Consumer's Guide to Curcumin and Turmeric

NO CLASS-1 SOLVENTS, INCLUDING EDC, ARE EVER USED.

BIOMOR CURCUMIN

NO EDC SOLVENT IN BIOMOR™ CURCUMIN

BIOMOR™ CURCUMIN is extracted from turmeric using only a USP/FDA-approved Class-2 residual solvent.

For thousands of years Eastern medicine has used curcumin (the major component of turmeric) for a wide range of health benefits, but only in recent times has its biological action been understood. A wealth of scientific data shows curcumin (curcuminoids) has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and antioxidant properties. (1)

Unlike most NSAIDs, which are now either withdrawn or survive with black box warnings, curcumin is proven safe and without adverse effects, even at doses up to 8,000 mg per day. (6, 15)

Extensive research shows curcumin is effective in multiple ways, and this provides basis for many applications. But curcumin is extremely difficult to absorb, so it's important to get more of it into your bloodstream. Here is the information you need to see how this ancient spice and medicinal herb can improve the quality of your life.

What is Turmeric? and
What Can it do for Me?

Turmeric plant

Turmeric is a Spice, Dye, and Medicinal Herb

Turmeric is the dried rhizome (root) of the Curcuma longa plant and is one of the most widely used spices (curry) in India. Used for its flavor, as a food color and as an medicinal herb.

Found in the roots of the Curcuma longa plant and a member of the ginger family, turmeric has been used as a medicine, spice (curry) and yellow dye since 600 B.C.

The golden spice has long been used in both Ayurveda and Chinese medicines as an anti-inflammatory agent and used for conditions such as arthritis. It has been highly valued by those who practice Hatha Yoga, for its beneficial effects on ligaments. Throughout Asia, turmeric has been used for stomach problems, allergies, diarrhea, heartburn, wind, bloating, colic, flatulence and liver ailments. (1)

No longer relegated to folklore, modern science has created a large and fast-growing body of scientific research about this medicinal herb. The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library of Medicine's PubMed MEDLINE database yields thousands of scientific articles about turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin (curcuminoids), which show:

Chart of molecular targets of curcumin

Multiple Molecular Targets of Curcumin

Curcumin attacks multiple targets, providing the scientific basis for its effectiveness in many different diseases. Extensive research shows most diseases are caused by dysregulation of multiple signaling pathways--casting doubt on the effectiveness of monotherapy, which is limited to a single target. (2, 6)

Studies show curcumin modulates numerous molecular targets, including: regulating several cytokines and fibroblast growth factor-2 (gene expression), growth-factor receptors including modulation of androgen receptors (protein kinases), transcription factors, pro-inflammatory enzymes (including supression of COX-2, 5-LOX and iNOS and regulation of NF-κB), modulation of cell-cycle-related gene expression, blocking the adhesion molecules, downregulating antiapoptic proteins and inhibiting multi-drug resistance. (2, 6)

  • curcumin reduces inflammation and edema
  • curcumin accelerates wound-healing
  • curcumin's role against cancer
  • curcumin's potential to reduce heart disease
  • curcumin's therapeutic effects against:
    • arthritis
    • Crohn's and inflammatory bowel disease
    • irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis
    • neurological diseases
    • Alzheimer's disease
    • multiple sclerosis
    • diabetes type II
    • cataract formation
    • drug-induced toxicity in the heart, lung and kidney
    • Cystic Fibrosis
    • skin diseases: psoriasis, scleroderma and dermatitis
  • curcumin may reduce the progression of HIV
  • safety of curcumin (2, 4, 6, 16)

Most of the MEDLINE research is based upon curcumin's ability to suppress inflammation and shows curcumin is effective in both acute and chronic inflammation. (4)

The U.S.D.A. Agricultural Research Service lists 78 biologic activities associated with curcumin, from anti-HIV to anti-ulcerogenic actions. (14) There are also many private studies. The latest information is reviewed here, and references are included in footnotes for those who wish to examine more technical details. Top

What is Curcumin?

