- What is it? Turmeric is a spice used for its flavor and orange-yellow color. Curcumin is one of several curcuminoid compounds found in turmeric that give turmeric its color and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making turmeric root powders and extracts useful as dietary supplements (see What It Is).
- What does it do? Small clinical studies suggest that curcumin from turmeric is helpful for indigestion, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, seasonal allergies and depression. Other compounds may also be active (see What It Does).
- How much to take? The typical daily dose ranges from 500 mg to 2,000 mg of curcuminoids (most of which is curcumin) from turmeric extracts (see Dosage), which can often be as much as 95% curcuminoids. Turmeric powder in some supplements is similar to turmeric spice, which is only about 3% curcuminoids, i.e., one teaspoon of turmeric powder (about 5,000 mg) provides only about 150 mg of curcuminoids.
- How do forms differ? Turmeric and curcumin are not well absorbed on their own and it's generally best to take turmeric/curcumin with food containing some fat in order to increase absorption. See Absorption and Bioavailability to learn about bioavailability enhancement with ingredients such as BCM-95, C3 (which includes the black pepper extract Bioperine), CurcuWin, Longvida, Meriva, NovaSol, and Theracurmin.
- What did CL find? As shown in the Results Table below, one supplement was found to contain just 82.7% of the curcuminoids expected by CL. Another supplement from a major brand provided just 10 mg of curcuminoids, far less than other brands, which often contained 100 mg or more.
- Best turmeric/curcumin supplement? Among supplements that passed testing, we identified our Top Pick for Supplements -- which provided curcumin at one of the lowest costs and includes a bioavailability enhancer to boost the amount of curcuminoids making it into your bloodstream (see Absorption and Bioavailability to learn about bioavailability enhancement with BCM-95, C3 -- which includes the black pepper extract Bioperine, CurcuWin, Longvida, Meriva, NovaSol, and Theracurmin. It's generally best to take turmeric/curcumin with food containing some fat in order to increase absorption. A Top Pick for Dogs was also selected.
- Best turmeric spice? We also purchased popular brands of turmeric spice, testing them for curcuminoid content, heavy metals (lead, cadmium and arsenic) and filth (e.g., insect fragments and mites). One product stood out for providing significantly more curcuminoids than other products -- as well as being less expensive and containing less filth -- and was chosen as our Top Pick for Spices. To get the most from turmeric spice, use it in a meal that contains fats or oils, as well as some black pepper.
- Cautions: Turmeric/curcumin supplements are generally safe, but gastrointestinal side effects may occur with higher doses and they can cause problems for people with gallbladder disease, kidney stones, or those taking blood-thinning or blood-sugar-lowering medications. Rarely, liver injury has been reported. One of the bioavailability enhancers commonly added can potentially affect a number of drugs (see Concerns and Cautions).
Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements and Spices Review
Find the Best Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements & Spices. Big Differences Discovered Among Brands -- Little Curcumin In Some
Alphabetical list of turmeric and curcumin supplements and spices compared in this review
A1 Vitality Turmeric Curcumin
Bio Schwartz Turmeric Curcumin With Bioperine
Doctor's Best High Absorption Curcumin
Garden of Life mykind Organics Extra Strength Turmeric
GNC Herbal Plus Turmeric Curcumin 1,000 mg
Life Extension Advanced Bio-Curcumin
McCormick Ground Turmeric
Member's Mark Turmeric Curcumin Complex
Natural Factors Curcumin Rich Double Strength Theracurmin
Nature's Bounty Turmeric
Nordic Naturals Curcumin Gummies - Mango
NutriCology CurcuWIN 500
Pure Mark Naturals Turmeric Curcumin 95
Root2 Turmeric Extract Curcumin C3 Complex
Simply Organic Turmeric
Terry Naturally CuraMed
The Spice Hunter India Turmeric Gourmet
Thorne Meriva 500-SF
Zesty Paws Turmeric Curcumin Bites
In this comprehensive review of turmeric and curcumin supplements and spices you'll learn:
- Which turmeric and curcumin products failed to pass testing, which passed, and which are CL's Top Picks
- How turmeric and curcumin products compare on curcumin and total curcuminoids, ingredients, quality, and price
- How the bioavailability of curcumin may be enhanced with ingredients such as black pepper extract (Bioperine) and with formulas such as BCM-95, C3, CurcuWin, Longvida, Meriva, NovaSol, and Theracurmin... and how to increase absorption of curcumin even without an enhanced formula!
- Dosing for specific uses of turmeric and curcumin, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, depression, ulcerative colitis and proctitis, uveitis, psoriasis, blood sugar control, and cancer
- Safety and side effects of turmeric and curcumin supplements
- Cautions and potential drug interactions with turmeric, curcumin and black pepper extract
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