Last updated: August 9, 2021

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You have probably heard of turmeric, even if you only know it as a spice. In traditional Chinese medicine and the Indian healing art of Ayurveda, turmeric extract has been used for over 5,000 years to treat a wide range of illnesses. Western medicine has also been intensively studying the effects of turmeric for about 50 years.

We would like to explain to you here why turmeric extract and its areas of application are so interesting. We are pleased that you have found your way to our large turmeric extract test 2021. Here you will find all the information and facts you need to know about turmeric extract. You will not only learn which healing effects are said to come from the turmeric root, but also which form of turmeric extracts might be interesting for you.




Summary

  • Turmeric extract contains the active ingredient curcumin, which has held an important place in the traditional medicine of many Asian countries for over 5000 years.
  • Turmeric extract is sold as a dietary supplement and is used for conditions such as digestive tract disorders, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, cancer and high cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • The form in which you take turmeric extract depends on your personal preferences. However, if you want to combat symptoms of disease, you should consult your doctor.

The Best Turmeric extract: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for turmeric extract

When buying turmeric extract, you can pay attention to various aspects, such as:

By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you do not add anything to your body that it does not need. Therefore, always look for high quality and ask to see the manufacturer's certificates if necessary.

Ingredients

Turmeric is a ginger plant that is mainly found in South America, China, Indonesia and India. Only the root of the herbaceous plant, which contains the active ingredient curcumin, is used to produce turmeric food supplements.

Turmeric extracts contain many vitamins, minerals and proteins.

Turmeric extracts consist of a variety of vitamins, minerals and proteins.

Most of them are a combination of curcumin and piperine extract. Piperine, a natural active ingredient found in pepper, supports the absorption of curcumin into the bloodstream. High-quality turmeric extracts should not contain any dyes, preservatives or other chemical compounds.

Curcumin content

Curcumin is the most important active ingredient in turmeric extracts, so you can recognise particularly high-quality products by their high content of the plant substance. In food supplements, curcumin should make up at least five percent of the turmeric. If no exact information is given about the curcumin content, you should ask the manufacturer directly or use another product.

You can only benefit from the effect of turmeric extract if the curcumin content is high enough.

Be aware, however, that the manufacturer's information on the curcumin content sometimes refers to the total daily dose and sometimes to the content per unit.

Origin

When buying turmeric extract, you should pay special attention to the origin and production of the product, because these product characteristics are not always transparently labelled. Therefore, always check the quality seals and the specific ingredients. High-quality products are labelled with the following designations:

  • Organically grown
  • Flavour free
  • Free from preservatives
  • Free from artificial colours
  • GMO-free

You should always use turmeric extract of organic origin, because only then can you be sure that you are consuming a high-quality product.

The more information you get about the origin and quality of a product, the higher the quality of the product.

Suitability for allergy sufferers and vegans

If you have dietary restrictions or are following a vegan diet, then you should pay close attention to the ingredients and product properties of turmeric extracts. Although curcumin is a natural, plant-based active ingredient, this does not automatically apply to additives and separating agents.

Vegans should pay particular attention to the possible addition of gelatine.

Some turmeric extract supplements contain gelatine.

This is especially the case with turmeric extracts in capsule form, which is why you should read the description of capsule shells carefully. Vegan capsule shells are called 'hydroxypropylmethylcellulose'. Also look for a vegan seal of approval. This way you can be sure that there are no substances of animal origin in the product. Some people are allergic to piperine. If this is the case, you must study the list of ingredients of your chosen turmeric extract very carefully. Black pepper, a plant that causes allergic reactions in many people, is often included in these supplements.

Shelf life

The shelf life of turmeric extracts depends on the dosage form. In the form of a powder, it usually has a shelf life of about two to three years, as long as it is stored in a dry place and protected from light. As tablets or capsules, turmeric extract has a shelf life of about two years.

If the colour of the extract changes, you should definitely replace it.

