Turmeric, also known by the scientific name Curcuma longa, is a relative of ginger. This bright yellow-orange spice, almost like saffron, is commonly used for cooking in India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Used for thousands of years, turmeric has an important role in alternative treatment, especially Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, which use it as a remedy for various ailments.Turmeric has numerous scientifically proven health benefits, including improving heart health and preventing Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Curcumin, which is the main ingredient in turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant with strong anti-inflammatory effects. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of turmeric together.Besides cardiovascular benefits, turmeric may also improve cognitive function. Neurons are capable of making new connections with one another. In Japan, researchers conducted a study to compare the effects of curcumin and exercise on endothelial function in postmenopausal women. The treatment group took curcumin for 8 weeks while the exercise group incorporated only moderate aerobic exercise to their daily routine for 8 weeks. The result showed that the magnitude of improvement achieved by curcumin was comparable to that achieved by exercise.A 2013 scientific review of studies suggests that curcumin may help regulate blood sugar level and other complications related to diabetes. Besides the blood sugar lowering effect, researchers also discovered that curcumin may help prevent diabetes. Another study indicated that turmeric may play a role in weight loss.Turmeric has been proven to provide many benefits, and yet it contains only about 3.14 percent of curcumin, which is the main ingredient that brings the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effect. The curcumin in turmeric is also poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. Fortunately, taking turmeric with black pepper, that contains piperine, can greatly increase the absorption of curcumin by 2000%.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 0 to 3 milligrams per kilogram of body weight is considered the recommended daily intake for curcumin. This amount should be safe and tolerable for most users looking to gain the many health benefits it provides.