Heart disease is the biggest killer in the world (27).
It has been studied for many decades and researchers have learned a lot about why it happens. It turns out that heart disease is incredibly complicated and there are various things that contribute to it.
Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process (28).
Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease, is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels.
It is well known that endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease and involves an inability of the endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors (29).
Several studies suggest that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function. One study shows that is as effective as exercise, another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin (30, 31).
But curcumin also reduces inflammation and oxidation (as discussed above), which are also important in heart disease.
In one study, 121 patients who were undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery were randomized to either placebo or 4 grams of curcumin per day, a few days before and after the surgery.
The curcumin group had a 65% decreased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the hospital (32).