If you are confused with the relationship between turmeric and curcumin you are not alone!
This is why I compiled a easy 7 steps guide: Turmeric is a very popular spice derived from the root of the Curuma longa, a member of the ginger family Turmeric root contains curcuminoids which are the phytonutrients that give turmeric it’s distinctive yellow colour.
Curcumin is the main curcuminoid, but there is a full spectrum of curcuminoids and hundreds of other phytonutrients.
Turmeric powder contains 3-5% curcuminoids, while turmeric extract typically contains 85-95% curcuminoids. Key points to remember:
- Is it organically grown? [good for you and the planet]
- Was it produced using chemical solvents such as acetone? [many high potency extracts are]
- Are there unnecessary additives ) e.g. titanium dioxide, magnesium stearate) , and artificial “absorption enhancers” (e.g. polysorbate – 80) in the product!
- What level (percentage) is the curcuminoids? (high potency products are at least 85%)
- Curcuminoids are a good indicator of strength, with at least 200mg and up to 2000mg being daily typical doses.
- A high potency product is different to turmeric powder, as one capsule can be the equivalent to around 20 of normal powder.
- Turmeric has at least 235 phytonutrients, not simply cur cumin, so choose a full spectrum extract containing the three major curcuminoids along with the natural, whole root.
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy. The beautiful yellow rhizomes of turmeric (curcuma longa) have been prized as a natural remedy for arthritis and has been shown to work very well in modern studies.
In one such investigation in people with knee osteoarthritis a high potency turmeric extract (1,500 mg daily, providing around 85% cucuminoids) was as effective as 1,500 mg of a common pain reliever, but had less gastric side effects.
With the increasing popularity of cur cumin extracts there is also a lot of confusion. It is sometimes argued that cur cumin is not absorbed thus there may be artificial additives in some “enhanced” products, but many studies, including the one mentioned, do not use any enhancers suggesting curcumin alone works fine.
It is also useful to know that the whole root contains hundreds of phytonutrients, not only curcuminoids, which also help explain the benefits and may even improve it’s effects.
These include essential oils and polysaccharides. For that reason we recommend using an extract in a base of whole, natural turmeric root!