Choosing the Best Curcumin Supplements – Top 10 Brands

Best Curcumin Supplement Brands

Recent reports have shown that even though our level and interest in exercise has grown in popularity in recent years, obesity levels continue to rise as well. While that correlation seemingly does not make sense, it essentially tells us that, as the old training adage goes, “you can’t out-run a bad diet”.

To be more specific, there are elements of our current diets, especially the prototypical western diet, that have significant risk factors involved. We may popularly be aware that fat and sugar are generally bad, and vegetables are generally good, however there is far more nuance to proper nutrition, as well as fairly poor overall adherence to those basic principles.

One of the most harmful effects our current diets have is inflammation, borne of a variety of foods that over time can cause any number of issues within our bodies physiology. Inflammation refers the body’s response to foreign agents or harm in an attempt to repel the invaders and heal the damaged area. While acute inflammation is beneficial in terms of healing a cut, chronic inflammation has a clear negative impact on our health and wellness and is usually caused by diet and lifestyle.

In terms of diet, combating inflammation is a combination of two primary approaches; first, removing foods that tend to invoke inflammation such as those high in trans fats, simple carbs and sugars, fried foods being a prime example. Secondly, is adding replacements and/or additional supplementation to offset our dietary deficiencies, and in the case of inflammation help to combat chronic effects from poor diets in the past that to continue to subsist.

Curcumin, a derivative of turmeric and ginger to a lesser degree, is one such supplement source that can have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, with research pointing to outcomes from simple inflammation reduction to potentially preventing cancer or reversing its growth.

Turmeric, a derivative of ginger, has been identified as one of the best nutritional options available to reduce inflammation and improve our quality of life and performance. While it is most often found as a naturally used spice in Asian and Indian food, it has risen to popularity as a supplemental option due to its immense capabilities to fight off inflammation, which includes not only basic inflammation, but chronic conditions related to inflammation, such as arthritis.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that makes it so powerful and is thus an ideal supplement for supplementation to combat inflammation. In this article, we will break down exactly what curcumin is and why it works, what to look for when purchasing and the best products available on the market today.

What is Curcumin?

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and to some extent ginger, both of which can be found naturally in many foods as spices or flavorings, as well as in supplement form. Turmeric is a natural derivate of ginger and commonly found in traditional Asian and Indian foods, as well as many Caribbean foods. One of the most common foods found across the different styles of cuisines featuring turmeric is curry.

Known for its yellow color which comes from a smaller component of turmeric known as curcumin, turmeric is also found in common yellow food items such as mustard, butters, and cheeses as well. Turmeric is a plant typically grown in south Asia that is very close to ginger. In order to get the benefits of turmeric which has been used in Ayuverdic medicine for some time, cultivators dig up the stems, or rhizomes, and ground them up to create the well-known spice in its traditional powdered form.

Curcumin, being the active ingredient in turmeric is a purer form of turmeric and arguably a more powerful and concentrated form for anti-inflammatory purposes. One of the downsides of using curcumin is that is does not absorb as easily as more common vitamins or minerals, however it is often paired with other ingredients, black pepper extract for example, to improve its absorption into the body. It is a fat-soluble compound and has a wealth of health benefits, though taking it in incredibly high doses has been shown to have its own side effects and risks.

Benefits of Curcumin

Curcumin offers a wide variety of meaningful health benefits, and though it is best notarized as an incredibly powerful and potent compound for reducing inflammation, it has a host of benefits ranging from reduced inflammation to increased performance. While the primary benefits of consuming curcumin come from its ability to reduce inflammation in the body, its use over time has shown the potential to mitigate the effects of major illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and  heart disease and arthritis.

In addition, curcumin can have performance enhancing benefits as well for the more athletic or fitness-oriented population. It has been shown, for example, to aid in reducing inflammation and delayed onset muscle soreness after intense workouts, demonstrating its ability to improve recovery from training.

Finally, curcumin has shown properties to assist with bone and joint health through its anti-inflammatory properties, along with cognitive function and brain health, cardiovascular function and more. Most of these benefits stem from curcumins propensity as both anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.

Who Is Curcumin Best Suited For?

In short, just about everyone who doesn’t get enough turmeric in their regular diet. While as a generality this probably includes most of us, it would specifically apply to those who are especially active and thus require more nutrients, such as athletes or gym enthusiasts, and those who do not get much naturally occurring turmeric in their diet.

It is especially useful for those who are battling chronic inflammation symptoms, such as the early signs of arthritis, or those who anticipate that may be a future issue.

