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Best Turmeric Curcumin in 2018 Reviews–Top Picks and Buyer’s Guide

Today, we are taking more medication than any other time in history. With crisis after crisis unfolding in the news, it’s time as individuals we assess what goes into our bodies. Most of what we go through is mostly a matter of lifestyle. Making healthy decisions such as eating clean, staying fit and avoiding substances that harm the body is an easy way to prevent diseases. Sometimes, however, even when we do our best, our bodies end up fighting against us.

While medication recommended by your doctor needs taking religiously, it is advisable, in some cases, to ask for a nature-based alternative, or if there is a supplement-medication paring that can work well. Plants, roots, leaves, and flowers are age-old remedies for use before the evolution of modern medicine. It has been the duty of scientist in this age to look up and demystify the claims surrounding some of the plant materials said work.

Turmeric is one of these plants given that it is still in use not just for making our beloved curries or for coloring, but for medicinal purposes as well. Most of us have interacted with turmeric as ground powder and might have even used it as a remedy for a stomach upset mixed with black pepper for increased absorption. Quite frankly, even with honey or a tea of your choice, it doesn’t taste delicious.

Thankfully, there are now better forms in which we can rip the benefits of turmeric. You can now find turmeric (curcumin, the extract that gives turmeric it’s therapeutic properties) in capsules or tablets. It’s not just good for stomach upsets; it also has potent anti-inflammatory effects. Other benefits it provides include but not limited to: lessens the effects of aging by improving muscle function, reduce fat and plaque in arteries and acts as a good defense against diabetes and alleviates discomfort associated with diabetes.

With every good thing, there is almost always a knock-off. To make your supplement shopping easier, we have selected seven supplements that work great. Depending on your budget and needs, you can choose one and be on your way to a healthier you.

ProductBrandRatingQuantityAvailability
Doctor’s Best - 120 Capsules
Full Review
Terry Naturally CuraMed 4.6 120 Softgels
Full Review
Theracurmin® HP 4.6 120 Capsules
Full Review
Thorne Research – Meriva-SR 4.4 120 Capsules
Full Review
Terry Naturally with BCM95 4.4 120 Tabs
Full Review
Doctor’s Best Curcumin C3 Complex with Bioperine 4.5 Capsules, 120-count (120 X 2)
Full Review
Ultracur 4.5 20 Vegetarian Capsules
Full Review

1. Doctor’s Best

Doctor's Best Curcumin From Turmeric Root, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Joint support, 500mg Caps with C3 Complex & BioPerine, 120 Capsules (3)

Curcumin C3 Complex® carries the  Curcuma longa root extract containing curcumin, bisdemethoxy and demethoxy curcuminoids of about 95%. According to a scientist, these three curcumins combine for a synergistic effect than you would otherwise get from just curcumin.  Doctor’s Best uses non-GMO turmeric. It’s an excellent choice for those with gluten or soy allergies. The formula provides cells and tissue protection from free radicals and inhibits destructive enzymes that break down connective tissue. It is therefore useful when it comes to combating problems in the joints. BioPerine is a black pepper fruit extract containing almost 100% piperine. This component in the supplement act to increase the absorption rate of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract.

Over 50 scientific studies show the effectiveness of the product when dealing with oxidative stress. Oxidative stress happens when free radicals trigger cell damage, a process thought to be a factor in some diseases.

 

 

  • PROS:
    • Provides tissue protection from free radicals
    • Winning formula for of turmeric extracts guaranteed to work
    • Recommended for people with joint pains
    • The Bioperine improved absorption
    • Turmeric is non-GMO
    • Soy and gluten-free

    CONS:
    • Causes gastric distress when taken on an empty stomach
    • Causes diarrhea in some users

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2. Terry Naturally CuraMed

Terry Naturally CuraMed More Powerful Than Turmeric 750 mg 120 SoftgelsThis supplement has patented its curcumin and turmerones formula and is the only one in the market to do that. Turmerones are found in turmeric essential oil and give the rhizome its smell. Being paired with curcumin means that the uptake of curcumin into the body is higher than it would otherwise be if it weren’t present. Terry Naturally CuraMed also contains Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC), obtained from mycelia, a medicinal mushroom. AHCC is developed in Japan and has 29 studies published that show positive results. These studies are available in peer-reviewed scientific journals accepted by the Japan National Institutes of Health. AHCC is known for its use for liver damage and cancer.

Terry Naturally CuraMed helps reduce inflammation caused by exercise, contributes to the health of the brain, heart, liver and immune system, and protects cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Participants in a study showed an increase in energy levels of 111%. The ingredients in this supplement improve the physical, mental and sexual health of those taking it.  In just two weeks their energy levels had doubled

It contains no sugar, gluten, soy, dairy products, salt, yeast or artificial flavoring, coloring or preservatives. The color slightly varies the same way the yellow in turmeric varies from plant to plant. Ingredients also include gelatin, yellow beeswax, sunflower lecithin, glycerin and purified water.

