Almost all the benefits of turmeric arise from a collection of bright orange, biologically active ingredients called curcuminoids. These clever little phytochemicals possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective qualities.
Curcumin works by modulating the signals that cause inflammation. It can dampen down inflammation caused by free radicals produced during exercise, or from other physiological stressors.
Similar to over the counter anti-inflammatories, curcumin can also slow down the production of certain hormone-like substances, called prostaglandins, that modulate swelling, inflammation and pain in the body.
Curcumin is famous for being poorly absorbed, which may be why turmeric supplements have become so popular recently. It’s a fat-soluble molecule, so it needs to be taken with fats to stand any chance of being absorbed at all. Once inside the body, it is also quickly metabolised and excreted, so taking it daily is key to getting a good result. Many supplements rely on combining curcumin with piperine from black pepper.
However, piperine works by blocking the liver enzymes that break down and eliminate the curcumin from the body, so the curcumin stays active for longer. The problem with that is this can interfere with other elements that those enzymes would also work on – certain medications or toxins for example. By far the best way to take curcumin is wrapped in micellar lipids – where the curcuminoids have been wrapped up in lipids to take them straight through the gut wall into the bloodstream without affecting any liver enzymes or interfering in other pathways. That way they can get straight to work without any problems.
In an independent consumer trial, 93 people took Turmeric Zooki each day for four weeks with 9 in 10 experiencing less stiff & achy joints, increased energy levels and improved recovery in-between exercise. Learn more.
In a word, no. Black pepper, or piperine, works by extending the time that curcumin stays in the bloodstream so it can be effective for longer. It does this by blocking the enzymes from the liver that would normally metabolise the curcumin and excrete it.
But that also means the same liver enzymes are blocked from dealing with other compounds such as certain medicines or toxins, which can be problematic for some people. Much better to take our lipid wrapped turmeric, without the negative side-effects.
Most studies have used supplements of between 150 and 2,000 mg of curcumin per day for 8 to 12 weeks. However, not many have used liposomal curcumin with its superior absorption and bioavailability. Our high-dose 750mg of liposomal curcumin provides a good amount for daily support.
Turmeric supplements may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners or diabetes medications. We always recommend consulting with a doctor or health professional before taking any supplements alongside medication.
Curcumin is the active compound from turmeric exact, and also contains all the bright, biologically active curcuminoids where turmeric gets its health properties from.
When it comes to turmeric supplements, it's important to look out for a few different things. The first is the concentration of curcumin extract per serving - a lot of supplements will only list the turmeric concentration, and not the curcumin extract. As the curcumin extract is what really matters, make sure the supplement you're taking contains at least 500mg of curcumin extract from turmeric root. Secondly, we recommend avoiding supplements that contain black pepper for the reasons explained above. Finally, finding a curcumin supplement wrapped in micelles will streamline the absorption, meaning you'll get more bang for your buck.
In theory you could, however in practice you'd need to consume an unrealistic and copious amount of turmeric powder per serving to get the same amount of curcumin extract as is in a supplement. For example, the curcumin concentration of one sachet of Turmeric Zooki is equal to approximately 32 teaspoons of turmeric powder!
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