Curcumin root and powder

Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric

Curcumin is the yellow-orange pigment and the most important ingredient in turmeric. Curcumin has many clinical applications, particularly as a powerful, yet safe, anti-inflammatory agent. (2, 6)

Curcumin is the most important active ingredient in turmeric, and makes up about 2-6% of the spice. (2, 6)

While therapeutic properties of turmeric have been known for centuries, modern science has identified the curcuminoids (phenolic compounds found in turmeric) and provides a scientific basis for many clinical uses of standardized curcumin.

Extensive research shows curcumin can benefit multiple targets in your body and provides scientific basis for its effectiveness in a wide variety of different body systems. (2, 6) Top

Which is Best: Turmeric Extract or Curcumin (Curcuminoids)?

Composition of Turmeric:

Curcumin (curcuminoids)

2-6%

Volatile (essential) oils 3-7%
Fiber 2-7%
Mineral matter 3-7%
Protein 6-8%
Fat 5-10%
Moisture 6-13%
Carbohydrates 60-70%

How much Curcumin is in Turmeric?

Turmeric consists of 2-6% curcuminoids. (2, 6)

Since turmeric contains very small concentrations of curcumin (2, 6), look for standardized 95% curcumin (curcuminoids). Why? Hundreds of scientific and technical papers confirm: clinical results were obtained using curcumin (curcuminoids).

In fact, most consumers may not realize pure curcumin (including all known curcuminoids) is very poorly absorbed into the blood after oral ingestion so many studies achieved effective blood levels of curcumin by intravenous injections (directly into the veins). Until recently, very high doses of curcumin were required to obtain desired blood levels. (4)

Some formulators add piperine (Piper nigrum) to enhance absorption of curcumin in their products. (4) But the additive is a problem for many consumers because piperine should be taken cautiously (if at all) by anyone taking medications. (5)

Now, a new, patented manufacturing process dramatically increases blood plasma curcumin to levels not previously seen through oral supplementation. (This impressive rise in bioavailability is achieved without piperine.) The new curcumin is comprised of a specific ratio of curcuminoids and a high content of turmeric essential oil compounds. (24) Top

Is There a Difference Between Curcumin and Curcuminoids?

Curcuminoids

Most Curcumin Products Contain 3 Curcuminoids

Commercial curcumin typically contains curcumin I (~77%), curcumin II (~17%) and curcumin III (~3%) as its major components. (1)

Preparations of curcumin contain different ratios of various curcuminoids and vary in effectiveness.

Not in the marketplace: No distinction is possible since the terms are used interchangeably.

For convenience, all curcuminoids are often referred to simply as "curcumin" even though turmeric contains a variety of different curcuminoids. (2, 6)

Commercial curcumin typically contains three major curcuminoids: curcumin (curcumin I), demethoxycurcumin (curcumin II) and bis-demethoxycurcumin (curcumin III). (2, 6)

But, in fact, a complete analysis of all constituents in turmeric has not yet been completed. Researchers continue to discover new curcuminoids and major differences are identified. It now appears turmeric may contain well over a hundred chemical species--many of which are expected to be discovered in the essential oil complexes of this medicinal herb. (3)

Most consumers may not realize many studies achieved effective blood levels of curcumin by intravenous injections directly into the veins because pure curcumin (including all known curcuminoids) is very poorly absorbed into the blood after oral ingestion. (4)

Many studies prove the various curcuminoids work synergistically together and certain combinations of curcuminoids produce more biological action than any curcuminoid used alone. (4) A specific ratio of curcuminoids together with certain essential oil components of turmeric proves the most bioavailable and produces the best clinical results. This curcumin formula, together with a patented manufacturing, technology increases absorption of curcumin up to 800% greater than other standardized curcumin preparations. (8) Top

Why 95% (not 100%) Curcumin?

Purification from 95% to 100% curcumin does not increase bioavailability of curcumin but the manufacturing costs are substantially higher.

