Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, the molecule of which is best absorbed by the body, has many benefits. It decreases inflammation as well as oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction; it increases insulin sensitivity or glucose uptake. Active Curcumin improves overall health and sports performance, acts on tendonitis, recent joint pain or osteoarthritis.
However, it is not recommended to consume turmeric or curcumin when you take anti-inflammatory drugs. , anti-coagulants, an anti-diabetic or if you have a disease obstructing the bile ducts.
curcumin is one of the active molecules of turmeric, rhizome widely used in cooking as a spice. It comes from the Zingiberaceae family, the same family as ginger, whose benefits are also recognized. It is consumed in an ancestral way in many eastern countries for its medicinal properties. For more than 20 years, science has validated the many benefits of the active molecules of turmeric, the curcuminoids , including the curcumin is part .
The benefits of curcumin should encourage anyone who wants to stay healthy, especially athletes, to consume it regularly. Here’s why.
The sport and health properties of turmeric and curcumin
To date, more than 11,500 scientific studies carried out on turmeric have highlighted different properties and positive effects on health:
- Antioxidant action comparable to those of benchmark antioxidant molecules that are vitamin C and vitamin E .
- Anti-inflammatory action identical or even superior to certain medicinal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or aspirin. In contrast, curcumin has no side effects such as stomach aches or digestive problems caused by NSAIDs and aspirin.
Zoom on Anti-inflammatory action
The anti-inflammatory action of curcumin and curcuminoids is linked to the decrease-regulation of the formation of inflammatory molecules (type 2 prostaglandins). Consequently the inflammatory response of the immune system is attenuated.
This anti-inflammatory action is also attributed to the fact that turmeric and curcumin modulate the activity of certain molecules (kinases) , responsible for the synthesis of a highly inflammatory molecule: the NF-κB .
We now know that this molecule ( the NF-κB ) is heavily involved in the immune reaction, but also the development of cancers since it intervenes in all the phases of genesis and development of cancers: blocking of apoptosis, process of invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis.
For an athlete, the major action of curcumin will therefore be on the regulation of inflammation produced by training or that produced by chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation that is found both in tendons and joints, but also in other organs such as the intestinal mucosa which are strained during exercise.
Curcumin helps reduce oxidative stress
All of our cells produce our energy and our heat thanks to their energy center, the mitochondria. These burn the nutrients we consume from our diet by a reaction using the oxygen we breathe.
During these reactions the mitochondria are also the seat of a massive production of oxidizing molecules: free radicals oxygen, which causes the famous oxidative stress. It is proven that curcumin helps reduce oxidative stress.
This oxidative stress creates mitochondrial dysfunction over the years. In other words the mitochondria produce less and less energy and more and more free radicals and therefore inflammation and accelerated cellular aging.
Curcumin by its antioxidant action acts in a specific way in the mitochondria and decreases the production of free radicals, thus fighting against mitochondrial dysfunctions. This is the protective action of mitochondrial dysfunction.
This is particularly embarrassing for an athlete, a predominant part of the mitochondria in the muscles and in the heart! So when mitochondrial dysfunctions accumulate and accelerate: muscle and cardiovascular performance decreases.
Insulin sensitizing properties of curcumin
A diet too rich in carbohydrates and especially in high GI carbohydrates promotes high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). Over time this leads to insulin resistance, dysfunction of the cells of the pancreas that make insulin, and poor uptake of glucose by muscle cells. This is a problem that affects athletes who use a lot of carbohydrates, but it is even more of a problem if you do not exercise. Either way it leads to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
In mice suffering from diabetes, curcumin helped to reduce pro-inflammatory effects and improve insulin sensitivity as well as the liver function of the subjects tested.
A study in obese mice showed the ability of turmeric to destroy body fat when ” a curcumin consumption corresponding to 3% of their daily food bolus.
Many medical studies have shown that turmeric acts positively and sometimes dramatically on these 4 parameters. This molecular action is direct on each of the parameters. However, curcumin and curcumidoids predominantly work on one of the causes of insulin resistance: the mitochondrial dysfunction we discussed earlier.
For the moment these last results n ‘have only been shown in animal studies, but you only need to test yourself to realize the powerful effects of turmeric.
Of course, a better diet, physical training and the use of certain food supplements (multivitamins, omega 3, magnesium, fenugreek) part of the overall strategies to use to increase or restart insulin sensitivity. I have already covered these strategies in this blog on insulin sensitivity.
