The Ultimate Guide to the Power Root Turmeric Curcumin

Nutrition / Omega 3 / November 8, 2019

Turmeric root and powder

More than 700 years ago, legendary Italian explorer Marco Polo was traveling through Asia… somewhere most people from the west had never been before. 

When he stopped in India, he found something that impressed him so much, he wrote about it in his diary. He described it as “a vegetable with the properties of saffron, yet it is not really saffron.”

Marco had just discovered turmeric.

Fast-forward to today, and it seems most of us are only just discovering how amazing turmeric is. Sure, you probably know it’s popular as a spice. It adds flavor, aroma and a beautiful golden color to soups, stews, curries and more. 

But thousands of scientific studies have been done on turmeric. And they show that its anti-inflammatory properties could have lots of positive impacts on human health. Research suggests it has therapeutic potential in everything from arthritis and brain function, to depression and certain types of cancer. It may also help fight against the chronic, low-grade inflammation that leads to bone loss. 

Now, before we get to all the incredible things turmeric can do, let’s take a minute to discover what it is.


What is Turmeric?

First of all, Marco Polo didn’t really “discover” turmeric. Far from it! In fact, it’s thought that people in India have been using turmeric for around 4,000 years. (It later found its way to China and Africa.) And although Marco referred to it in his diary as a vegetable, turmeric is actually a rhizome… a horizontal root. His comparison of turmeric to saffron did stick, though — to this day, it’s also known as “Indian saffron”. 

Turmeric belongs to the same plant family as ginger, which you can tell from their similar appearance. But one major difference with fresh turmeric root is the color inside… a beautiful orange-yellow, like a carrot. That color is the reason turmeric is used as a natural dye in foods like curry powder, butter and mustard. It’s also used to dye textiles

The earliest use of turmeric for medicinal purposes was in Ayurvedic medicine, or Ayurveda… a natural, holistic medical system that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda is now popular around the world, but especially among Asian populations. Ayurveda practitioners have looked to turmeric for centuries. They’ve used it to treat respiratory conditions, as a topical antiseptic for wounds, to soothe digestive issues, and much more. 

But here’s an important point. It’s not turmeric itself that keeps researchers coming back. It’s a particular compound in turmeric called curcumin.


What is Curcumin?

Turmeric gets its color from polyphenol compounds (or pigments) known as curcuminoids. And curcumin is the main curcuminoid in turmeric. 

Turmeric contains a very small amount of curcumin (typically less than 5%). But curcumin has shown so much potential in the treatment of so many health issues, it’s been the subject of thousands of studies on its own. That’s why curcumin is recognized as a nutraceutical — a food or supplement that offers health benefits.  

There are 65 clinical trials that show curcumin’s promising positive effects on things like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. What’s more, there have been more than 6,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles published in the last two decades discussing its effectiveness and benefits. And there are new studies being launched all the time. 

One area of study where turmeric curcumin has shown the most impressive results is fighting inflammation. And this is especially important if you’re concerned about your bone health. Read on to find out how these things are connected. Plus… discover one of the easiest ways your bones can start benefiting from turmeric curcumin right now.


Turmeric Curcumin, Inflammation and Bone Health

One thing most scientific studies about turmeric curcumin have in common is… they all talk about how it reduces inflammation. And as I mentioned, this can be very good news for your bones! 

Now, the link between turmeric curcumin’s anti-inflammatory abilities and your bone health may not seem obvious at first. But once you understand how bones stay healthy in the first place, it becomes clear.

You see, throughout your life, your old bone is continually broken down by cells called osteoclasts. Then, another group of cells called osteoblasts builds new bone to replace it. This is the normal bone “remodeling” process.

But as you get older, old bone starts getting broken down faster than new bone can replace it. If this process continues, osteoporosis is the result.  

This means anything that promotes inflammation also promotes osteoclast activity. So, inflammation encourages bone loss.

The good news is… you can drastically reduce or eliminate inflammation by avoiding a pro-inflammatory diet consisting of things like refined sugar, excessive alcohol, and cola-type sodas. And when you introduce anti-inflammatory foods and supplements like turmeric curcumin and omega 3 fish oil, you defend yourself against inflammation a lot more. 

Research shows curcumin has huge anti-inflammatory properties! In fact, one study published in Oncogene (one of the world’s leading cancer research journals) showed that curcumin was more potent than acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) and ibuprofen (Advil) when it came to suppressing inflammation and blocking the process of tumor-cell proliferation.

