If there is one supplement that everyone should consider having in their health regimen it would be Turmeric other wise known as Curcumin. Curcumin is all the rage these days in the media and for good reason. This powerful spice has so many health benefits. To put things into perspective, there are over 3100 publications showcasing the powerful energy of this Indian spice. Curcumin has the potential to be an effective compound in the fight against many of the classic diseases and cancers impacting our nation today. Let’s dive in and geek out a bit on all things Curcumin longa.
Curcumin is a tricky ingredient in that it is hard for the body to absorb and utilize effectively. It’s also one of those ingredients that needs to be active for a duration of time to have a therapeutic effect on the mind and body. There is a lot of confusion as to what form and dosage to opt for on a daily basis. The classic forms you hear and see in supplement form combine Curcumin with black pepper (piperine). It goes by the form name Sabinsa C3 complex. This next form is curcumin bounded to a phosphatidylcholine to create the Meriva form.
Phosphatidycholine (PC) is a vital component of human cells. The reason PC is so vital is because its the main source of choline and precursor to the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. To create the Meriva form, you simply take the plant extracts of the turmeric root and bind it to the PC to enhance its effectiveness in the body. These last two forms are called BCM-95 and Longvida. BCM-95 is created by mixing the curcuminiods and turmeric essential oils together. Lastly, Longvida uses this solid lipid curcumin particle technology (SLCP) approach using an optimized form of free curcumin that survives the stomach environment, thus resulting in better absorption, bio-availability and efficacy. It also is supposedly the only form that has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier. Possibly game changer right there!
In fact, here are some interesting studies displaying the promising potential of the Longvida Curcumin form. When Curcumin crosses the blood brain barrier, it has the potential to inhibit the accumulation of beta amyloid plaques in the brain thus lessening neural inflammation (Baum, et al, 2008). While the evidence is limited and more research and clinical trails are needed to further support this important function. This possible finding is still exciting and promising! To bring everything together, what seems to make the most sense is that Meriva and Longvida show the greatest potential for one’s health and vitality.
So depending on what health challenges you are faced and trying to overcome, a certain specific form of Curcumin might be the way to go. So to summarize all this in a nutshell, here is a quick break down of each form. While I’m no doctor, please consult your primary care physician to find out if taking any kind of Curcumin suits your health needs and goals.
Meriva: Helpful for inflammatory diseases like arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, uveitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
- EXOS Performance Nutrition Restore Curcumin (1 g)
- Thorne Research Meriva-SR (500 mg)
- Nature’s Way Curica Pain Relief (555 mg)
Longvida: Helpful for brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s also highly beneficial for the skin, liver, joint, cardiovascular health and lowering oxidative stress across the board since it stays in the system for 6+ hours.
- NuTriVene (1000 mg)
- Phytosensia Longvida (500 mg)
BCM-95: focuses on helping inflammatory conditions. Also acts as a potent anti-oxidant for cardiovascular health and reducing oxidative stress. The essential oils present in the BCM-95 are helpful for Type II Diabetes and for lessening gastrointestinal problems.
- Life Extension Bio Curcumin (400 mg)
- Terry’s Naturally Curamed (750 mg)
Sabinsa C3: Acts as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. So somewhat similar to Meriva and BCM-95 forms.
- Jarrow Curcumin 95 (500 mg)
- Gaia Turmeric Supreme (482 mg) – while it doesn’t use the actual Sabinsa C3 form. It is still similar in that it uses black pepper extract to enhance absorption.
Baum L, et al. (2008). Six-month randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind, pilot clinical trials of curcumin in patients with Alzheimer disease. J Clin Psychopharmaol.
“Choosing the Right Turmeric Supplement For Your Needs.” 1StopWellBeing. N.p., 21 Aug. 2014. Web. 22 Sept 22 2015.