Recently highly-publicised studies have highlighted the healthy properties of turmeric and curcumin. In some cases, the two tout many similar benefits. Let’s examine which one is better to take as a supplement.

Turmeric and Curcumin are often mentioned together because the latter is derived from the former.

Turmeric is a plant scientifically known as Curcuma longa, whose roots have been used as a culinary spice and in herbal tonics for centuries.

Curcumin on the other hand is the naturally occurring compound within the turmeric plant’s roots (typically 3-4% within high quality turmeric powder) that gives it a wide range of health benefits. It’s a carotenoid pigment that has potent antioxidant activity and gives turmeric its flashy yellow colour. There are two other compounds in turmeric that are related – demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Collectively, they are all three known as curcuminoids.[1]

Whilst turmeric root contains some natural oils that may enhance the bioavailability of the curcumin within it, both are absorbed best when consumed with additional fats.

Black pepper also helps with the bioavailability of turmeric because of a compound in black pepper known as piperine, which may keep turmeric compounds from breaking down during digestion and allow the compounds to stay in the body longer.

For best results opt for a curcumin supplement containing 95% curcumin and piperine, as you will avoid any fillers or impurities typically found in some turmeric powders, plus remember to consume alongside a “fatty” meal for optimal absorption.

Need a Curcumin supplement? Check out Curcumin complex featuring over 150mg standardised Curcumin and the equivalent of 1780mg of turmeric powder per capsule boosted with Piperine, Ginger root, Cayenne extract Zinc and Vitamin B6.

[1] Profiles of Drug Substances, Excipients and Related Methodology, Chapter Three – Curcumin. Elsevier. ScienceDirect. (Accessed 6/18/2018)