Curcumin as you might know is the largest constituent of Turmeric which is a traditionally used medicine, condiment and antiseptic.
Curcumin is effective in the treatment and prevention of diseases like Arthritis, Cancer, Intestinal Disorders, Skin Care and the list goes on and on and on…
Traditionally Curcumin has been consumed as a condiment in good or as a powder mixed with milk, honey or water.
Other ways to consume Curcumin include consuming it with Cinnamon, fenugreek, sandalwood oil etc.
All these ways are fine but sometimes the need of Curcumin cannot be satisfied by natural sources like Turmeric and it has to be taken in through pills.
Though taking pills of naturally occurring substances in frowned upon there are times when it becomes necessary to do so.
Now choosing the right pill is no easy business. But don’t worry, we are here with a rate card for picking up the best Curcumin Supplements and have for you some of the world’s best.
Before we proceed let’s go through our criteria for rating a supplement.
- Constituents: Two main types of supplements are those that include ordinary curcumin and those with enhanced curcumin extracts. Enhanced curcumin extracts have increased bioavailability of curcumin. Bioavailability is the amount of curcumin available for absorption into the body.
- Safety: Supplements are metal chelators, that is they have an affinity to metals. Some heavy metals might get attached to these supplement molecules while it is being processed, as curcumin being insoluble in water, solvents are used to extract it.
- Compatibility: One of the most important criteria is to check the compatibility of the drug to one’s condition. Some drugs work effectively against certain conditions but are useless against other ailments.
- Claims: As a general practice, before buying a product, one must check whether the claims made by the company regarding the product are true.
- Price: Some products are definitely out of the reach of the layman, for daily use. Consumers should calculate beforehand whether or not to plunge that deep into their wallet.
There are numerous supplement products in the market, over a hundred of them. It certainly isn’t feasible to be comparing each and every one of them, so here’s the best of the best and their overall reviews.
A decent drug, the producers have increased the bioavailability by combining the curcumin extract with ‘Phosphatidylcholin’ or, PC, which is an organic compound easily absorbed into the body. When the PC gets absorbed into the bloodstream, curcumin gets absorbed too. The problem with ordinary curcumin is that it gets hydrolyzed or breaks down inside the stomach too quickly. Meriva instead provides a steady stream of curcumin for a longer period of time.
Meriva is mostly useful against inflammatory diseases including arthritis, uveitis, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.
This drug boasts of the purest form of curcumin amongst other supplements, having no turmeric oils. It makes use of a patented “Solid Lipid Curcumin Particle” Technology for absorption of curcumin at specific locations in the intestine. Another specialty of the supplement is that it has an active ingredient that helps it cross the blood brain barrier.
So it’s no surprise that it works on ailments like Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia among others.
BCM95 on a direct contrast with other supplements of its range, includes turmeric oils along with another component, ‘Ar Turmerone” the combination of the duo along with curcumin works wonders for the heart. It boasts of 7-9% more bioavailability than ordinary curcumin. The baffling inclusion of the turmeric oils in the product is due to some scientific studies showing that some of these oils benefit people suffering from type 2 Diabetes. Then again, its long term effects are unknown.
This curcumin supplement works on heart conditions and also for prevention of cancer in many cases.
It contains ‘Piperine’, an alkaloid extract from black pepper which is said to increase the bioavailability of curcumin by a whopping 20%! But then again, the increase is only temporary as the effects start to wane in 1-2 hours. It inhibits “glucuronidation”(don’t sweat it, it doesn’t really matter if you know how to pronounce the word or not, you can always just remember the process as “cleansing the body internally”) which is the process of detoxification of the body. Thus long term effects include damage of the liver.
This is an Anti-inflammatory supplement and an antioxidant.
Thus after comparing the above supplements,
In terms of Bioavailability, Longvida arises a clear winner, while on the Price range, Sabinsa is the best option, as with less price you can have more doses per day.
When should one take these supplements?
It is generally advised to have them twice or thrice a day, according to the dosage suggested by the doctor, and generally three hours after having a meal.
Taking these before sleep can result in sleep disturbances, so if you don’t want to wake up from a nightmare where you were being chased by a supersized turmeric root, it is suggested to lay off them before bed.
What side effects do overuse of supplements cause?
Like every other thing in life, overuse or use in large, unadvised doses results in unwanted conditions, some of which include-
- Stomach pain
- Skin rash and Stomach ulcers (due to long term use)
Who should stay away from curcumin supplements?
People undergoing surgeries should stop using supplements at least two weeks before the surgery as they are known to reduce the clotting of blood, which may cause complications during the surgery.
Pregnant women should also lay off them, as should women who breastfeed their babies. There has been no studies done on these cases, and we don’t suggest you act as the guinea pigs.
People with kidney stone ailment shouldn’t use supplements either as they affect the oxalate crystals that kidney stones are made of.
Choosing the perfect supplement is just like choosing the perfect haircut, different supplements suit different people. So always try to find out more and more information regarding the product you want to buy.
Author: Rohan Dandavate
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