That’s why AlgaeCal created Triple Power Omega 3 Fish Oil, which contains organic turmeric curcumin as one of its main ingredients.

Other Potential Turmeric Curcumin Benefits

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  1. Potential Alternative for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Curcumin may provide an effective, less expensive, and more tolerated option for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In one study, participants were given a 360 mg dose of curcumin three to four times per day for three months. The results showed it helped discourage inflammation. This suggests it’s a bright prospect as a treatment for IBD.

Takeaway: Curcumin may be a useful treatment for IBD, but more research is needed.

  1. Reduces Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Curcumin shows great promise in the treatment of arthritis symptoms. In a preliminary double-blind, randomized trial, curcumin was shown to reduce tenderness and swelling of joints, with no adverse effects.

Takeaway: It’s possible we’ll soon see curcumin as an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. More research is needed though.

  1. Boosts Brain Function

For years, it was generally thought that the brain was insensitive to insulin. But now we know that’s not the case. In fact, insulin plays important roles in learning and memory. So, insulin resistance is a key pathological feature of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have investigated the effect of curcumin on brain insulin receptors, memory function, and oxidative stress…. and it looks encouraging.

Takeaway: Curcumin is shown to have positive effects on neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. Research is limited, but results suggest curcumin may have a protective effect on dementia due to its ability to affect insulin receptors.

  1. Improves Heart Health

Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic (decreases blood clots), and anti-proliferative (inhibits cell growth) properties are well known. Curcumin is being studied as a potential supplement in both the treatment and prevention of many types of cardiovascular disease. Studies show strong connections and promising effects… including the potential to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Takeaway: If heart disease runs in your family, or you may be at risk of it, look into the potential benefits of curcumin.

  1. May Protect Against Cancer

One powerful clinical review showed the many ways curcumin may be beneficial in treating and preventing cancer. Specifically, by changing the actual pathways through which cells multiply and regenerate. That’s on top of curcumin’s ability to cause changes to the way cells’ organelles function, killing tumor cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

Takeaway: With a little more research, we may soon see curcumin as both a potential prevention and treatment for cancer.

  1. Reduces Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

Traditional Chinese Medicine has used turmeric to treat depression for a long time. Now, an analysis of several clinical studies shows that curcumin had a significant effect on symptoms of depression and anxiety. But because those studies involved a small number of people, researchers say more studies will need to be done to offer stronger proof.   

Takeaway: Curcumin shows potential as an approach to depression and anxiety. So keep an eye out to see what further scientific research shows.

Turmeric Curcumin Dosage

While there’s a lot of science proving the benefits of turmeric curcumin, there’s not yet a standardized recommended dosage.

Many nutrients come with an “upper-intake level” — a maximum dose you shouldn’t exceed. Right now, turmeric curcumin doesn’t have one, because it hasn’t shown any prolonged or severe side effects. Various clinical trials have shown that consumption of up to 8 g per day is safe.

Turmeric Curcumin Side Effects

Turmeric curcumin is safe to consume in foods and supplements. As with anything, though, if it’s taken in mega-doses, you may experience some side effects… especially if you don’t slowly build up the amount you take in.

General side effects include nausea, diarrhea and headache. For individuals with diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), depressive disorders, fertility concerns, bleeding disorders, or who are pregnant, you should speak with your doctor before adding large amounts of turmeric to your food or supplementing with curcumin.

Turmeric Recipes You’ll Love

There’s a good reason why turmeric has been used in cooking for thousands of years. It adds unique, delicious flavor and aroma to foods. And there are countless recipes that make it easy to add turmeric to your cooking. 

If you look for turmeric at your local grocery store — either powdered or fresh roots — make sure it’s certified organic. This is especially important with powdered turmeric. Organic certification helps ensure it hasn’t been contaminated with dangerous materials like lead.

Below are some favorite recipes I’ve discovered that I hope you’ll love as much as I do! Use the comments section below to let me know which ones you like best!

We also have drink recipes too…


5-Minute Turmeric Tea Recipe (How to Make the Ultimate Golden Milk)

Sometimes it’s nice to drink your nutrients. That may be a reason turmeric tea and turmeric lattes (also known as golden milk) are gaining popularity.

