Navigating through the Maze of Curcumin Options

September 9, 2014 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

By Jennifer Morganti, ND, NEEDS Director of Education

Curcumin, derived from the Indian spice turmeric, is undoubtedly on my top-five favorites list, because it covers the majority of health issues that most people are concerned about. It is so versatile, it could single-handedly replace several different supplements in your pill box. This herb has a low absorption rate, so manufacturers have created options that use different technology to improve effectiveness. Better absorption equates to lower doses.

It’s exciting to see all the new curcumin supplements on the market, but how do you know which one to use? Unfortunately, you can not simply use the culinary spice from the grocery store because the quality isn’t guaranteed. You could buy the fresh root (organic) and grind it up daily, but that takes some serious dedication; therefore, taking curcumin in supplement form is the easiest and most effective way to benefit from this superstar herb.

There are a lot of options when looking for a quality curcumin product. To help simplify the process, we broke down all the variations and gave a simple summary for each so that you can choose a product that fits your needs.

Standardized Extract
Standardization is a common way to extract herbs and make sure they meet minimum potency of certain natural chemicals. A standardized turmeric extract should offer 95% total curcuminoids. This indicates a quality herbal extract, but unfortunately it doesn’t guarantee 100% absorption due to the nature of this ingredient.

C3
C3 offers 95% total cucuminoids and the extraction process ensures the presence of all three naturally-occurring curcuminoids: curcumin, demethoxy curcumin, and bisdemethoxy curcumin. There are no excipients or additives to the C3 extract. Over 70 research papers have been published on this particular ingredient.

Bioperine-Enhanced
Bioperine, known as piperine, a black pepper extract, has been shown to enhance curcumin absorption (as well as other nutrients). It may help with emulsification and nutrient transport.

Meriva
Meriva uses non-GMO soy lecithin-derived Phosphatidylcholine to embed the curcumin molecule. This makes it more acceptable to phospholipid membranes (found on most cells), and therefore better absorbed into cell membranes.

Longvida
Longvida uses a similar concept to Meriva, creating a “Solid Lipid Curcumin Particle” in an optimized lipophilic matrix for better absorption through the cell membrane.

BCM-95
This ingredient extracts all three of the important curcuminoids plus naturally-occurring essential oils through steam distillation and ethanol, making it extremely safe. It is 100% turmeric with no additives or fillers.

Theracurmin
This technology makes curcumin more water-soluble (and therefore more absorbable) by combining the powder with a vegetable gum-derived from the ghatti tree. This significantly improves the percentage of curcumin that gets absorbed through the intestines and into the blood.

MicroActive Curcumin – SR
This is a sustained release formulation that allows for slower, but more consistent absorption. The technology makes microparticles so it is water soluble and better absorbed through the use of carriers that assist in passing through the intestinal wall.

Choosing a curcumin product may not be a simple task, but with the assistance of a NEEDS wellness educator, you’ll be able to choose one that’s right for you!

Entry filed under: Supplement Series, Vitamins. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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