When buying turmeric extract, make sure that you only buy enough to use it up before the expiry date. Adjust the amount accordingly to the period of time in which you want to take turmeric extract. If you are trying it out for the first time, a smaller amount of the product is more suitable, but if you are planning on long-term use, a larger amount will be more cost-effective.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about turmeric extract answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of turmeric extract and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What is turmeric extract and how does it work?

Turmeric is one of the oldest medicinal plants in the world and has been used for over 5,000 years in traditional Chinese medicine and in the Indian healing art of Ayurveda. The active ingredient curcumin, which is found in the roots of the plant, is the main focus. This curcumin in concentrated form is called turmeric extract. In western countries, turmeric is mainly known as a spice and is contained in almost every curry spice mixture. In western medicine, the healing effect of turmeric has only been researched for a few years.

The orange turmeric root is mainly used as a spice in western countries, but it can do so much more. (Image source: Chinh Le Duc / unsplash)

Turmeric extract can be used in the treatment of a variety of symptoms and ailments. Curcuminiods are responsible for the positive effect. In the following section, we would like to introduce you to the main areas of application of turmeric extract.

Digestive complaints

The anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin is said to be particularly helpful in gastrointestinal disorders such as gastritis or inflammation of the intestines. An American study found that turmeric can be used as an alternative treatment for digestive disorders, as Western medicines often attack stomach and intestinal mucous membranes. (1) The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin prevent the formation of proinflammatory proteins and inhibit inflammatory mediators, which is why curcumin is successful in chronic inflammatory diseases. (2)

Weight loss and metabolism

Another positive effect of turmeric has also been shown in the treatment of obesity. The results of a study suggest that curcumin can positively influence weight management. (3) The study with 44 test persons showed an increased weight loss, a stronger percentage reduction of body fat and an improved reduction of the waist and hip circumference after 30 days. BMI also decreased significantly in all subjects.

High cholesterol and blood sugar levels

Due to the strong antioxidant effects of curcumin, it is assumed that turmeric also has a positive influence on blood lipid levels, lowering them after only a few days of intake. In a study with mice, curcumin was found to inhibit cholesterol accumulation, which had a significant positive effect on total cholesterol levels. (4) Another study with 25 volunteers, which ran for four weeks, investigated the effect of curcumin in the treatment of diabetic microangiopathy. The researchers found that curcumin significantly improved oxygen diffusion in the skin and reduced oedema. (5)

Thus, turmeric also plays a major role in the prevention of diabetes.

Arthritis and rheumatic diseases

The major goal in the treatment of musculo-skeletal disorders is to relieve pain and restore mobility. Curcumin has been shown to reduce bone resorption as it can reduce the concentration of RANK ligands in the bone marrow, thereby inhibiting osteoclast formation, which is responsible for the breakdown of bone substance. (6)

In another study with mice, curcumin was also found to counteract the loss of bone density caused by estrogen deficiency. (7)

These assumptions were further tested in a study with 22 patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis. Over a period of 84 days, the subjects took turmeric extract. Scientists found a significant decrease in markers for oxidatively induced collagen degradation and markers for acute inflammation. (8) Success was also seen in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (9) and fibromyalgia (10). In both studies, symptoms such as pain, fatigue, dizziness and chest tightness improved significantly.

Cancer

The treatment of cancer can be supported by curcumin. Especially during chemotherapy and radiotherapy, curcumin can be used helpfully because it can prevent the cancer cells from developing resistance. (11) Turmeric's ability to modulate cellular signalling pathways and integrate with molecular targets shows great potential for it to act against a wide range of cancers. These assumptions exist especially for cancers of the breast, skin, liver, uterus, prostate, colon and lung. (12)

Alzheimer's

In its ability to not only protect but also support blood vessels, curcumin is often discussed in connection with Alzheimer's treatments, as turmeric extract can inhibit the deposition of protein complexes in the brain. In three independent case studies, Japanese medical researchers found an effect of curcumin against dementia effects of Alzheimer's disease. (13)

Turmeric extract helps maintain cognitive abilities. (Image source: Robin Weermeijer / unsplash)

Another study observed that daily intake of turmeric extracts in capsule form significantly improved cognitive abilities of memory and attention in non-decent adults. (14)

When and for whom is it useful to take turmeric extract?