Check out our delicious versions below!

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Warming Golden Milk Tea

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk (or almond milk or milk)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp. raw honey (optional)
  • 2-3 black peppercorns (increases absorption)
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger powder or small piece of freshly peeled ginger

* choose organic ingredients whenever possible

Directions:

  1. Pour ingredients into a saucepan on medium heat until hot (3-5 minutes)
  2. Strain out peppercorns and fresh ginger
  3. Drink!

Cooling Golden Milk Tea

Using the same ingredients…

Directions:

  1. Whisk coconut milk, water, turmeric, cinnamon, honey and ginger in a small bowl.
  2. Add peppercorns and let sit for 5-10 minutes while the flavors marry.
  3. Strain out peppercorns and ginger
  4. Add ice to a glass
  5. Pour over ice and drink!

Power Pairings for Turmeric Curcumin

To get the most out of turmeric curcumin, pair it with black pepper. Black pepper increases curcumin’s absorption, which means it’ll work better for you. The two spices make a delicious pairing, too, so it’s easy to find recipes calling for both.

An even more powerful partner for turmeric curcumin is omega 3 fish oil — something proven by scientific studies. You see, the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish oil binds with turmeric curcumin and helps it pass the blood-brain barrier. This enhances its ability to have positive effects on brain-related disorders. Turmeric curcumin’s antioxidant properties also help to preserve the freshness of quality fish oil, preventing it from going rancid. 

These are yet more reasons why turmeric curcumin is incorporated into Triple Power Omega 3 Fish Oil. A 2-tablespoon serving contains 200 mg of turmeric root extract.

Turmeric Curcumin

Do you have any further questions about turmeric curcumin? Let us know in the comments below!

  • Thousands of scientific studies show that turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties have therapeutic potential for preventing or treating many diseases. These include arthritis, dementia, certain types of cancer, and bone loss.

  • There is no recommended dosage of turmeric. Studies show that up to 8 g can be consumed daily without serious side effects. That said, some people may be sensitive to turmeric, so start with a small amount to see how you tolerate it.

  • Yes. Fresh turmeric root and powdered turmeric are available at most grocery stores. It’s commonly used as a spice in soups, stews, curries and more.

  • Since the absorption of curcumin (turmeric’s active compound) increases when paired with things like black pepper and fish oil, it’s best to take it with a meal.

  • Large amounts of turmeric — like large amounts of any food ingredient — may cause an upset stomach, nausea, gas and/or diarrhea.

  • Turmeric tea is a popular tea made with turmeric root or turmeric powder, along with other warming spices like ginger and cinnamon. See the recipe section above to learn how to make it!

  • As a powder, turmeric is a beautiful golden-orange color. In its natural root form, it looks like branched tubes with a brown covering — very similar to ginger — but bright orange inside.

  • Look for turmeric that is USDA organic to get the most health benefits. When it comes to supplements, make sure it’s standardized to 95% curcuminoids. This ensures you’re getting the best possible antioxidant protection.

Comments
Nuno
Nuno

Is there any problem taking 2 caps of AlgaeCal together with 1 serving of Triple Power Omega (15 ml)?

Megan AlgaeCal
Megan AlgaeCal

No problem with this, Nuno!

Keep up the great work – you’re well on your way to stronger bones 😊

-Megan @ AlgaeCal

Nuno
Nuno

Triple Power already contains Natural Astaxanthin (Haematococcus pluvialis)-3 mg.

Taking an extra cap of 12 mg of Organic Astaxanthin Extract (from Haematococcus pluvialis as well), would it be acceptable or it’s simply too much? (other ingredients: organic olive oil, organic rosemary leaf extract and fish gelatin for the capsule.)

Megan AlgaeCal
Megan AlgaeCal

Hi Nuno,

Thanks for reaching out! In clinical studies, astaxanthin was used safely in doses of 4-40 mg daily, but these studies only lasted as long as 3 months. In longer studies that lasted 12 months, 4 mg of astaxanthin was used.

If you are taking Triple Power daily, you may want to take your extra cap every once in a while instead of every day. And once you’re finished with your current supply, the 3mg in Triple Power would be enough and in a safe dose to take long term.

Hope this helps!

