Turmeric bioavailability is a key factor that’s almost always ignored when consuming this popular spice for its health benefits.
Turmeric is gaining in popularity and for good reason! The yellow pigment found in turmeric, which is also responsible for the majority of its medicinal properties is called “curcumin.” Study abstracts from the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database shows over 600 potential health benefits of turmeric, and/or its primary polyphenol, curcumin.
While adding turmeric to your diet is a sure way to boost your overall health, there are a few things you need to know as well as as how to improve turmeric bioavailability.
Turmeric’s Key Nutrient Isn’t Easy To Absorb
As mentioned previously, curcumin is the active compound you want to absorb from eating turmeric. However, a big problem with turmeric is that curcumin isn’t easily absorbed (1).
Various animal and clinical studies reveal that the concentrations of curcumin in blood plasma, urine, and peripheral tissues, if detectable at all, are extremely low regardless of dosage size (2). And low absorption rate will not give you the health benefits of this medicinal food.
How To Skyrocket Turmeric Bioavailability
Fortunately, there are 3 simple kitchen strategies that you can use to boost turmeric bioavailability.
1. Always Mix With Black Pepper
Black Pepper is a powerful medicine in its own right and a Potent Turmeric Adjuvant.
“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 (3).”
One Study entitled: Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers demonstrated that when piperine was co-administered with curcumin and given to human subjects the bioavailibity of curcumin increased 2000% (4).