Herbal Remedies

A Nutritionist Picks the Best Turmeric Supplements

By Melinda Mrachek Staehling
Osha Key, Unsplash

Known for its bright yellow color, the spice turmeric flavors traditional Indian and East Asian cooking. Turmeric also boasts thousands of years of use in the healing arts. The turmeric root is a member of the ginger family.  The whole root contains oils and compounds known as curcumin.

Supplements often contain both turmeric root and curcumin (turmeric extract). Higher concentrations of curcumin may be more useful than turmeric root for certain circumstances such as pain relief.

Scientific studies suggest that turmeric supplements can have similar properties to both over the counter and prescription drugs. It acts by disabling molecules that cause free radicals to develop.

Turmeric is well-known for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Taking a turmeric supplement might have similar effects on joint pain as over the counter anti-inflammatories and painkillers.

Best Value Turmeric 

Nature’s Nutrition Turmeric Curcumin 

Nature’s Nutrition is a high potency product containing 1950mg of turmeric and curcuminoids. The supplement also adds 15mg of BioPerine black pepper. Black pepper works together with turmeric in the body and may improve absorption.

This product contains curcumin, which has been studied for its ability to reduce inflammation and its antioxidant properties. Nature’s Nutrition is a plant-based capsule and is free from soy, gluten, milk, eggs, and GMOs.

Summary of Nature’s Nutrition Turmeric Curcumin:
  • 1800mg Turmeric Root
  • 150mg Turmeric 95% Curcuminoids
  • 15mg BioPerine Black Pepper Extract
  • Plant-Based Capsule
  • Free of soy, gluten, milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, shellfish, and sugar

Best Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric

Sports Research Turmeric Curcumin C3 Complex

Most turmeric supplements are a mix of turmeric powder with added curcuminoids. Sports Research provides a blend of 475mg curcuminoids. This product includes virgin coconut oil and BioPerine black pepper to increase absorption and availability.

Sports Research includes a higher level of curcuminoids than most other brands. Curcuminoids are the active element in the supplement.

The capsule contains Kosher gelatin and therefore is not vegan. Sports Research is non-GMO and gluten-free. One special feature of the Sports Research brand is direct access to third-party testing.  This information is provided for each supplement lot number.

Summary of Sports Research Turmeric Curcumin C3 Complex:
  • 500mg C3 Complex – Standardized Turmeric Extract
  • Contains coconut oil and 5mg BioPerine Black Pepper
  • GMP – Good Manufacturing Practice Certified
  • Third-Party Tested

Best Allergen-Free Turmeric

BioSchwartz Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine 

BioSchwartz turmeric curcumin may assist with building a healthy immune system. This supplement provides a high-dose blend of turmeric, curcuminoids, and black pepper. BioSchwartz is free of soy, gluten, milk, egg, wheat, GMOs, peanuts, sweeteners, shellfish and sugar.

This turmeric supplement is also free of any fillers or binders.  BioSchwartz is third-party tested for quality and potency. BioSchwartz turmeric contains 10mg of patented BioPerine, an extract from black pepper. Using black pepper with turmeric enhances the bioavailability of the supplement.

Summary of BioSchwartz Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine:
  • 1350 mg Turmeric
  • 150mg Turmeric extract (95% Standardized Curcuminoids)
  • 10mg Black Pepper extract (BioPerine)
  • Free of soy, gluten, milk, egg, wheat, GMOs, peanuts, sweeteners, shellfish and sugar
  • Third-Party tested
  • Made in the USA

What You Need to Know

When considering a turmeric supplement, there’s a difference between the amount of turmeric powder and the amount of turmeric extract. These types of turmeric can both be in the product and listed on the label.  The extract may contain higher levels of active curcumin. This might increase the effect of the product.

The black pepper fruit is also typically on the ingredient list in a turmeric supplement. BioPerine black pepper increases the bioavailability of turmeric supplements by at least 30% and possibly up to 2000%.

It is common to see the phrase “95% Standardized Curcuminoids” on the turmeric supplement label. This means that 95% of the available product contains curcuminoids, not that it is 95% curcumin.

Benefits of turmeric supplements

Turmeric is likely to be safe for most people. The anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric are well-studied. The scientific literature also suggests support for turmeric’s cardiovascular, anti-cancer, liver-protective, anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. Curcumin use can aid in the prevention and treatment of gastric disease.

Cons of turmeric Supplements

Most side effects reported with turmeric and curcumin use are digestive. Those with stomach disorders or a history of kidney stones may want to avoid supplementing with turmeric. As always, please check any specific herb and drug interactions.

Dosage for turmeric supplements

Typical suggested dosage for turmeric depends on each supplement, with common doses recommended for many concerns. An average dose for health benefits might be in the range of 200-500mg, 3-4 times per day. This dose increases for more severe complaints, or short-term use. Higher doses advise approval by a doctor, especially for nutrient-drug interactions.

How can women benefit from a turmeric supplement?

Curcumin may improve the overall severity of pre-menstrual symptoms. One study shows curcumin possibly increasing the levels of positive brain chemicals when used steadily before menstruation.

As an antifungal, some women experiencing discomfort from Candida albicans overgrowth might see improvement with turmeric supplements. Pharmaceutical drugs most often linked with treating Candida typically have several negative side effects. A natural approach like turmeric might be preferable.

Why is turmeric so popular?

Used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries, turmeric is now a popular dietary supplement in the West. Turmeric supplements are one of the top nutrients in the world.

Turmeric and curcumin are thought to benefit a wide range of organ systems. The anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric are well-studied and actively researched. Turmeric acts on various pathways that play a role in inflammation. Turmeric supplements are thought to be beneficial and natural pain relievers.

Including a turmeric supplement in your nutrition plan can provide benefits towards managing inflammation, detoxification, controlling blood sugar and building a healthy immune system.

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