Megan @ AlgaeCal

Nuno
Nuno

Understood. Thanks Megan.

anne workman
anne workman

I don’t see pepper in your Triple Power ingredients. Why not? Also, is your fish farmed or wild? Not sure what “fisheries” means. I’ve read that farmed doesn’t contain the health benefits…..but is more sustainable. Also, prefer not eating any fish products. Is there a way vegetarians/vegans can get adequate Omega 3 without taking fish? I’ve read that it is more difficult to convert veggie sources and my Omega 3 levels are low even though I supplement with flax, walnuts, chia seeds and have started taking Algae Omegas. Appreciate your input on all of this. Thanks.

Megan AlgaeCal
Megan AlgaeCal

Hi Anne, good questions and we’re glad you reached out!

While adding black pepper to curcumin is a great and well-known way to increase its absorption, so is pairing curcumin with fat! So in this case, its absorption is enhanced by the fish oil. The fish we source are wild anchovies, sardines, and mackerel.

You’re right that omega 3 sources such as flax, walnuts, and chia seeds aren’t effectively converted into active omega 3s. The form of omega 3 they provide is ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which needs to be converted into DHA and EPA, but we don’t do this very efficiently in the body. This is why it’s important to consume omega 3s in DHA & EPA form. Unfortunately, if you don’t eat fish often or take supplements, it’s hard to get enough DHA & EPA in.

If you’re currently taking Triple Power and your levels are still low, we would recommend taking 2 tablespoons a day for 30 days and then measuring your omega 3 levels again. Hope this information helps and if you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us at 1-800-820-0184 🙂

-Megan @ AlgaeCal

Kathy
Kathy

If I add 1/3 teaspoon turmeric to my smoothie, how much black pepper should I add?

Megan AlgaeCal
Megan AlgaeCal

Hi Kathy!

We would recommend trying a small pinch of ground black pepper to start! If you prefer more of a kick, you can add a bit more 🙂 Let us know how it turns out!

-Megan @ AlgaeCal

Maria
Maria

Is it okay to open caps of turmeric supplements to make golden milk

Megan AlgaeCal
Megan AlgaeCal

Hi Maria, good question!

We would encourage you to contact the supplier of your turmeric supplements to ask if heat will reduce the potency of the curcumin. You may also want to ask about the taste of the powder, as it may not be very palatable depending on the full ingredient list!

-Megan @ AlgaeCal

Ann Christensen
Ann Christensen

Hi! Is it really safe to take turmeric? What about the lead in it? I just found out that I have very high levels of lead in my body, and I have been taking turmeric for many years.

Blaire AlgaeCal
Blaire AlgaeCal

Hi Ann,

Thanks for reaching out and sharing your concern. Yes, turmeric is safe to take; having said that, it is important to take turmeric from a high-quality source since some companies have been adding an unsafe amount of lead to the powder! Please do check out the brand that you are currently using. We’re so sorry to hear about the high levels of lead in your body and we hope you discover the cause very soon ❤️

– Blaire @ AlgaeCal

Wendy hall
Wendy hall

I am also concerned about the lead factor. Does your product use any lead ? And, if yours is the purest and best one to take, what exactly should I order?

Blaire AlgaeCal
Blaire AlgaeCal

Hi Wendy,

Not to worry, AlgaeCal’s Triple Power Fish Oil contains USDA Organic Curcupure™ – the gold standard when it comes to curcumin supplementation. The lead issue in other turmeric products occurred when suppliers in places, such as Bangladesh, were adding lead to turmeric. You can read more about this here. So, this will not be a concern as additives are thoroughly reviewed in USDA organic products. Here is some information on USDA organic requirements from the USDA’s website:

“USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.”

Hope that helps! Let us know if you have any further questions 😊

– Blaire @ AlgaeCal

Nandi Jno-Charles
Nandi Jno-Charles

This was a very informative article. I am interested in knowing more about the recommended levels of tumuric as tea.

Megan AlgaeCal
Megan AlgaeCal

Hi Nandi!

We’re glad you enjoyed the article! When using turmeric powder, the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests using 1/3 to 1 teaspoon a day. Feel free to try out one of our tea recipes, which use 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder! 😊

Hope this helps!

-Megan @ AlgaeCal

vickie hixson
vickie hixson

I have to watch my oxalates due to kidney stones. So therefore I would like to know what the oxalate content is in this product? I understand that curcumin is very low but tumeric is high. So can you tell me where your products fall in this area?

