Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, which is a newly popular herb that can improve cognitive function and serve as a potent anti-inflammatory. It has gained popularity so quickly because it has only recently been lauded as a super food, and it can improve your health in areas like cancer prevention, combating the daily grind of depression, and improving your skin.
The long list of benefits attached to curcumin is certainly enough to qualify turmeric as a super food, but it’s still only a very recent addition to nutritional circles.
10 Top Turmeric Curcumin Supplements
Here is a good look at 10 of this year’s best curcumin supplements and what they have to offer.
1. Life Extension Super Bio-Curcumin
Life Extension provides a fairly low dose of 400 mg in each capsule of their Super Bio-Curcumin, which is sufficient but doesn’t stand up well to competitors who offer as much as 700 mg. Their marketing makes claims that they have a special formula of curcumin that is seven times more effectively absorbed, but without evidence, it’s hard to know.
2. Doctor Recommended Supplements Turmeric Curcumin
This product sources curcumin from multiple sources and also has triphala powder, which is another ingredient that provides many of the same benefits as curcumin. Because each of these sources provides the active ingredient in varying levels of purity and the entire ingredients list is wrapped up in a proprietary formula, it’s impossible to know how much of this capsule’s 750 mg dose is pure curcumin.
3. Nature’s Nutrition Turmeric Curcumin
Nature’s Nutrition uses black pepper extract in their formula, which is a compound that is becoming increasingly popular as an ingredient in supplements because it can increase the absorption and bioavailability of the other ingredients.
It’s interesting to note that the company uses their own proprietary form of black pepper extract instead of opting for BioPerine, which is the most commonly used type of black pepper extract that most other companies are using.
Aside from the black pepper extract, each serving of Nature’s Nutrition Turmeric Curcumin contains a 700 mg dose of pure curcumin.
4. Health Plus Prime Turmeric Curcumin
The label on each bottle of Health Plus Prime Turmeric Curcumin doesn’t provide a very detailed explanation of their curcumin sources, which makes it difficult to know just how pure they are. Aside from that, their 600 mg doses also include BioPerine, and they’re not a bad option overall.
5. Doctor’s Best Curcumin
Doctor’s Best Curcumin is able to deliver an effective dose of curcumin and BioPerine, and it’s a pretty simple and straightforward option. It doesn’t get any further in the rankings simply because there isn’t anything truly special to distinguish it from most other brands.
6. Now Curcumin
Now Curcumin is a good choice for those who want a pure and unaccompanied dose of curcumin without any other additives, and it doesn’t even include BioPerine. With a pure dose of 665 mg, it provides plenty of curcumin for most people’s supplementation needs.
7. Jarrow Formulas Curcumin 95
Jarrow Formulas is another great option for those who want only what they came for in a supplement. The entire dose contains nothing but curcumin and the ingredients used to make the capsule, which is cellulose-based. With a 500 mg dose, it should make any purist quite happy.
8. Bio Schwartz Turmeric Curcumin
BioSchwarts Turmeric Curcumin provides a 500 mg dose of curcumin in a vegetarian capsule. If you find that you need an exceptionally high dose, you can always take two capsules at a time. This product also contains BioPerine, so whatever dose you choose will have better bioavailability than other brands that do not contain it.
9. Solgar Full Spectrum Curcumin
Solgar is unique among curcumin extracts. Instead of providing their supplement in a powder form within each capsule, they have a liquid extract that they believe to be as much as 185 times more effective.
Because of this, each capsule has a much lower dose of curcumin to avoid overdoing it. Solgar as a whole has established themselves as a quality company, so it’s easy to trust that they aren’t being honest about their unique liquid design.
10. NatureWise Curcumin
NatureWise Curcumin is perhaps the highest dose supplement available in a single capsule at 750 mg. It also contains a few extra ingredients to support increased benefits. Ginger root is a strong antioxidant included for good measure, and black pepper extract is present as well. Aside from just a few helpful additions, this supplement isn’t bloated with extra additives like so many others can be.
Benefits And Side Effects
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, and if curcumin sound familiar it is probably because it is found in this root, which is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine. Curcumin alone is also commonly found on many people’s spice rack.
Turmeric has a long list of benefits, and they are pretty much all attributed to the presence of curcumin. Curcumin can help slow the aging process, prevent arthritis, decrease instances or severity of depression, protect against Alzheimer’s disease, lower your risk of having a heart attack, increase your brain functioning, and fight inflammation.
Curcumin itself can have different effects on the body depending on whether it is delivered alone via supplement or is actually sourced directly from turmeric. Read on to learn more about how these different delivery methods can affect the benefits you’ll receive.
