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Last modified on January 22nd, 2020
Curcumin is one of the main curcuminoids (a fat-soluble, polyphenolic pigment) in turmeric. Curcumin and turmeric have been touted by the media for having many health benefits.
Curcumin has been known in medicine for thousands of years, particularly in Asian cultures. This is a type of herbal remedy that occurs in everything from supplements to golden milk lattes.
This article will explain what curcumin is and where it comes from. It will also explain the benefits of incorporating curcumin into your diet, as well as the recommended dosages and tips for taking curcumin. Finally, it will highlight some of the best curcumin supplements.
What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is a chemical compound a pigment that occurs naturally in the spice turmeric. Curcumin can be taken as a supplement or consumed in a high-turmeric diet. Curcumin has many health benefits and can be a worthwhile supplement to add to your diet.
What is Turmeric?
Curcumin does not exist without turmeric, which is the spice that it is derived from. Turmeric is a member of the same family as ginger (Zingiberaceae). It is a flowering plant that originated in Southeast Asia. The root of the turmeric plant, much like ginger, is the part that is used.
Turmeric is a spice with a rich and very long history. The first record of turmeric dates back to almost 4000 years ago when it was used as a spice in the Vedic culture in India.
Ayurvedic medicine is a historical and holistic type of healing from India that focuses on creating medicine from natural sources such as plants. Turmeric is well known in this practice and was even mentioned in 250 BC in Susruta’s Ayurvedic Compendium.
Turmeric has been used for centuries in different cultures. In India, it is used as both a flavoring and medicine. In China, it is a colorant. In Japan, it is brewed into tea. In many other cultures, it is used for its anti-inflammatory properties.
In the United States, turmeric is used mainly as a food additive. It has a bright golden orange color that can be added to foods such as butter or cheese to give them a more desirable color. Turmeric and curcumin are also very popular in the United States as supplements.
Turmeric and curcumin are well known and widely used in both modern and ancient medicine. The potential health benefits of curcumin include antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, oral, and cognitive benefits.
Turmeric and curcumin’s antioxidant capabilities may protect your body from free radicals. This effective use of curcumin may prevent excessive aging and may prevent many different diseases. Curcumin is thought to be very effective for this purpose. It blocks these free radicals from damaging cells. It also may boost your body’s ability to start blocking these free radicals.
Some studies suggest that curcumin is a powerful supplement in fighting cancers and preventing it from happening. Curcumin may prevent free radicals from attacking your cells and DNA.
Inflammation plagues many people. It is a cause of pain and discomfort. While small occurrences of inflammation are natural and necessary for our survival (it kills off bad bacteria), too much inflammation can pose a health risk.
Chronic inflammation is thought to be a risk factor in many diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.
Curcumin is an extremely powerful anti-inflammatory supplement that fights this at the molecular level with minimal or no side effects.
With the rise of artificial medicines used to combat oral diseases comes a lot of potentially harmful side effects. This combined with bacteria’s growing resistance to common antibiotics, leaves a rather worrisome thought in the minds of both patients and medical providers. There is an initiative in the health community to return to natural products, and the shining of the effectiveness of natural products is Curcumin.
Curcumin, along with being a powerful anti-inflammatory supplement, is very powerful as an antimicrobial supplement as well.
This one-two punch of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory is very desirable in dental healthcare. It may also assist with your own dental health.
Inflammation is thought to be one of the key causes of neurodegenerative disorders. Luckily, there is a solution. Studies show that the best curcumin supplements can lower low-intensity chronic inflammation. This preventative measure may be a good fit for you.
Curcumin also helps with heart health considering its anti-inflammatory properties.
Type 2 Diabetes Management
Turmeric and curcumin supplements may assist in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. Studies suggest that turmeric and curcumin may boost overall health, especially with keeping inflammation at bay.
These supplements may also help keep blood sugar levels under control as well. With a good diet and exercise, turmeric and curcumin supplements may help with diabetes, as well as weight loss.
Should You Take a Curcumin Supplement?
Turmeric has been used for centuries to alleviate pain, help with digestion and oral health, and to flavor food. It is a very versatile supplement.
The main component of turmeric is curcumin which gives turmeric its signature golden hue.
Curcumin has many health benefits, but it is necessary that you speak with your healthcare provider to make sure curcumin is right for you.
You may want to consider taking curcumin if you suffer from symptoms such as:
- Heart Disease
- Age-Related Chronic Diseases
Curcumin may also help if you need more antioxidants in your diet. Curcumin may also decrease your risk of heart attack and may also decrease your risk of developing various cancers.