Turmeric extract is particularly suitable for people who have mild symptoms of the above-mentioned complaints and are looking for a natural solution. Especially for short-term digestive problems, turmeric extract can provide relief. However, if you suffer from severe symptoms, you should first consult a doctor before making any attempt at self-treatment.

How much do turmeric extracts cost?

There are large price differences between different turmeric extracts. The price range is between 8 and 70 euros per 100 grams. This big difference is not only due to the different manufacturers and the quality of the products, but also due to the different forms that turmeric extracts come in. Turmeric capsules and powder, is usually slightly cheaper than liposomal turmeric extract, but the price range is much wider overall for liquid extracts.

Type price per 100 grams
Turmeric extract capsules 10 to 40 euros
Turmeric powder 2 to 30 euros
Liposomal turmeric 10 to 70 euros

What types of turmeric extract are there?

As explained above, turmeric extract is available in various forms. A distinction is made between turmeric extracts in capsules, as powder and tablets, or in liquid form.

Type Description
Turmeric extract capsules Only the roots of the turmeric plant are processed for turmeric capsules. High quality products are highly concentrated, but you must make sure that the capsules meet your dietary requirements.
Turmeric Extract Tablets Turmeric in tablet form is pressed with a binding agent and is perfect for quick ingestion between meals.
Liposomal Turmeric Extract Lipsomal turmeric has better bioavailability than other products and are usually highly concentrated, but often available as a combination preparation.
Turmeric Extract Powder Powdered turmeric is the purest form of turmeric you can buy. However, you need to be a little more careful when storing the product than with other products.

We will explain the advantages and disadvantages of the pure turmeric extract variants in more detail in the following section.

Turmeric extract capsules

Turmeric extract capsules are a good choice if you want to take high doses of turmeric extract without measuring and quickly between meals. Basically, there are two types of capsules. Capsules with an animal shell are made with gelatine and are not suitable for a vegetarian diet. However, they are often cheaper because the use and production of capsule shells made of gelatine is relatively simple. However, there are now some vegan alternatives.

Turmeric extract tablets

Besides turmeric extract capsules, turmeric tablets are also perfect for quick intake. These tablets are mixed with a binding agent, such as corn starch, so you must be aware that this is not a pure preparation. Unlike turmeric capsules, turmeric tablets are always made without animal products. So if you are on a vegetarian or vegan diet, then turmeric extract tablets are your best bet.

Liposomal Turmeric Extract

Liquid turmeric extracts are bound in liposomes, creating a much higher bioavailability than other products. This means that the active ingredient can be absorbed more quickly and effectively by the body and its antioxidant properties can develop optimally. If you want to take a high amount of curcumin quickly, then lipsomal turmeric extracts are suitable, as the vesicle-like form protects the active ingredient in the metabolism and guarantees undamaged transport in the body.

Turmeric extract powder

Turmeric extract powder offers you the possibility to take turmeric in its purest form, as these products contain only the dried and ground turmeric root.

Turmeric extract powder is suitable for making 'Golden Milk', among other things. (Image source: Sarah Gualtieri / unsplash)

Taking turmeric powder is a little more complicated than taking products that have already been measured out, such as capsules or tablets. Storage can also be more complicated. Make sure you store it in a dry place, away from air and sunlight, so your product doesn't spoil.

How should turmeric extract be dosed?

The question of how to dose turmeric extract depends on your personal goal in taking it. If you want to combat symptoms of illness with turmeric extracts, then you should definitely talk to your doctor beforehand. You can expect individual advice from him or her, which will prevent incorrect dosing and optimally support your treatment.

