How to Choose the Best Turmeric Supplement for Yourself
Some physiological processes alter the way we think, breathe, eat, or even behave. When persistent, they change our personalities and overall quality of life. This is especially true when it comes to inflammation.
Inflammation is a chain-reaction type of process that happens in tissues as a response to injury, toxicity, or an adverse internal reaction. Despite its essential protective role, chronic inflammation is the cause of many indispositions, such as autoimmune diseases, chronic digestive conditions, and even cancer.
The most popular use of turmeric is anti-inflammatory. Therefore, the best turmeric supplements for inflammation are used by those with certain diseases, such as osteoarthritis or Crohn’s disease, or even hay fever. However, emerging evidence supports the use of this herb for various conditions. So let’s dive deeper into the topic.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a term used to describe a herb, Curcuma longa, which originates from South Asia and is known for its health benefits. It has been used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine and for culinary purposes worldwide. Today, turmeric spices, such as yellow turmeric powder or curry, dwell on cooking counters around the globe.
The best source of turmeric powder is the root of the plant, which is cooked, dried, and then pulverized.
The health benefits of turmeric come from its phytochemical composition. The main active compounds are curcuminoids, turmeric saccharides, and turmerone and alantone volatile oils. The best-known and most-used curcuminoid is curcumin, which accounts for the majority of these healing properties.
The best way to consume turmeric is with food. However, the most efficient way to induce its curing traits is via supplementation, which delivers the highest amount of available curcumin.
Curcumin vs. Turmeric
Curcumin is the primary beneficial compound in the root, responsible for the distinctive yellow color of turmeric powder. The best turmeric extract usually contains high percentages of curcumin, which guarantees its efficacy.
The effects of turmeric, on the other hand, rely entirely on their curcumin content. Besides curcumin, other turmeric ingredients include multiple compounds, which all add to curcumin’s potency.
The Health Benefits of Curcumin
Although there’ve been many clinical studies on the use of this compound in humans, most of the results are still vague or inconclusive. Nonetheless, there’s much scientific research advocating for its benefits, and the best turmeric supplement on the market will prove effective for most.
The primary curcumin (and thus, turmeric) benefits are as follows:
- Antioxidant – Curcumin efficiently scavenges free radicals within the tissues.
- Anti-inflammatory – By reducing the number of pro-inflammatory molecules in tissues, curcumin reduces tissue damage and pain and stimulates faster regeneration.
- Hepatoprotective – It protects the liver from external toxins.
- Antiplatelet aggregation – Curcumin inhibits the formation of platelet binding, thus stimulating circulation.
- Antimutagenic – It prevents the formation of new cancers by decreasing the expression of some cancer-prone cells.
- Antimicrobial – In combination with turmeric essential oils, curcumin inhibits the growth of some bacteria on the skin.
- Cardiovascular – One of the best turmeric traits is lowering “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thus stimulating circulation.
- Gastroprotective – It successfully aids the eradication of bacteria responsible for peptic ulcers.
- Dental benefits – Curcumin reduces pain in the teeth and gums.
What Is Turmeric Best Used For?
In consideration of its beneficial effects, turmeric can be used to support treatment of the following:
- Joint pain, associated with inflammatory diseases, such as osteoarthritis
- Hay fever
- High cholesterol levels
- Fatty liver
- Knee injuries in athletes
- Skin damage, caused by radiation
- Crohn’s disease, as well as other inflammatory bowel diseases
- Cancer, as a preventive measure
The best turmeric supplement must contain high doses of bioavailable curcumin. On the other hand, natural curcumin has a low prevalence in raw turmeric—it’s found only in 3.14% of the powder.
Additionally, curcumin is an unstable molecule, insoluble in water, and it has low in-tissue distribution. Therefore, the main challenge in turmeric production is forming a chemical vehicle for it that will deliver its health benefits throughout the body.
In short, the higher the volume of curcuminoids within the extract, the greater the value of the final product. Top-rated turmeric products have either aqueous, supercritical, or alcohol extracts.
Various extraction methods are used. However, not all of them provide us with enough curcumin to deliver its health benefits. For example, water extracts are rich in overall curcuminoids but lack the potency of essential oils. Thus, it’s often enhanced with alcohol. Conversely, supercritical CO2 extraction can deliver the purest extracts on the market, and this method provides the full-spectrum benefits of turmeric.
The bottom line is that, no matter what the extraction method is, a manufacturer is obligated to declare the standardization percentage (its potency) and what the quantity crude equivalent of the extract is (the crude vs. extracted ratio).
Combining Turmeric with Black Pepper
According to most turmeric supplement reviews, the majority of the products include black pepper, and for a good reason. Many studies confirm the benefits of piperine on curcumin absorption. According to the evidence, black pepper extract increases the absorption levels by an astounding 2000%.
In the US, the most commonly used black pepper extract is BioPerine, a standardized and clinically proven turmeric enhancer.
High levels of curcumin can damage the liver, blood cells, and the entire body. Therefore, following the appropriate dosage is of paramount importance. Officially, the recommended daily allowance has not yet been determined. Therefore, every best brand of turmeric capsules declares the dosage according to the available clinical information.
According to the clinical evidence, these are the appropriate doses for standardized turmeric extracts (95% of curcuminoids):
- 1000 mg per day for inflammatory joint pain
- 1400 mg per day for high cholesterol levels
For other conditions, the WHO has determined a dose of 1.4 mg per pound to be acceptable for adults.
As a rule, turmeric supplements should be used continuously for only 2–3 months.
Turmeric in Pregnancy and Lactation
Although Indian women consume turmeric while pregnant, the official guidelines recommend caution regarding supplements.
Turmeric Side Effects
Even the best turmeric product should be used with caution. Although regarded as generally safe, some adverse effects include upset stomach, indigestion, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhea.
Furthermore, turmeric should not be taken in the following cases:
- Gallstones or a gallbladder obstruction
- Hormone-sensitive cancers
- Iron deficiency
Turmeric Drug Interactions
There’s minimal evidence of interactions involving turmeric. However, caution is recommended in the case of anticoagulants. Taking these meds with curcumin can significantly increase the risk of bleeding.
The long history of turmeric use has shown us that the empirical data overruns the scientific uses. However, there’s significant evidence that supports the use of turmeric-based products for joint pain, cardiovascular problems, and much more.
Today, turmeric is used primarily for the treatment of osteoarthritis and high cholesterol levels. Moreover, we showed that the use of this plant offers many health benefits, both in recreational use and in the long term.
The best turmeric supplement can be used for more than therapy support. It can alleviate pain, prevent cancer, and help with whole-body detoxification. If you decide to try it, let our guide show you the way.