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13 Proven Curcumin Benefits and 5 Best Curcumin Supplements to Try

February 05, 2020 16 min read

What is Curcumin?

Curcumin is a yellowish-colored pigment or a substance that is primarily found in turmeric. Turmeric is a flowering plant that relates to the ginger family and is best known as a spice that is used in the purpose of cooking curry. It’s a polyphenol (a micronutrient substance that is obtained through certain plant-based food) with anti-inflammatory properties along with the ability to enhance the number of antioxidants that the body produces. It is one of the most amazing active compounds that is found in the roots of the turmeric plant.

For a long period of time, it has been used for the treatment and procurement of several different diseases and illnesses, and it possesses certain importance in the culture of traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines. Being a substance rich in antioxidant molecules, it is used as a daily supplement for promoting a healthy inflammatory  response in the body.

The scientific name used for the turmeric plant is Curcuma longa and the substance is also commonly referred to as curcuminoid. The scientific name for the ginger family mentioned above is Zingiberaceae. In the market, it is sold as herbal supplements, cosmetic ingredients, food flavoring, and food coloring.

High potency supplements can be produced by extracting the curcumin and curcuminoid from turmeric. However, curcumin is absorbed poorly during digestion, therefore it is essential to formulate it with other compounds in order to improve its bioavailability.

Clinical research centers and laboratories have not yet declared it safe and have not confirmed any medicinal use of curcumin. This is because a study on curcumin is difficult because of its unstable and poorly bioavailable nature. Hence, it is unlikely to produce useful leads for drug development.

Many other different studies have concluded that, along with reducing inflammation, curcumin might also ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, or more specifically pain in general. Other compounds in turmeric might also be beneficial and medicinal, but researchers have not yet proven it.

During lab tests, it has been discovered that curcumin seeds seem to be a blocking agent in the growth of certain kinds of tumors. It has the potential capability of stabilizing colorectal cancer, for which no other treatment is sufficient. However, researchers have failed to fully support this claim.

Curcumin is grown particularly in the Southern and Southeastern parts of Asia. Once the process of cultivation comes to an end, the rhizome of the plant is sent to be processed and to form turmeric, from which 2 to 5 percent curcumin can be extracted.

What is Curcumin Good For? 13 Proven Curcumin Benefits

Over the last few decades, curcumin has remained a consistently focused subject for research because of its restorative properties. As per many different reports based on research conducted, it has been revealed that curcumin is one of those curative, potent compounds that can act as an anti-inflammatory agent which can be used to reduce soreness, especially in joints. In addition, it plays a vital role in the treatment of cancer.

Up until now, it’s been proven that curcumin can reduce the conversion, growth, and escalation of tumors. The substance achieves these properties through the modulation of transcription elements, inflammatory groups of protein, growth aspect, and rest of the active enzymes in a human body.


Raw and Root Turmeric

1. Curcumin for Depression

In recent studies, curcumin has been shown to possibly be beneficial for those suffering from depression.

Some experts and clinical researchers do not seem to be as certain about the properties of curcumin which may help with depression, and research is limited.  Many trials have not been very successful in producing the expected results and significant effects, and this may have resulted from a lack of placebo groups, utilization of a small-sized sample, or the duration of the study was too short.

Recently, a study was conducted under the supervision of medical experts to investigate which of the two, curcumin or placebo, is more effective in reducing the symptoms of depression. They also researched if different doses of curcumin would create a difference in its effectiveness.

The study presented its conclusion, in which they stated that turmeric/curcumin was far more beneficial than a placebo when it comes to reducing the symptoms of depression. Keeping the mistakes they made earlier in mind this time, they selected a much greater sample size, and the duration of the study was three months. However, it was not designed and powered accordingly to detect the main differences in the effectiveness of curcumin. Therefore, they fail to determine whether the high dosage of curcumin is better than the low doses in reducing the symptoms that can result in depression.

2. Curcumin for Pain

For the past several years, people of Asia have believed turmeric/curcumin to be a substance that has the potential ability to decrease pain. People have been using it for inflammation, arthritis, and general pain symptoms, and this potent substance has proven to be very successful amongst them. In particular, curcumin has remained the most researched substance for the problems of osteoarthritis, but many of these studies are of low quality and founded by industry. Therefore, being cautious in its usage and consumption is necessary, as risks always exist.

