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Top 5 Turmeric Curcumin Supplements of 2021

Turmeric curcumin supplements can improve joint, brain, heart, & digestive health. Learn how to identify the best ones.

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Turmeric has been used for nearly 4,000 years in India to help treat numerous health issues, including joint health. Due to its powerful healing properties, it quickly spread from India to Southeast Asia, and eventually to the Western world.

However, more recent studies found that our bodies are not able to easily absorb turmeric's active compound, curcumin. 1

And while these same studies show that some turmeric curcumin can help promote healthy joints, keep your heart in top shape, and boost your cognitive functioning, most turmeric supplements on the market today are falling short. 2

So it can be difficult to know which are the most absorbable curcumin supplements. That's why Smarter Reviews has compiled months of research about this emerging category. We’ll show you what to look for and what to avoid in an optimized curcumin supplement, and how it can help transform your health.

Fortunately, researchers have made advancements in solid lipidNeuroscientists used cutting-edge technology to coat the curcumin molecules in a solid lipid or fat coating to protect it through digestion, boosting its absorption and bioavailability.technology, which has been shown in clinical studies to more efficiently enter the bloodstream and be absorbed where it is needed most.

Benefits of Turmeric Curcumin

Joint Health

Cognitive Health

Cardiovascular Health

Digestive Health

Immune Health

Ingredients To Look For In A Turmeric Curcumin Supplement

Longvida Optimized Curcumin

The problem with most products on the market is they are filled with large quantities of generic curcumin that may be standardized to 95%, but have not been clinically studied to work.

Clinically studied forms of curcumin are highly bioavailable and require only 400 mg daily to be effective according to numerous clinical studies. Therefore it’s not the amount of curcumin extract you take, but rather the type. Look for highly bioavailable curcumin, such as Longvida® Optimized curcumin, that’s been proven to improve absorption into the bloodstream, maximizing results.

Boswellia Serrata

Clinical research shows that when Boswellia serrata, a resin from the Indian frankincense tree, is paired with curcumin, joint discomfort could significantly decrease after 2 months. Boswellia serrata has even been linked to improved cognitive performance and mental clarity. It’s the combination of these two ingredients working together that raises their individual benefits exponentially.

Lecithin

Not only does lecithin enhance the absorption and bioavailability of curcumin, it’s also been shown to provide health benefits, including improving heart health and maintaining cholesterol levels. Even more, it’s been shown to aid with memory, mood, and multiple other brain functions.

What To Avoid In A Turmeric Curcumin Supplement

Black Pepper

Also known as BioPerine® or Piperine, black pepper extract is commonly added to turmeric supplements supposedly to improve the body's absorption of the turmeric.

Unfortunately, black pepper extracts have not been proven to improve absorption of curcumin. What's worse, these extracts can cause a range of harmful side effects. The latest and most powerful forms of turmeric curcumin use advanced technology, like solid-lipid coating, to improve absorption more consistently and safely than black pepper derivatives.

Lead

Recently, a number of turmeric supplements imported to the U.S. have been recalled for lead contamination. It was discovered that Bangladeshi importers were dyeing the turmeric with "lead chromate" to enhance its golden color. Consuming lead is unsafe at any level.

Top 5 Curcumin Supplements Of 2021

Based on our own extensive research, the metrics provided by our Smarter Reviews Ranking System, and consideration of numerous reviews by Smarter Shoppers just like you, we've compiled a list of what we've found to be the top five products in this category, on the market today.

1. CurcuminMD™ Plus

Total Ranking

9.7/10

A+

Overall Grade

PROS

  • Formulated with Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Extract
  • 285 times more bioavailable than standardized 95% turmeric curcumin
  • Contains Standardized 65% Boswellia Serrata Extract
  • Doctor recommended
  • Third-Party tested and certified for quality
  • 24-hour potency in 400 mg daily dose
  • 90-day, risk-free, money-back, product guarantee

CONS

  • Only available online
The Bottom Line

1MD Nutrition's  CurcuminMD is formulated with both Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Extract and Standardized 65% Boswellia Serrata Extract. CurcuminMD uses a clinically-supported solid-lipid coating to optimize the bioavailability of active ingredients, boosting results. Longvida is formulated to improve absorption into the bloodstream, delivering potent effects. 11 In addition, 1MD Nutrition is recommended by a doctor who specializes in medical nutrition.

Their return policy includes a 90-day, risk-free, money-back guarantee, proving the company stands behind its products.

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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2. CurcuWell

Total Ranking

9.2/10

A-

Overall Grade

PROS

  • Potent daily serving of Boswellia serrata
  • Vegetable Capsules
  • Excellent customer service
  • Third-Party tested and certified for quality
  • 365-day money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Not backed by an MD
  • Contains BioPerine® black pepper extract
The Bottom Line

CurcuWell includes a potent formula of Boswellia serrata and turmeric curcumin. It has a straightforward formula that includes no additives or fillers.

CurcuWell does include black pepper BioPerine®, however, which enhances bioavailability but is not as effective as a patented lipid coating.

Live Conscious stands by their products by offering a 365-day money-back guarantee, making them another great choice.

