I am really confused after checking out the various forms of curcumin and turmeric in the health food store.
Q. Dear Terry, “I am really confused after checking out the various forms of curcumin and turmeric in the health food store. Which one is the best? Help!”— Gail, Tampa, FL
Dear Gail, Okay, first things first.
Turmeric is the plant that provides curcumin. A typical turmeric root contains about 2-5% curcumin, so taking an unstandardized, powdered turmeric root product means that very large amounts would be required to get a beneficial amount of curcumin.
While turmeric is excellent when used as a spice, a highly absorbable curcumin extract is a better choice if you are trying to address a specific health concern (pain, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, etc.).
So, let’s turn our attention to curcumin.
I know it can be very difficult to wade through all the hype surrounding curcumin and enhanced absorption. A quick look finds products boasting 29, 40, 185, even 277 times better absorption. But when it comes to curcumin, the absorption numbers are only one piece of the puzzle. You want to look past the absorption hype and choose a curcumin product that has proven clinical health benefits.
Curcumin products employ an array of different methods to boost absorption. I have some concerns with some of the methods used to achieve these enormous absorption numbers. Let’s take a look at a few of these methods.
Some products use a highly concentrated extract of black pepper called piperine. However, many integrative practitioners find piperine problematic as studies have shown that it interferes with the metabolism of the majority of prescription drugs and is contraindicated for use with several. Piperine can enhance the absorption of dietary toxins found in food; and it has been shown to interfere with the effectiveness of other supplements used at the same time.
Other curcumin products use synthetic polysorbate 80 (also called Tween 80) to boost absorption. In fact, the majority of the product is polysorbate 80. It is 93% polysorbate 80 and 7% curcuminoid content. In addition, this type of curcumin only has 1 absorption study and ZERO human clinical studies.
When it comes to enhanced absorption curcumin, I recommend BCM-95® curcumin. BCM-95® curcumin is enhanced through the use of healthy turmeric essential oil – which has benefits in its own right. When compared gram per gram, BCM-95® curcumin delivers up to 10 times more curcumin than plain curcumin 95% and up to 500 times more curcumin than found in an equal amount of turmeric. Lastly, BCM-95® curcumin has been shown to have clinical health benefits, as evidenced by 25 published studies.
Terry . . . Naturally