 

 

PROS:
  • High in antioxidants
  • Comes in 750mg making its stronger than its competitors
  • Capsules are large but comfortable to swallow
  • AHCC, used for liver damage and cancer, gives the supplement additional benefits

CONS:
  • Taking more than 1500 mg can cause an abnormal heart rhythm; each capsule contains 750 mg of curcumin

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3. Theracurmin® HP

Integrative Therapeutics - Theracurmin HP - Turmeric, Curcumin Supplement - 27x More Bioavailable - High Absorption Turmeric* - Relief of Minor Pain Due to Occasional Overuse* - Vegan - 120 CapsulesTheracurmin is a water-dispersible curcumin, the first of its kind. It is quick dissolving and maintains solubility for a more extended period. This supplement is also the brand used in 19 clinical studies of curcumin. It boasts that the bioavailability is 27 times more than the curcumin extract. The Theracurmin HP contained the same curcuminoids levels in the original Theracurmin but held in smaller capsules. The ingredients list is free of substances causing the top 8 allergens. It is  NSF Certified and suitable for sportspersons because it’s free of banned substances.

The word integrative in the brand name speaks of the collaboration of conventional and complementary medicine for efficient and safe therapies. Integrative Therapeutics is a reputable supplement manufacturer among integrative practitioners who recommend their products to patients.

Benefits of this Theracurmin supplement are that it works as an antioxidant in the body and as an anti-inflammatory compound.

It contains no: artificial coloring or flavoring, animal products, gluten, soy, wheat, salt, yeast or preservatives

 

 

  • PROS:
    • More bioavailable as compared to other brands
    • Most clinically tested brand
    • Water soluble
    • Recommended for sports

    CONS:
    • Claims are not FDA approved
    • Low amount of curcumin

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4. Thorne Research – Meriva-SR

Thorne Research - Meriva-SR - (Contains Soy) - Curcumin Phytosome Supplement - 120 Capsules (Old Formula)The supplement has enhanced bioavailability and ensured delivery to tissues. It has boasted significantly better clinical benefits. Thorne Research Phytosome Technology teamed up with Indena S.p.A who is known as global experts in the field of botanical extraction to produce the time-release matrix that comes in Meriva® tablets. The process used to bind the herbal extract curcumin to phosphatidylcholine (PC), that is phytosome, the primary element existing in cell membranes, is patented. It produces the curcumin phytosome.

Our bodies do make PC, but it can be gotten from food or supplements as well. Taken orally, PC absorbs very well in the body. For this reason, the scientists attached curcumin extract to PC. This fusion is called Meriva. When consumed, the body absorbs both the PC and connected curcumin, causing more curcumin to reach cells that stand to benefit from the intake.

A study published in the Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology journal in 2007 showed Meriva has a more superior bioavailability as compared to curcumin. This absorbability was demonstrated by the higher levels of curcumin in the liver after ingesting Meriva supplements.

Benefits include: an increase in solubility and flow of the bile, antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties and joint health

 

  • PROS:
    • Uses botanical extract technology
    • Meriva absorbability backed by scientific studies
    • Leads to healthy bile products
    • It increases uptake of curcumin in the body

    CONS:
    • Not advisable for pregnant women
    • Might interfere with absorption and efficacy of some chemotherapy drugs

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5. Terry Naturally with BCM95

Terry Naturally Curamin Extra Strength, Safe and Powerful Pain Relief with BCM95 Curcumin 120 Tabs

Curamin Extra Strength is fast and efficient in providing pain relief in a single dose. The supplements consist of BCM95 Curcumin combined with turmeric oils to increase absorption in the body. BCM95 Curcumin is clinically proven to provide long-lasting effects when it comes to pain relief.

This curcumin extract works excellently in balancing the body’s natural inflammatory response as well. The standard curcumin extract is known for its poor absorption in the body. BCM-95 Curcumin works ten times better when it comes to bioavailability.

The other extracts present are BosPure Boswellia, DLPA, and Nattokinase.

BosPure Boswellia is clinically proven to enhance body’s natural response to inflammation. DLPA is known for its boosting of enkephalins and endorphins, which are the body’s hormones that respond to pain and promote a healthy mood respectively. Nattokinase encourages blood flow, and this ensures the body gets sufficient uptake of curcumin. It also helps to balance fibrinogen levels that come about after a muscle strain or post-exercise muscle pain.

 

 

PROS:
  • A better alternative to painkillers
  • The formula has won 11 awards, being number one year after year
  • BCM 95 ability to increase the absorption of curcumin in the body
  • Great for athletes

CONS:
  • Contains Soy

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6. Doctor’s Best Curcumin C3 Complex with Bioperine

Doctor's Best Curcumin C3 Complex with Bioperine (500 Mg), Capsules, 120-count (120 X 2)

This Doctor’s Best curcumin supplement neutralizes free radicals and giving health the brain, heart, joints and circulatory system. It also supplies cells with potent antioxidant protection. There are over 50 scientific studies that validate the effectiveness of Curcumin C3 Complex®. Doctor’s Best is known for its science-based nutrition supplement, and this one, in particular, is no exception.

