Curcumin present in turmeric is known for its extensive health benefits. The golden spice is loaded with health enriching properties and that has given it place in various medicines and supplements. Turmeric is conveniently available worldwide and can be consumed in powdered or whole form. One can also select from dry or fresh turmeric rhizome depending on the availability and choice of taste. In spite of having a wide area of health benefits loaded in each pinch of turmeric, it is not very effective when consumed directly. The reason here is simple – “BIOAVAILABILITY”! Yes, the bioavailability of curcumin is very low.
The term bioavailability is used to indicate the natural ability of the nutrient to get absorbed and used by the body. Higher bioavailability means the nutrient would get easily absorbed in the body and lower bioavailability means you don’t get good results even after sufficient intake due to poor absorption. The nutrients with low bioavailability are usually mistaken as less effective. This is the case with curcumin as well! It has very low bioavailability and hence results may vary from person to person depending on how it is consumed!
What Happens To Curcumin If Its Bioavailability Is Not Increased?
Curcumin amounts to 3% of the total turmeric. When you take turmeric as a spice, you are actually taking only 3% of curcumin having about 1% bioavailability. This means you would actually get a very low effect of curcumin in your body even after consuming sufficient amount of turmeric.
[pullquote]If this curcumin doesn’t benefit your body, then where does it actually go?[/pullquote] Curcumin from turmeric reaches out to the liver first where it metabolizes immediately and then gets eliminated much before it reaches the blood stream. Hence, you would find little or no effect of curcumin on your body. This stands true for both, natural turmeric as well as curcumin extract.
In order to get maximum advantage of curcumin, it is important to increase its bioavailability for proper absorption and better results. Whole turmeric has oils that aid the absorption of curcumin effectively whereas pure extracts may usually lack these oils and hence are not absorbed well. Nowadays, curcumin extract comes with other ingredients in it for effective absorption. However, if you are using turmeric powder or pure curcumin extract then here are some natural bioavailability enhancers that would work for you!
IMAGE: BAYSIDE JOURNAL
Natural But Effective Bio-Enhancers For Curcumin
Bio-enhancers known to be increasing the absorption of turmeric by almost 2000% are given below.
- Raising The Temperature – Curcumin in turmeric works well when heated enough to raise the temperature. This can be done either by heating it directly in a pan or by adding it to some heated fat. Boiling of turmeric in water is also considered to be effective bio-enhancer. Heating is definitely good for curcumin absorption, but too much of heating on the other hand would destroy curcumin completely. If you are adding some oil to curcumin then heat it before mixing for better results. Using turmeric in cooking can always be a good idea if it doesn’t involve heating of more than 10 minutes. Warm milk with little turmeric at bed time is considered to be an effective remedy for many ailments.
- Pep Up With Pepper – Black pepper contains piperine that is known to be increasing bioavailability of curcumin by 2000% when administered in right amount along with curcumin. Adding black pepper to foods have shown good absorption of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals present in the food as well. Add a pinch of black pepper along with turmeric to ensure effective absorption of curcumin.
- Say Yes To Fat! – Even when you are taking curcumin for weight loss, it is good to take it with some healthy fat for better absorption. Whole bulb of turmeric has oils present in it, which helps in increasing its bioavailability. When turmeric is mixed with coconut oil, olive oil, or any such healthy fat then it gets absorbed in the lymphatic system directly without reaching out to the liver. Use hot oil for better absorption.
- Quercetin Works! – Quercetin is found in foods like Serrano peppers, onions, and capers. It is a flavonoid that ensures that curcumin in turmeric is absorbed without being destroyed. Clubbing turmeric with quercetin rich ingredients may increase its effectiveness considerably.
- Ginger – Gingerols present in ginger work in the same way as piperine in pepper. Turmeric powder with ginger juice gets absorbed much faster. Ginger also ensures absorption of curcumin in intestines.
Turmeric has been a vital part of Ayurveda (Indian science of medicine) and traditional Chinese medicine for several centuries, and it is now accepted worldwide for its healing properties. But if you are looking for convincing results then use the turmeric in the same way as it has been used for centuries or opt for curcumin extract that is already treated with bio-enhancers.
Author Bio: Karishma as a specialized content writer has always believed in sharing the information about natural health remedies. She has been reviewing several natural supplements and their application methods. Her articles shared on IshaPur Turmeric Curcumin are also based on the naturally originated turmeric and its benefits for different health purposes.
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