It is not ideal for pregnant women, and is not always compatible with other drugs, medications or supplements, thus those who are taking other medications should always check with a doctor prior to initiating curcumin use.

Common Ingredients and Forms of Curcumin

The primary ingredient of any curcumin supplement is, of course, curcumin. Many products may be primarily turmeric or based on turmeric though, as curcumin is an ingredient in turmeric. However, every product will have differing levels of turmeric and curcumin, an important measure to keep track of will be the mg of curcumin per dose as that will inform on the potency of the product in each serving.

Additionally, curcumin tends to be combined with other ingredients at times, such as ginger or black pepper extract, which may be a factor in which product is best for you. Ideal pairings for curcumin include black pepper extract or piperine for increased absorption and bioavailability, and fish oil or other foods and ingredients high in omega fatty acids for more pronounced anti-inflammation effects.

Finally, the source of the turmeric, and consequently curcumin, in the supplement may be an important consideration. Some sources use all organic while others create more synthetic blends.

Use of Curcumin and Potential Side Effects

As with any supplement or health-related product, it is always advised to consult with a medical professional on if it is the right choice for you, and it is also always advised to follow the recommended dosing strategy by the product.

When taking a curcumin supplement, one key consideration is if the product has an enhancer such as black pepper extract for bioavailability, if so the amount of curcumin used will be different than one without enhancement as curcumin has poor absorption qualities. For a product with additional ingredients for absorption, if the dosage and/or overall consumption is less than 500mg, there are no side effects generally speaking. However, once you begin to increase dosage amounts beyond that level, you may begin to see possible side effects such as diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and an upset stomach.

These are essentially your body’s way of telling you you’ve had too much, and it doesn’t need the excess. The caveat of course is if the curcumin is not paired with something for improved absorption, in which case the amount of curcumin in each serving will not be what is actually used by the body and thus it will be hard to determine an exact ideal daily number of millgrams.

If you are unsure what the proper dosage is, consult with your medical professional and check the product packaging for the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) as well. The RDA will vary depending on age, gender and in general your activity level as well.

How to Pick a Good Curcumin Supplement

Most curcumin products will have little variability in their ingredients, generally it will just be curcumin paired with some form of absorption enhancement, therefore you’ll have to identify which version of curcumin or turmeric is the right choice for you and look for that option. Curcumin comes in capsule forms, powders to mix with drinks, drops and more. It is also often combined with other ingredients such as ginger, which is a factor to consider.

Be sure when selecting a product to review any additional ingredients aside from curcumin, such as additional supplements, fillers, artificial additives etc. as these may carry their own side effects or dilute the quality of the product.

Finally, as with any good product decision, look for reputable brands that are backed by strong scientific backgrounds, as well as offering a strong value. A good rule of thumb in terms of comparing price and value is to evaluate the price per dose rather than overall dose, as most products will have varying sizes.

Top 10 Curcumin Products

We have put together a list of our top 10 recommended curcumin supplements. Each one has a short breakdown of its highlights, primary ingredients and usages, as well as a brief profile for the company who makes the product.

Check out all 10 and look for the best option that not only comes highly recommended but fits your individual needs and desires for a curcumin supplement. We hope you enjoy and find the best product for you!

1. Doctor’s Best High Absorption Curcumin

Doctors Best High Absorption Curcumin

The key for this excellent curcumin product is in the name. Doctor’s Best High Absorption Curcumin uses black pepper fruit extract and high-quality turmeric to formulate one of the more potent and bioavailable curcumin products on the market.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1000mg turmeric root per serving, using their C-3 complex of curcumin, standardized to 95% curcuminoids
  • 6mg of black pepper fruit extract for improved absorption
  • Serving size is 2 capsules
  • Well-known brand

Company Profile:

Doctor’s Best was founded by physicians in 1990 and have since expanded to offering over 200 different products to their customers. They specialize in using science-based nutrition practices to create their products and serve innovative and effective supplements to consumers.

Why We Recommend It:

This turmeric supplement from Doctor’s Best is one of the best curcumin sources on the market due to the high absorption qualities it offers via black pepper fruit extract and the quality of the curcumin, standardized to 95%. It comes from a well-respected company, making it one of the best values available.

