Turmeric is quickly gaining popularity and for a good reason – curcumin, the active compound of turmeric, is responsible for most of its medicinal properties. Abstract from the MEDLINE, the bibliographic database of the National Library of Medicine, lists over 600 health benefits of turmeric and its main compound, curcumin. Adding turmeric to your diet will do wonders for your health, but there are a few things you need to know first.
Turmeric’s key ingredient isn’t easily absorbed into the body
Curcumin is not easily absorbed into the body. The low absorption will not get you all of turmeric’s health benefits, and studies show that curcumin concentrations in the plasma, urine and peripheral tissues are hardly noticeable regardless of the dosage.
How to increase curcumin’s bioavailability?
To increase curcumin’s absorption, you need to mix it with black pepper. NutritionFacts.com wrote in a post: “If people are given a bunch of turmeric curcumin, within an hour there’s a little bump in the level in their blood stream. We don’t see a large increase because our liver is actively trying to get rid of it. But what if the process is suppressed by taking just a quarter teaspoon’s worth of black pepper? Then you see curcumin levels skyrocket. The same amount of curcumin consumed, but the bioavailability shoots up 2000%. Even just a little pinch of pepper—1/20th of a teaspoon—can significantly boost levels. And guess what a common ingredient in curry powder is besides turmeric? Black pepper.” Another study titled “Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers”, stated that piperine and curcumin administration in human subjects increased the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%.
Add some healthy fats to turmeric
Turmeric is fat-soluble, and you can benefit from it by combining it with healthy fats such as coconut, ghee or olive oil. This way, the curcumin will be directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system bypassing the liver. The less the curcumin is exposed to metabolic enzymes, the better the chances of it remaining in the body longer.
Heat increases turmeric’s bioavailability
“The potent ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which, despite its power, is not easily absorbed by the body without assistance. This is where the sauté pan and a little warm oil come into play,” Dr. Sukumar explains, and continues: “I use it [turmeric] in every sauté, just a quarter teaspoon, a half teaspoon is enough. But you don’t have to use it sparingly – use it lavishly. The better way to take it, I feel, is to use it in your cooking very extensively. If you have any sauté, just sprinkle it in. The moment you heat oil and add turmeric to it, it now becomes completely bioavailable to you.”
To increase turmeric’s bioavailability, you need to:
- Activate the curcumin by heating it up
- Boost turmeric’s absorption by combining it with black pepper powder
- Mix turmeric with healthy fats in order for it to bypass the liver and be absorbed directly into the bloodstream
The recommended dosages according to the University of Maryland Medical Center are 1.5-3 gr. a day of cut root, and 1-3 gr. a day of dried, powdered root.
Source: My Natural Way of Life
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