"" Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D., Cancer Advisor: Curcumin and Turmeric

Friday, February 18, 2011

Curcumin and Turmeric

Many people take turmeric or curcuminoids for their anti-inflammatory and/or anticancer properties. But how accurate are the labels?

Consumerlabs.com recently evaluated 10 popular turmeric and curcumin supplements. They found that two of them were underpowered. "Advance Physician Formulas" claimed that their supplement contain 245 mg of curcumin. But they only contain 18.9 mg! Similarly, Paradise Herbs and Essential Turmeric is said to contain 125 mg of curcuminoids per capsule. But it only contains 18.4 mg (or 14.7 percent of the stated amount).

The good news was that all the other brands delivered what they promised. This includes such well known brands as Solgar, Swanson, Jarrow and GNC. Life Extension Super Curcumin with Bioperene was also as advertised. It is a good bargain as well, 17 cents per 500 mg of curcuminoids. It contains BioPerine, which aids adsorption. (By way of disclosure, I am on the Life Extension Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board.)

25 comments:

  1. I have been able to find fresh turmeric root, and and have been using it in cooking. I'm wondering about the efficacy of fresh turmeric, and whether it's concentrated enough to have significant health benefits.

    ReplyDelete
  2. According to this paper ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17044766 ), pure turmeric powder is about 3% curcumin (remember this is dried, so raw would be even less due to the weight of water).
    Unfortunately, most of the curcumin extracted from turmeric is contaminated with anywhere between 5.9 and 3270 ppm of 1,2 dichloroethane (a class 1 solvent, which isn't supposed to be used in products intended for human consumption). Using a common dose of 6g of curcumin daily, this would expose a user to 30-19,620mcg of 1,2 dichloroethane, substantially more than the 10mcg/day recommended limit.
    Most supplement manufacturers don't test for it since the distributors don't say that is was used in manufacture. It's worth asking your supplement's manufacturer how much is in theirs and then ask them to test for it and get back to you.

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  3. A formulation of curcumin that seems to have very high absorption data is Nutrivene's.

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