Check Current Price

2. Jarrow Formulas Curcumin 95

Jarrow Formulas Curcumin 95

This curcumin product from Jarrow Formulas is an ideal choice due to the vegetarian capsules they use, as well as the quality and high concentration of turmeric used. In addition, it is one of the more affordable options available and comes from a well-known brand, making it an excellent value.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 500mg turmeric concentrate using curcumin C-3 complex, standardized to 95% total curcuminoids
  • One of the more affordable options on the market
  • A great choice for vegetarians or vegans
  • Does not include additional ingredients for absorption

Company Profile:

Jarrow Formulas, based in sunny Los Angeles, California, is a nutritional supplement company with a wide variety of fitness supplements. They have been in business since 1988 and continue to distribute quality products throughout North America.

Why We Recommend It:

These are excellent, high quality curcumin capsules that are vegetarian and vegan friendly. The only downside to this particular product is the lack of additional ingredients for improved absorption and bioavailability. That being said, it is affordable, made by a great company and delivers highly concentrated curcumin for an excellent value.

Check Current Price

3. NOW Foods Curcumin Extract

Now Foods Curcumin Extract 1

NOW Foods Curcumin is one of the purest options available, with no additional flavors, preservatives or other common allergens. It delivers a solid dose of curcumin extract with high potency, all in convenient veggie capsules.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 665mg turmeric root extract, standardized to 95% curcuminoids
  • Has no artificial ingredients or common allergens
  • Capsules are veggie based, ideal for vegetarians and vegans
  • Comes from one of the best and largest brands on the market

Company Profile:

NOW Foods is the maker of this product, and they are considered to be one of the companies in the greater supplement industry. For decades, they have produced products that are very high in quality yet also specialize in simplicity. They have a wealth of products, over 1,000 and are a major player in the industry.

Why We Recommend It:

This turmeric supplement courtesy of NOW Foods delivers one of the more powerful per dose amounts of curcumin on the market and combined with their all-natural and well-tested approach and veggie-friendly capsules, they are an effective product. It lacks additional ingredients to improve bioavailability, but otherwise is a great value.

Check Current Price

4. NatureWise Vcaps Organic Curcumin

Naturewise Vcaps Organic Curcumin Antioxidant With Ginger And Black Pepper

NatureWise Vcaps are one of the most powerful options available on the market, packing a strong dose of their proprietary curcumin complex in one capsule combined with organic ginger root and black pepper extract. It is one of the most potent and bioavailable options on the maret today.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 750mg proprietary organic curcumin complex, standardized to 95% curcuminoids
  • 35mg organic ginger
  • 5mg black pepper extract
  • Comes in a vegetarian capsule
  • Serving size is only 1 capsule
  • May be strong for some due to increased bioavailability

Company Profile:

NatureWise is one of the larger supplement manufacturers around, and they have developed a reputation for quality products by using all-natural ingredients with scientifically backed and clinically studied doses for maximum effectiveness. They have a wide variety of products that deliver the stated effect with minimal to no side effects when used correctly.

Why We Recommend It:

This is one of the strongest curcumin supplement sources available, and in some cases, may even be too strong.  The additional ginger and black pepper fruit extract make the 750mg of curcumin blend highly absorbable, thus this product is advised for those looking for a potent and strong curcumin supplement, while those with a weaker stomach or just beginning to supplement with curcumin may be less ideal.

Check Current Price

5. Life Extension Super Bio-Curcumin

Life Extension Super Bio Curcumin

Super Bio-Curcumin from Life Extension is a strong and potent source of curcumin that is ideal for vegetarians or an organic product with no artificial ingredients or fillers. They use a special formula that included BCM-95 and Bio-Curcumin at a 25:1 ratio.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 400mg standardized turmeric extract (95% curcuminoids)
  • Uses BCM-95 and Bio-Curcumin at a 25:1 ratio
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • No common allergens or artificial ingredients
  • More expensive than most

Company Profile:

Life Extension has been a leader in the field of the same name and the corresponding health products for over 35 years. They have long been an innovator in the field have produced many products that were among the first on the market for improved life extension. They have a high standard of quality control and use science to create quality products.

Why We Recommend It:

While it may be more expensive than many of its competitors, this is a quality product with a potent source of curcumin. It is suitable for vegetarians and an organic product, and a solid value.

Check Current Price

6. Doctor Recommended Turmeric Curcumin

Doctor Recommended Turmeric Curcumin

Doctor Recommended Turmeric Curcumin is one of the best curcumin supplements in terms of bioavailability on the market today. It combines their proprietary blend of turmeric and curcumin with black pepper fruit extract for a highly absorbable and potent product.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 750mg proprietary blend of turmeric and curcumin
  • 5mg black pepper fruit extract
  • Standardized to 95% curcuminoids
  • One of the more affordable options
  • Not as tasty as some and the smell can be strong
  • Large capsules are not as convenient to take

Company Profile:

Doctor Recommended Supplements is actually sold and distributed by New World Herbal Wellness. Based in the Atlanta area, they have been in business for over 20 years and are an FDA registered and GMP certified facility.

