Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has become more popular recently, as more and more people are looking for naturally-sourced ingredients to support their health. Curcumin has been used for centuries to support cognitive health, joint function, and help reduce occasional fatigue. 

Because of its popularity and widespread use, it’s important to understand the facts behind this ingredient and how it can support your health. Here is everything you should know about turmeric and what to look for in your next turmeric (curcumin) supplement.

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What Is Curcumin?

Turmeric is a spice that has been used by various cultures, including Indian medicine, for centuries. It is an orange-colored spice that is often included in curries, stews, and other traditional Eastern dishes.

It comes from the root of the turmeric plant, which is harvested, dried, and then ground into a powder. The spice has a somewhat bitter flavor on its own, but when combined with tea or foods, like curry, it creates a much more pleasing taste.

Curcumin is the compound within the turmeric spice that is responsible for most of turmeric’s health benefits. Curcumin makes up about 3 percent of turmeric’s composition. It is known for its antioxidant contents and ability to reduce occasional oxidative stress.

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For a long time, curcumin and turmeric were primarily used in Eastern medicine, such as Ayurvedic traditions. In modern times, the practice is spreading to Western countries, as more and more people are learning about the health benefits of this spice.

The Health Benefits of Curcumin

The antioxidant capacity of curcumin is what allows it to provide support for several important systems in your body to promote overall health.

Cognitive Function

Curcumin helps to reduce occasional oxidative stress in the brain, and supports neural pathways for optimal neurotransmitter activity.  

Liver Health

The liver is one of the most important organs in the body, responsible for cleansing the body and aiding in digestive processes. Longvida® Curcumin helps support healthy liver function by reducing occasional oxidative stress to promote liver enzyme activity.

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Immune System Activity

Another one of the most powerful benefits of curcumin is its ability to support immune responses. By promoting antioxidant capacity, curcumin helps reduce typical oxidative stress, so the body is better able to defend against everyday threats.

Heart Support

 The cardiovascular system is highly complex, and typical oxidative stress can affect arterial health and circulation. Curcumin has been shown to help support arterial health to promote healthy blood flow and heart function.

Joint Mobility

Curcumin has been linked to healthy joint function and can support mobility while helping to reduce joint soreness and stiffness within normal ranges.

Mood Support

Curcumin helps to promote healthy neurotransmitter activity, which supports healthy hormone balance and mood.

Healthy Aging

The antioxidant capacity of curcumin helps to promote healthy cellular aging and helps encourage good health now and can fortify it for the future.

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Best Way to Get It

One of the most common issues with curcumin is that it does not easily dissolve in water, which means it is not easily absorbed in the body. Traditionally, the most common way to promote curcumin bioavailability was to use piperine, a compound inside black pepper. Piperine slows the metabolism of curcumin within the body, so it remains in your system longer for optimal benefits.

Recently, technology has found ways to enhance bioavailability, so curcumin can be absorbed on its own. A newly patented type of curcumin, Longvida® Optimized Curcumin, has enhanced bioavailability, allowing users to enjoy the maximum benefits available.

Longvida® Optimized Curcumin has been clinically-studied and uses a patented lipid technology which increases its bioavailability by 285 times,‡ delivering free curcumin to targeted problem areas. As a result of being able to stay in the body more than twice as long as conventional curcumin, Longvida® Optimized Curcumin can effectively provide whole-body benefits.

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Things to Look for in a Curcumin/Turmeric Supplement

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding which curcumin supplement to get. The most important is bioavailability because you want to make sure your body gets the benefits that curcumin has to offer. 

Certain supplements, like Longvida® Optimized Curcumin contain proprietary curcumin formulations that are designed specifically to maximize bioavailability. This is what to look for in a curcumin supplement, otherwise you may be wasting your money and effort.

It’s also important to make sure to check the labels of any curcumin supplement. Make sure there are no unnecessary fillers, so that every ingredient you are getting is one that will support your health.

Our Recommendation

There are a lot of curcumin supplements to sort through, due to their rising popularity. For an effective curcumin supplement at a price that makes sense, we recommend 1MD Nutrition’s CurcuminMD® Plus. 

CurcuminMD® Plus contains Longvida® Optimized Curcumin which is 285 times more bioavailable than most standardized curcumin.‡ The bioavailability means your body will actually absorb the curcumin, so your joints, heart, brain, and more can feel the difference.

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The Bottom Line

Curcumin helps support your health in several ways. The potent antioxidant capacity allows curcumin to promote cognitive function, joint mobility, heart health, and supports a healthy mood. Start adding a little curcumin to your meals or grab a highly bioavailable curcumin supplement for whole-body health now and for years to come.

‡ Measured using AUC normalized