A spice known as turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement out there.
Many high-quality studies show that turmeric has significant benefits for your body and brain. Most of these benefits come from its main active ingredient, curcumin.
Read on to find out what science says about turmeric and curcumin and their benefits.
Curcumin and what is curcumin?
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
It has been used as a spice and medicinal herb in India for thousands of years. Recently, science has begun to back up traditional claims that turmeric contains medicinal compounds ( 1Trusted Source ).
These compounds are called curcuminoids. The most important is curcumin.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and is a very powerful 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 in turmeric is not very high. It is about 3% by weight (2Trusted Source). Most studies on this herb have used turmeric extracts, usually containing curcumin, at doses greater than 1 gram per day.
It would be very difficult to achieve these levels just by using turmeric as a spice in your food.
This is why some people choose to take supplements.
However, curcumin is poorly absorbed into your bloodstream. In order to experience the full benefits of curcumin, its bioavailability (the rate at which a substance is absorbed by the body) needs to be improved ( 3Trusted Source ).
It helps with black pepper, which contains piperine. Piperine is a natural substance that improves the absorption of curcumin by 2000% (4Trusted Source).
In fact, the best curcumin supplements contain piperine, which makes them more effective.
Curcumin is also fat-soluble, meaning it breaks down and dissolves in fats or oils. For this reason, it may be a good idea to take curcumin supplements with a high-fat meal.