The primary feature of curcumin is its effectiveness as an antioxidant. Researchers have described curcumin as a substance that seeks out areas of oxidative stress and immediately initiates repairs to reverse its effects. The fact that curcumin is so aggressive in performing its tasks is probably one of the main reasons it can deliver such a wide array of benefits so effectively.
In addition to all of the benefits it can provide for your overall health, curcumin also helps to protect the liver. One study was directly concerned with discovering exactly when effects curcumin might have in protecting the liver.
Patients were given carbon tetrachloride, which is a minor liver poison. This poison quickly decreased their levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione while increasing their levels of lipoperoxide and thiobarbituric acid. After this was observed, the same patients were given curcumin. The supplement immediately attacked the poison and the toxin levels in the liver were completely removed while their damage was repaired and the levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione were restored.
Curcumin is also proven to fight against certain types of cancer, and specifically in known to combat colon cancer. Curcumin can block the activity of COX-2, which is an important factor that contributes to the growth and replication of cancer cells, especially colon cancer. Curcumin interrupts the process that causes this growth and replication down on a genetic level and protects your cells from mutation to stop unwanted cell growth in its tracks and avoid the formation of tumor cells.
Curcumin is a very useful nutrient that should be a major part of any diet, but when it is isolated and taken on its own, it’s a compound that is unstable and hard for your body to absorb. Research studies showed that mice who were given pure curcumin were only able to absorb about 605 of the nutrient, and it is possible that the absorption rates in human are significantly lower than that due to our digestive tract being more complex.
Even though it isn’t easy to absorb, curcumin can have a soothing effect on the digestive tract and is effective as a treatment for indigestion. One study that looked into this discovered that around 50 percent of patients in the hospital who complained of indigestion found relief after taking curcumin.
This particular discovery was part of a double-blind study, which allowed researchers to determine that these results were significantly better than those for patients who were given placebos. It’s safe to say that curcumin may be able to help you feel better the next time your stomach is upset.
Digestion isn’t the only digestive issue that curcumin can help with. It has also been shown to be an effective treatment for ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis is a rather unpleasant illness that causes gastrointestinal inflammation over a long period of time, which is very painful. Curcumin has been shown to be safe for ulcerative colitis sufferers and can help them completely enter remission, or at least reduce the occurrence of symptoms.
Researchers reviewed the effectiveness of curcumin when combined with a common ulcerative colitis medication known as mesalamine, and they were able to determine that the addition of curcumin significantly decreased the amount of time required for patients to experience remission. A separate study shows that continued use of curcumin can help ulcerative colitis patients stay in remission after it is achieved. These results were observed using a dose of 1.5 grams twice daily.
Because it is a powerful anti-inflammatory, curcumin is well-known as an effective treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis. A group of researchers took the time to go through every study and paper they could find which looked into the effects of curcumin on arthritic, and they concluded that it can be considered a proven fact that curcumin can improve life for those with rheumatoid arthritis by reducing their symptoms.
The studies that these researchers reviewed used about 1 gram a day of curcumin to achieve these results. The researchers only cause for concern was that there weren’t very many studies available on the topic, and it is clear that more studies are needed to provide more conclusive results.
In addition to rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin can help to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis as well. There are many different forms of arthritis and each one works differently to affect the body. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks itself and damages its own joints, which causes pain, soreness, and limits the sufferer’s range of motion.
Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is simply caused by a joint being used over time. Either because of age or overuse, a joint will develop a certain amount of wear and tear that degraded the cartilage, causing the bones to experience direct contact. This is a painful experience which also causes limited range of motion and soreness.
It’s good to know that curcumin can help to protect your joints regardless of which type of arthritis you are suffering from. In studies that directly related to osteoarthritis, researchers usually use a dose of 1.5 grams of curcumin a day to achieve the desired results.
After working out and pushing yourself to increase the strength of your muscles and burn fat, you will usually find that you are sore the next day. Believe it or not, curcumin can help with this type of soreness as well. The researchers who reviewed curcumin studies discovered that inflammation and muscle damage, which are the primary cause of post-workout soreness, were significantly reduced in subjects who took curcumin when compared to those in the control groups.
This was especially noticeable after all of the subjects had performed difficult exercises. The study that observed this asked subjects to take 500 mg of curcumin in 2 doses per day, which they began 2 days before they exercised and continued for an extra day afterward. This shows that curcumin doesn’t take a very long amount of time to enter the body and begin to provide its benefits.
Reducing inflammation has many benefits, and one of them is a reduced occurrence of allergy symptoms. Allergies are caused by inflammation in the sinus pathways, and use of curcumin can reduce this inflammation in the nose as well as help patients to breathe easier. You can help your body fight off seasonal allergies with a dose of 500 mg a day of curcumin.