3. Curcumin for Arthritis

Curcumin is involved in reducing a range of inflammatory signals, and many of them are linked with arthritis and inflammatory joints. When the dosage of curcumin is 200mg/kg, it is 4.6-8.3 percent more productive than the many other vital ingredients of ginger in the elimination of inflammation affiliated with cytokines circulating in infected joints and arthritis. Both herbs were found to be stronger and more beneficial than indomethacin.

A pilot study of three months has stated that Meriva is able to improve symptoms of osteoarthritis, as assessed by WOMAC, by 58 percent. Later, another study with 1,000mg turmeric, which consists of 200mg curcuminoid, noted that the total symptoms of knee osteoarthritis were reduced by 59 percent with improvements in pain, stiffness, and physical functioning. 

In conclusion, curcumin appears to be a highly effective substance in reducing the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, with the capability of being compared to other highly efficacious supplements on the market such as Boswellia serrate or S-Adenosyl Methionine.

4. Curcumin for Migraines

Recently, a study found that there was a significant reduction in migraine attack frequency with the use of curcumin. This has been recorded in those who have been taking both curcumin supplements and omega-3 fatty acids together.

After several studies, there is way less logical evidence available to support the intake of curcumin with the aim to prevent migraine attacks. However, a famous journalist recently published a study of Iranian researchers that states that fusion created when the omega-3 fatty acids and the herb curcumin are taken together may result in a reduction of TNF (tumor necrosis factor).

TNF is a type of protein that is integrated in the procedure of sending signals from one cell to another, which then results in increased impulsiveness of neurons, pain, and neuroinflammation. The sample size utilized in the study includes 74 patients suffering from migraines. They were split up into four groups. Each group was given a different supplement, including placebo, curcumin, omega-3, and a blend of curcumin and omega-3. Amongst these, the group that was given the combination saw a decrease in their TNF level and hardly had any migraine attacks, unlike the other three groups.

5. Curcumin for Joints

The worldwide aging population is affected by osteoarthritis. It is a deteriorating disease affecting the joints, causing inflammation and pain. this comes as the result of decreasing chondrocytes, which leads toward a depreciating layer of cartilage at the infected joints. Curcumin, the compound found in turmeric, with anti-inflammatory properties, is a potential treatment agent for all osteoarthritis patients.

Many clinical studies and much research has been conducted with the aim to discover the effectiveness and benefits of curcumin in terms of the treatment of joint problems and osteoarthritis. Patients suffering from osteoarthritis often note improvement in health, a reduction in pain, and an increase in their quality of life after they have started taking curcumin as a medicinal treatment.

At the end, it can be concluded that curcumin is an herbal supplement that contains the potential ability to treat the disease of osteoarthritis and other joint problems. However, more well-structured and randomized control trials are needed to find out more about improved curcumin formulas that are required in order to justify and certainly prove that there is no harm in the consumption of curcumin when treating osteoarthritis.

6. Curcumin for ALS

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is an ailment of motor neurons located at the back in the spinal cord of a human body, which then results in continuing weakness joints and shrinking of muscles. Three validated ALS reversals occurred on curcumin, and there was even a positive clinical trial conducted and investigated on an Iranian patient with ALS. Obviously, studies on this are limited, but there is hope that curcumin may be of benefit for ALS patients.

7. Curcumin for Autoimmune Disease

Curcumin contains both antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory, and it could prove to be helpful in preventing and treating some major diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic disease in which the immune system attacks the liver of the infected person (just one of the many autoimmune issues out there!)

The immune system and other resisting cells have progressed to defend and safeguard the human body and the internal organs from infection. Therefore, an interruption in the human immune system is often seen as a cause of infectious diseases such as cancer and other forms of autoimmune diseases.

The usage of herbal and nutrition supplements such as curcumin has received a lot of publicity amongst patients suffering from different autoimmune diseases. The reason behind this is simple: it is often more effective, cheaper, widely available, and comparatively safer than some of the drugs prescribed for these conditions. 

However, to traditionally achieve the favorable outcomes of nutraceuticals, patients are required to have a dietary consumption of such purified active compounds like curcumin at a slower rate, but for a long period of time. Hence, people taking curcumin as a traditional solution to their autoimmune disease do need to be extremely cautious and follow their doctor’s dosing recommendations.

An accurate and detailed understanding of sufficient dosage, safer and healthier routine of intake, and mechanism of how it reacts with other enzymes is required to use curcumin as medicine for the cure of different autoimmune diseases.

