10 Best Curcumin Supplement Brands

benefits of curcumin
We have never gone as far as to label a supplement ingredient as a super food, but curcumin may just be our first. With the exception of restricting medical conditions, we would recommend Curcumin for any adult looking to preserve and protect their body (although always check with your physician before starting a new supplement regimen).

Used for thousands of years in ayurvedic medicine, turmeric (and consequently curcumin) is one of the oldest and most studied herbal wonders known to man.


Turmeric VS Curcumin

Turmeric is most commonly known as a spice for curry (and offshoot of the ginger plant). Curcumin is the yellowish powder derived from turmeric.

Many companies use the word turmeric and curcumin interchangeably, however, curcumin is the compound associated with and used for health benefits.  Roughly 2.5-6.0% of turmeric is curcumin.

From last count, there are over 6000 studies referencing the curcumin and it’s health benefits.

Curcumin VS Curcuminoids

Technically, there are a few different “curcuminoids” within the turmeric spice. However, the word “curcumin” is often used interchangeably with curcuminoids as a whole, and unless specified, implies the collection of curcuminoids found in turmeric. The studies all pertain to the collective curcuminoids in this way.

Benefits of Curcumin According to Clinical Studies

  • Anti-Oxidant
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Pain Reduction
  • Anti-Anxiety
  • Anti-Fatigue
  • Improved Nitric Oxide
  • Anti-Cancer

Sound too good to be true? Let’s review some of the research and clinically studied evidence.


Note: Most studies involving curcumin are conducted using test subjects with specific diseases or ailments. One could infer, all though it is not guaranteed, that similar non-disease related benefits could be expected in otherwise healthy adults. The following study synopses are for entertainment purposes only and should not be used as medical professional advice. We encourage you to read and review the referenced studies in order to draw your own conclusions.


Anti-Oxidant – A double blind study consisting of 286 male and female subjects exposed to high arsenic levels in their water, found oral ingestion of 500 mg of curcumin (paired with piperine) twice daily to improve preservation of DNA by reducing oxidative stress. [1]

Anti-Inflammatory – The single most popular benefit and reason people take curcumin (especially with bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts) is for it’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties. The list of benefits from reducing inflammation is long. Anti inflammatories may reduce the risk of illnesses and diseases including (but not limited to) Alzheimer’s, cancer, arthritis, and depression. Reducing inflammation can also help injuries heal faster.

A study comparing the anti-inflammatory benefits of different drugs and supplements found that curcumin was dramatically more potent as an anti-inflammatory agent than ibuprofen and aspirin (two of the most common drugs used to fight inflammation). [2]

Pain Reduction– One of the main benefits of reducing inflammation is the overall reduction of pain. One of the leading causes of chronic pain is excessive inflammation.

In a study comparing the pain fighting benefits of curcumin verse more traditional painkillers such as nimesulide and acetaminophen, curcumin (at 400 mg) was found to be able to reduce pain comparable to 2g acetaminophen and 100 mg nimesulide [3].

Another study conducted on 100 patients with osteoarthritis, showed statically significant improvements in benchmarks regarding pain and inflammation. Subjects took 200 mg curcumin daily. [4]

Anti-Anxiety – A double blind study consisting of 30 obese subjects were given 1 g of curcumin a day for 30 days (paired with 10 mg bioperine), or a placebo. Subjects receiving curcumin noticed a significant decrease of anxiety as measured by Beck Anxiety Inventory test when compared to placebo subjects (p=0.03) [5].

Anti-Fatigue – In a study containing 60 healthy adults ranging from 60-85 years in age, curcumin was found to improve mood as measured by mental fatigue. From the abstract:

General fatigue and change in state calmness, contentedness and fatigue induced by psychological stress were significantly better following chronic treatment. [6]

Another study consisting of 50 subjects ranging in age from 18-65+ found that 500mg a day of cucrumin was able to significantly (p value 0.000) reduce fatigue in postoperative conditions. [7]

Improved Nitric Oxidegraph nitric oxide boostA double blind study with 38 subjects found a nearly 40% increase in nitric oxide levels in healthy, middle aged adults (ages 40-60). The study used a relatively low level of curcumin at 80 mg (paired with piperine for absorption) [8]. Perhaps we will find curcumin in the next best pre workout.

Anti-Cancer – This one is a little more complex, as each type of cancer is different. Curcumin has evidence to support its ability to protect against cancer by its DNA protective properties, as well as by protecting cell growth, survival, transcription, and limiting cell inflammation. A study evaluating the prostate specific antigen (a metric that is linked to prostate inflammation and prostate cancer risk), showed subjects taking curcumin and soy isoflavones had statistically lower levels of PSA, resulting in prostate cancer prevention [9].


How to Take Curcumin – IMPORTANT

Curcumin supplementation alone results in fairly low absorption (a.k.a. bioavailability).

It is important (and inline with most studies) to pair with piperine, black pepper extract, Bioperine®, or even a spoonful of olive oil. This has been shown to dramatically increase absorption to effective levels.

If intestinal absorption is what you are after, there is no need to add absorbing agents. This is sometimes beneficial for reducing intestinal inflammation and can improve bowel movements.

Dosing – Testing in studies range from 80-500mg a day when paired with an enhancing element.