There is a better way: a new, patented (24) technology dramatically increases blood plasma curcumin to levels not previously seen through oral supplementation. (8) Top

How Much Curcumin Can You Absorb?

Unfortunately, pure curcumin (including all known curcuminoids) is very poorly absorbed into your bloodstream after oral ingestion due to rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal wall, and rapid systemic elimination. (4, 16)

Oral Curcumin Absorption

Until recently, extremely high doses of curcumin were required to obtain desired blood levels. Scientists have long sought a more bioavailable form of curcumin to maximize curcumin's efficacy. In fact, most consumers may not realize many research studies achieved effective blood levels of curcumin by intravenous injections--directly into the veins. While it may be available in other parts of the world, injectable forms of curcumin are not sold in the United States.

500 milligrams of BIOMOR Curcumin is equivalent to up to 4,000 milligrams other curcumin 95 percent, and is equivalent to 3,185 milligrams of curcumin with piperine.

Each capsule of BIOMOR™ contains 500 mg of
Fast-Acting, Long-Lasting, Best-Bioavailable Curcumin

BIOMOR™ Curcumin provides curcumin blood levels up to 800% greater than other standardized 95% curcumin (8) and 637% greater bioavailability than curcumin blended with piperine and lecithin. (9)

The good news is a new, patented (24) curcumin product dramatically increases blood plasma curcumin to levels not previously seen through oral supplementation. (This impressive rise in bioavailability is achieved without piperine.) The new curcumin relies upon a specific ratio of curcuminoids reconstituted with a high content of sesquiterpenoids (turmeric essential oil compounds).

This new, patented manufacturing technology increases absorption of curcumin up to a remarkable 800% greater than other standardized curcumin preparations. (8) (This superior bioavailability is achieved without piperine.)

Unlike other 95% curcumin/curcuminoid products which rely upon purification of curcuminoids, BIOMOR™ Curcumin is formulated with components of turmeric normally removed during the extraction process. This proprietary formula thereby relies on the inherent synergy of turmeric's natural components to dramatically increase blood levels of curcumin. The manufacturing process is patented (24) and the subject of on-going clinical trials. (8)

Graph of BIOMOR Curcumin compared with Other Curcumin 95 percent extracts

A well-conducted single-dose human clinical study shows BIOMOR™ Curcumin is up to 800% more bioavailable (in both absorption and sustainability over 8 hours) than conventional 95% curcumin extracts. (8)

Many commercial curcumin products include additives to increase bioavailability of curcumin. The most common additives, piperine and lecithin, are shown to spike blood levels of curcumin. (4, 9)

Graph of BIOMOR Curcumin compared with Curcumin 95 percent extract blended with piperine and lecithin.

A published cross-over human clinical study shows BIOMOR™ Curcumin provides 637% greater bioavailability (absorption and sustainability over 8 hours) than curcumin blended with piperine and lecithin. (9)

NOTE: Experts advise against consuming more than 15 mg of piperine per day. See warnings about the piperine, below.

BIOMOR™ Curcumin is manufactured using a proprietary blend of curcuminoids and essential oil compounds of turmeric. BIOMOR™ Curcumin contains no piperine or lecithin. Top

What to Consider When Buying and Using Turmeric or Curcumin

Consumers should consider the following when buying and using turmeric and curcumin products:

BIOMOR™ Curcumin Turmeric extract 95% Curcumin
Contaminated with Toxic EDC Solvent? NO ? ?
Confirmed
Non-Toxic
YES No No
Pesticide-Free YES No No
100% GMO-Free
Non-GMO
YES No No
Conforms to Calif. Proposition 65 YES No No
100% Natural YES ? ?
Patented YES No No
Up to 800% Greater Absorption YES No No
Longer Retention Confirmed by Human Clinical Studies YES No No
Confirmed by
In-Vivo Clinical Studies
YES No No
Confirmed Antioxidant Properties YES
very high
No No
Contains Piperine
(Piper nigrum)?
NO YES
Contains stearates? NO YES YES

WARNING: Preparations not standardized will vary in quality. Top

Warnings About Solvents

Toxic EDC Solvent Found in Curcumin Extracts

NO CLASS-1 SOLVENTS, INCLUDING EDC, ARE EVER USED.