Can You Take Too Much Curcumin?
It is possible to take too much Curcumin, just like any supplement. Curcumin and turmeric are recognized as being generally safe. It is important to look at the guidelines for how much curcumin you should consume, as well as having a discussion with your healthcare provider.
The best way to decide how much curcumin you should take is to do research and speak with your doctor. Curcumin generally only has health benefits. It is safe when taken responsibly and does not typically have very major side effects when taken in excess.
Are There Side Effects of Taking Curcumin Supplements?
When taken in the correct dosage for you, curcumin rarely has side effects. However, it is very important that you take a high-quality supplement. Finding the best curcumin supplement for you has a crucial step which you must complete when starting research on which curcumin supplement is the best- and that step is:
Make sure your curcumin supplement is high quality, without additives such as wheat starch or metanil yellow. For sufferers of celiac disease especially, make sure your curcumin supplements are gluten-free and certified by a reputable agency.
Food dyes such as metanil yellow may also be added to curcumin supplements that are not of very high quality. Metanil yellow has been found to potentially cause cancer in high doses in animal studies. Making sure your turmeric and curcumin supplements are high quality is a very good way to stay safe.
How Do You Take Curcumin?
Curcumin is a very popular supplement. It can be found in many health foods markets, and in traditional healing stores as well. You can take curcumin in the form of consuming turmeric, taking capsules, or even adding curcumin and turmeric powder to your food.
There are many foods that contain turmeric, as it is both a popular spice and food dye. Curry is a very good example of a high turmeric food source.
If you feel like you should take a curcumin supplement though, it is a very good idea to speak with your medical provider. Here are some general tips for making the most out of your best curcumin supplement:
- Make sure you are taking a high-quality supplement
- Curcumin is fat-soluble so it may help to eat a meal high in healthy unsaturated fat
- Taking curcumin with black pepper supplements may help with the absorption of the turmeric and curcumin by up to 2000%
- Speak with your healthcare provider to decide the right amount of curcumin for you
- Start with a lower dose of curcumin and then work your way up to higher doses, too much curcumin may cause an upset stomach, especially for those sensitive to turmeric.
- Curcumin is not meant to be used as a substitute for the medicine you already take, consult your doctor before starting or stopping curcumin supplements or any medication.
How Much Curcumin Should You Take?
There are no established recommended daily intakes for curcumin. Since curcumin is relatively safe, there isn’t usually much risk of taking too much, but more research must be completed to establish a general dosage.
The current information on dosing for curcumin supplements does not vary by age or gender, but rather by which health benefit you are looking to achieve. Most studies use doses of curcumin between 500 and 2000 milligrams and as such there are a variety of different health benefits that can be achieved using different doses.
500 milligrams taken twice daily is the typically recommended curcumin dose. There have been a few studies done on the effects of curcumin supplements for those that need specific health benefits. These are the guidelines for these people:
- For osteoarthritis: 500 mg twice daily
- For itchy skin: 500 mg three times daily
- For high cholesterol: 700 mg twice daily
The World health organization also has a suggested intake recommendation at about 1.4 milligrams of curcumin per pound of body weight. This is a good guideline for those seeking general health benefits.
As always, consult your healthcare provider for more information on how to take curcumin, and how much of it to take.
What Should I Look for In a Curcumin Supplement?
Curcumin supplements come in all shapes and sizes. There are many different types such as capsules, powders, and extracts with all of these different types it can be confusing to choose which best curcumin supplement suits your needs the best.
It is a very good idea to find products that are certified and tested. This is a good guideline to follow for any supplement you plan on taking. You should also make sure the best curcumin supplement is free from allergens or ingredients that may negatively affect you.
Types of Curcumin Supplements
Turmeric and curcumin supplements come in all shapes and sizes. There are three main ways to obtain curcumin through supplementation. Capsules, powders, and extracts, or a combination of both because some supplements are made that way.
Curcumin capsules are by far the most common forms of curcumin supplements on the market today. They are very popular, and a fairly easy way to obtain curcumin. The capsules are convenient to take without any measuring involved.
They are typically easy to swallow, and if you aren’t a fan of how turmeric tastes, these may be for you.
Powdered turmeric and curcumin offer a concentrated supplement that can be added to many different foods and drinks. These powders are very convenient for those who do not like to take pills or have difficulty swallowing them.