We can therefore add curcumin in the list of possible strategies to use!
Benefits of curcumin for athletes
4 parameters that should reasonably encourage an athlete to use curcumin on a daily basis:
- Decreased inflammation,
- The reduction of oxidative stress,
- The decrease in mitochondrial dysfunction.
- increased insulin sensitivity or glucose uptake
But turmeric is also very popular with sports enthusiasts for 3 additional reasons:
- When curcumin is taken in addition to training, the synthesis of new mitochondria increases compared to training alone. As a result, the available energy production is improved. One of the functions of training is to increase the number of mitochondria to produce energy and thus improve the functioning of existing ones: curcumin potentiates the effect of training on our mitochondria.
- Turmeric inhibits the growth of fatty tissue , boost the com fat busting and decreases muscle wasting (anti-catabolism) by acting on the regulation of different receptors and enzymes involved in these functions.
- The particular action of turmeric in male sports subjects: We also know that curcumin has a protective effect on testicular function and inflammation of the brain. Besides, testicular function is closely linked to the proper functioning of the hypothalamus-pituitary-testis axis by physiological regulation loops. If one of the elements of the loop does not work well then a dysfunction occurs on the others inducing a hormonal imbalance and therefore in humans an imbalance of the normal functioning of testosterone .
How to use turmeric to enjoy its benefits ?
Turmeric is widely used in cooking. Turmeric is an excellent spice but it is very poorly assimilated by the body. This is the reason why people who are aware of its benefits consume a lot of it. Unfortunately, these people suffer from indigestion because turmeric does not pass the intestinal barrier: it is therefore rejected by the body.
Indeed, one should not confuse the action of turmeric and the action of curcumin.
The interest of turmeric extracts is to remove the active molecules of turmeric, the curcuminoids , including curcumin is part . Turmeric has a yellow color whose color comes from its concentration of curcumin, a pigment from the polyphenol family. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It is part of the curcumonoids family. This also includes demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin and cyclocurcumin.
How to benefit from the effects of turmeric?
The solution is to consume the equivalent amount of the active ingredient in turmeric: curcumin.
We have just seen it: the fact of ingesting large quantities of turmeric daily paradoxically creates digestive problems. The studies carried out with curcumin correspond to very high doses of turmeric, the equivalent of 40g / day of turmeric.
Each gram of turmeric contains only 30-40mg of curcumin. It is therefore easier to consume 40g * 30mg / g = 1.2g of curcumin rather than 40g of turmeric: the beneficial effects will however be the same, but without digestive problems!
How to choose your curcumin?
1. Choose a turmeric extract containing 95% minimum curcumin rather than turmeric.
As with fenugreek which naturally contains little active ingredient, curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric. Turmeric naturally contains 3-4% curcumin. If you want to enjoy the health benefits of turmeric, choose an extract titrated in curcumin.
All brands of dietary supplements claim their turmeric is better than the competition.
A study asked the same question as you! Published in 2017 in the prestigious and essential “European Journal of Nutrition” the study wanted to analyze the bioavailability of the different forms of bio-optimized turmeric from the market.
It is important to make your choice on the basis of scientific studies from major journals such as the European Journal of Nutrition.
The most widely used forms of curcumin are studied:
- Water-soluble curcumin ACTIVE CURCUMINE
- Curcumin 95% extract,
- Curcumin + essential oils
- Curcumin + piperine
- Curcumin + soy phospholipids
- Curcumin + solid lipid particles
- better assimilated than any other form, regardless of the calculation method used.
The study is available here: Study European Journal of Nutrition: oral bioavailability of Curcuma in human subjects
3. Check the absence of harmful additives
We advise to avoid at all costs all curcumin extracts containing polysorbate 80, microcrystalline cellulose, titanium dioxide. These harmful additives have health effects:
- presence of nanoparticles
- presence of GMOs
- endocrine disruptors => cocktail effects,
- increased intestinal porosity.
If you want to take turmeric to improve your health, do not take the risk of ingesting additives whose harmful effects will be discovered in a few years!
Why choose NUTRIPURE CURCUMINE ACTIVE?
1kg of fresh turmeric contains ~ 40g of 95% curcumin extract. In terms of bioavailability, this corresponds to 1g of Active Curcumin!