Jenna AlgaeCal
Jenna AlgaeCal

Hi Vickie,

AlgaeCal Plus and Strontium Boost contain no oxalates! Triple Power Fish Oil may have some oxalates because it does contain curcumin.

If you’re interested, we talk about kidney stone formation and oxalates in this in-depth blog post.

– Jenna @ AlgaeCal

Geri Wilson
Geri Wilson

Can I take both Triple power omega 3 fish oil along with High Potency Tumeric with Curcumin without overdosing on tumeric

Jenna AlgaeCal
Jenna AlgaeCal

Good question, Geri.

The general recommendation is 400 to 600 mg of curcumin up to 3 times a day — so if you’re not exceeding this you should be okay to take both. Of course, it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting new supplements. 🙂

– Jenna @ AlgaeCal

WILLIAM
WILLIAM

The article stated: “Curcumin is listed as a nutraceutical, (a standardized, pharmaceutical-grade nutrient) because of its antibacterial, anticancer, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antithrombotic, and antiviral properties.” Antibacterial, what about my gut bacteria, how will all of the spices that are antibacterial affect my good gut bacteria?

Jenna AlgaeCal
Jenna AlgaeCal

Hi William,

One of the many amazing benefits of curcumin is that it promotes a healthy gut microbiome – this is what’s meant by antibacterial.

If you’re interested in learning more about the research supporting this, you can check out these studies: study 1, study 2, study 3.

Let us know if you have further questions!

– Jenna @ AlgaeCal

Bren
Bren

I took Tumeric for a month and it really upset my gastrointestinal tract to the point of having to see a Doctor and Colonoscopy which showed nothing.

Jenna AlgaeCal
Jenna AlgaeCal

We’re so sorry to hear that Bren.

To avoid gastrointestinal side effects from big dosages of turmeric, we suggest aiming for 1 to 2 inches of fresh turmeric root or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric a day. If you’re going to supplement with curcumin, always be sure to let your healthcare provider know and look for a supplement with 400 to 600 mg curcumin.

We hope that’s helpful!

– Jenna @ AlgaeCal

Ted
Ted

Monica,
I am also aware of this , I think
it is a very good point for people
that are new to supplements to
treat inflammation , not that that
is it’s only use.
I’m glad Gary mentioned coconut,
I don’t care much for turmeric alone.
What I have now is Curcumin Powder that is supposedly 40
times more absorbable then typical Curcumin supplements , hence no pepper present, I plan to try it with honey , shredded coconut and I will include some black pepper.
Hopefully Gary or someone will chime in on whether this combination is a problem or not.
Peace to all , best wishes with all your health issues.

Monica AlgaeCal
Monica AlgaeCal

Hi Ted,

That combination sounds really delicious!

– Monica

rennea d burgess
rennea d burgess

hi, i already take algae cal plus, and strontium boost. now this other item curcumin, is this the same as turmeric. i have the beginnings of arthritis in both knees, especially the left one. what should i be taking for this please?? i really appreciate an answer asap. thank you so very much, rennea.

Monica
Monica

Hi Rennea,
If you are suffering from arthritis, the root cause is usually inflammation. Turmeric is the root, curcumin is the main active agent in turmeric that has been shown for all the health benefits mentioned in the post. Our Triple Power Omega 3 Fish Oil is ideal for this as it has clinical doses of omega 3s, astaxanthin and organic turmeric curcumin. The curcumin in Triple Power is in 95% curcuminoids, meaning it’s super concentrated so you get the most benefit. Together, these ingredients make it a triple inflammation fighter.

For more on Triple Power, go here: https://www.algaecal.com/product/triple-omega3-fish-oil/
– Monica

Garry
Garry

It seems that curcumin, turmeric and turmeric curcumin are intermingled with little distinction being made.
Finding curcumin (assumedly turmeric-curcumin) is relatively easy but powdered turmeric is almost impossible to locate.

Monica
Monica

Hi Garry,
To clarify, curcumin is the main active agent in turmeric. While turmeric does contain curcumin it’s at around 2-5%, which is quite minimal so isolated curcumin is sold as a supplement or added to supplements to increase its benefits. Turmeric curcumin is both – so that can be in its natural root or powdered form.

Turmeric powder is actually quite common and can be found in most grocery stores and especially most health food stores. If you can’t find it in your area you can also buy it online.
– Monica

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