How much curcumin does turmeric contain? Are turmeric facials a fad? Is there any point having turmeric smoothies?

  • Curcumin is one of the many curcuminoids, present in turmeric. Turmeric contains approximately 2% curcumin, so a teaspoon of turmeric, which weighs 2.5 grams, contains about 50mg curcumin. In addition to curcumin, turmeric also contains smaller amounts of the curcuminoids, such as demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin.
  • Given that most researchers recommend an average of 500-1000mg of curcumin/day, in order to gain the health benefits seen in studies, one has to consume 25-50g of turmeric powder, which is a quite large amount of turmeric to take every day - expect to be fed up of it in days and your teeth to become all yellow, forever...
  • Definitely it does not make any sense to make a "turmeric smoothie" and expect any health benefits any time soon, although daily use for months will confer some health benefits. Personally, I would prefer to add the contents of a capsule of 95% curcumin (see below) into the drink, which is 50x more concentrated than turmeric itself. In this way I do not have to add 5-50g of turmeric into my drink in order to get 100-1000mg of pure curcumin.
  • The same applies to home-made turmeric facial masks, one of the most ridiculous beauty fads: don't expect to get any anti-ageing results any time soon. And remember, the "jaundice look" is not very fashionable, neither your clothes look good in yellow stains.
  • Due to low concentration of curcumin in turmeric, supplementation with curcumin capsules is recommended. Luckily, supplements with 95% pure curcumin have been available for years now and are easy to find and very economical, so two 500mg or one 1000mg capsules of 95% curcumin are all that are needed to reap the health benefits of curcumin.
  • Curcumin is probably the most biologically active curcuminoid in turmeric, but not the most easily absorbed, hence the need for liposomal curcumin, curcumin combined with piperine, the use of other methods of absorption, or the use of the other curcumin analogs, such as the ones mentioned above.
  • For this reason, some products contain curcumin in liposomal or other enhanced absorption form, which are proven to increase bioavailability by a factor of 10x or higher. In this case lower amounts of curcumin are needed - and provided - in the capsules.
  • Certain curcumin derivatives are also used for local application in anti-ageing or anti-cellulite creams, for enhanced absorption and without the extreme yellowness.
  • Like all other supplements, more is not always better, so stick to the 1000mg upper maximum daily intake and consult a health care practitioner if you suffer from any medical conditions or if you are pregnant/breast-feeding.

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