If you want to promote your health with the help of turmeric extracts, you can follow the respective product instructions of the manufacturer. It is often recommended to take turmeric extracts several times a day, but if you only want to take turmeric once a day, you can use a high-dose preparation.

What are the alternatives to turmeric extract?

Turmeric can be consumed in many forms. However, the turmeric plant is very rarely sold as a root, but is usually processed beforehand. Each form of administration has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we would like to present to you in the following section.

Type Description
Turmeric food supplement capsules Turmeric capsules have the great advantage that they are proportioned, which makes it possible to take the food supplement evenly and accurately. In addition, the capsules are neutral in taste. Turmeric capsules have a much lower dosage.
Turmeric tea Turmeric tea consists of dried turmeric root. It has an earthy taste, but you can counteract this with sweeteners and spices. To make turmeric tea, you can also use turmeric powder or fresh roots.
Raw turmeric root Turmeric root can also be consumed fresh, but it has a rather earthy taste.

Each of the alternatives mentioned here has its own advantages and disadvantages that you have to weigh up. Of course, there are other medicinal plants that can help you depending on your symptoms. For example, ginger and peppermint are suitable for digestive problems, and if you want to lower your blood sugar level, you can also use coconut.

Image source: Larkjit / 123rf

References (14)

1. Thavorn, K., Mamdani, M.M. & Straus, S.E. Efficacy of turmeric in the treatment of digestive disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Syst Rev 3, 71 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/2046-4053-3-71
Source

2. Nieber K. (2015) Curcumin Antiinflammatorische Wirkung, neue Applikationsformen und klinische Studien ZPT. Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie; 36: 63–68
Source

3. Di Pierro, F., Bressan, A., Ranaldi, D., Rapacioli, G., Giacomelli, L., & Bertuccioli, A. (2015). Potential role of bioavailable curcumin in weight loss and omental adipose tissue decrease: preliminary data of a randomized, controlled trial in overweight people with metabolic syndrome. Preliminary study. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 19(21), 4195-4202.
Source

4. Yuan, H. Y., Kuang, S. Y., Zheng, X., Ling, H. Y., Yang, Y. B., Yan, P. K., ... & Liao, D. F. (2008). Curcumin inhibits cellular cholesterol accumulation by regulating SREBP-1/caveolin-1 signaling pathway in vascular smooth muscle cells. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 29(5), 555-563.
Source

5. Appendino, G., Belcaro, G., Cornelli, U., Luzzi, R., Togni, S., Dugall, M., ... & Pellegrini, L. (2011). Potential role of curcumin phytosome (Meriva) in controlling the evolution of diabetic microangiopathy. A pilot study. Panminerva medica, 53(3 Suppl 1), 43.
Source

6. Oh S, Kyug TW, Choi HS. Curcumin inhibits osteoclastogenesis by decreasing receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand (RANKL) in bone marrow stromal cells. Mol Cells 2008; 26: 486–489
Source

7. Kim WK, Ke K, Sul OJ et al. Curcumin protects against ovariectomy-induced bone loss and decreases osteoclastogenesis. J Cell Biochem 2011; 112: 3159–3166
Source

8. Henrotin Y, Gharbi M, Dierckxsens Y et al. Decrease of a specific biomarker of collagen degradation in osteoarthritis, Coll2-1, by treat- ment with highly bioavailable curcumin during an exploratory clinical trial. BMC Complement Altern Med 2014; 14: 159
Source

9. Chandran B, Goel A. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res 2012; 26: 1719–1725
Source

10. Appelboom T, Melot C. Flexofytol, a purified curcumin extract, in fibromyalgia and gout. A retrospective study. Open J Rheumatol Autoimmune Dis 2013; 3: 104–107
Source

11. Kanai, M., Imaizumi, A., Otsuka, Y., Sasaki, H., Hashiguchi, M., Tsujiko, K., ... & Chiba, T. (2012). Dose-escalation and pharmacokinetic study of nanoparticle curcumin, a potential anticancer agent with improved bioavailability, in healthy human volunteers. Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology, 69(1), 65-70. Chicago
Source