8. Curcumin for Prostate Inflammation

Curcumin, through several different studies and investigations, has proven to have possible essential benefits for prostate health, including reduction in the size of the prostate, fighting against inflammation caused by prostatitis, and helping to manage pelvic pain.

9. Curcumin for Back Pain

According to research recently conducted, curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties which may be beneficial for  painful flare-ups of upper and lower back pain. By reducing the body's natural inflammatory response, it is thought that curcumin may help relieve pain. Turmeric/curcumin also has powerful antioxidant molecules that are capable of improving the response and defense of our immune system.

10. Curcumin for Cancer

Curcumin has proven to be one of the only herbal ayurvedic substances to have many different health-promoting effects which include giving patients relief from inflammation and pain in joints, and from symptoms of metabolic syndromes. Some researchers and experts claim that curcumin also has anti-cancer properties.

There have been many different studies conducted which support the view and suggest that curcumin certainly does have anti-cancer properties. It’s possible that it can not only stabilize but also cure the disease, but most of the studies were organized and conducted in test tubes only and not on a human body, so they are not considered to be absolutely reliable.

11. Curcumin for Weight Loss

According to a meta-analysis recently conducted, it is specified that consumption of curcumin results in a noticeable decrease in weight, BMI, and leptin, and a major rise in the level of adiponectin. Further advanced studies provide the evidence that not all, but some, spices that include curcumin may play a role in the management and stabilization of obesity, and curcumin is the main player. Curcumin allows patients to decrease their weight while dealing with metabolic disorders. This increase in the pile of evidence proves that curcumin, a natural polyphenol obtained from the turmeric plant, can potentially act as an effective weight loss aid.

12. Curcumin for Dogs

What if I told you that a little curcumin could make a huge difference in your dog’s health and even his lifespan? Yes, curcumin has been proven to be an herbal treatment of several chronic and serious diseases not only found in humans, but dogs as well. It is a safe supplement for most dogs and will boost immunity while alleviating the symptoms of many canine conditions.

The four primary benefits of curcumin that are highlighted when we talk about dogs include prevention of cancer, arthritis, IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) as well as other gastrointestinal disorders. Furthermore, curcumin intake can allow you to replace steroids. Many dogs are on steroids for allergies and joint pain, but some studies also show that curcumin is just as effective as steroids.

13. Curcumin for Cats

The healing properties found in curcumin may also be beneficial for cats with autoimmune diseases, liver disorders, and those needing heart and circulatory support. Curcumin for cats may help lower bad cholesterol and also help in reducing the risk of blood clotting.

Curcumin absorbs best when taken with black pepper, which increases enzyme secretions in the pancreas to aid in digestion. Many supplements come complete with the proprietary blend of both vital ingredients.

5 Best Curcumin Supplements to Try

1. Raw and Root 

Raw and Root
    • REDUCES INFLAMMATION AND PROVIDES SUPPORT FOR JOINT PROBLEMS:It provides benefits from the preservative effects and the reaction of the nutrients like piperine and curcuminoids. Curcumin is generally known to be an anti-inflammatory agent with antioxidant properties to enable a human body to fight against diseases like inflammation in the joints, and to improve overall health.
    • CONTAINS ROOT POWDER CURCUMIN EXTRACT OF TURMERIC PLANT:The curcumin supplement of Raw and Root is developed to provide the maximum potential efficiency.
    • FORMULATED TO INCREASE ITS ABSORPTION AND BIOAVAILABILITY:The components of black pepper extract have been added into the supplement formula in order to increase its rate of absorption and the bio-availability of the herb curcumin.
    • THESE VEGETARIAN SUPPLEMENTS DO NOT CONTAIN ANY PRESERVATIVES, ARTIFICIAL COLORS, OR BINDERS:The serving size of two capsules contains 1500 mg of curcumin. 

    2. Smarter Nutrition

    Smarter Nutrition
    • THE FORMULA FOR BIOAVAILABILITY:You would not be able to achieve or gain any type of potential benefit from curcumin until the supplements have the ability to be completely absorbed by the bloodstream and to remain active. This well-developed formula is a complete solution for the problem of bioavailability through using the molecules and components of bioactive curcuminoids, and the compounds of bio-enhancers to maximize the absorption rate and to unlock the complete set of benefits curcumin provides.
    • CURCUMIN IS 250 TIMES MORE EFFECTIVE AND POTENT:Uses a patented curcumin that has 95 percent compounds of tetra-hydro-curcuminoids. It is one of the super-active forms of curcumin that your body might require.
    • UNIQUE SOFTGEL (OIL BASED) FOR EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT ABSORPTION:New and iconic liquid soft gel helps curcumin suspend in the oil of black seeds. It is known for antioxidants and immune boosting benefits. 

