The Secret Ingredient of Turmeric
In the U.S., turmeric is best known as a spice as it is one of the main components of curry powder. However, in India and other parts of Asia, turmeric is used to treat many health conditions. These health benefits are derived primarily from curcumin the active ingredient in Curcumin. Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by certain plants; Turmeric and Ginger being the most common, though Ginger contains smaller amounts.
The curcumin molecule ‘curcuminoid’ is known to contain anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and perhaps even anticancer properties. Several studies suggest that it might ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, like pain and inflammation. In lab tests, curcumin seems to block the growth of certain kinds of tumors. One study showed that turmeric extract containing curcumin could — in some cases — stabilize colorectal cancer that wasn’t helped by other treatments. There are many preliminary lab studies suggesting turmeric protects against a myriad of disease.
Check out turmeric in our Whole Food Health Benefit Index to read more on the many benefits of turmeric.
For us, the big question is how to best consume curcumin and get all the many health benefits the molecule has to offer. The reality is that we eat turmeric pretty much – never. Now, if you are a juicer you may tell a different story, but for most, consuming turmeric is a rare thing. And, even then, curcumin has poor bioavailability meaning a lower percentage than what you consume is absorbed into the body. Unless it is consumed with other food agents like black pepper extract (piperine) it is unlikely your body will fully process the molecule.
We linked up with Kathryn Smith, a beyond talented wife and mom turned Entrepreneur. Or, was it the other way around? We aren’t sure, but we do know she was an obvious pick for our most recent SwoobFit Girl feature (read Kathryn’s Bio). Kathryn is a sassy southern girl that grew up in Houston Texas. She loves people, food, and travel and has spent her life exploring the world. One Kathryn’s responsibilities is serving as Vice President of Omega-Direct. When we asked Kathryn how curcumin should be consumed she has the best answer we have been able to find.
What is the best way to consume curcumin?
Omega-Direct (ie Nordic Natruals) has quickly become our favorite supplement brand.
Known for purity, freshness, taste, and sustainability, Nordic Naturals is grounded in scientific research and guaranteed by participation in peer-reviewed clinical studies by leading experts worldwide. With a reputation for efficacy and potency, Nordic Naturals’ products are regularly chosen by independent research institutions and universities such as Harvard, Columbia, Duke, UCLA, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center—with over 40 published studies, and more than 40 in progress.
Kathryn informed us that in May of 2016 Nordic Naturals announced their Omega Curcumin, a powerful formulation of foundational nutrients that supports cellular and metabolic health. The curcumin supplement is a synergistic combination of omega-3 fatty acids and potent antioxidants containing 1000 mg concentrated omega-3s and 400 mg free-form curcumin, along with 150 mg of reduced glutathione and 200 mg of N-Acetylcysteine (NAC).
Each nutrient plays a distinct yet complementary role in promoting a greater level of balanced, restorative molecular activity by supporting optimal cell function in the face of too much stress. Together, these nutrients work within cells, tissues, and organs throughout the body to maintain healthy antioxidant status and normal metabolic activity, fine-tune critically important cell signals, and help eliminate both internal and environmental toxins.
“What we have created is the perfect solution to combat cellular stress,” states Joar Opheim, CEO and Founder of Nordic Naturals. “It’s backed by science and contains the best of the best in terms of ingredients. What’s particularly powerful about this formulation is that the omega-3s and antioxidants work synergistically, which maximizes each ingredient’s individual benefits.”
For this innovative formula, Nordic Naturals carefully selected ingredients that are highly bioavailable for optimal absorption. The Longvida® free-form curcumin used in Omega Curcumin uses a patented delivery system developed by scientific researchers at UCLA to significantly improve the way curcumin is absorbed into the body. This form is over 65 times more absorbable than other forms when tested utilizing the C-Max method, and 285 times better absorbed according to the AUC testing method.
As with all Nordic Naturals products, the concentrated omega-3s in Omega Curcumin are 90+% triglyceride form, the molecular form shown by research to be best absorbed by the body. Omega Curcumin is also non-GMO verified and purity tested.