What is it about Turmeric that makes it so special? Why has it been the most researched natural spice ever? And why has science confirmed that curcumin, the active compound found within the turmeric root, is as effective as fourteen different pharmaceutical drugs? These are just some of the questions that are well worth airing when it comes to reviewing the properties of this natural supplement and discovering how Holland and Barrett Turmeric Supplements compare with Supplement Place Products.
What the Scientists Say?
There have been over 12,000 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies into the medicinal properties of turmeric (primarily curcumin). It has been found to have positive indications in the inhibition of drug-resistant cancer cells as well as being as effective (and much safer) than many anti-inflammatory drugs.
Turmeric has a hugely high margin of safety versus the pharmaceutical products with which it very favourably compares. Some of these are ibuprofen, hydrocortisone, metformin, and chemotherapy drugs. In fact, there are no modern drugs available which even come close to the 6,000 years of safe usage in the Ayurvedic medicinal use of curcumin.
Taking organic (non-irradiated) turmeric in powder form as a culinary dose on a daily basis provides nourishment rather than medication. This does, however, offer some protection from the onset of many diseases in later life.
It should be noted, however, that all turmeric products are not equal. It is the compounds found within the turmeric root, known as curcuminoids, which are at the heart of the health-giving properties of this natural plant, and in order to tap into those properties for specific clinical benefits, it is essential to use supplements which consist of extracted curcumin.
In the case of a powdered substance, the curcumin needs to be combined with piperine, which is the active ingredient of black pepper. The combination is capable of increasing the bioavailability of even a 95% curcuminoid content by as much as 2000%.
From a scientific angle, the term curcuminoid refers to the group of compounds which are responsible for the deep yellow colour of turmeric. Curcumin is the powerhouse of all the curcuminoids, and when a supplement manufacturer states that the product has 95% standardised curcumin, what is generally meant is that 95% of the composition is a curcuminoid mixture.
Holland & Barrett’s Turmeric Supplements Compared with Supplement Place
We’ve taken an in-depth look at the turmeric and curcumin products offered by high street natural health chain Holland & Barrett as compared with products available from Supplement Place. The target of this exercise is to establish the effectiveness of the products available. Here are some of our findings:
Holland & Barrett Turmeric Supplement – Nature’s Garden
- This is Holland & Barrett’s turmeric supplement; the bottle contains 100 capsules each delivering 400 mg of whole turmeric powder
- Pricewise these capsules work out at 0.10p each, so relatively inexpensive
- Accurately described as a natural herb food supplement
- Each capsule contains whole turmeric powder and is the very same healthy ingredient that you might buy from the supermarket to add to Indian cuisine or to make a smoothie
- Trace amounts of curcumin will be present within the ground turmeric root, but because the curcumin has not been isolated and extracted, it is impossible to quantify the exact amount in each capsule
- The product has no added black pepper (or more specifically, piperine, an active compound within the black pepper berry) which is vital in order to make curcumin bioavailable during the digestive process
- Without the addition of piperine, curcumin cannot be absorbed within the gut
Holland & Barrett – Organic High Strength Turmeric with Black Pepper
- Accurately described as a natural food supplement, this product delivers a higher quantity of turmeric powder in each capsule
- With the addition of black pepper, this provides a convenient way of ensuring turmeric is available to the body as nourishment and protection from the onset of disease
- The turmeric used is organic
- This product has the addition of whole, ground black pepper, which is also organic
- The bottle contains 90 capsules of 600 mg of whole ground turmeric
- Inexpensive at 0.10p per capsule
- This is whole ground turmeric root, not the extracted compound curcumin
- Just as with the turmeric, the black pepper is whole and not the extracted active compound piperine (Bioperine)
Supplement Place Turmeric Supplement – Curcumin Extract
- Product contains high quality, high strength curcumin extract
- Standardised to 95% curcuminoids, the gold standard of turmeric supplements.
- Each capsule contains 750mg of turmeric extract (curcumin) which would be the equivalent of 7,500mg of turmeric root powder
- Contains added black pepper extract which consists of 95% piperine (BioPerine) which is an alkaloid in black pepper and has a long history of use in traditional medicine
- This supplement is offered in quantities of 60, 120 and 240 capsules
- The capsules are made in the UK and are vegetarian
- Capsules packaged in flat, letterbox-friendly containers
- The turmeric used cannot be labelled as organic. It is grown in India, but the grower is not organically registered with the soil association
- 0.25p per capsule may seem expensive when compared with Holland & Barrett’s 0.10p. The recommended dose is 2 x capsules per day
- Some may find taking turmeric to be aggressive to their digestive system, in which case the liquid form of curcumin may prove more easily assimilated
Due to the fact that both of Holland & Barrett’s powdered turmeric supplements contain whole ground turmeric root, rather than the extracted compound, curcumin, they are not sufficiently potent to provide anti-inflammatory and other specific clinical benefits. This may suggest that the price of 0.10p per capsule would seem a little high for what is simply a culinary-grade turmeric.
Despite the presence of black pepper in Holland & Barrett’s turmeric high-strength organic formula, the amount of curcumin found within the turmeric powder would still be insufficient to be effective for specific health benefits. You would need to take upward of ten capsules each day to reach a meaningful level of absorption, and even then, you could not be sure you were getting enough to make an appreciable clinical impact.
Supplement Place use only extracted curcumin in their powdered turmeric products. Their supplements also contain the required level of added piperine (BioPerine). This ensures the highest possible bioavailability of curcumin. The fact that these two compounds are pure extracts means the exact quantity of active elements in each capsule may be accurately measured.
Supplement Place capsules are manufactured to their own specification and resemble a highly powerful powdered curcumin product. The recommended dose of 2 capsules per day contains the equivalent of 15,000mg of a curcumin extract, standardised to 95% curcuminoids, providing a huge 1,425mg of curcuminoids per two capsules
The Supplement Place Curcumin (Turmeric) with Black Pepper product, due to its 95% standardised curcuminoid content, does provide the powerful (scientifically known as ‘heroic’), property needed to provide the powerful health benefits of this incredible natural herb.