What to Look For

Turmeric only consists of about 2-6% curcuminoids, so buying pure turmeric powder for the curcumin benefits is not ideal. We recommend buying products that contain “95% curcuminoids” as this is typically the highest available form of curcumin turmeric.

Some products may be titled as “Turmeric”, some as “Curcumin”. It doesn’t matter how it is titled, as long as the main ingredient is “95% curcuminoids”.

Some products may contain 1000 mg + of curcuminoids. The benefits of higher dosing has not been proven safe or dangerous, or more or less effective.

The word curcumin and curcuminoids is used interchangeably in the marketplace.

Caution

Studies show curcumin to be a powerful and safe supplement for nearly everyone. Note the word “nearly”. If you have an preexisting medical conditions, please check with your physician before supplementing with curcumin or turmeric extract.

References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20056736
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15489888
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23526055
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21194249
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25776839
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25277322
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21671126
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23013352
[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20503397


Best Curcumin Brands/Products

The following best curcumin products have been ranked and reviewed based on the following:

  • Formula
  • Brand Reputation/Trust
  • Labeling details and accuracy
  • Cost/serving
  • User reviews

1. VitaDirect Turmeric Curcumin PLUS

Curcumin PlusFor premium quality single ingredients, VitaDirect is hard to beat. They have a great reputation for quality and affordability. Their Turmeric Curcumin product contains 95% curcuminoids, providing roughly 475 mg per serving of active curcumin (upper range according to referenced clinical studies).

VitaDirect pairs their curcumin with 20 mg Bioperine® – a patented ingredient for enhanced absorption and bioavailability. Like with the curcuminoid dosing, VitaDirect is on the upper end of clinically referenced levels.

For $24.97  you get 1/4th a year supply (90 capsules) of super high quality curcumin.

Order from amazon here.


2. Dr. Tobias Turmeric 15x

dr tobias turmeric reviewAt 750 mg 95% curcuminoids, Dr. Tobias’ Turmeric offers a super dose, well above clinical tested levels for those looking to maximize curcumin levels. Like VitaDirect Dr. Tobias offers nothing but pure curcumin and an absorbing agent, leaving out other unproven and untested ingredients.

This product is paired with 10 mg Bioperine®.

Buy Dr. Tobias Turmeric 15x, 120 count bottles, for 31.32 on amazon here.


3. Life Extensions Super Bio-Curcumin®

super bio curcumin review and rankingLife Extension uses a different type of curcumin called BCM-95® – an ingredient that claims 7x the normal absorption of standard 95% curcumin. It does this by including the essential oils of natural turmeric.

The makers of BCM-95® have studies comparing their ingredient’s absorption to that of standard 95% curcumin extract, but not compared to curcumin paired with bioperine or any other absorption enhancing element.

There is no evidence to suggest one method is better than the other. That being said, Super Bio-Curcumin® is a fantastic option for anyone looking to reap the benefits of curcumin supplementation.

Life Extension makes great products and has a large community of die hard fans.

Get Super Bio-Curcumin® on amazon for $21 for 60 servings.


4. Doctor’s Best High Absorption Curcumin

best curcumin reviewDoctor’s Best has been around for a long time, and they make great products. For their curcumin product, Doctor’s Best offers the same 95% curcuminoids, at recommended serving size of 2 capsules for 1000mg (although most will probably only take 1).

At 2 capsules, total BioPerine® is 6mg, which is on the low side, compared to other products (there are few clinical studies comparing the

Doctor’s Best is pretty expensive. For $24.82 you get 120 capsules at 500mg servings, or 60 capsules at 1000mg servings. When compared to VitaDirect, our number 1 pick, your paying more for less.  That being said, die hard Doctor’s Best fans wont be disappointed.

Get Doctor’s Best High Absorption Curcumin on amazon.com.


5. Ultra6 Nutrition Ultra Turmeric Curcumin

liquid turmericAnother option, different yet still effective, is liquid extract curcumin. One of the best (and most reasonably priced) options we found was Ultra6 nutrition’s Ultra Tuermeric Cucumin.

One negative to this products is the proprietary blend – once mainstreem in the supplement industry, proprietary blends have been dying out of popularity in favor of more transparent labeling practices.

Ultra Turmeric Curcumin offers a total blend of 760 mg containing both curcumin 95% and Bioerine®. The total levels are great, but the main issue is we do not know the exact amount of each ingredient.

If you don’t like swallowing pills, this product offers a good alternative to tradition capsuled products.


There are hundreds of satisfactory curcumin products to chose from. However, price, dosage, and honesty of a company matter. We encourage readers to do their due diligence and to stick with recommended products.

Thank you so much for reading. If you found this information useful, we would appreciate it if you could support us by purchasing supplements through one of our affiliate links above (blue link in product description). This helps fund our team so that we can continue offering high quality reviews. Using our affiliate links does not impact your price, and does not impact our ranking determinations.

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Comments

  1. Biocure makes the best curcumin supplement

  2. what about Thorne’s meriva?

    • Erika J. says:

      They don’t even list the percentage of curcuminoids…
      And where are the studies listed for proof of their findings?

  3. Thanks, great info!

  4. Laura Paugh says:

    What about SmarterNutrition’s Smarter Curcumin?

  5. Benita Howle says:

    What about Dr. Bruce West’s standard process brand (Turmeric Forte)?

  6. Sunil K Srivastava says:

    Turmix brand is the best….

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