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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3. Turmeric Curcumin

Total Ranking

8.9/10

B+

Overall Grade

PROS

  • 365-day money-back guarantee
  • Powerful 1950mg formula
  • Enhanced with antioxidants for increased absorption
  • Third-Party tested and certified for quality

CONS

  • Not backed by an MD
  • Does not contain Boswellia serrata
  • Contains BioPerine® black pepper extract
The Bottom Line

The Turmeric Curcumin by Essential Elements is formulated with highly-concentrated turmeric extract.

The supplement delivers a powerful 1950mg of curcumin to aid in joint relief, boost brain function, and promote optimal heart health.

Essential Elements' product does contain BioPerine, however, which enhances bioavailability but is not as effective as a patented lipid coating. It also does not contain Boswellia serrata.

This said, Essential Elements is a great option for quality curcumin at a particularly affordable price.

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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4. Smarter Curcumin

Total Ranking

8.2/10

B-

Overall Grade

PROS

  • More bioavailable than standardized 95% curcumin
  • 60-day money-back return policy
  • Third-Party tested and certified for quality
  • Non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, wheat-free

CONS

  • No clinical studies backing up this new form of curcumin
  • Does not contain Boswellia serrata
  • Not backed by an MD
The Bottom Line

Smarter Nutrition's Smarter Curcumin is formulated with Curcumin C3 Reduct (R) standardized to a minimum of 95% tetrahydrocurcuminoids. 

Smarter Curcumin has increased bioavailability over standardized curcumin due to additional processing of the tetrahydrocurcuminoids. On the flip side, we don't know the details regarding how much the processing increases curcumin's bioavailability as this is a brand new type of curcumin with no clinical studies backing its effectiveness for joint health as yet. 

While this supplement is not backed by a practicing medical doctor, it is endorsed by a Ph.D in Holistic Nutrition. Smarter Nutrition offers a full money-back guarantee for products returned within 60 days, which solidified its placement on our list.  

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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5. Turmeric +

Total Ranking

7.9/10

C+

Overall Grade

PROS

  • Simple formula
  • Dairy free, soy free, made without gluten

CONS

  • Contains BioPerine® black pepper extract
  • Does not contain boswellia serrata
  • Not backed by an MD
  • Contains filler, magnesium stearate
The Bottom Line

Turmeric + by youtheory has a simple formula consisting of a patented curcumin extract and BioPerine®.

It does not contain boswellia serrata, though it does contain multiple additives and fillers, such as magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, and calcium carbonate. We could not locate any guarantee associated with this product.

We were however happy they were using a patented form of curcumin, earning it a spot on this list.

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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CITATIONS

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3918523/
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306981
  3. Menon V.P., Sudheer A.R. (2007) ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES OF CURCUMIN. In: Aggarwal B.B., Surh YJ., Shishodia S. (eds) The Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Curcumin in Health and Disease. ADVANCES IN EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY, vol 595. Springer, Boston, MA
  4. Gupta, S. C., Patchva, S., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2013). Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials. The AAPS Journal, 15(1), 195–218.
  5. Spicing up" of the immune system by curcumin. Jagetia GC1, Aggarwal BB. J Clin Immunol. 2007 Jan; 27 (1): 19-35. Epub 2007 Jan 9.
  6. Prasad, S., Tyagi, A. K., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2014). Recent Developments in Delivery, Bioavailability, Absorption and Metabolism of Curcumin: the Golden Pigment from Golden Spice. Cancer Research and Treatment : Official Journal of Korean Cancer Association, 46(1), 2–18.
  7. Negar Ghalandarlaki, Ali Mohammad Alizadeh, and Soheil Ashkani-Esfahani, “Nanotechnology-Applied Curcumin for Different Diseases Therapy,” BioMed Research International, vol. 2014, Article ID 394264, 23 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/394264.
  8. McFarlin et al. Reduced inflammatory and muscle damage biomarkers following oral supplementation with bioavailable curcumin. University of North Texas. BBA Clinical. 18 Feb 2016. 5: 72-78.
  9. Daily, J. W., Yang, M., & Park, S. (2016). Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Journal of Medicinal Food, 19(8), 717–729.
  10. Wongcharoen, Wanwarang et al., The protective role of curcumin in cardiovascular diseases,International Journal of Cardiology , Volume 133 , Issue 2, 145 - 151.
  11. Sharma S et al. Pharmacokinetic study of 11-keto β-boswellic acid. Phytomedicine. 2004 Feb. 11: 255-260.
  12. Gota P et al. Efficacy of solid lipid Boswellia serrata particles (SLBSP) in OA of knee. J Pharm Sci Tech Mgmt. Vol 1(Issue 2) 2015 Jul. 70-76. 13.
  13. Koronyo, Y et al. Retinal amyloid pathology and proof-of-concept imaging trial. JCI Insight. 2018. 2(16). DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.93621.
  14. Gota et al. Safety and pharmacokinetics of a solid lipid curcumin particle formulation in patients and healthy volunteers. Tata Memorial Cancer Centre. J Ag Food Chem. 2010. 58(4): 2095-2099.
  15. Eidenberger T et al. Investigation of the lymphatic transport of solid-lipid curcumin particles (Longvida®) in comparison to curcumin extract in rats. University of Applied Sciences, Upper Austria. Poster in 252nd ACS National