Turmeric spice has poor bioavailability in its natural state. This means that the percentage of the active ingredient in turmeric that will enter and act in the body is very low.
There are now different forms of bio-optimized turmeric to promote its intestinal absorption and benefit from the multiple effects of curcumin and curcuminoids in the body.
At Nutripure we have chosen for our ACTIVE CURCUMINE a surrounds curcumin by cyclodextrins, natural complex sugars which make the curcumin powder water-soluble. This increases the assimilation of ACTIVE CURCUMINE by 39 times compared to a standardized extract of turmeric.
CURCUMINE ACTIVE contains no solvents, GMOs, nanoparticles or additives often used to increase the uptake of turmeric.
For us, this was fundamental, because it was unthinkable to offer a health supplement associated with potentially toxic molecules!
Why the choice of Active Curcumin Nutripure
- 39X more bioavailable than classic curcumin
- No harmful excipients, no nanoparticles or GMOs
- Absorption peak in 1 hour
- Presence in the body for 12 hours
Our opinion on ACTIVE CURCUMINE
The use of food supplements and therefore of active molecules is not a trivial act. Even if we are talking about plants, these contain chemical molecules that have therapeutic properties and therefore potentially unwanted effects if you do not respect the doses.
1. Overall health improvement and Curcumin
1g of Active Curcumin (i.e. 3 capsules) to be distributed between morning and evening . This is what I have been doing for the past two years as a preventive measure. We suggest association with health foundations:
- Multivitamins: 2 capsules in the morning,
- Magnesium: 2 capsules in the evening,
- Omega 3: 3 capsules during the meal of your choice,
- Probiotics: 1 to 2 capsules per day, in the morning before breakfast.
- check 5 families of live probiotic strains: 10 billion strains
- check 2 families of prebiotics: to nourish probiotics
- check Gastro-resistant vegetable capsule
- check Dosage: 1 to 2 capsules / day
2. Tendonitis or recent joint pain and Curcumin
Thanks to its properties against oxidative stress and its anti-inflammatory effects, curcumin is very useful in cases of tendonitis problems.
1g of Active Curcumin in the evening (i.e. 3 capsules) mixed in vegetable milk or juice.
We suggest associating it for 6 months with:
- Les Fondations Santé (multivitamins, magnesium, Omega 3)
- Collagen peptides : 10 g / day, in the evening or after training
- Glycine: 10 g / day, in the evening or after training
Take one dose each evening for people with osteoarthritis or before training for people who practice intensive sport.
3. Osteoarthritis and Curcumin:
Osteoarthritis is premature wear and tear of the joints. This phenomenon linked to the non-renewal of the cartilage matrix is linked to chronic inflammatory processes. 1g of Active Curcumin (i.e. 3 capsules) mixed with vegetable milk or juice.
We suggest associating it for 6 months with:
- Healthy Foundations (multivitamins, magnesium, Omega 3)
- Collagen peptides: 10 g / day morning and evening
- Glycine: 10 g / day morning and evening
- Arthropure : 2 capsules morning and evening
4. Performance Improvement and Curcumin
Curcumin thanks to its effects against oxidative stress and its anti-inflammatory effects will allow to delay the effects of oxidative stress and therefore free radicals. We therefore recommend its use during exercise.
1. Health Foundations (multivitamins, magnesium, Omega 3, Glycine) + Ashwagandha
2. Before training: 30 to 60 minutes before exercise, especially sessions including HIIT or intense bodybuilding-muscle building training: 1g of Active Curcumin (i.e. 3 capsules).
Danger of Turmeric: what are the contraindications and health risks?
If you consume turmeric as a table spice, we recommend that you use organic turmeric.
When consuming turmeric, it is important to be careful not to interfere with the taking of medication. The use of turmeric is potentially dangerous and strongly discouraged in the following cases:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs: we have seen that turmeric has an anti inflammatory action. It is not advisable to take NSAIDs at the same time as curcumin. By stopping anti-inflammatory drugs, you will be able to see the anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin, whether for your digestive-intestinal system (ulcer-like inflammation) or for your joints (osteoarthritis).
- Anticoagulants: Turmeric naturally has anti-coagulant properties. We therefore recommend that people taking anti-coagulant or platelet therapy take advice from their doctor
- Anti-diabetics: As turmeric has virtues against diabetes, we recommend not to take curcumin at the same time as anti-diabetic drugs.
