Turmeric vs Curcumin: Which packs a more powerful punch for you?

Turmeric vs Curcumin to beat inflammation and pain…which is best?

Inflammation can lead to numerous health issues and diseases, so doing what we can to limit inflammation in our bodies should be a priority. Following an anti-inflammatory diet is the primary way of accomplishing this, but there are some supplements that can help us along the way.

Chief among these are turmeric and curcumin. We get a lot of questions about these two nutrients and that’s completely understandable. Are they the same? Well, kind of. This week we take a deep dive into turmeric vs curcumin and exactly what these two nutrients are, what they do, and how to choose the best one for your needs.

If you want even more on Turmeric and Curcumin, check out this article to read about all of their amazing benefits.
Read about how one woman treated frozen shoulder pain with curcumin.

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Brian Strickland  00:06

Hey everyone, welcome back to Nutrition Made Simple the video series that we created that takes a look at natural health topics and then we break them down into easy to understand and actionable steps. And for the month of June, we've been talking about stress and pain. But closely tied into those two topics, topics is actually inflammation as well. And one of the most popular supplements to combat inflammation is turmeric, or curcumin. Now there is a lot of confusion surrounding those two terms. And that's what we want to take a look at today and kind of sort through what's what what's better, or what may be the better fit for you. So let's go ahead and dive right in. And let's talk quickly about what Turmeric is, and how it actually differs from curcumin.

Ed Jones  00:55

All right, great question. And sometimes it's difficult to really even look at advertising or bottles and see the difference. But what turmeric actually is, is a plant that comes out of the ginger family. In that particular turmeric plant is many active ingredients. I don't know how many could be hundreds, that's the way that nature puts together all the molecules, but the one that is studied the most is curcumin. And there's many reasons which we will discuss by that. So the plant itself is very beneficial. But also when you pull out from the tumeric plant, the active ingredient curcumin, it concentrates the activity of that molecule, that doesn't mean that that's the only choice because actually, we'll talk about that I use both curcumin and turmeric.

Brian Strickland  01:49

Perfect. So really, the main reason people would want to take curcumin or Turmeric is to fight inflammation, is that right? 

Ed Jones  01:56

Lower inflammation and curcumin being a stronger molecular action within the body, it gives you I guess even more value for your money. But it also gives you more standardization as to the pharmacological activity of that molecule. And Turmeric is not as exact and is and it doesn't need to be. We will explain that. So I don't think you can go wrong with either one of them. But I do favor curcumin most of the time if you have to choose one product because of the concentration.

Brian Strickland  02:33

Okay. And as far as inflammation is concerned, why? I mean, why is it such a big deal? Why is it such a big deal that we need to take a supplement to help combat inflammation?

Ed Jones  02:44

You know, we've learned so much over the past 15 years as to what causes quicker aging. And actually one of the biggest risk factors in our life. And I actually said this last weekend as someone personally is, is one as we grow old or doing nothing is very risky. Because if we don't address this mechanism of aging, which is connected deeply with chronic inflammation, then you're going to age faster, you're going to fall apart quicker. And we know that the brain if it's inflamed, is actually Alzheimer's, eventually, probably, if the joints are inflamed, it will be arthritis. If the arteries are inflamed, it's going to be plaque on and on and on. And we have to define one thing is inflammation doesn't always mean pain. I've been battling some hip issues with some chronic tendinitis type of things. And I had my blood checked for the factors which are sed rate and high sensitivity C reactive protein, because I'm really walking around hurting. Well guess what? I had no inflammation. So that's great for long term and aging. So pain doesn't always mean inflammation. But actually, the more concerning inflammation is the one that doesn't give you pain, because it's the one damaging the cells each and every day. 

Brian Strickland  04:05

Right and short term inflammation obviously isn't a bad thing. It's our body's natural response to an injury or fighting an illness. You know that that looks like a fever. So, short term inflammation isn't a bad thing. Long term chronic inflammation, well, that's a different story. And that's why we have supplements like that to help. So just taking a look down the line here we've got several different options that we pulled from the store. Some are turmeric, some are curcumin, and you said that there's value to both so why would you choose one over the other?

