What’s the Best Curcumin for Maximum Absorption?
Curcumin is the primary active compound in turmeric, which you might recognize if you like to eat yellow curry since turmeric gives it the signature mustard color! Turmeric’s two other active compounds, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin, have a similar structure to curcumin but they are found at much lower levels.1 Although turmeric curcumin supplements have been used for many years, it is sometimes hard to tell how well they work because of their low bioavailability and how badly they are absorbed in our gut.2 Bioavailability, or how well a supplement can enter our blood is important since it helps us understand the amount of curcumin we have available. More generally, if curcumin has a low bioavailability, that would mean that after eating a lot of yellow curry, you wouldn’t be able to find any curcumin in your blood! How does this make sense?
Well, curcumin supplements come in many different forms and some of them are easier to absorb than others. Some are covered in phospholipids, or fats, which help absorb 12.7X more curcumin than standard curcumin powder.1 Curcumin and turmeric oil have also been used, but this only increases absorption by 2.6X so curcuminoid phospholipid complexes work better.1 The seemingly most effective form is called hydrophilic carrier dispersed curcuminoids, or HCDC, which has antioxidants and is water-soluble. This form of curcumin might absorb 136.3X better than the standard in our bodies since we are actually 60% water!1,3 In general, curcumin absorption can be increased and improved by pairing the compound with antioxidants, hydrophilic carriers, or anything else that can help it travel through our digestive system and be absorbed.
When taken correctly and with the right ingredients, curcumin supplements have many benefits. In one study, curcumin supplements were shown to increase blood vessel diameter (a process called vasodilation) and increase training effectiveness than exercise alone.2 In another study on twelve healthy individuals, curcumin taken in a water-soluble carrier was 45.9X better at absorbing than standard curcumin, which meant that it was more available to provide antioxidants and reduce inflammation.2 This supplement also helps stimulate the immune system and protect the neurons in our brain, which are two reasons why curcumin supplements can even be taken if you’re healthy!2 In fact, traditional Indian and Chinese medicines and diets have used it to help people of all ages with cardiovascular health, brain health, and joint pain.
So, if you are looking for a supplement that helps keep you healthy or protects you from a wide variety of health issues, try taking a turmeric curcumin supplement today! For best results, we recommend taking one that is in a hydrophilic carrier, like Superfood Science’s Vitality Rescue. What’s great about this supplement is that it also includes omega-3 tuna fish oil and black pepper extract to further increase the bioavailability of curcumin.
- Brad J. Douglass & Dallas L. Clouatre (2015): Beyond Yellow Curry: Assessing Commercial Curcumin Absorption Technologies, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2014.950392
- Jäger et al.: Comparative absorption of curcumin formulations. Nutrition Journal 2014 13:11