With the constant rise of health awareness, we face no shortage of information regarding herbs that offer nutritional benefits. A particular example is turmeric, the yellow spice used in mustard and curry. Turmeric has long been used in India for its flavor and medicinal properties. Research shows that it contains curcumin, the compound responsible for most of the health benefits turmeric offers. However, the curcumin content of turmeric, according to the PubMed Central database is only 3% by weight. Therefore, to fully utilize its benefits, adding this spice to your food is inadequate. To increase your intake of curcumin, you need to take a supplement that contains a high amount. This being said, we have examined some supplements with high amounts of curcumin to find the best turmeric supplement of 2019.
You may be wondering why the amount of curcumin is a vital criterion in finding a good turmeric supplement. Turmeric has hundreds of natural components such as flavonoids, beta-carotene, fiber, niacin, vitamin C, and minerals including zinc, potassium, and iron. Granted, these nutrients help promote the body’s optimum health.
For instance, flavonoids are proven to reduce risks of asthma, stroke, heart disease, and even cancer. Beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A, which is essential for overall eye health and a known immunity booster. Fiber assists the digestive tract and decreases risks for heart disease. Niacin lowers blood cholesterol and supports cognitive function. Vitamin C enhances collagen and iron production and maintains the health of bones and cartilage. Minerals are helpful in assimilating nutrients, prompting enzyme reactions in the body, and expelling harmful substances.
There are multiple health benefits attributed to the nutrients found in turmeric. However, evidence shows that the most important compound it contains is curcumin. Here are some of these said nutritional benefits.
Health Benefits of Curcumin
Curcumin is a very strong antioxidant. Antioxidants play a large role in limiting oxidative damage caused by harmful free radicals. The chemical composition of curcumin enables it to neutralize free radicals while assisting your body’s antioxidant enzymes. As an antioxidant, curcumin also supports the body’s healing processes, fights infection, decreases signs of aging, and lowers risks of some types of cancer.
Curcumin also has intense anti-inflammatory properties. Studies published by the National Institutes of Health describe inflammation as significant in many chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and cancer. Accordingly, compounds that help fight inflammation are very important in the prevention and treatment of the said diseases. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties are found to be as effective as conventional drugs in combatting inflammation at the molecular level.
Findings from a study in the PubMed Central database assert that it’s possible for curcumin to be helpful in the treatment of depression. Curcumin increases the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Reduced BDNF levels are linked to depression, as well as some age-related conditions and brain diseases. Curcumin also heightens levels of serotonin and dopamine—chemicals that are involved in regulating mood. Thus, an increase in the serotonin and dopamine levels triggers a positive calming effect on the body.
Choose The Best Turmeric Supplement
It is clear that one of the main factors to consider in looking for a good turmeric supplement is its amount of curcumin. Health experts recommend that you choose a brand that has about 95% of curcumin. Another important factor is the presence of piperine or Bioperine in the list of ingredients. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, piperine is a naturally occurring substance extracted from black pepper—the component responsible for its spicy taste. Piperine considerably enhances the effectiveness of curcumin by boosting absorption by about 2,000%. Bioperine is typically the same as piperine but it is a branded version of the extract.
Other factors to check is if the product is certified organic and the capsules are not made from animal-derived gelatin. Evidence shows that although it is safe to consume gelatin in a daily dose of up to 10 grams for up to 6 months, it can cause digestive issues such as having a heavy sensation in the stomach, belching, and bloating. Gelatin can also trigger allergic reactions in some individuals.
When taking a turmeric supplement, it is also essential to consider the dosage. World Health Organization reports that a daily intake of 1.4 mg of turmeric extract per approximately half a kilogram of body weight is acceptable. However, studies also show that to get results when using curcumin for the treatment of specific diseases, there is a certain recommended amount for each. It is important to look up these recommended amounts or consult a doctor before using curcumin for therapeutic purposes.
Based on the criteria discussed above, we have selected:
- OmniBiotics’ Organic Turmeric Root with 95% Curcumin Extract Blend. This turmeric supplement has all of the important factors in check. It has 120 vegetarian capsules containing 1200 milligrams of certified organic turmeric powder with 300 milligrams of curcumin extract. It also has 10 grams of piperine, which enhances curcumin absorption.
- OmniBiotics’ Organic Turmeric Root supplement is approved by the United States Department of Agriculture. It does not contain any synthetic ingredients such as petroleum-based curcumin, additives, and solvents. It also has no ingredient derived from genetically modified organisms. I addition, the manufacturing company prides itself on being compliant with good manufacturing practices. It also offers a 100% money-back guarantee to unsatisfied consumers.
Precautionary Measures to Consider
Consumption of turmeric supplements is generally safe for most people, however, it may trigger negative effects for some individuals with certain conditions. For instance, people afflicted with gallbladder disease have to avoid taking curcumin considering that it may worsen symptoms by causing contractions. There is also inadequate research to prove if turmeric supplements are safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Turmeric may also worsen the condition of people with kidney stones because of its high amount of oxalate.
It’s also vital to avoid taking turmeric extract with anticoagulants and diabetes medications. Turmeric can aggravate bleeding problems by interfering with clotting, and intensify symptoms of diabetes by causing a sudden drop in blood sugar levels.
Although the health benefits of turmeric are promising, it’s good to always consult a physician before taking any supplements to ensure your safety.