Why We Recommend It:

This curcumin product is a very bioavailable and potent product. It has not gotten great reviews on its taste and smell; however it has an excellent curcumin dose and excellent absorption for an effective curcumin supplementation option.

7. Micro Ingredients USDA certified Organic Curcumin Powder

Micro Ingredients Usda Certified Organic High Concentration Turmeric Curcumin

This curcumin powder from Micro Ingredients is one of the strongest pure curcumin options available and a fully organic product. It is meant as a mix for drinks which is unique as compared to most capsule products for turmeric and curcumin.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1000mg curcumin turmeric extract
  • Standardized to 95% curcuminoids
  • Comes in powder form as a drink mix, making it convenient and easy to create customized doses
  • USDA certified organic and non-GMO
  • One of the more expensive options available

Company Profile:

Located in California, Micro Ingredients is known producing raw nutraceutical powders. One of their top points of emphasis is free USA-based laboratory testing reports that come with each product, helping customers ensure their products are pure and potent.

Why We Recommend It:

This product is unique in that it comes in powdered form, designed to be mixed in with liquids or drinks. While the taste may be a downside to some, it does off the ability customize doses. It is one of the more expensive options and does not include additional ingredients for bioavailability but is overall a quality curcumin source.

8. Solgar Curcumin

Solgar Curcumin

Solgar Curcumin comes in liquid softgels and offers one of the lower doses of curcumin and best levels bioavailability, thanks to the inclusion of an emulsifier. It is organic as well, making it a good product.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • Uses full spectrum curcumin extract, providing 40mg of curcumin and 48mg of curcuminoids
  • Comes in special liquid softgels
  • Non-GMO and all natural
  • Includes polysorbate 80 emulsifier for improved bioavailability
  • One of the more expensive options on the market

Company Profile:

Solgar is one of the oldest, most respected and trusted brands in the health and supplement industry. Having started in 1947, they have been producing “top-quality, innovative, science-based nutritional supplements to support their total health and well-being” for decades. They utilize the Solgar Gold Standard to ensure their manufacturing practices are a high quality.

Why We Recommend It:

This product from industry stalwart Solgar is one of the lower doses of curcumin on the market, but it does boast one of the better bioavailability profiles on the market. That being said, it is more expensive than many competitors and may not be an ideal choice for those looking for a stronger curcumin option.

9. Viva Naturals Curcumin C3 Complex

Viva Labs Curcumin C3 Complex

This product from Viva Naturals is ideal for vegetarians and delivers a solid dose of curcumin coupled with black pepper extract for improved bioavailability.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 500mg curcumin c3 complex
  • 95% curcuminoids
  • Vegetarian and vegan friendly
  • 5mg black pepper fruit extract
  • Has received mixed reviews in regard to effectiveness

Company Profile:

Viva Naturals is one of the newest companies in the vitamin and supplement market, having only started in 2011. They develop products that are non-GMO, organic and sustainable and not only produce excellent products but support causes for health around the world.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a simple and effective curcumin supplement that delivers a strong but not overbearing dose of curcumin per capsule with black pepper fruit extract for improved bioavailability.

10 Dr. Tobias Turmeric Curcumin

Dr Tobias Turmeric Curcumin

Dr. Tobias Turmeric Curcumin is a solid and effective curcumin supplement from a smaller company. It has a potent dose of turmeric and good bioavailability, making it an effective product.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 750mg turmeric, 95% extract
  • 5mg black pepper fruit extract
  • Made in USA
  • More expensive than most
  • Smaller brand

Company Profile:

Dr. Tobias is best known on amazon, primarily as an online supplement producer or provider. Dr. Tobias is originally from Germany with an impressive academic background including a doctorate in economics.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a solid curcumin supplement from a small company that is less known than more established brands, thus quality may be in question, though overall it seems to be an effective product.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Carl Putman

Written by Carl Putman

Carl Putman is a strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level and writer on fitness, health and supplements. Over the past decade, he has worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from professional athletes and world champions to youth and general population, as well as tactical practitioners. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership. Based in Florida, he continues to train and coach as well as write with a passion for making a positive impact for his clients and readers.