Let’s be clear: Not all turmeric supplements are created equally.
For various reasons there are many different options and variations in formulations on the market today, and frankly it can all get very overwhelming and confusing. Turmeric supplements not only come in different formulations, but the dosage and serving size recommendations are not consistent across the board either. Here are a few nuggets of info that can help you decide which product is best for you as you navigate the supplement aisle.
1. Look for Turmeric-Curcumin supplements with ingredients that help with absorption.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in Turmeric, while strong and mighty, is not great at flying solo. Curcumin alone simply does not get absorbed well if at all. Studies have shown that the following solve for this:
- Black Pepper: In many supplements this ingredient may be listed as BioPerine which is the patented name of the black pepper extract, peperine (the active ingredient in black pepper). No one is necessarily any better than the other. It’s simply important to have this as an ingredient in the supplement formula as studies have shown it increases the bioavailability of curcuminoids by up to 2000%
- Fat: Newer research has indiacted that curcumin deliverd with a lipid (fat) is also highly bioavailable.
- Heat: Want to include turmeric in your meals? Just add heat. Think stir-frys and soups. Exposing turmeric to heat has been shown to increase curcumin’s bioavailability by as much as 12x compared to no heat exposure.
2. What about dosage?
This essentially comes down to what your goals are in choosing to take a curcumin supplement. If your goal is general health and wellness, then 400-600mg per day may do the trick. However, for more specific concerns such as inflammation reduction and gut health the working theory is that anywhere from 500-1000mg of turmeric extract a day is what is needed, with many experts leaning towards the 1000-1500mg recommendation. For added oomph, look for supplements containing at least 150mg of Turmeric extract that has been standardized to contain 95% of curcuminoids. (Hint: Our Simply Turmeric Organic fits the bill!). This essentially means that you are guaranteed a certain amount of curcuminoids in every dose. Because turmeric is a natural ingredient and many factors come in to play such as success of a growing season, harvest time, exposure to elements, etc., the amount of curcuminoids in a given batch of turmeric root is never standard. In fact, turmeric on it’s own typically only contains 2%-9% curcuminoids. So a product containing turmeric extract with these specifications is guaranteeing a much more 1) consistent curcumin presence, and 2) a more potent supplement.
3. How long before I see results?
Taking the right amount of a turmeric supplement during the day is not enough to see results. Studies repeatedly find that curcumin must be taken on an ongoing regular basis in order for it to impart any relief of symptoms. Much like exercise, it has a cumulative effect. You might feel “healthy” for taking the supplement one day here and there, but that won’t amount to anything. Turmeric-curcumin supplements must be taken on a regular basis for at least two to four weeks (closer to four weeks) before any positive effects are capable of occurring.