You probably don’t realize how many common spices found in your kitchen cabinet contain robust nutrients.*
Of course, you naturally use many of these colorful herbs and spices to add flavor to your food. But many of them go well beyond simply tantalizing your taste buds.
Some of the spices you use can have powerful health-supporting properties.* And this is one of the underlying reasons why they’ve been used for thousands of years in ancient cultures. Modern research is now taking a closer look at some of these common spices and their potential to enrich your overall health.
One such spice is turmeric, the colorful “curry spice” often used in Indian cuisine. It’s even probably in your cabinet. Turmeric contains curcumin. This is the pigment that gives turmeric its distinctive yellow-orange brilliance. And curcumin is a polyphenol identified as turmeric’s primary active compound…
So what are some of the ways you can take advantage of curcumin? Well, one approach is to use it in your cooking as a pure turmeric or curry powder (turmeric powder is my preference).
There are some more effective ways I feel you can take advantage of curcumin benefits. And I’m ready to share with you some of those strategies coming up. But first, you might be wondering… “Where does this turmeric spice get its ‘roots’ from?”
Why Some Hail It as ‘The Spice of Life’
A few years ago, I traveled over 15,000 miles to India to learn more about the herbs and spices that lie at the heart of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is India’s recognized authoritative source of knowledge and truth in holistic health promotion.
Of the many herbs and spices I studied, one that particularly caught my attention was turmeric. Turmeric is a spice that has been often labeled “The Spice of Life.”*
Even though there may be some debate about the timing of turmeric's first use as a healthy spice, folklore has spawned many clues on when and how it was possibly used…
- Thousands of years ago, people in India and China used turmeric in a variety of ways. Some stories suggest traditional use may date back more than 10,000 years ago in India.
- The ancient Polynesians carried turmeric with them on their incredible voyage across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. Today, Hawaiians still use this spice known to them as Olena.
- In addition to a number of health-promoting properties, many ancient cultures used turmeric as a dye and it was even worn as dried beads to ward off evil spirits.
While in China, Marco Polo in 1280 AD recorded information on turmeric in his diary: "There is also a vegetable which has all the properties of true saffron, as well the smell and the color, and yet it is not really saffron."
So, turmeric has been used as a substitute for saffron (an old world spice) in Europe for over 700 years. And when it comes to curcumin in turmeric, western scientists first isolated the curcumin molecule in 1815, obtained its crystalline form in 1870, and determined its overall structure by the early 1900s.
How Curcumin Benefits Your Health in a Variety of Ways*
The potential antioxidant benefits (described above) from curcumin are actually just the tip of the iceberg. Many studies have shown a variety of different ways that this spice can support your overall vitality.*
- Can assist gallbladder function*
- May help aid in minimizing oxidative stress*
- Supports postmenopausal health in women (along with exercise)*
Plus, with this spice capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, curcumin’s potential as a neuroprotective nutrient and supporter of overall brain health should not be overlooked.*
With all these promising benefits, what are some of your best sources of curcumin?
Adding More Than Just Flavor to Your Food
I spoke early on how you could add turmeric powder to your cooking. Even though there are better ways to reap the benefits of curcumin, spicing up your food is a great place to start.
My only recommendation is that you use a high-quality turmeric powder (preferably organic) because it tends to have more curcumin than standard curry powder.
Here are a couple ideas on how to add turmeric powder to “wake-up” a variety of foods:
- Shake a few sprinkles of turmeric powder into any curry dish you’re making to give it more flavor. Turmeric powder is a primary ingredient in Thai-style yellow curries, Indonesian rendang (a coconut-infused beef stew), and many northern Indian curries.
- Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to tomato-based sauces to create more complex flavors. Turmeric’s earthy bitterness creates a contrast to the sweet tanginess of the tomatoes for a tantalizing taste.
- Turmeric’s earthy taste can enhance soups, stews, and leafy green sautés. You could even add a pinch to an egg-white omelet to spice up the flavor.
These are just a few examples of how this extraordinary spice can be used in your favorite foods. I’m sure there are dozens of more elaborate recipes on the Internet if you really want to research it.
Unfortunately, as enjoyable as the flavor of turmeric powder is in your food, there are obstacles when it comes to reaping the potential health benefits…
How Bioavailability Issues Can Present a Daunting Challenge
Whether added in the food you eat or even in a supplement you might take, curcumin presents absorption challenges to your body.
Here are some of the basic issues with its bioavailability. Curcumin…
- Tends to be unstable at intestinal pH levels
- Presents a poor pharmacokinetic profile for absorbing it orally
- Has a tendency toward rapid elimination from your body
The bottom line with curcumin… it’s simply not easy for your body to absorb. A great deal of curcumin taken orally simply passes through your system without being absorbed. And the curcumin that does manage to get absorbed in your intestine can be quickly metabolized by the liver.
