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10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin
Turmeric, and its active ingredient curcumin, may have anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, and other benefits.
The spice known as turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence.
Many high-quality studies show that turmeric has major benefits for your body and brain. Many of these benefits come from its main active ingredient, curcumin.
Read on to learn what the science says about turmeric and curcumin as well as their benefits.
What are turmeric and curcumin?
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
It has been used in India for thousands of years as both a spice and medicinal herb. Recently, science has started to back up traditional claims that turmeric contains compounds with medicinal properties (1Trusted Source).
These compounds are called curcuminoids. The most important one is curcumin.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
Here are the top 10 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric and curcumin.
- Turmeric contains bioactive compounds with medicinal properties
However, the curcumin content of turmeric isn’t that high. It’s around 3%, by weight (2Trusted Source). Most of the studies on this herb use turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day.
It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using turmeric as a spice in your foods.
That’s why some people choose to use supplements.
However, curcumin is poorly absorbed into your bloodstream. In order to experience the full effects of curcumin, its bioavailability (the rate at which your body absorbs a substance) needs to improve (3Trusted Source).
It helps to consume it with black pepper, which contains piperine. Piperine is a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000% (4Trusted Source).
In fact, the best curcumin supplements contain piperine, and this makes them substantially more effective.
Curcumin is also fat soluble, which means it breaks down and dissolves in fat or oil. That’s why it may be a good idea to take curcumin supplements with a meal that’s high in fat.