Curcumin C3 Complex: Is it the Best Turmeric Supplement?

Curcumin C3® Complex: The Best Turmeric Supplement?

Turmeric supplements are all the craze lately, being touted as the anti-inflammatory panacea for joint pain, arthritis, and autoimmune conditions. The potential benefits of turmeric are promising due to its curcuminoids, notably curcumin. But as with most health supplements, you have to read between the lines a bit to separate the good from the bad.

Vis-à-vis turmeric (curcumin), numerous formulations are on the market, most of which feature black pepper extract, such as BioPerine®, to help with the absorption of curcuminoids. However, many of these supplements suffer from quality issues and deceiving label lingo.

Turmeric Extract vs. Turmeric Powder: Deceptively Distinct

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a perennial plant with a rich golden color and characteristic taste often present in curry dishes. This plant "superfood" has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat chronic pain, inflammation, autoimmune conditions, and much more.

The health benefits and healing properties of turmeric supplements may be quite extensive so long as they provide an effective dose of curcuminoids. Unfortunately, this is where the majority of turmeric (curcumin) products miss the mark.

Why is that, you ask?

Most turmeric supplements are made with a combination of generic turmeric root extracts and turmeric powder that lack quality control and standardization. As such, it's anybody's guess how much curcumin and other curcuminoids these supplements contain. And since they aren't standardized, the amount could be negligible.

Then the question becomes, will taking such turmeric capsules translate to significant health benefits? The short answer: Probably not.

Research suggests that pure turmeric powder contains roughly 3% curcumin by weight [1]. Thus, 6.8 grams (about one tablespoon) of turmeric powder provides about 0.204 grams (204 milligrams) of curcumin.

Based on current evidence, a daily 500-mg dose of curcumin is necessary for significant therapeutic benefits [2]. Thus, you would need to consume nearly 15 grams (15,000 milligrams) of turmeric powder per day to ingest that amount of curcumin. (Good luck getting that much from a cheap supplement.)

Nevertheless, people buy those products because they figure turmeric extracts are all of the same quality and potency. It's one thing for a turmeric supplement to be organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO, but it's another to contain a proper dose of active curcuminoids. Terms like "organic" and "gluten-free" frequently distract consumers from formula deficiencies.

How Do Turmeric Supplements Work?

Turmeric contains a promising class of heavily studied compounds known as curcuminoids, which are potent antioxidants and immune system enhancers [3]. One particularly important curcuminoid is curcumin, which is abundant in the root of the turmeric plant. 

Recent research suggests that curcumin may reduce the expression of genes that induce muscle-wasting (sarcopenia) pathways in the body [4]. In other words, curcumin appears to be an anti-catabolic compound and can help you maintain lean body mass, especially when nutrient and protein intake is limited.  

Furthermore, a recent meta-analysis concludes that curcumin may promote healthy cardiovascular function, alleviate joint pains/aches, reduce inflammation, and support immunity [5]. 

It's important to note that curcumin and other curcuminoids in turmeric have low oral bioavailability. If you're taking a turmeric supplement, you'll want to find one that contains black pepper fruit, as this helps increase the absorption of curcumin through your digestive tract. 

Curcumin C3® Complex vs. Generic Turmeric Extract

Curcumin C3® Complex is a patented herbal extract obtained from the dried rhizomes of Curcuma longa (turmeric) and standardized to contain 95% bioactive curcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, and demethoxycurcumin - collectively referred to as "curcuminoids." 

As noted above, clinical evidence suggests that curcuminoids have ubiquitous roles in the body, affecting vital biological processes such as immune function, detoxification, metabolism, stress response, neuroplasticity, joint integrity, digestion, and much more. If your turmeric supplement isn't delivering an efficacious amount of curcumin(oids), you're wasting your money.

The conundrum regarding curcumin supplements and turmeric extract is that curcuminoids are generally not well-absorbed orally, resulting in minimal benefit (if any at all) [6]. This is precisely where Curcumin C3® Complex shines, as it exhibits vastly superior absorption and upwards of 200x greater bioavailability than generic curcumin/turmeric extract formulas [7]. 

For example, a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that subjects taking Curcumin C3® Complex (500 mg twice daily) for eight weeks had significantly greater reductions in serum concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines than those taking a placebo [8]. These results are congruent with the findings of a recent meta-analysis of the anti-inflammatory actions of curcumin in clinical studies [9].

Further evidence shows that overweight subjects taking Curcumin C3® Complex (500 mg twice daily) for 90 days experienced significant improvements in blood glucose and blood lipid profiles [10]; subjects in the placebo group saw no significant changes in either of those outcome measures. A similarly designed study demonstrated that Curcumin C3 Complex (1000 mg daily) supplementation for 50 days greatly improved biomarkers of metabolic syndrome compared to placebo [11].

Given the lack of quality turmeric supplements at an affordable price, Transparent Labs now offers pure Curcumin C3 capsules at less than $20 per bottle. Each serving contains 500 mg of Curcumin C3® Complex plus 5 mg of BioPerine® black pepper extract for greater absorption of key bioactive compounds. This is arguably the best turmeric supplement under $20, so be sure to grab a bottle or two on your next order from TL!

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