The benefits of taking curcumin daily, the active component of the spice turmeric, may be many or none, depending on the supplement. Many of the curcumin benefits have to do with the prevention of chronic and life threatening diseases that are often related to aging.
But, in order to provide this preventative benefit, it must be able to get to your bloodstream. Researchers have found that eating turmeric or taking a supplement by mouth does not significantly increase curcumin-levels in the blood. Digestive acids have a damaging effect that basically renders it useless for anything other than stomach complaints.
In order to get the long-term health benefits of taking curcumin daily, a supplement must include an enteric coating. The standard veggie-caps used by most supplement manufacturers don’t work.
After scientists had done some of the research concerning the curcumin benefits as anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agents, they looked at how well the compound is absorbed into the bloodstream. The measured blood serum levels after volunteers had taken very large amounts, up to 10 grams, and found that concentration was very low.
This is seen with other nutrients, as well. An enteric coating is necessary to allow the nutrients to make it through the stomach, undamaged. Once in the upper intestine, the nutrients can pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.
The curcumin benefits that you will see listed on a standard supplement are based on laboratory studies using cell cultures and animal models. In order to provide the benefit, the nutrient must be able to interact directly with the cells. This will only happen if it is absorbed into the bloodstream. The same is true of resveratrol and other anti-cancer nutrients.
Assuming that the supplement is properly designed, the benefits of taking curcumin daily may include lower cholesterol, a healthier circulatory system and improved mental clarity. It may be beneficial for relieving stress, depression and anxiety, as it has been shown to increase concentrations of one of the brain’s proteins. Called BDNF, low levels of this protein are associated with those conditions, as well as decreased mental clarity.
To get the biggest curcumin benefits, some supplement manufacturers have learned to add piperine, an element of black pepper, to their formula. Piperine has been shown to increase the absorption of curcumin, dramatically.
One of the benefits of taking curcumin daily, along with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and other anti-aging nutrients is increased energy levels, reduced risk of nutritional deficiency and improved appearance of the skin and hair. Unlike the long-term curcumin benefits, these are things that you can see almost immediately, if you begin taking an excellent multi-nutritional supplement.
If you have ever tried a supplement and found that it was ineffective, it was likely due to the manufacturer’s lack of knowledge about the right form to use and the proper delivery method. Making effective health supplements is a complicated process, but when the company wants to give us the benefits of taking curcumin daily, they make the effort.