregnant.
“Scotty, is Security under control? The Ambassador from the Planet of Beautiful Bipedal Females is due to arrive any minute.”
“Aye, Captain, we’re all set. I’ve got the curry.”
“I said hurry, Scotty.”
“I did, Captain. The Ambassador has just beamed aboard.”
“I’ll come greet her in person. Kirk coomin’ down.”
Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Matthew 23:26
Images courtesy of: www.comicvine.com (security officers), www.worldtechtoday.com (Scotty), dejareviewer.com (Kirk), bigbangtheory.wikia.com (Spock), www.thezone.fm (McCoy), www.precisionnutrition.com (curcumin)