You have probably heard a lot the last years about the benefits of turmeric and curcumin thanks to recent, highly-publicized studies that highlight how beneficial they are when it comes to digestion, arthritis pain, immunity, migraines and much more!
And you might have been confused because you cannot decide which would provide you more benefits and what to take.
Are turmeric and curcumin the same thing? Which one is better to take as a supplement?
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a plant scientifically known as Curcuma longa. When most people refer to turmeric, they are referring to the spice which is made by grinding up turmeric root, especially used in Indian cooking and herbal tonics. The resulting powder has a bright yellow-orange color and a peppery, somewhat bitter flavor.
What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is a compound that is naturally found within the turmeric plant’s roots. Scientific examination of turmeric has shown that its impressive health benefits of turmeric are due to the presence of this compound called curcumin and other “curcuminoids”.
So, if curcumin could be found in turmeric, does it matter which one you take? Is one better than the other? Can you just eat turmeric straight to get the benefits of curcumin?
Unfortunately, no. Curcumin only makes up about 2-5% of turmeric powder, so if you eat turmeric as a whole spice, you’re only getting a tiny portion of curcumin. However, in turmeric extracts, the concentration of these is often increased to as high as 95%.
How to find what turmeric supplement would work?
What ingredient needs to contain your supplement?
In order to be effective, turmeric capsules MUST contain standardized 95% Curcuminoids extract.
The amount of 95% Curcuminoids extract is also important.
Look for turmeric supplements with at least 1000 mg per serving of 95% Curcuminoids extract!
Look for BioPerine ® on the label.
Turmeric is poorly absorbed by the body unless it has pepperine (which is a component from black pepper extract and could increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%). Pepperine is the active ingredient in BioPerine ®.
Stay away from any kind of artificial fillers or binders.
Always check the "Other Ingredients" section in your supplements. You don't need useless fillers that most of the brands use to make manufacturing cheaper. You only want to get what you have paid for!