Choosing the best turmeric capsule requires reading the label to check the percentage of curcumin, the inclusion of beneficial additives that can increase the herb's bioavailability and the exclusion of unnecessary ingredients such as fillers. Buyers also should look at expiration dates or have the fresh capsules professionally prepared. Assessing the design of the product, such as whether it is enteric coated or a specific size, also can ensure getting a version that is the right dosage, properly absorbed and easy to take. Getting some advice from a medical professional can be a way to get recommendations about specific options and avoid potentially harmful interactions.
Why People Take Turmeric
Although more research is needed to support many benefit claims, medical data suggests that turmeric, a member of the ginger family, potentially can be effective in preventing or treating a wide range of conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and dementia. It is also purported to provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. People have used this plant for health reasons for 4,000 years, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and today, it is available raw or as a tincture, extract or capsule.
Curcumin, the primary active ingredient in turmeric, is believed to be the driving force in turmeric's many healing benefits. Keeping this in mind, the general recommendation is that buyers select capsules with at least 95% standardized curcumin extracts. The standardization process ensures that, during manufacturing, the amount from bottle to bottle remains constant. Such predictability is important when trying to study and reproduce supplementation results, or when attempting to keep them the same over time.
Some turmeric capsules contain binders, fillers, artificial colors and flavors or preservatives. These ingredients generally have no nutritional value and, in some cases, may be toxic. Others are animal based, which some vegetarians and vegans don't like. Reading the label of a turmeric product allows buyers to avoid these ingredients.
Helpful Ingredient Combinations
Certain compounds can aid in the absorption of the turmeric capsule. Piperine, a substance found in black pepper, can increase the bioavailability of turmeric by about 200%, for example. Other potential synergistic compounds may include green tea, bromelain, and ginkgo biloba. Selecting versions with one or more of these added ingredients can improve results and make them more cost effective.
Related to the idea of maximizing nutrition and avoiding toxins is the recommendation to use only fresh capsules. In an ideal situation, a qualified, trained and certified medical professional can grind and prepare organic turmeric, putting it into capsules for the buyer. It's sometimes necessary to go to a homeopath for this, but if doing so isn't possible, the next best option is to look for a manufactured version produced by a company dedicated to preserving quality and traditional cultivation methods. It's important to check the expiration date on the containers for these types, selecting one that has many months or even more than a year left before a person has to throw the contents away.
How well the body can absorb a supplement is determined to some degree by how it is physically designed. Enteric-coated ones are covered with a substance that prevents them from breaking down until they reach the intestines. Choosing this type is preferable, because it keeps stomach acids from breaking down the contents, preserving the turmeric so the intestines can absorb it better.
Consumers also need to look at the number of milligrams per capsule. Even though the dosage might stay the same, the number of capsules required to get that amount can vary. A person might take two small 250 milligram capsules or one with 500, for example. Some individuals who want to be able to split a standard serving — petite people frequently need to do this — or who have trouble swallowing solid medications often prefer a smaller size.
Turmeric is generally regarded as safe. As with all nutritional regimens, however, individuals should check with medical professionals about possible side effects before adding a daily dose to their diet, especially if they are currently taking any pharmaceutical medications. Often, these experts are able to recommend specific brands they feel are good.