BIOMOR CURCUMIN

NO EDC SOLVENT IN BIOMOR™ CURCUMIN

BIOMOR™ CURCUMIN is extracted from turmeric using only a USP/FDA-approved Class-2 residual solvent.

Each batch of BIOMOR™ CURCUMIN is tested using GC-HEADSPACE to confirm purity and safety--always exceeding current USP/FDA standards.

Shocking data shows widespread contamination of curcumin products with a Class-1 residual solvent known as EDC (1,2-dichloroethane). According to the Toxic Substances and Disease Registry of the Department of Health and Human Services, the potential health effects of exposure to the Class-1 solvent at levels above 5 ppm (parts-per-million) are: SHORT-TERM EFFECTS OF EDC: central nervous system disorders; adverse liver, kidney, and lung effects; and heart failure. LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF EDC: probable carcinogen.

The problem is so widespread, according to the researchers, "curcumin extract with an EDC amount less than 5 ppm is not easily found." (25)

GC-MS Solvent-Residue Testing Used for Curcumin is Unreliable and Un-Approved by USP/FDA

WARNING ABOUT GC-MS TESTING to Determine Solvent Residue in Curcumin

GC-MS testing is un-approved by USP/FDA for curcumin is because it does not break or dissolve curcumin crystals, so contaminants remain undetected, whereas GC-HEADSPACE vaporizes curcumin crystals and releases any solvents.

Why is GC-MS testing used?

Because it can be reliable for other herbs. Note that use of GC-MS for curcumin is not illegal, but un-approved, by USP/FDA. (USP sets the standards used by FDA.)

BIOMOR CURCUMIN

BIOMOR™ CURCUMIN is tested using GC-HEADSPACE

Only GC-HEADSPACE is now approved by USP/FDA for testing curcumin because it vaporizes curcumin crystals and releases any solvents.

The toxicity problem is complicated by widespread use of GC-MS (Gas Chromotography-Mass Spectrometry): an unreliable, outdated and un-approved testing method for curcumin. Current USP/FDA standards no longer permit use of GC-MS to determine solvent residue in curcumin.

The approved standard is GC-HEADSPACE (Gas Chromotography Headspace): but it is very expensive, not widely available, and many testing companies simply do not have access to the equipment and technology.

Only GC-HEADSPACE vaporizes curcumin crystals and releases any solvents. GC-MS is un-approved for curcumin because GC-MS does not break or dissolve curcumin crystals, so contaminants remain undetected. So, while GC-MS can be reliable for other herbal extracts, curcumin is different because it undergoes crystallization during extraction and solvents become trapped inside the curcumin crystals. Top

Warnings About Additives

Piperine Added to Curcumin

Because curcumin has very poor oral bioavailability, many commercial curcumin products include additives to improve absorption. Here we examine the most common additive, piperine (Piper nigrum), extracted from black pepper fruit.

WARNING ABOUT PIPERINE

Commonly added to curcumin supplements to increase blood levels of the herb, (4) piperine should be taken cautiously (if at all) by anyone taking medications, because the additive spikes blood levels of prescription drugs. (5)

BIOMOR™ CURCUMIN CONTAINS NO PIPERINE

BIOMOR™ Curcumin obtains superior bioavailability, enhanced absorption and longer retention in the blood without piperine.

Many curcumin products add piperine to improve absorption of curcumin. (4)

But piperine is a problem for many consumers because the additive should be taken cautiously (if at all) by anyone taking medications. According to the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, piperine is a potent inhibitor of drug metabolism, which means piperine spikes blood levels of many prescription medications. (5)

A review of published research articles reveals piperine is toxic in experimental animals. (17-21) Some research suggests piperine is safe in small amounts but large amounts of piperine could be damaging to the liver or other organs. (11) Experts advise against consuming more than 15 mg of piperine per day.