But not all is lost, because as I mentioned earlier, I have a couple of strategies for you that can potentially help enhance the bioavailability of curcumin in your body.
Do-It-Yourself Strategies That May Help
If you’re into DIY (do-it-yourself) approaches, there are a couple of things you can do to improve curcumin’s bioavailability.
One approach is to…
- Use curcumin powder (preferably organic) to make a microemulsion
- Combine a tablespoon of powder with 1-2 egg yolks and add a teaspoon or two of melted coconut oil
- Mix together in a high-speed blender to emulsify the powder
Here’s another DIY strategy to consider…
- Put one tablespoon of curcumin powder into a quart of boiling water
- After boiling for 10 minutes, you will have created a 12% solution
- Once cooled, you should drink the solution as soon as possible because over time the curcumin will gradually fall out of the solution
One note of caution when using curcumin powder is that it is a very potent yellow pigment. There are obvious reasons why many ancient cultures used it as a dye… it can permanently discolor surfaces if you’re not extra careful.
These are a couple DIY strategies you can use to potentially improve the bioavailability of curcumin. However, you simply may not be into doing something like this yourself, or may not even want to spend the necessary time. Well, there is another strategy for you to consider…
Could Curcumin Supplementation Be a Good Alternative?
Just like curcumin’s bioavailability is challenging when consuming it in foods you eat, such is the case with supplementation as well.
In a quality test conducted a few years ago, an independent lab evaluated some turmeric/curcumin supplements and reported that…
- 20% of turmeric supplements delivered less than 15% of promised curcuminoid compounds
- Consumers need to carefully scrutinize turmeric or curcumin supplements to make sure they’re getting a quality product
- Because curcumin presents absorption challenges, certain specially formulated products may offer greater bioavailability
So the quality of curcumin supplements is a very serious issue if you are considering using curcumin. You simply must be well-informed when choosing a supplement.
I can tell you that I’ve spent about five years researching this phenomenal spice. And I truly believe that with all the astounding advances in supplementation technology being made today, that the high-quality bioavailability issue can be addressed.
Your Selection Checklist for a High-Quality Curcumin Supplement
Here’s a comprehensive checklist with what I believe contains the most important criteria for selecting a high-quality curcumin supplement.
Make sure the curcumin formula…
- Utilizes advanced technology to enhance bioavailability – As I emphasized above, absorption is a considerable obstacle that needs to be addressed by innovative technology. This is probably the most important item to check for.
- Delivers three curcuminoids found in turmeric – Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid (active ingredient) in turmeric. But there are also two more, demethylated curcuminoids (demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin).
- Avoids unnecessary fillers, additives, and risky excipients – It makes little sense to have questionable, unnecessary ingredients in the formula.
- Is sourced from raw turmeric material containing at least 95% curcuminoids.
- Minimizes serving size/frequency – This is often linked in with the implemented advanced technology. Everyone wants to take the fewest number of capsules necessary.
- Comes from a reputable manufacturer experienced in high-quality manufacturing and delivery of supplements – It does very little good if excellent ingredients and enhanced bioavailability techniques are utilized without giving high-quality practices top priority.
- Yields a final product at a reasonable price – The use of innovative technology is important in improving bioavailability but this can’t lead to a supplement price that’s off the chart.
I strongly feel that if you carefully read the supplement label, and highly scrutinize the ingredients and the manufacturer’s quality practices, you can find a high-quality curcumin supplement with enhanced bioavailability.
However, I realize that’s not such an easy task and you may not have the time to devote to really search for a good formula. To that end, my research team helped save you valuable time and found a fantastic curcumin formula I believe exceeds all of the stringent selection criteria.
I’m ready to share with you the phenomenal supplement I discovered and the technology behind it. On the way to doing that, I think it’s essential to better understand what’s behind some of the key selection criteria…
Why I Recommend You Avoid Excipients Like These
Another important selection criterion for a curcumin supplement is to minimize the use of excipients or fillers within the formula. An excipient is a substance added to a supplement as a processing or stability agent. As some of these agents may cause ill-health effects, I recommend avoiding them.
Here are a few examples of what to watch out for and if they are in your supplement it might be best to avoid…
- Magnesium stearate – Made from stearic acid, this “flow agent” can inhibit absorption of nutrients in your digestive tract.
- Polysorbate 80 – Also known as Tween 80™, this additive can trigger allergic reactions.
- Isopropyl myristate – This excipient could trigger side effects in people already facing certain health challenges.