Curcumin has been found to improve insulin sensitivity, which can drastically improve life for those with diabetes and can even prevent Type 2 Diabetes from ever progressing. One study followed patients who were found to be prediabetic over the course of 9 months to determine the effects of curcumin on their condition, and it was found that curcumin use could improve their insulin sensitivity.
It’s important to note that this was achieved by helping the Beta cells which produce insulin in the pancreas to function more efficiently. Because these benefits are derived directly from Beta cell functioning, curcumin is less helpful to Type 1 Diabetics because their Beta cells have been completely depleted and they cannot produce any insulin on their own.
About 16% of the prediabetics who were part of the control group had developed Type 2 Diabetes by the end of the 9-month trial, while those who were taking curcumin did not see a single patient progress. The dosage used for this study was 1.5 grams of curcumin divided into 2 doses a day.
Curcumin has also been shown to improve your blood pressure. There are actually a few different benefits for heart health that you can gain by using curcumin regularly. The walls of your blood vessels tale on wear and tear over time, and as you age your circulation tends to gradually decline.
One study researched the specific effects of curcumin to improve blood pressure and circulation in women. The study split subjects into three groups. One was given curcumin, another was given a placebo, and a third was prescribed an exercise routine. The study lasted for 8 weeks, and by the end of it, subjects who were given curcumin with no exercise showed the same results as those who performed regular aerobic exercise.
While there are not enough conclusive studies to prove its effects, it is considered a fact that curcumin can help you fight off the symptoms of clinical depression. In one study, the researchers gave their subjects a 500 mg dose of curcumin twice each day over the course of 12 weeks to observe how it might affect major depression.
Their results were judged using two different tests, namely the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology self-rated version. It was concluded that the use of curcumin could significantly improve the results that subject received on both tests.
Fighting off depression isn’t the only cognitive benefit you can expect to get from curcumin supplementation. It has also been proven to improve short-term memory. Studies have shown that the use of curcumin can increase the body’s levels of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, commonly known as BDNF. This effectively means that curcumin works like a nootropic to improve cognitive performance.
One study that lasted for 4 weeks reported reduced stress levels, increased calmness, and improved memory. Results showed that short-term memory and attention span were significantly improved when compared to the control group. This study used a dosage of 1 gram of curcumin daily. Curcumin can be considered an effective supplement to help you improve your mental focus and clarity.
Curcumin has been showed to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and may even be able to repair the damage that causes cognitive decline after it has already progressed. Long-term use of curcumin supplements may help to improve the effects of dementia.
A study that looked into the effects of curcumin on Alzheimer’s found that the cognitive decline of patients was completely stopped for a period of 6 months. This could be due to its ability to repair brain tissue cell membranes, its effects as an anti-inflammatory, or its antioxidant properties. It is possible that Alzheimer’s medications including curcumin may be developed in the future to help slow, stop, or even reverse the disease.
Taking curcumin with black pepper can increase your absorption of the nutrient, which is why so many curcumin supplements contain BioPerine. More and more companies have begun using BioPerine or other forms of black pepper extract in their formulas because it can improve the bioavailability of many other nutrients.
One study on the effects of piperine for curcumin absorption showed that the addition of black pepper could improve the curcumin absorption rates by as much as 2,000 percent.
If you are taking any prescription drugs, you may need to consult your doctor before taking curcumin. Curcumin can increase the effectiveness of other drugs and supplements, which may be dangerous in some cases.
One example of this is curcumin’s ability to lower blood sugar and decrease inflammation. If you are taking a drug like Talinol that is also designed to perform this task, you may find that your blood sugar is reduced a bit too much and this can become dangerous.
It is also important that you only purchase your curcumin supplements from reputable sources. While quality curcumin supplements are relatively safe, not all products are created equal. As much as 7% of curcumin that is imported may contain salmonella, and as much as 12% of imported turmeric is contaminated by dirt and bugs.
Most of the turmeric being imported is clean and safe, but some of the cheaper brands aren’t above using substandard ingredients to cut costs.
The ideal dosage of curcumin for more users is about 500 mg taken twice per day. If you use curcumin in your food, you may intake higher levels up to around 15 grams, but 1 gram is plenty to see the benefits it can provide.
If you are taking curcumin for a drastic need or an aggressive strategy like fighting colon cancer, then you may need to take up to 4 grams.
You should be able to find quality products that can be purchased for an average of 25 cents per 500 mg dose. Remember to consider unit price and not be drawn in by cheaper products that also include fewer doses. If you are looking into a supplement that has a significantly lower unit price, you should be cautious that this may be sourced from contaminated or low-quality turmeric.
10 Best Turmeric Curcumin Supplements Final Words
Curcumin is a super food that provides a wide range of benefits and has a multitude of uses. If you want to reduce joint or muscle soreness, improve your mental clarity, or lower your risk of many different chronic illnesses, curcumin may be able to help.
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