The Ultimate Antioxidant: Curcumin Benefits for Fighting Free Radicals and Supporting Longevity

The Ultimate Antioxidant: Curcumin Benefits for Fighting Free Radicals and Supporting Longevity

The foods we eat, types of exercise we engage in and our levels of stress all have a profound impact upon longevity. Research shows that longevity or ‘life span’ are determined roughly 25% by genetics, and 75% by lifestyle choices; [1] this means you have a huge amount of power when it comes to how long and how well you live! Globally, life expectancy has increased significantly even over the last decade, [2] meaning those living in the planet’s ‘blue zones’ (parts of the world with the highest life expectancy) are likely to live to 100 years old. One of the things these parts of the world have in common is a diet high in antioxidants such as turmeric, leafy greens, berries, walnuts, sea vegetables and a high use of herbs and spices, which could hold the key to a longer, healthier life. In this blog, we’ll explore how the powerful antioxidant curcumin – a key component of turmeric – can help support longevity by fighting free radicals, as well as how to get more of it into your diet, and guidance on supplementing with our most popular curcumin supplement, Curcumin 95 + Bioperine.

What Are Free Radicals & How Do They Damage The Body?

‘Free radicals’ are unstable molecules that can potentially cause harm to the body. A free radical is an un-paired molecule that occurs naturally through cell metabolism – think of them as ‘waste products’ created as a result of simply being alive, moving, eating, and breathing. Many aspects of modern life however, cause an excess of free radicals, and studies now show that an accumulation of free radicals can lead to diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, type 2 diabetes, dementia, degenerative eye diseases, and reduced longevity. [3]

Having an excess of free radicals within us can damage healthy cells, leading to a chain reaction of inflammation and degeneration throughout the whole body. Some of the most damaging aspects of daily life that cause the body to release free radicals include smoking, air pollution, processed food, refined sugar, alcohol, preservatives, stress, infections, as well as excessive exercise or an excessively sedentary lifestyle. It’s incredibly difficult to avoid free radicals today, which is why getting enough antioxidants from things such as curcumin is vital.

What Are Antioxidants?

turmeric curcumin

Antioxidants are substances that inhibit oxidation, which is a chemical reaction that can create those damaging free radicals we mentioned a moment ago. Antioxidants essentially fight free radicals, preventing them from causing damage and disease. Some of the foods highest in antioxidants include:

  • Turmeric and curcumin
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Red cabbage
  • Legumes
  • Artichoke
  • Apples
  • Cacao
  • Pecans
  • Coriander
  • Walnuts
  • Green Tea
  • Coffee

Curcumin Benefits

Turmeric and curcumin have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine as a way to promote longevity and fight free radicals. Mixed into dishes throughout many eastern countries, turmeric has a host of potent health benefits. Many of turmeric’s benefits come from the derivative curcumin. Curcumin is the natural chemical that gives turmeric its bright yellow colour, and which also contains the active compounds that make the herb so good for us. Let’s explore some of the key curcumin benefits when it comes to fighting free radicals and increasing longevity.

Turmeric and Curcumin Lengthen Telomeres

There are several markers we can measure to interpret how fast we’re ageing, and one of them is the length of our telomeres; chromosomal caps on our DNA. The shorter a person’s telomeres, the more longevity is affected, so these ‘caps’ are essentially a primary indicator of overall health, resiliency and ageing. [4] An excess of free radicals from pollution, processed food and stress can accelerate telomere shortening, as can consuming excess alcohol and getting poor quality sleep. Research shows that curcumin benefits include lengthening telomeres by increasing the activity of an enzyme called telomerase. [5]

Curcumin Could Reduce Tumours

As well as promoting the growth of healthy cells, curcumin benefits also include reducing the growth of damaged cells. In the case of tumour cells (where we don’t want growth to occur) curcumin can actually inhibit telomerase activity, supporting the body’s natural anti-tumour response and aiding longevity. [6] Some of the most extensive studies on curcumin’s benefits for helping prevent and treat cancer therapeutically includes research on colorectal, oral, liver, pancreatic and prostate cancer,[7] making curcumin an especially effective supplement for men over 40, who are more at risk of developing these types of cancer. Remember that many types of cancer are linked to an excess of free radicals, so by supplementing with the antioxidants in turmeric and curcumin on a daily basis, this could work as an effective natural way to prevent these diseases from developing.

curcumin benefits

Curcumin Inhibits The ‘Ageing Protein’ mTOR

Another marker of ageing is shown in the mTOR pathway, which regulates several hallmarks of ageing; including energy and nutrient availability, protein synthesis, immune cell differentiation, and growth. Too much mTOR activation is associated with many diseases such as cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, acne, depression, neurodegeneration and accelerated ageing, which are also caused by excessive amounts of free radicals. [8] Turmeric and curcumin benefit longevity by inhibiting mTOR and slowing the ageing process.

Curcumin Can Protect Brain Ageing

As well as fighting free radicals that can damage the brain and cause neurodegenerative diseases, turmeric and curcumin can help boost levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons. [9] By increasing neurons, curcumin benefits the brain by improving memory and spatial orientation, and further research indicates that due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin can improve cognitive function in those with Alzheimer’s disease, thus increasing both lifespan and quality of life. [10]

Curcumin Side Effects

As turmeric has been used for thousands of years in everyday cooking, there’s plenty of evidence to show its safety. Curcumin also has relatively little in the way of side effects and is extremely safe to use. Studies using high doses of curcumin have reported mild nausea, diarrhoea, headaches, skin rashes, and yellow stool. [11] The use of bioperine along with curcumin increases curcumin’s bioavailability and benefits, but may also cause adverse drug reactions due to its ability to enhance intestinal permeability. For most people, curcumin side effects are uncommon. If you are taking any medications, please consult your healthcare practitioner before beginning a new supplement.


Curcumin, a potent derivative of turmeric, is a powerful way to fight free radicals and increase longevity. Curcumin not only enhances the growth of healthy cells, but prevents the growth of tumours and damaged cells, and may be one of the most effective therapeutic ways to slow down ageing and increase longevity. Using a supplement such as our Curcumin 95 + Bioperine can help you incorporate the benefits of curcumin into your daily routine to support longevity. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new supplement regimen to ensure safety and determine the appropriate dosage for your specific needs.


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  7. Sarraf P, Parohan M, Javanbakht MH, Ranji-Burachaloo S, Djalali M. Short-term curcumin supplementation enhances serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor in adult men and women: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled tr
  8. Mishra S, Palanivelu K. The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer's disease: An overview. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2008 Jan;11(1):13-9. doi: 10.4103/0972-2327.40220. PMID: 19966973; PMCID: PMC2781139.
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  1. Mishra S, Palanivelu K. The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer'sdisease: An overview. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2008 Jan;11(1):13-9. doi:10.4103/0972-2327.40220. PMID: 19966973; PMCID: PMC2781139.
  1. Curcumin. [Online]. Examine. Last Updated: 2023. Available at: [Accessed 18 April 2023].

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