- Dibasic calcium phosphate (DCP) – This common turmeric additive may inhibit absorption of essential minerals within your system.
There are other risky additives you may come across as well. The bottom line is this... you don't need these ingredients in your turmeric supplement. I feel they simply are unnecessary.
This is a great example of how carefully reading the supplement label will pay off. Generally, manufacturers are required to declare any processing agents they add or use in making the formula. If you notice any of the agents identified above on a curcumin supplement label, I recommend dropping it like a hot potato.
How ‘Sustained Release’ Shows Great Promise
Aside from absorbing the curcumin, like many nutrients, it has a relatively short half-life which means, in order to receive the maximum benefit you would have to consume it every four to six hours.
Fortunately, there is a “sustained release” version of the product that can eliminate the major hassle factor of having to take this supplement so frequently. Sustained release…
- Provides controlled release of nutrients over time
- Aids in enhancing bioavailability of nutrients
- Offers a convenient reduction in intake frequency
- Helps reduce potential adverse reactions
- Tends to promote better compliance in regular use (in combination with reduction in intake frequency)
And with the curcumin supplement I’m ready to introduce you to, Curcumin Advanced, the sustained release technology helps to separately release micro-particles of curcumin in your digestive tract.*
Here’s more on how the innovative technology behind Curcumin Advanced delivers what I consider to be the best of the best curcumin supplements available…
How ‘Micro-Particle’ Technology Increases Bioavailability*
The sustained release high-bioavailability enabling technology employed in the Curcumin Advanced formula is only part of the story.
Here’s a quick breakdown how an incredible technology, called “MicroActive®,” helps with bioavailability…
- Creates a self-emulsifying system forming micro-particles of curcumin, making it water-soluble and highly bioavailable*
- Helps enhance protection of the active nutrients for transport to the absorption site*
- Provides time-release functionality to aid in nutrient delivery effectiveness and lowers intake requirements for both regular and maintenance applications*
- Reduces bioavailable variation to help enhance total efficacy potential*
- Delivers detectable amounts of additional curcuminoids, bisdemethoxycurcumin and demethoxycurcumin, with reduced intake requirements. This is critical as new research shows that bisdemethoxycurcumin is only activated when the levels of the other two curcuminoids (demethoxycurcumin and curcumin) are high.
The MicroActive® formula helps reduce the variation between individuals. Some people are good absorbers, but others, because of high levels of adipose tissue or medical conditions, are normally poor absorbers. The MicroActive® helps increase absorption where absorption is low. The end result is that I believe this innovative technology helps make Curcumin Advanced the best curcumin supplement I’ve seen to date.
Exclusive Curcumin Formula – Only One Place You Can Get It!
Curcumin Advanced is not only formulated by a high-quality producer of supplements, but it’s also a unique formula only available here at Mercola.com. In other words, the only place today you’ll be able to find this formula is on my site… it’s an exclusive formulation only available here.
You simply will not be able to find this phenomenally high-quality curcumin supplement anywhere else, in any health food store, or online.
You Be the Judge
To help you judge for yourself, below is a quick summary of the selection criteria we used when developing Curcumin Advanced...
Delivers three curcuminoids found in turmeric
| Yes – This formula provides not only curcumin as the main active curcuminoid, but both beneficial demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin as well.
Avoids unnecessary fillers, additives, and excipients?
| Yes – Fillers and excipients such as magnesium stearate and Polysorbate 80 are not used.
Is sourced from raw turmeric material at least 95% curcuminoids?
| Yes – The producer of this exclusive formula utilizes 95% curcuminoids from the turmeric raw material.
Utilizes advanced technology to enhance bioavailability?
| Yes – From its innovative sustained release and unique MicroActive technologies, bioavailability potential has been boosted to another level.
Minimizes serving size/frequency?
| Yes – With this formula, a single capsule is the recommended serving size once a day.
Comes from a reputable manufacturer?
| Yes – And not only does this producer have a commitment to high quality and technology, they demonstrated their innovative capabilities by implementing my team’s input on the final formulation. Not many supplement producers deliver this type of flexibility and are willing to formulate an exclusive product.
Yields a final product at a reasonable price?
| Yes – At $29.97 for a 30-day supply, I feel this is a very reasonable price to pay for such a unique and exclusive formula.
You have many available options when searching for a turmeric/curcumin supplement. Don’t make the mistake many could be making by just selecting the cheapest formula without scrutinizing what’s in it (and what’s not).
And keep in mind the absorption challenges facing curcumin.
At only $29.97 for a 30-day supply, it’s a relative bargain for all you get.
Order Curcumin Advanced today to start taking advantage of everything that this extraordinary spice has to offer.*