- Disease obstructing the bile ducts: Particular attention will be given to individuals with bile duct obstruction in whom it is not recommended to use the curcumin.
Are the other forms of Turmeric available on the market dangerous?
As we will see, many forms of turmeric available on the market are associated with chemical excipients in order to increase their effectiveness.
We strongly doubt the interest of ingesting chemicals even though the interest of consuming curcumin is precisely for its health benefits.
The presence of nanoparticles, titanium dioxide or even black pepper is indeed dangerous for health, in particular the health of our intestinal wall and the blood brain barrier.
The results below are taken from the study carried out by the EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUTRITION.
The study is available here: Study European Journal of Nutrition: oral bioavailability of Curcuma in human subjects
Our opinion on Curcuma Longa 95% extracts found everywhere?
These extracts have the big advantage of being inexpensive. But they are also ineffective. As a reminder, a 95% turmeric extract contains 95% curcuminoids or about 70% pure curcumin.
1.9g of Curcumin 95% extract is 39X less bioavailable than 2.5g of Active Curcumin Nutripure (equivalent to 376mg of curcumin). This means that it takes 40g of 95% turmeric extract to have the same effects as 1g of Active Curcumin.
In terms of Curcumin in plasma, 1g of Active Curcumin Nutripure is therefore theoretically equivalent to 29.6g of 95% Turmeric extract. It is impossible to meet such quantities both in terms of digestion and economically. In our opinion, it is more to see the extracts of turmeric 95% more as improved turmeric rather than a product with real effectiveness.
Our opinion on the mixture of turmeric powder and essential oils?
This mixture improves the absorption of curcumin and has the advantage of not using harmful excipients. In our opinion, it is already a good point not to have harmful excipients.
The bioavailability of this curcumin + essential oil preparation is barely 1.1X better than conventional curcumin extract. For comparison, Curcumin Nutripure is 39X better assimilated than classic curcumin extract!
n conclusion, this product is not toxic but it is therefore not an economical choice since it is not more effective than the standard turmeric extract.
Why not mix turmeric powder with pepper (piperine)?
For several years in order to improve the poor bioavailability of turmeric, it has been recommended to systematically combine black pepper. In fact, in the presence of black pepper, the bioavailability of turmeric increases, because piperine acts on the transformation of turmeric in the liver, but above all, it breaks the essential barrier role played by the intestine by increasing intestinal permeability.
The increased permeability therefore allows more turmeric to pass through, but also other molecules toxic to the body! The integrity and health of the intestinal lining plays a major role in the prevention of countless diseases. The intestinal barrier being the 1st exchange surface of our body (much larger than the skin), we understand that it is important to keep it in good condition without risking increasing its porosity.
The integrity of the intestinal lining is very often the weak link in the health of many people and many athletes. We recommend that you read this blog on intestinal balance to learn more.
It is therefore strongly advised not to use a supplement containing pepper or even to use it in cooking if you suffer from inflammation or a chronic health problem.
Our opinion on mixture of turmeric extract + soy phospholipids?
This curcumin is associated with large amounts of lipids to facilitate the absorption of naturally lipophilic curcumin.
The problem with this technique is the composition of the complex accompanying the 20% curcumin: 40% soy phospholipids and 40% microcrystalline cellulose! Microcrystalline cellulose is an additive also known to increase intestinal porosity: it is difficult to know if it was incorporated to increase bioavailability or for other industrial reasons. At Nutripure, we avoid all adjuvants with uncertain health consequences.
Soy phospholipids + Curcumin: 8.5X more bioavailable than a simple Curcumin extract: given its price, this is a bad investment!
What about curcumin in solid lipid particles?
This process to improve the bioavailability of turmeric extract also includes a large amount of excipients such as titanium dioxide and stearic acid . Although it is also an extract with very good bioavailability, its many excipients are not in line with our vision of health and our precautionary principle . At Nutripure, your health matters as much as ours, so we take no risk!
What about Curcumin nano emulsions?
This form of Curcumin is said to have 185X better bioavailability than all other competing forms. This performance is made possible by the presence of nano emulsions and polysorbate. However, polysorbate is a carcinogenic additive according to some authors, suspected of being toxic to the intestines. Nutripure has made the choice of safety by not offering products containing nanoparticles or excipients presenting a potential risk.