The Right Turmeric, For All the Right Reasons

A jar of ground turmeric next to fresh roots.

Turmeric: A Common Spice, for Many Common Conditions

The “yellow curry powder,” turmeric, is one of the most valued spices dating back thousands of years for its food, medicinal, and even cosmetic uses. The most potent bioactive present in turmeric is curcumin, a pronutrient, i.e., it is converted into several active forms during metabolism when taken orally. Despite its broad nutritional benefits, concerns over poor solubility and poor bioavailability have risen over the years.

The Bioavailability of Curcumin in Turmeric

Intrigued by the potential health benefits of this "wonder spice," several strategies have been exploited to enhance curcumin’s bioavailability, namely solid lipid particle formulations, phospholipid complex, volatile oil complex, nanotechnology, and water dispersion technology, etc. Although some of the approaches have claimed the enhancement of bioavailability from 7 to 60 times higher than unmodified curcumin, the fact is these reports considered the sum of free curcumin and its conjugated metabolites (glucuronides and sulfates) while calculating the bioavailability. The free curcumin is capable of showing its biological activity and not the bound or conjugated forms. Therefore, this claimed "enhanced" bioavailability may not serve the concern of equivalently "enhanced" efficacy. It has to be noted that there would not be any inclusion of ingredients or bioavailability-enhancing agents detrimental to health, at the same time they need to be studied elaborately with adequate sample size while endeavoring to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin.

Studies revealed that curcumin will get converted into phase I and phase II metabolites within three hours after oral intake and it is the phase I metabolites (dihydro-, tetrahydro-, hexahydro- and octahydro-curcumin) that exhibit more potent biological activity than the phase II metabolites.

Challenges and Pitfalls Include:

  • Poor oral bioavailability
  • Rapid biotransformation
  • Formation of inactive metabolites
  • Equivocal efficacy of modified curcuminoids compared to placebo
  • Lack of substantially demonstrated "enhanced" benefits equivalent with the said "enhanced" blood circulation levels of modified formulations
  • Lack of extensive safety and toxicity studies for modified formulations
  • Possibility of the presence of toxic by-products

In light of all these debates, it is wise to choose unmodified curcumin. The raw material should be sourced from a known and qualified vendor, with a quality- and standards-complying partner, having an established entire supply-chain from farming to delivery, free from adulteration and substitution.

Curcumin C3 Complex®: The Gold Standard

America's Finest Incorporated

Curcumin C3 Complex® is one such proprietary product from Sabinsa, an award-winning company that has accumulated accolades on its farming and supply chain transparency for botanical extracts. Curcumin C3 Complex® is standardized to contain a minimum of 95% curcuminoids obtained from the dried rhizomes of Curcuma longa, cultivated in controlled-contract farmlands with good agricultural practices. It is manufactured in FDA-inspected facilities. The product is stringently tested to be free from pesticides, over 100 of them. Every batch is analyzed for naturalness through radiocarbon testing. It has enjoyed consumer confidence over three decades in terms of quality and performance. While, in terms of dosage forms sold, Curcumin C3 Complex® has sold in hundreds of millions of doses. It also has the TRU-ID certified certification.

Sabinsa boasts that it provides the pharmacopoeial standards of curcuminoids to US Pharmacopoeia. All these making it an international award-winning ingredient and is the most clinically studied Curcumin brand available today.

Clinical studies with Curcumin C3 Complex® have shown 20 folds bioavailability increase for curcumin when coadministered with BioPerine®, proprietary Piper nigrum ingredient from Sabinsa, with no adverse effects.

Highlights of Curcumin C3 Complex®

  • Sourced from Controlled-Contract farming
    • Cultivated with GAP practices
    • Well established sustainability
    • Control of pesticides, aflatoxins, PAH, etc
  • Most Extensively Studied and Clinically Documented
    • 25+ years of research
    • 100+ total studies
    • 65+ clinical studies
    • Well established safety and toxicity
  • “No Question” GRAS affirmation from the USFDA
  • No synthetic curcumin
  • Radiocarbon (14C) tested
  • Award winning ingredients
    • ‘Product Merit Award’ by NBJ, 2008
    • “Scientific Achievement Award” by NBJ
    • “Functional Ingredients Editor’s Choice Award” in the Marketing Category by Functional Ingredients, 2012
  • The Most Trusted Brand
Click to See Our Sources

Choudhury et al., 2015. Antioxidants (Basel) Dec ; 4(4):750-67. doi: 10.3390/antiox4040750

Vareed et al., Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 June ; 17(6):1411–1417. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-07-2693

"Nutritional Outlook's 2016 Best of the Industry",, December 7, 2016


Shaheen Majeed

Shaheen Majeed, President, Worldwide for Sabinsa (owner of and manufacturer for America’s Finest, Inc.), has spent over 20 years with the company in several areas, from customer service to the marketing department. In the last five, he’s been meticulously researching the company’s products at various institutions around the world.