    3. NatureWise Curcumin Turmeric

    • The Certified 100 percent pure and Organic Curcumin by NatureWise packs each capsule with the 750mg of Curcumin concentration. Each bottle contains 180 capsules. It is recommend that you take the maximum of 3 capsules each day for a total of  2250 mg curcumin daily.
    • These curcumin supplements include BioPerine extract of black pepper. It is a clinically proven extract that is declared to enhance the rate of absorption of the herb curcumin by 4 times for improved bioavailability.
    • These curcumin capsules have 95.3 percent compound of curcuminoids, BioPerine and Organic Ginger and are free of gluten, non-GMO, and pure vegan.

    4. Viva Natural Organic Turmeric Curcumin

    • SINGLE-SERVING CURCUMIN SUPPLEMENTS TO SUPPORT HEALTHY JOINTS:Receive 1,500mg of pure turmeric curcumin, and with 150mg standardized to 95 percent curcuminoids. 
    • TURMERIC CURCUMIN WITH BLACK PEPPER FOR HIGH RATE OF ABSORPTION:Are you looking for effective and perfectly formulated curcumin capsules? Every serving of turmeric curcumin is supported by an additional dose of organic black pepper. Curcumin is combined with black pepper to works like a magical formula and to instantly help your body absorb and utilize the efficacy of curcumin more efficiently. 
    • 100 PERCENT ORGANIC CURCUMIN SUPPLEMENT:Every ingredient in these powerful Curcumin tablets is certified by international standards and laboratories hence there is no lie in that it is 100 percent organic, including an organic extract from the roots of the turmeric plant, so that you can enjoy the super high-quality. 

    5. Designs for Health Curcumin Curcum-Evail

    • SUPERIOR IN ABSORPTION:It is manufactured and formulated in a way that helps and provides support in optimizing the rate of absorption of curcumin in the bloodstream of the human body. 
    • MAINTAINING HIGHER STANDARDS FOR BETTER RESULTS:Designs for Health restricts you from any low-quality ingredients and allows you to maintain a strict balance, with a no-compromising approach in the quality of raw material used to produce this widely selected product. 
    • OVER 50,000 DOCTORS AGREE AND RECOMMEND OUR SUPPLEMENTS:Designs for Health are many physicians’ first choice and priority for top quality supplements with professional-strength since 1989. The dedicated team of experts ensures that all products are manufactured and produced on the basis of the most recent research, and in the manufacturing process the highest quality raw ingredients are used.


    Contraindications and Side Effects of Curcumin

    It is clinically proven that taking up to an 8 gram dose of curcuminoids is not associated with any serious adverse effects. However, long-term studies are necessary for more detailed and comprehensive reports and observations. According to some researchers, it has been stated that a high dose of curcumin can lead to nausea and gastrointestinal problems and complaints.

    Furthermore, the use of curcumin along with piperine may result in an adverse drug reaction; it is because piperine greatly increases intestinal permeability. Therefore, it is essential to conduct investigations and tests of different curcumin formulations in order to declare it as a safer option and medicinal herbal drug.

    We have mentioned above that curcumin absorbs or inhibits the selective toxicity towards cells of cancer without having an effect on the healthy cells. However, in an in vitro study, it was revealed that turmeric curcumin has the ability to give rise to apoptosis (the death of healthy human cells in the process of growth and development) in healthy T cells found in the human body, and at a rate that is comparable to leukemia cells that result in cancer. 

    The study we have discussed above was unable to find any kind of damage in the DNA of human T cells. Whereas earlier studies that were conducted in a test tube and not on a human body, with the usage of the same dosage of curcumin, discovered that DNA damage has a connection with the intake of curcumin. The researchers and experts who have written the T cell study suggest that the reason behind two studies being different from each other could be the result of differences in the population of cells around which the two studies conducted its experiments, and maybe the difference lies in the two methods that have been used in determining the damage to DNA.

    In another in vitro study, it was found that in a human fibrosarcoma line the clear proof of the damage caused to DNA can be seen due to an increase in curcumin concentration. In many other in vitro experiments, it has been found that curcumin may damage the DNA of human cells.

