What is curcumin? Why does every turmeric pack talk about curcumin? Is curcumin same as turmeric? Is curcumin the only ingredient in Turmeric?
Let us clear all the confusion in this article by first identifying the difference between turmeric and curcumin
Turmeric is the yellow spice used widely in traditional medicine across Asia and is the main ingredient in curries. It comes from the root Curcuma Longa that is part of the ginger family. Turmeric contains many plant substances, but one group, curcuminoids, has the greatest health-promoting effects. Curcumin is thus the primary compound in curcuminoids for which most studies have been done and it is this compound that gives turmeric most of its health benefits.
How Curcumin complements Turmeric
Curcumin represents about 2-8% of most turmeric and gives turmeric its distinct color and flavour.
Turmeric is used to treat many health conditions but it is curcumin, its active compound that has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and antioxidant effects, thereby contributing to most of the health benefits.
Some of the key health benefits of Turmeric Curcumin include boosting immunity and metabolism, fighting chronic inflammation like osteoarthritis, preventing heart disease, regulating diabetes, preventing risk of cancer and treating many skin conditions.
Can turmeric benefit without curcumin?
Turmeric has gained a lot of attention in the medical world for its ability to treat and prevent serious health conditions such as arthritis and parkinson's disease. But it is not just curcumin, it is also the presence of many other plant compounds that work together.
For instance, all plants compounds in turmeric exhibit anti-fungal properties and curcumin being just one. Therefore, while curcumin may aid in preventing fungal growth, it is the other plant compounds that will enhance its effect.
Turmeric also contains over 300 different components other than curcumin that include essential oil, starch, acid glycans ukonan (A, B, and C), free arabinose , fructose, glucose and minerals all of which contribute to many health benefits. However more studies are needed that directly compare the effects of each.
How curcumin works alone
Curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and can even support wound healing. While both turmeric and curcumin have been found to reduce blood sugars in type 2 diabetes. Curcumin can specifically lower inflammatory markers such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), which are key contributors to type 2 diabetes.
Having said that, curcumin has very low bioavailability, which is why it is recommended to combine it fat and piperine ( black pepper ) to improve its absorption in the blood stream.
It has been proven that curcumin when paired with black pepper can increase the absorption in the body by 2000%.
Forest Raga's Turmeric Plus Supplement contains forest-based all natural herbs that has the right percentage of curcumin, black pepper and ginger to suit the needs of your body and promote and optimal absorption. Know more.
Curcumin v/s Turmeric - Which one to prefer?
There is not much evidence to indicate whether it is better to take turmeric or curcumin. But consuming turmeric with some amount of curcumin will ensure maximum benefits. While choosing turmeric curcumin supplements, do check the curcumin levels and the purity of it. The more natural it is, without any additives or extracts, the better for your health.
If you consume high amounts of turmeric supplements than it could have some side effects. So it is advisable to consult your health consultant before taking turmeric curcumin supplements.
What is better for joint health? Glucosamine supplements or Turmeric
To come to a decision about which one of the two is better, let's understand their core difference.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar naturally found in the connective tissues that surround and cushion the joints, including cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and synovial fluid.
Glucosamine supplements are often taken to combat collagen deterioration and protect synovial fluid, the lubricant that keeps joints moving smoothly and comfortably. They may help nourish joints and alleviate arthritis symptoms but they do not address the underlying problem of inflammation or dried cartilage.
Whereas Turmeric on the other hand reduces oxidative stress in the joints (and other parts of the body), turmeric's bioactive curcuminoids may significantly improve health and performance while protecting against the long-term deleterious effects of free radical damage.