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Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements and Spices Reviewed by


  • What are turmeric and curcumin? 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 are the health benefits of turmeric? Small clinical studies suggest that curcumin from turmeric is helpful for indigestion, ulcerative colitis, certain liver conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, seasonal allergies, as well as depression, and may have benefit in some precancerous conditions. Turmeric/curcumin may improve cognitive function in healthy older adults, but little benefit has been found in people with Alzheimer's disease. Other compounds in turmeric may also be active (see What It Does).
  • How much turmeric 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 spice powder is much less concentrated — only about 3% curcuminoids— yet some turmeric supplements are just turmeric spice placed in capsules, offering much lower amounts of curcumin than supplements made from turmeric extracts.
  • How do forms of turmeric 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. If you can't always take turmeric or curcumin with food, see Absorption and Bioavailability to learn about bioavailability enhancement with ingredients such as BCM-95, C3 (which includes the black pepper extract, piperine, branded as Bioperine), CurcuWin, Longvida, Meriva, NovaSol, and Theracurmin.
  • What did CL's tests of turmeric find? As shown in the Results Table below, a supplement from a major brand provided just 10 mg of curcuminoids, far less than the 100 mg or more in many other brands, and one supplement was found to contain just 82.7% of the curcuminoids expected by CL.
  • Best turmeric/curcumin supplement? Among supplements that passed testing, we identified our Top Pick -- 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. 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.
  • What is the best way to take curcumin and turmeric? It's generally best to take turmeric/curcumin with food containing some fat in order to increase absorption. If taking with just water, using a bioavailability-enhanced formula may increase the absorption (see the Best Way to Take Curcumin and Turmeric Supplements for details). To get the most from turmeric spice, use it in a meal that contains fats or oils, as well as some black pepper.
  • Turmeric/curcumin safety and side effects: 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. Curcumin may act as a MAO inhibitor, although this has not been studied in people. The safety of long-term supplementation has not been established. One of the bioavailability enhancers commonly added can potentially affect a number of drugs (see Concerns and Cautions).

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Alphabetical list of turmeric and curcumin supplements and spices compared in this review

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A1 Vitality Turmeric Curcumin

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Bio Schwartz Turmeric Curcumin With Bioperine

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Doctor's Best High Absorption Curcumin

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Garden of Life mykind Organics Extra Strength Turmeric

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GNC Herbal Plus Turmeric Curcumin 1,000 mg

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Life Extension Advanced Bio-Curcumin

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McCormick Ground Turmeric

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Member's Mark Turmeric Curcumin Complex

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Natural Factors Curcumin Rich Double Strength Theracurmin

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Nature's Bounty Turmeric

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Nordic Naturals Curcumin Gummies - Mango

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NutriCology CurcuWIN 500

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Pure Mark Naturals Turmeric Curcumin 95

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Root2 Turmeric Extract Curcumin C3 Complex

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Simply Organic Turmeric

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Terry Naturally CuraMed

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The Spice Hunter India Turmeric Gourmet

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Thorne Meriva 500-SF

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Zesty Paws Turmeric Curcumin Bites

You must be a member to get the full test results along with's recommendations and quality ratings for turmeric and curcumin products. You will get results for 11 turmeric/curcumin supplements selected for testing by as well as for five others that passed the same testing in CL's voluntary Quality Certification Program. You will also get results for three popular turmeric spices used for cooking. 

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, Curcugen, 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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Additional Information
Tested through CL's Quality Certification Program prior to, or after initial posting of this Product Review.