    There are many in vitro studies regarding the side effects of curcumin, but no clinical trials have been organized and operated in a human body to prove and show its toxicity. However, in a 90-day experiment, a rat was given a dose of curcumin supplements. It was found that as the dosage increased, and curcumin was taken for a longer period, it could be the reason behind oxidative stress, metabolic disorder, inflammation which can later result in liver injury.

    In many studies, it has been found that the dosage of 6 grams of curcumin, if taken on a daily basis, might create difficulties with the minor accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal and stool may get more yellow in color. Later, both complaints ceased when the supplement intake was interrupted.

    Another clinical trial conducted on cancer patients showed that those who were taking curcumin in the range of 0.44 to 3.6 grams per day for the duration of one to four months, showed some negative effects that include symptoms of nausea and diarrhea and a rise in lactate dehydrogenase and serum alkaline phosphatase.

    Moreover, in some circumstances when the dosage of curcumin reached the range of 5.2 grams per day to 12.2 grams per day, additional side effects were noticed, including skin rash and headache. 

    Clearly, more research must be done, but we do know that curcumin is thought to be safe at lower doses and when intake is monitored by a physician.


    Raw and Root

    Is Curcumin the Same as Turmeric? What are the Differences between Turmeric and Curcumin?

    Turmeric is a popular spice obtained from the roots of the turmeric plant, and curcumin is another compound that is then later extracted from turmeric to be used in medicinal and herbal supplements due to its highly potent chemical properties. Curcumin is present in the rhizomes of the plant in a very little amount. Therefore, taking turmeric is considered to be less effective than taking the dose of naturally extracted and anti-inflammatory supplements of curcumin directly. 

    Curcumin relates to a group of chemical compounds that are well known for their soothing, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, and antioxidant properties. The color of the curcumin compound is yellow and is used to produce other spices to give them the appropriate color as well.

    Since 1815, when curcumin was first identified as a compound, many studies have been conducted to learn about its abilities and other properties. It is believed that curcumin works simultaneously on multiple functions and processes, and it is one good reason why it has been touted to cure everything from pain and inflammation to fighting serious tumors, diseases, and promoting brain health.

    How Much Curcumin is in Turmeric?

    Just as spinach is rich in iron and lemons are full of Vitamin C, turmeric is a great source of curcumin. A single root of turmeric typically contains about 2 to 5 percent of the curcumin compound.

    Is Cumin the Same as Curcumin?

    There is no doubt that curcumin and cumin are two different spices, albeit with similar names. Both spices are abundantly used in Asian cuisines to add flavor to curry, and are also used as an ayurvedic wound healing supplement. It is because both of them can stimulate digestion due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In spite of their effective substance and similar properties, they have a difference in flavor, appearance, constituents, and properties.

    Curcumin is a compound extracted from the roots of the turmeric plant, while cumin is a spice that is obtained from the seeds. Botanically, cumin is known as Cuminum cyminum and in Southern and Southeastern parts of Asia it is commonly referred to as Jeera, an Ayurvedic medicine. For ages, people have been using these seeds as a folk medicine to improve the system of digestion and to prevent diseases and problems like diarrhea, flatulence, scorpion stings, toothache, and jaundice. Cumin is considered a safe herb when utilized as a spice, but it can interact with prescription drugs. It is recommended to consult with a doctor before starting the use of cumin.

    Is Curcumin a Blood Thinner?

    For ages, people have been using curcumin extracted from turmeric as a golden spice for culinary and medicinal purposes. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and has anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning or anticoagulant properties.

    How Much Curcumin per Day? How Much Curcumin to Take?

    Most studies today use the dosage of turmeric powder between 500 to 2000 milligrams of curcumin per day. This dose is used in the form of an extract, which contains much higher concentrations of curcumin than you would find in any turmeric root powder or food.

    Many clinical studies have shown that the dosage of curcumin up to 8 grams is considered to be non-toxic to the human body. However, if the amount exceeds this limit then it might not be considered as safe and long-term use of curcumin supplements can result in toxicity.

    According to a report presented by the World Health Organization (WHO), 3 mg per kg of body weight is the recommended allowable dosage of curcumin each day. This amount of intake is considered a safer dose that a human body, its organs, and hormones can tolerate for the majority of patients that are looking for some solution to reduce the pain of arthritis or enhance overall health.

    Can You Take Turmeric Curcumin and Glucosamine Together?

    Yes, both of the items can be used together, and they don’t have any kind of reaction when used together. Not only this, but in many reports, it is suggested to use both of them together to make the formula or the substance more effective and efficient.