What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is the active compound found in in turmeric, extracted from the root of curcuma longa, a flowering plant of the ginger family. Turmeric is primarily used in curries and has been studied as medicine for centuries, and curcumin is the yellow pigment from which turmeric gets is colour. While turmeric has been recognised for its medicinal properties both historically and in modern science, it is the curcumin within turmeric that appears responsible for a number of health benefits. Turmeric itself contains only around 3% curcumin, meaning it’s near impossible to get curcumin’s benefits from cooking turmeric unless used in large quantities. Instead, curcumin and the curcuminoids found in turmeric can be extracted to produce supplements with a far higher concentration and potency than turmeric.
What does Curcumin 95% Standardized mean?
You may see this on many supplements, sold as ‘curcumin’ or ’turmeric curcumin’. This simply means that the extracted turmeric curcumin contains 95% curcumin. So for every 100mg of extract there is 95mg of curcumin. Normal turmeric supplements typically have around 3-5% curcumin.
Studied Health Benefits of Curcumin
There have been a number of scientific studies on curcumin’s potential health benefits and plenty in the pipeline. It continues to be an ongoing area of scientific interest. One important point to note, all studies state dose ranges from 500mg, typically ranging to 1400mg and over and include piperine (Bioperine) for better absorption by the body. Most supplement companies will not sell Curcumin extract in high dosages due to cost, and will instead seek to confuse with misleading product details, label turmeric root as ‘turmeric curcumin’ and bulk out minimal amounts of curcumin with turmeric root and fillers. This is why we pride ourselves on the quality of the curcumin supplement we offer.
These are the studied health benefits of curcumin:
- Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation is a natural process by which the immune system defends the body from invaders such as bacteria and viruses. However, in some conditions, like arthritis, your immune system triggers inflammation when there is no cause – essentially acting as if your own tissue is infected or in need of an immune response.
- Antioxidant: Oxidation is a normal process which happens as our bodies process the oxygen that we breathe so that our cells can produce energy. This process causes free radicals, which are normal and necessary to a degree, but an excess of such molecules can cause cell damage. This imbalance known as oxidative stress, is exacerbated by external influences such as smoking, pollution and a poor diet and has been shown to be strongly linked with a number of conditions including cancer and Parkinson's disease .
- Depression & Anxiety: Depression and anxiety can crop up at the same time. Although each condition has its own causes, they both share similar symptoms. As soon as you recognise such symptoms we recommend speaking to a health care professional as soon as possible. Clinical studies have shown curcumin to reduce symptoms of depression, in one double blind trial, researchers found that 500mg curcumin, taken twice a day, after 8 weeks, scored a 33% decrease on a measure depression – a significant improvement compared to the control group. Several other studies have shown similar effects with curcumin dosages ranging from 500mg to 1500mg. The overall conclusion from a review of all studies suggests that curcumin should be considered as a promising complementary therapeutic approach.
- Pain Management: There are decreases in pain associated with curcumin at higher doses which extend to post-operative, arthritis, and general pain symptoms. In particular, curcumin has been researched for osteoarthritis the most