These powders may have a taste; however, and if you do not like the flavor of turmeric, these may not be for you. If the ease of adding the powder to food strikes you though, this type of supplement may be for you.
Curcumin extracts are the most highly concentrated form of curcumin which you can obtain. These are typically used in studies for their potency and purity. There are many benefits to using these extracts, such as you can take very small amounts to meet your curcumin needs
These are convenient because the curcuminoid compounds are extremely concentrated. This allows for a convenient and cost-effective way to take in enough curcumin to suit your needs.
There are some curcumin supplements that combine two of the three ways to take the best curcumin supplement. There are some curcumin supplements that combine the potency of extracts with the ease of swallowing a pill that is premeasured.
Make sure to weigh the costs and benefits of each best curcumin supplement to find the one that will most effectively suit your needs. Consult your doctor if you have questions about which form of curcumin supplement you should take.
What are The Best Curcumin Supplements?
There are hundreds of thousands of curcumin and turmeric supplements on the market today. Many of these may be very good options for your health. As always, please speak with your healthcare provider before starting any supplement.
Here is our list of the top ten curcumin supplements:
Potency and Bioavailability
- 95% tetra-hydro-curcuminoids for maximum potency
- 250 times more potent than traditional forms of curcumin
- Includes AstraGin which is an herbal complex that boosts absorption by 92%
- Includes ginger extract to increase the effects
This best curcumin supplement is in the form of a soft gel. Soft gels are easy to swallow and thought to be very good for absorbing curcumin. This brand claims to have a unique curcumin delivery system that allows for the most curcumin to be absorbed by your body.
This brand says its product is 250% more potent and readily absorbed by the body than other curcumin.
It is suggested that two soft gels a day can help with flexibility, joint health, immune system balance, cardiological health, digestion, liver health, and brain health.
This 30-day supply of soft gels is vegetarian, as well as free from many common allergens. This product also does not contain black pepper oil, which may cause stomach irritation in some people.
The reviews on this product praise it for joint pain relief, as well as its benefits for improving mental clarity.
High Absorbance with Bioperine
- Pain relief and joint support
- 95% standardized curcuminoids
- May offer better absorption even than tumeric teas
- Non-GMO, and no gluten, dairy, eggs, sugar and other sweeteners
This best curcumin supplement comes in the form of a capsule. It has a suggested dosage of three of these 500mg capsules per day.
Bio Schwartz states that their BioPerine is the highest potency curcumin available. This company prides itself on having allergen and gluten-free, non-GMO, free of preservatives and fillers curcumin. This supplement is also made in the USA and is third party tested. It is also FDA and GMP certified which are very important. GMP is a great certification because it shows that this product is responsibly made and sold.
This 30-day supply (or more depending on how much curcumin you need in your diet) has reviews that state it helped a lot with both pain and swelling.
Tumeric T3 Complex with Coconut Oil
- Formulation includes black pepper and virgin coconut oil for maximum absorption
- No preservatives, fillers or artificial colors
- 95% curcuminoids per soft gel
- Reviews say users noticed nearly instant improvements in pain and inflammation
This best curcumin supplement is a soft gel. It is easy to swallow and contains BioPerine (black pepper) for better absorption of curcumin.
This product is made with coconut oil and is non-GMO. It is free from , fillers, artificial colors, stearates, and soy.
This product contains 120 500mg soft gels for an up to four-month supply of curcumin. It is third party tested, gluten-free, and third party tested. It is also made in the USA.
The reviews on this product state many health benefits especially including reduce pain, fatigue relief, and the reviews say this company is very good and easy to work with.
5 mg of Bioperine To Ensure Maximum Absorption
- According to manufacturer, this is one of the most potent curcumin supplements on the market
- Tumeric also contains vitamin C and beta carotene
- 5 mg of BioPerine to improve absorption
- No fillers or artificial ingredients
This best curcumin supplement is in the form of capsules. These capsules are vegetarian and don’t use animal gelatin. These capsules use BioPerine to increase the absorption and bioavailability of this product.
Divine Bounty says that the product is made from the highest quality ingredients. This product is made in the USA, it is also FDA inspected and GMP certified. The Divine Bounty best curcumin supplement is free from all major allergens, as well as fillers, preservatives, and stearates.
This product contains 120 750mg capsules which the reviews claim are cost-effective, and a great way to stop pain and inflammation naturally.
- High potency 95% standardized curcuminoids
- Black pepper extract to help improve absorption of tumeric
- May combat against free radicals
- Formulated to help improve joint pain and stiffness, and improve brain health and function
This best curcumin supplement is in the form of vegetarian capsules. This contains BioPerine to help with absorption.