Curcuminoids make up more than 95% of the supplement. Curcumin accounts for more than 75% of the curcuminoids with bisdemethoxy and demethoxy available as well. BioPerine®, a black pepper fruit extract, is added to the formula since it’s a natural bioenhancer. The extract contains more than 95% piperine.

Other ingredients include magnesium stearate, rice powder and gelatin in the capsule.

 

 

PROS:
  • Contains black pepper fruit for increased absorption
  • Free of GMO gluten and soy
  • Concentrated levels of curcumin in the tablets
  • Science-basedcurcumin in the body
  • Great for athletes

CONS:
  • Claims are not FDA approved

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7. Ultracur

The curcumin in Ultacur comes fused within a whey protein isolate. Due to the nature of whey protein, the company states that people note uptake results in less than 2 hours. The supplements help alleviate inflammation and give joint support. It also works as an antioxidant. Researchers, a scientific team, and academic research partners have worked to find a formula that works best when it comes to the absorption of curcumin in the body.

The curcumin, whey protein and sunflower lecithins are sources from the EU and USA. The supplement contains non-GMO ingredients, and also suitable for vegetarians and those who take kosher or halal products only. It is also gluten-free and has no fillers or artificial material. Ultracur is also easy on your stomach and easily digestible.

Quickly disperses in water.  Whey protein is one of the fastest absorbing proteins known, typically in less than 20 minute

 

 

  • PROS:
    • The whey protein makes it ultra bioavailable
    • Contains no preservatives, filler or artificial dyes
    • Claims based on in-house studies.
    • Fast absorption rates

    CONS:
    • Claims not FDA approved
    • They have in the past retracted a lot of the said benefits of the supplement in comparison to its competitors

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Terms to understand

There is a misunderstanding in the market that turmeric is synonymous with curcumin.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a rhizome and part of the ginger family. It is native to the Indian and southeastern region. Its predominantly used in a ground form in Asian dishes, especially curries. It is loved for both its coloring and flavoring properties. Though studies of its health properties are few, those available show consistently that turmeric can be used for therapeutic purposes.

Curcumin and curcuminoids

When choosing a supplement that will work for you, there some terms you will come across that you’ll need to understand. These are curcuminoids and curcumin.

Curcuminoids are the active family of compounds in turmeric. Curcumin is the bright yellow chemical that you see in turmeric and is the main curcuminoid. This curcuminoid is known to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Curcumin is the most studied curcuminoid as it’s said to be responsible for the turmeric health benefits. Other curcuminoids found in turmeric demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin.

Turmeric only contains 2.5% to 6% curcumin and accounts for 77% of the curcuminoids content. The remaining percentages hold demethoxycurcumin (17%) and bisdemethoxycurcumin (3%). This percentage content is almost always the case unless otherwise stated.  The low portion of curcumin puts into perspective just how much of the turmeric is used in clinical studies and for its therapeutic benefits.

Needs ‘help’ to be absorbed into the body

The issue with these curcuminoids is they have low bioavailability, the amount that gets circulated in the body, in humans and animals. What’s worse is that it has a high metabolizing rate and clears from the system fast. This inability for curcumin to be absorbed means that it does not get to the cells. This is the main reason why curcumin has a bad rep in the industry. A lot of companies are putting out curcumin into the market, falsely advertising its benefits when by itself it doesn’t work.

To combat this, curcuminoids are paired with other substances to increase the absorption rate in cells. One of them is piperine, a black pepper extract. For added benefit, it can also be paired with other curcuminoids, soy products, genistein, fish oil, garcinol for cancer prevention or to be consumed along with other medication. A medical practitioner versed in the area should be able to tell you when to use it if you’re undergoing chemotherapy.


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Turmeric curcumin benefits

Curcumin is known for a few notable things:

 


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Turmeric curcumin side effects

Turmeric had no side effects but taking large quantities can cause:


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How to choose turmeric curcumin

Conclusion
Turmeric and curcumin products have come under a lot of heat given that by themselves, they don’t give the body much benefit. Products, or even turmeric itself, have been hyped in the wellness industry without scientific backing for the buzz. As the year’s progress, there is more research done, and the benefits continually refined. There are no longer grand assumptions about what turmeric can do for the body.

There is plenty to gain from curcumin supplements, and by getting the correct combination of quantity of curcuminoids and the agent used to increase absorption, some of your life’s aches and pains get solved. There are a lot of reviews from people taking curcumin that it’s helped with joint aches and inflammation in the body. Consider taking supplements if you want to alleviate pain without making frequent hospital visits or taking medication made from synthetic elements.

Be careful however when it comes to the dosage. Taking more capsules than is recommended can be harmful. Preliminary research shows that too much turmeric can cause DNA damage and suppress the immune system. Therefore, be sure to take quantities prescribed by a doctor or as recommended by the manufacturer.

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