Curcumin, the main bioactive substance in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties. Its poor bioavailability can be enhanced in several ways, such as the coingestion of piperine (a component of black pepper).
Curcumin is the yellow pigment in turmeric, a flowering plant of the ginger family best known as a spice used notably in curry.
Curcumin, a polyphenol with anti-inflammatory properties, can abate pain, depression, and other problems related to inflammation. It can also increase the body’s production of three antioxidants: glutathione, catalase, and superoxide dismutase.
Furthermore, there is preliminary evidence that curcumin might slow the progression of some forms of cancer, alleviate age-related cognitive decline, promote cardiovascular health (notably by reducing lipid levels and plaque build-up), reduce the risk of diabetes, and alleviate inflammation-related diabetes complications.
Curcumin has poor oral bioavailability: you absorb little of what you swallow. Unless you take curcumin specifically to soothe your colon or improve digestion, you’ll want to make it more bioavailable, for instance by pairing it with piperine (a component of black pepper).
How to Take Curcumin
As already mentioned by itself, curcumin is poorly absorbed. Among the methods devised to address the issue, the two most common (and most often tested) are to pair curcumin with piperine (a black pepper extract) or to combine it with lipids.
To supplement curcumin with piperine, take 500 mg of the former with 20 mg of the latter, thrice a day (i.e., 1,500 mg of curcumin and 60 mg of piperine per day).
Curcumin is usually taken together with food.