Nature’s Nutrition says its product is the highest potency turmeric supplement. The main benefits of this supplement are for joint health, such as pain and inflammation relief. This product may also help improve brain function.
Each of the 60 capsules contains 600mg of curcumin. This product is Non-GMO, and GMP certified. It is all-natural and made in the USA.
The reviews say that this is a solid product that they would buy again.
- 2250 mg of tumeric curcumin per serving
- May improve inflammation and provide protection against oxidative stress
- Includes organic ginger and BioPerine
- Made from whole organic tumeric root
This best curcumin supplement is also in the form of vegetarian capsules. This product contains ginger and BioPerine to increase absorption by 4x the rate of curcumin alone.
This product is free from major allergens and is free from stearates and fillers. There are 180 capsules filled with 750mg of curcumin per capsule.
The reviews on this product claim that it helps tremendously with joint pain, sciatica, and is effective for chronic pain.
- 8-month study showed with supplementation of this curcumin product, participants had better treadmill performance, improved joint function and decreased pain
- Patented phytosome deliver system
- May help with inflammatory and immune response
- Reviews say Physician’s Choice is an excellent brand to reduce the need for prescription pain medications
This best curcumin supplement is a slightly different variety called Meriva SF. Physician’s Choice says that their Meriva SF capsules can be absorbed 29x better than other curcumin supplements.
This product contains 120 of the 250mg soft gels. This product is vegetarian. It is non-GMO, third party tested and certified to be clinically proven effective. It is also made in the USA.
The reviews on this product highlight its pain relief benefits, as well as joint health improvement, and they also claim it helps with certain autoimmune diseases.
Budget-Friendly Potent Curcumin Powder
- Pure curcumin powder, potent formulation
- Powdered curcumin helps improve absorption and concentration
- Water soluble to improve absorption as well
- Can add to a shake, smoothie or a meal for ease-of-use
This product is different from all the other best curcumin supplements. It is still very good, and a very valid way to obtain curcumin. This product is not in the form of a pill, but it is a powder. Powders can be easier to consume for those that are at risk for choking, don’t like pills, or find pills hard to swallow.
This product is organic. This status of being organic is certified by the USDA so this company takes this very seriously. This product is vegan. It is also free of preservatives, additives, and fillers. It is gluten-free and soy-free. It is also kosher.
This product contains 50 servings each at 1 gram, which is equivalent to 1000mg of curcumin per day. This product would be great for smoothies, or other drinks and would be a quick and easy way to add curcumin to your diet.
The reviews on this product say that it is great for digestive health, joint health, inflammation relief and that it is a potent source of curcumin.
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Benefits
- May provide brain and joint health support and reduce inflammation, which can be linked to many chronic diseases
- Water soluble for maximum absorption capabilities- may have up to 185x the bioavailability of other curcumin supplements
- Contains no gluten, preservatives or artificial ingredients
- May help boost mood and circulation
This best curcumin supplement is in the form of soft gels that are absorbed 185x better than curcumin on its own. Solgar says that it is a company that focuses on quality from start to finish running tests in its own laboratories.
This product contains 90 capsules with 40mg of curcumin per serving. Solgar says its product may help with inflammation as well as promoting joint, eye, skin, hair, heart, and brain health. This company has won many awards for service and quality.
The reviews of this product say that it is amazing and that it does have many benefits especially joint health. The reviewers trust Solgar as it is a company with a very good reputation.
Sustained Release Curcumin May Help With Joint Pain and Stiffness
- Helps maintain a health inflammatory response
- May support liver, brain and heart health
- Pure ingredients with no additives
- Some reviews say the use of this product has helped them become nearly pain-free with dealing with conditions like arthritis
This best curcumin supplement is another Meriva SF curcumin supplement. Thorne has set a reputation for quality and purity. The curcumin in this supplement is paired with phosphatidylcholine (a necessary phospholipid for bodily functions) to promote absorption.
This product contains 120 capsules, and Thorne says it may help with muscle soreness, and occasional aches and pains. It may also help control inflammation. This product is free from most major allergens.
The reviews on this product say that it is great quality and helps with occasional joint and muscle pain.
Curcumin is a very useful supplement and dietary addition for many people. Always consult your doctor before starting a new supplement. We hope this guide has been helpful to you, please reach out to us if you have questions, comments, or personal experiences with or about curcumin supplements.