Curcumin is probably the strongest natural anti-inflammatory substance. Curcumin is a gift from nature with effects confirmed through time and science. Often, turmeric and curcumin are treated the same, but there is a significant difference between them. Turmeric contains curcumin, so curcumin is only part of turmeric and this also means significant differences in effects.
What is turmeric
Turmeric is a family of over 100 species of plants. When we talk about turmeric, we mean a plant that is scientifically called “Curcuma longa”. It originates from the tropical forests of Asia, especially China, India and Indonesia.
It is a close relative of ginger, and a plant with extremely beautiful, decorative leaves and even more beautiful white flowers. It is used primarily as a spice and gives the dishes a distinctive Asian flavor and yellow color.
It has also traditionally been used as a dietary supplement. It plays a very important role in traditional Chinese medicine. Its healing effects are primarily related to substances called curcuminoids especially curcumin.
Turmeric contains about 30mg of curcuminoids per gram in rhizomes and less than 2 mg / g in roots (rhizomes are underground stems). The content of turmeric in turmeric is therefore very low.
What is curcumin
Curcumin is an extract of effective ingredients in turmeric. Curcumin is a polyphenol whose main medicinal properties are its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Curcumin is the main curcuminoid. Of all the curcuminoids in turmeric, curcumin takes up as much as 80% (Wow, try saying this out loud 😊).
Considering curcumin as a nutritional supplement, its essential advantage is that you can take a larger (and therefore physiologically effective) dose without the excess substances that have no effect or are even harmful in turmeric.
Imagine wanting to take a physiologically effective dose of 1,500mg of curcumin from turmeric, and assuming we have the highest quality turmeric, you should ingest 50g daily, which is about 5 tablespoons.
Otherwise, we can ingest a capsule or two and have the same effect without the potential side effects that the whole turmeric brings with it.
The curative effects of curcumin
As mentioned earlier, the main features are:
- Anti-inflammatory action
- Antioxidant action
When converted this into direct health effects, curcumin can be used to improve:
- depression and anxiety,
- painkillers (especially in the joints and in osteoarthritis),
- dementia and other brain related symptoms,
- lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol,
- lowers blood sugar,
- lowers blood pressure.
Its effectiveness is indicated by the number of studies that have been done with it. The largest collection of medical studies PubMed has 13,960 hits on curcumin (compared to Ashwagandhas 1,132 hits).
Positive effects have been found in many health conditions including: CRP, liver, kidney, blood fat in general, weight control, general health of the elderly and after injuries, nitric oxide and vascular flexibility, colon cancer, swelling, fatigue, insulin, cancer, prostate, ulcerative colitis, cortisol, cardiovascular disease, pathogens etc ..
Does curcumin have side effects?
Studies with up to 8g of curcuminoids daily have shown no serious adverse effects in humans. High doses can cause nausea and indigestion. No long-term studies (longer than 2 years) have been done.
Curcumin dilutes blood, so take care when taking with blood thinners such Coumadin (Warfarin).
Because curcumin is very poorly absorbed and there are formulations that greatly improve this absorption, the maximum dose should be adjusted accordingly and the recommended doses should be continued below.
Curcumin and absorption
Curcumin itself is very poorly absorbed. Absorprtion with meals is better than on empty stomach. For better absorption, curcumin is taken in special, patented forms or together with black pepper or its active substance piperine.
Liposomal forms of curcumin greatly enhance its absorption, and it is one of the few supplements where such a formulation makes an exceptionally large difference in health effects.
Notable forms of curcumin are:
- Meriva or Curcumin Phytosome, which is a liposomal form of curcumin, where curcumin is bound to phosphatidyl colin (lipid). Meriva is currently the highest quality form of curcumin on the market.
- BCM-95, eat another liposomal form of curcumin, where curcumin is bound to essential oils.
- Curcumin + piperine, which is a combination of black pepper and curcumin. Per gram of curcumin should contain at least 40mg of piperine.
These are the three proven forms of curcumin that will get you the most effect. Be extremely careful with other forms as they are not likely to be effective.
How to take curcumin
Curcumin is fat soluble, so it is recommended to take it with food.
Curcumin should be divided into two to three doses daily.
If you are taking curcumin with piperine (black pepper), the minimum effective dose is 500 mg 3x daily together with 3x 20mg of piperine.
Take BCM-95 curcumin 2x daily at 500mg.
Curcumin phytosome (Meriva) take 200 to 500mg twice daily.
For a quick reduction of inflammation and optimal health effects, you can double this dose in the first month or two. Then continue to the lowest recommended dose. We recommend that you take a month’s break after 9 months.