Turmeric is an Indian spice that offers such a potent host of health benefits that you can now find it in supplement form. This bright yellow spice, which is derived from the root of the turmeric plant, is used in traditional Indian cooking, dyes, and ancient ayurvedic medicine. Curcumin is the active anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric -- you may see turmeric supplements labeled as curcumin. While it's always best to check with your doctor before changing or discontinuing your medication, turmeric supplements offer a non-drug alternative to pain and other anti-inflammatory medications.
Our quick guide includes everything you need to consider when navigating the explosion of turmeric supplements available on the market, and we've included our recommendations for the best. Our top pick is from Divine Bounty, a potent curcumin formula that contains black pepper for optimal absorption.
Considerations when choosing turmeric supplements
How turmeric supplements work
The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, helps diminish pain and stiffness by calming inflammation in the body. Digestive issues, inflammatory skin issues (including acne), arthritis, fatigue, menstrual cramps, and respiratory issues are all thought to be helped by the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric supplements.
Capsules are the most common type of turmeric supplement. Gummies, tablets, and even liquid forms of turmeric are available from some manufacturers for people who have a hard time swallowing bigger pills.
Supplements range from 500 to 1,500 milligrams of turmeric per dose. Typically, one to two capsules are taken once or twice daily. Always follow the recommended dose on the label or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
A bottle of turmeric capsules, tablets, or gummies range in quantity between 30 and 120 count.
Features of turmeric supplements
Black pepper extract (bioperine) is an ingredient you'll often seen added to turmeric formulas that is thought to increase the absorption of curcumin into the body. Other ingredients may include ginger (also anti-inflammatory) or probiotics that aid digestion.
Vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free
If you're on a restricted diet such as veganism or have food allergies, high-quality turmeric supplements are often free of soy, gluten, dairy, and animal products. They may also be non-GMO and free of artificial ingredients.
Turmeric supplements range in price from $7 to $30 a bottle.
For those who are on a budget or who are trying out these supplements for the first time, you can find inexpensive, less potent turmeric pills for $7 to $10 a bottle.
You can find good quality supplements from $10 to $20 a bottle, which may include extra-strength options.
Expect to pay somewhere between $20 to $30 for top-quality turmeric supplements. These include high potency doses, so you may not need to take as many pills.
Q. Should I take turmeric supplements with food?
A. Yes. The spice doesn't absorb well into the body's bloodstream, which is why many formulas add black pepper to increase absorption. Also, taking the supplement with healthy fats such as a spoonful of coconut oil or lean meat may enhance absorption. Alternatively, taking it with flavonoid-rich fruit, like dark berries or grapes, may enhance absorption.
Q. Is there anyone who shouldn't take turmeric supplements?
A. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn't take turmeric. Curcumin is also a phytoestrogen and can mimic estrogen, so people with hormonal issues may want to avoid it. Curcumin can raise your blood sugar, which may cause problems for diabetes. It may also aggravate GERD or acid reflux symptoms.
Turmeric supplements we recommend
Best of the best: Divine Bounty Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine Black Pepper Extract
Our take: A potent and easily absorbable curcumin supplement.
What we like: Bottle contains a high capsule count. Only one pill a day is needed for maximum effectiveness. Formula free of GMOs and allergens.
What we dislike: Causes upset stomach in some people, a side effect linked to turmeric.
Best bang for your buck: Nutricost Turmeric Curcumin
Our take: An affordable and effective curcumin supplement.
What we like: Contains black pepper extract for optimal absorption. Users experience pain relief and help with skin inflammation. High pill count per bottle.
What we dislike: Pills are too large for some.
Choice 3: Garden of Life Extra Strength Turmeric
Our take: Pure-quality, organic curcumin tablet.
What we like: Contains added ginger, probiotics, and black pepper. Vegan and non-GMO, not to mention organic. Effective on stiffness and joint pain.
What we dislike: Tablets only contain 100 mg of turmeric.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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