Ed Jones  04:39

Well, I don't think we'll ever learn everything about the magic of nature's pharmacy. It was put together in ways that can create a type of homeostasis and balance that no scientific laboratory can reproduce. I have great faith in the profound effects of botanical, properly produced products. And in fact, 70% of the world still uses botanical medicine. Why? It's safe, it's reasonable, it works. And there's no reason not to. And we need to individually learn about the options in natural pharmacy. Now curcumin, because we have studies, and there's a lot of studies on both turmeric and curcumin is actually more on tumeric. Because we know that eating turmeric in the curry family, if you cook it or blend it with fat, we will get absorption. If you don't, you may not get much absorption with tumeric. But the thing about tumeric is, it's like if you imagine the difference between you playing a piano solo, and opposed to going to New York and hearing one of the big orchestras in New York with 300 instruments. Turmeric has all these components because it hasn't been standardized. And so we don't really know always the benefit of all the other parts to this magical puzzle that's in turmeric. Curcumin has been standardized so they pulled out this one most active part. Now I know that I'm you know crazy about taking supplements, so I don't mind doing different ones. I really feel that we may find out that tumeric down the road might offer some benefit that right now we don't know because of the orchestra type of molecules. 

Brian Strickland  06:28


Ed Jones  06:29

Curcumin though, if I want somebody to lower their c reactive protein, chronic inflammation, perhaps even some pain because it can work on that also, liver protection. It's going to be probably curcumin because the studies show great absorption and we don't have to worry about it. In Nutrition World we only carry the brands that have the research that have put together the kinds of products that will aid absorption. But if you get a brand of tumeric that doesn't have anything it helps it to go in the bloodstream or curcumin, you're probably wasting your money.

Brian Strickland  07:02

Yeah, no, that's definitely right. So with curcumin supplements, there's actually several different forms or proprietary standardizations that happen. So with this one with the Curamin, it's the BCM 95, Solgar has their own proprietary one that they put in, that's a full spectrum extract. This Vibrant Health is Curciwin. When so there's different ones Oh, and this one's Mereva, which is another one. So it's important to do your homework because all this really refers to is how well it's absorbed in your body. So taking just a standardized curcumin extract doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to get the best absorption, right? And these are actually clinically studied forms that are going to give you the best results. So do you have a favorite or one that you've seen over the years worked better than others?

Ed Jones  07:57

I have to say I lean very heavily toward Terry Naturally curcumin. And the reason is it's it's and the word proprietary it's a formula, it's someone you know, researchers have put together that you can't copy it, because it's made in a way that you can't really tell the constituents. Well, Terry Naturally has put together, I think the best combination of ingredients that get results. And one of those is called natto kinase, it's in there, I think it's just a life saving product. But with the all of these, you're going to get absorption with the ones that we stock or we won't carry them. And if you want to get a blood test again, we do it every Tuesday here at Nutrition World and the last Friday you can get high sensitivity C reactive protein. Anything over about 1.5 can be concerning as we age. And you can literally if you have a C reactive of say three and you take the right amount of days, most of the time you'll see it reduced significantly in four to eight weeks. So it's pretty identifiable the benefits of this when you look at blood work.

Brian Strickland  09:01

Yeah, and on the absorption topic, I've seen a lot of the time that it's paired with something like biopering or black pepper. Why is that?

Ed Jones  09:10

Early in the days and I remember this when they first started putting black pepper in nutrients they felt early on that it would help absorption. They did verify the fact that it does help absorb some of these unusual botanicals. The thing is, it's a little bit old school there are better technologies in my opinion. Pepper can bother few sensitive people and yet it's still being used very commonly and nothing significant wrong with it with with me but I think we have better methods to aid absorption and that is found in many of these brands.

Brian Strickland  09:45

Okay. Any last words on turmeric or curcumin that you want to share?

Ed Jones  09:51

I think it should almost be a mainstay in people's supplement protocol. You know after of course the core four with the omega threes and the multiples and the Magnesium, vitamin D that we talked about, and I, but it would be on that first page of supplements if you are past 45 years old, maybe 50. And you want to age gracefully, I think this is a very good piece in the arsenal. In fact, in India, where they eat more curry than any country of the world, they actually have one of the lowest rates of Alzheimer's in the whole world. And when they do autopsies on the Indian people, their brains actually have the color, which is this yellowish color of curry. And that is that correlation doesn't prove anything. But it's interesting story. 

Brian Strickland  10:41

Yeah, all the turmeric that they use in their cooking.Yeah, that's fascinating. Well, everyone, we hope this was helpful. We hope it clarified some things for you. As always, if you ever have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We're always happy to help in any way that we can. And I'll try to actually link some of these proprietary forms like the Mereva, BCM 95, and others. So you can see for yourself the research that's been done on them, because it's actually pretty interesting. And then you can make the best decision for you. But honestly, anything that you're going to see here, you're going to get some good results. You know, we're very particular about what we bring into the store, obviously. But yeah, that's it for this week. Hope you have a great week and we'll see you next time on Nutrition Made Simple.

Ed Jones  11:22

Thank you. Thank you.