Piperine has known central nervous system (CNS) depressant effects. (12, 13)

Finally, since piperine is a component of black pepper, consumers with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to black pepper should avoid piperine.

BIOMOR™ Curcumin contains no piperine. Top

Production-Coating-Additives: STEARATES

BIOMOR™ CURCUMIN Contains NO STEARATES

BIOMOR™ CURCUMIN is manufactured without using stearates.

Stearates (including magnesium stearate) are hydrogenated oils added at production as a flowing agent, to save manufacturing costs. These fatty substances coat every particle of curcumin, so the particles flow rapidly through machinery. Do the production-coating-oils compromise bioavailability? Maybe, and that's why BIOMOR™ CURCUMIN is manufactured without using stearates. It's all about what your body can absorb and BIOMOR™ CURCUMIN is simply the best curcumin available. Top

Warning About Synthetics Found

Petroleum-Based Synthetic Curcumin
Sold as Natural

Radio-carbon-dating testing by the University of Georgia shows various commercially available "natural" curcumin supplements are not all-natural, but are mixed with synthetic, petroleum-derived curcumin.

BIOMOR™ CURCUMIN is ALL-NATURAL

The patented manufacturing method uses a specific ratio of all-turmeric-derived curcuminoids with a high content of sesquiterpenoids (turmeric-derived essential oil compounds). (24)

Why does it matter?

There are physical and pharmacological differences: Natural curcumin is extracted from the turmeric plant, whereas synthetic curcumin is made from petroleum-based chemicals. Natural curcumin contains naturally-formed compounds of curcuminoid molecules bonded with small portions of other helper-compounds in turmeric. Synthetic curcumin may copy three curcuminoids, or only one, or two. The artificial molecules lack any synergistic helper-compounds found in the turmeric plant. Most importantly, synthetic curcumin has no record of long-term safe use, nor are there studies showing whether it is beneficial in the same manner as natural curcumin for health.

Is Curcumin Proven Safe?

Yes: Safety evaluation studies show curcumin is well tolerated at very high doses without any adverse effects. For centuries, curcumin has been consumed as a dietary spice at doses up to 100 mg per day. Recent human clinical trials found no toxicity and no adverse side effects in curcumin when administered at doses of 8,000 milligrams per day for three months. (1, 15)

CAUTIONS:

Use during chemotherapy should only be performed under the direct supervision of a qualified medical practitioner

Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary. Curcumin should be stopped prior to scheduled surgery.

Reported adverse reactions have been limited to mild gastrointestinal distress, which may be minimized by consuming curcumin with food.

CONTRAINDICATIONS:

Early animal studies show curcumin may decrease the occurrence of gallstones. Limited human research suggests that curcumin may stimulate squeezing (contraction) of the gallbladder and stimulate bile flow. But because of a lack of reliable human studies, the use of curcumin may be inadvisable in patients with active gallstones or obstruction of the bile passages. First consult with a qualified practitioner. (7)

Even though many herbs and medicinal plants contain various biologically active compounds that may trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements or medications, curcumin (without piperine) is considered very safe. (1)

From the large number of studies conducted, curcumin has developed a flawless safety record. In fact, researchers are impressed with the absence of toxicity associated with turmeric and its components and therefore conclude it's superior to many contemporary medications. (1)

(Click here for warnings about additives.) Top

Toxicity Study on BIOMOR™ Curcumin

The results of the study show ingestion of high doses of BIOMOR™ Curcumin is safe and nontoxic. There were no significant changes in hematological and biochemical parameters. Interestingly, this study found a healthy decrease in serum cholesterol. (10) Top

