A Problem With Curcumin Supplementation And How To Solve It

Curcumin in raw form may not produce the same amazing results as those in clinical tests. However, experts have come up with some strategies to boost the positive effects of curcumin in the body. Here, you will learn how to get the most out of curcumin through its different formulations.

Curcumin has plenty of amazing health benefits. However, eating curry or juicing turmeric every day isn’t enough to take advantage of curcumin’s full healing potential. Using curcumin as a health supplement is a little tricky, but there are some techniques that you can use to maximize its positive effects on the body.

Low Levels Of Curcumin In Turmeric

Turmeric is the top food source of curcumin, but unfortunately, turmeric powder contains only 2-9% curcumin. This means you get very little curcumin into your system when you use turmeric to season your food. On the other hand, curcumin supplements have 95% standardized curcumin, which is a lot more powerful than what you can get from turmeric powder.

Curcumin Has Low Absorption And Is Quickly Eliminated From The Body

Aside from the fact that you can get little curcumin from turmeric powder, curcumin has low bioavailability. Generally, curcumin gets metabolized in the gut and liver quickly and it doesn’t stay in the body long enough to produce its desired effects. Very little amount gets absorbed in the bloodstream and reaches the target tissues. The small amount of curcumin that reaches target tissues stays there for only a short time, and then gets eliminated from the body.

A clinical trial in Taiwan showed the low bioavailability of curcumin. It cannot be detected in serum at doses lower than 4g/day; another study in the UK found out that curcumin and its metabolites could not be detected in plasma at doses lower than 3.6 g/day.

This is the reason why in laboratory tests, curcumin shows amazing results, which cannot be achieved when taking curcumin from everyday food sources, such as turmeric. In “in vitro” or test tube studies in laboratories, the cells get saturated in curcumin, thus getting its full healing potential. In real life, however, this is hard to achieve by ingesting turmeric from food.

As a remedy to curcumin’s low bioavailability, specially enhanced curcumin supplements were formulated.

Solutions For Increasing Turmeric Levels In The Body

Experts are coming up with a lot of strategies to boost the effects of curcumin in the body, since it is not possible to take advantage of its full potential just by consuming curcumin from turmeric. These strategies intend to help the body absorb more curcumin where it’s needed.

Here are some of the proposed solutions for increasing the bioavailability of curcumin:


Sabinsa added piperine to curcumin to increase its bioavailability. Piperine is an alkaloid that is found in black pepper. It works by suppressing glucuronidation or the process that helps the body eliminate toxins and metabolized drugs. However, since piperine may suppress the glucuronidation of other drugs too, it’s important to keep the levels of currently used medicines in check.


Meriva is a kind of clinically formulated curcumin, with focus on improving its solubility and bioavailability. It binds curcumin with phosphatidylcholine (PC), which is a more easily absorbed substance. When the body absobs PC, it also takes in the curcumin attached to it. It is commonly used to combat inflammatory diseases, as well as cancer and heart disease.


This is another kind of curcumin supplement. The technique here is to control where in the intestine curcumin gets absorbed by encapsulating it and protecting it from hydrolysis.

No side effects have been discovered when using curcumin in its natural form. However, few enhanced curcumin supplements have been proven safe by long-term safety studies. Using high doses of more bioavailable curcumin may produce some side effects.

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