You may have heard turmeric called a “superfood.” You may have even come across ads advertising turmeric powder benefits. But what does science have to say about the purported health benefits of turmeric?

Is turmeric good for inflammation? And what about its effects on vision? Is turmeric good for your eyes?

What Is Turmeric?

Turmeric refers to both Curcuma longa, a perennial plant native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, and to the spice ground from its rhizome or root. This spice is one of the key ingredients in curry powder.

Turmeric contains the compound curcumin. The main active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin has been extensively studied for its potential health benefits.

curcuma longa roots ground into turmeric

Next, lets look at what some of these studies have discovered about turmeric root benefits and, more specifically, about curcuma benefits.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

From protecting your cells from free radicals to helping in the treatment of specific eye diseases, turmeric may have many health benefits. Here's how these relate to eye health.

Protects your body from free radicals that can damage cells

Free radicals contribute to age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye diseases. They occur naturally because of cellular processes as well as because of pollution, UV damage, and other environmental factors.

Curcumin acts as an antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals. In addition to eye diseases, it may help ward off neurodegenerative diseases, atherosclerosis, and cancer.

Can aid in the treatment of various eye diseases

Research shows that curcumin can help support in the treatment of glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eye disease, conjunctivitis (pink eye), diabetic retinopathy, and other eye diseases.

closeup of human blue eye with reflected lashes

For example, dry eye disease involves the inflammation of the surface of the eye and the presence of proinflammatory cytokines in corneal cells. A study on mice found that curcumin can inhibit certain types of cytokines in the conjunctiva.

May help prevent type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that over time can lead to many complications, including diabetic retinopathy, a common cause of vision loss. In diabetic retinopathy, the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the eye can detach the retina from the back of the eye.

Researchers have found that participants in a study who took turmeric extract (250 mg turmeric content) capsules for 9 months did not go on to develop diabetes while they were enrolled in the study.

Can be effective as an anti-depressant

Serious eye disease including severe dry eyes may come with significant symptoms that interfere with everyday life. Long-suffering dry eye patients may become more prone to feeling down about their symptoms.

A 2013 study found that a turmeric extract supplement is as effective as Prozac, a common antidepressant. Unlike the latter, however, turmeric doesn’t appear to have any noticeable side effects.

May have anti-ageing properties

Ageing is one of the major causes of dry eye disease -- as we age, our eyes produce fewer tears. Low grade inflammation is one of the primary mechanisms of ageing. Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

senior white-haired and bearded man touching senior woman's shoulder as she looks at him and smiles

Research indicates that turmeric may be one of the nutraceuticals (functional foods that provide health benefits) that may delay ageing. More research is needed to understand the exact effects of turmeric on the ageing process. But the body of research available so far indicates it may help keep your body younger for longer.

Turmeric Uses

Pure turmeric powder has a curcumin concentration only slightly above 3%. Studies on the health benefits of curcumin usually contain extracts of this compound.

In other words, simply using turmeric as a spice isn’t enough to reach the levels needed to take advantage of the health benefits of turmeric. What’s more, curcumin has a low bioavailability. That means your body can’t readily absorb it.

The good news is that black pepper, which has piperine, significantly increases the absorption of curcumin in the body. Using turmeric alongside black pepper then isn’t only tasty but also healthy.

Another thing to note is that curcumin dissolves in fat. Make the most of turmeric benefits by eating it with a healthy oil like olive, avocado, or linseed oil.

Turmeric Side Effects

When taken by mouth, turmeric doesn’t usually cause noticeable side effects. Research published in 2021 suggests that according to WebMD, daily doses of up to 8 grams of curcumin “seem to be safe” for up to 2 months. Doses of up to 3 grams a day are safe for up to 3 months.

With that in mind, taking high doses of turmeric supplements in the long run may lead to mild side effects. These side effects can include nausea, dizziness, and an upset stomach.

You’re unlikely to experience these side effects by eating raw turmeric or drinking turmeric tea.

turmeric teabag being dipper into a small white cup

The Wrap Up

The body of research currently available suggests that the benefits of taking turmeric supplements are real. Turmeric’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties recommend it as a beneficial eye health supplement.

Even more encouraging is that specific studies have associated the regular intake of curcumin with better treatment outcomes for conditions like dry eyes, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, which affect millions of people around the world.

With that in mind, it’s important to remember that researchers link the health benefits of turmeric to its active compound curcuma. Simply eating turmeric doesn’t provide enough curcuma. So, it’s unclear just how significant the ground turmeric benefits are.

Instead, you may want to take a turmeric supplement. SightC is a natural superfood blend that combines turmeric with other plants long used in traditional Chinese medicine like goji berries and Chinese yams. Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients, it was formulated to keep your eyes healthy in the digital age.

Made from freeze-dried ingredients through a process that preserves their nutrients, SightC nourishes and protects your eyes. It’s calorie-free, diabetes-friendly, and easy to take, at home or on the go.

Keep your eyes healthy with SightC Natural Dry Eye Supplement.

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