  • SOURCES:
  • 1. Sarker, S.D., et al. "Bioactivity of Turmeric," Turmeric: The genus Curcuma; Medicinal and aromatic plants--industrial profiles, edited by Ravindran, P.N., et al. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2007.
  • 2. Shishodia, S., et al. "Curcumin: Getting Back to the Roots," Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci.: 1056, 206-217, 2005.
  • 3. Majeed, M., et al. Curcuminoids: antioxidant nutrients. Piscataway, NJ: Nutriscience Pubs., Inc., 1995.
  • 4. Bharat, B.A., et al. "Curcumin--Biological and Medicinal Properties," Turmeric: The genus Curcuma; Medicinal and aromatic plants--industrial profiles, edited by Ravindran, P.N., et al. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2007.
  • 5. Atal, C.K., et al. "Biochemical basis of enhanced drug bioavailability by piperine: evidence that piperine is a potent inhibitor of drug metabolism," American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics: Vol. 232, Issue 1, pp. 258-262, 1985: jpet.aspetjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/232/1/258.
  • 6. Kotwal, G.J., et al. Natural Products and Molecular Therapy, First International Conference. New York, NY: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 1056, 2005.
  • 7. National Institutes of Health. MedlinePlus Herbs and Supplements: "Turmeric (Curcuma longa Linn.) and Curcumin," US Department of Health and Human Services; Natural Standard Research Collaboration: 2008 ed.: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-turmeric.html.
  • 8. Benny, M., et al. Spice India: Vol. 19, No. 9, pp. 11-15, 2006.
  • 9. Antony, B., et al. "Evaluation of a novel bioenhanced curcumin," Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences: Jul-Aug, pp. 445-50, 2008
  • 10. "A Pilot Cross-Over Study to evaluate human oral bioavailability of BCM-95, A Novel Bioenhanced Preparation of Curcumin." Ind J Pharm Sci. 2008;70(4):445-449.
  • 11. Bezerra, D.P., et al. "In vivo growth-inhibition of sarcoma 180 by piplartine and piperine, two alkaloid amides from Piper." Brazilian journal of medical and biological research: Vol. 39, No. 6, pp. 801-807, 2006: cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=17895383
  • 12. Van Wyk, B.E., et al. Medicinal Plants of the World. Portland OR: Timber Press Inc., 2004.
  • 13. Duke, J.A., et al. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Spices. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2003.
  • 14. Cronin, J.R. "Curcumin: Old spice is a new medicine." Journal of Alternative & Complementary Therapies: Feb. 2003, pp. 34-38.
  • 15. Cheng, A.L., et al. "Phase I clinical trial of curcumin, a chemoprotective agent, in patients with high-risk or pre-malignant lesions. Anti-cancer Res. 2001; July-Aug 21:2895-2900: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11712783?dopt=Abstract.
  • 16. Anand, P., et al. "Bioavailability of Curcumin: Problems and Promises," Mol. Pharmaceutics: 2007, 4(6), pp. 807-818: www.pubs.acs.org/doi/~. (Cytokine Research Laboratory and Pharmaceutical Development Center, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.)
  • 17. Antony, B., et al. "A pilot cross-over study to evaluate human oral bioavailability of BCM-95 CG (Biocurcumax), a novel bioenhanced preparation of curcumin," Indian J. Pharm. Sci.: 2008, 70(4), pp. 445-450.
  • 18. Piyachaturawat P., et al. "Acute and subacute toxicity of piperine in mice, rats and hamsters," Toxicol Lett 1983;16:351-9.
  • 19. Daware, M.B., et al. "Reproductive toxicity of piperine in swiss albino mice," Planta Med 2000;66:231-6.
  • 20. Panda S., et al. "Piperine lowers the serum concentrations of thyroid hormones, glucose and hepatic 5′D activity in adult male mice," Horm Metab Res 2003;35:523-6.
  • 21. Unchern, S., et al. "Death of cerebellar granule neurons induced by piperine is distinct from that induced by low potassium," Neurochem Res 1998;23:97-102.
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  • 25. Liva, R. "Toxic Solvent Found in Curcumin Extract," Integrative Medicine, 9:5 Oct/Nov 2010.

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