12. Anand, P., Sundaram, C., Jhurani, S., Kunnumakkara, A. B., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2008). Curcumin and cancer: an “old-age” disease with an “age-old” solution. Cancer letters, 267(1), 133-164.
Source

13. Hishikawa, N., Takahashi, Y., Amakusa, Y., Tanno, Y., Tuji, Y., Niwa, H., ... & Krishna, U. K. (2012). Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer's disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Ayu, 33(4), 499.
Source

14. Small, G. W., Siddarth, P., Li, Z., Miller, K. J., Ercoli, L., Emerson, N. D., ... & Chen, S. T. (2018). Memory and brain amyloid and tau effects of a bioavailable form of curcumin in non-demented adults: a double-blind, placebo-controlled 18-month trial. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(3), 266-277.
Source

Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Thavorn, K., Mamdani, M.M. & Straus, S.E. Efficacy of turmeric in the treatment of digestive disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Syst Rev 3, 71 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/2046-4053-3-71
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Nieber K. (2015) Curcumin Antiinflammatorische Wirkung, neue Applikationsformen und klinische Studien ZPT. Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie; 36: 63–68
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Di Pierro, F., Bressan, A., Ranaldi, D., Rapacioli, G., Giacomelli, L., & Bertuccioli, A. (2015). Potential role of bioavailable curcumin in weight loss and omental adipose tissue decrease: preliminary data of a randomized, controlled trial in overweight people with metabolic syndrome. Preliminary study. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 19(21), 4195-4202.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Yuan, H. Y., Kuang, S. Y., Zheng, X., Ling, H. Y., Yang, Y. B., Yan, P. K., ... & Liao, D. F. (2008). Curcumin inhibits cellular cholesterol accumulation by regulating SREBP-1/caveolin-1 signaling pathway in vascular smooth muscle cells. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 29(5), 555-563.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Appendino, G., Belcaro, G., Cornelli, U., Luzzi, R., Togni, S., Dugall, M., ... & Pellegrini, L. (2011). Potential role of curcumin phytosome (Meriva) in controlling the evolution of diabetic microangiopathy. A pilot study. Panminerva medica, 53(3 Suppl 1), 43.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Oh S, Kyug TW, Choi HS. Curcumin inhibits osteoclastogenesis by decreasing receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand (RANKL) in bone marrow stromal cells. Mol Cells 2008; 26: 486–489
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Kim WK, Ke K, Sul OJ et al. Curcumin protects against ovariectomy-induced bone loss and decreases osteoclastogenesis. J Cell Biochem 2011; 112: 3159–3166
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Henrotin Y, Gharbi M, Dierckxsens Y et al. Decrease of a specific biomarker of collagen degradation in osteoarthritis, Coll2-1, by treat- ment with highly bioavailable curcumin during an exploratory clinical trial. BMC Complement Altern Med 2014; 14: 159
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Chandran B, Goel A. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res 2012; 26: 1719–1725
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Appelboom T, Melot C. Flexofytol, a purified curcumin extract, in fibromyalgia and gout. A retrospective study. Open J Rheumatol Autoimmune Dis 2013; 3: 104–107
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Kanai, M., Imaizumi, A., Otsuka, Y., Sasaki, H., Hashiguchi, M., Tsujiko, K., ... & Chiba, T. (2012). Dose-escalation and pharmacokinetic study of nanoparticle curcumin, a potential anticancer agent with improved bioavailability, in healthy human volunteers. Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology, 69(1), 65-70. Chicago
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Anand, P., Sundaram, C., Jhurani, S., Kunnumakkara, A. B., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2008). Curcumin and cancer: an “old-age” disease with an “age-old” solution. Cancer letters, 267(1), 133-164.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Hishikawa, N., Takahashi, Y., Amakusa, Y., Tanno, Y., Tuji, Y., Niwa, H., ... & Krishna, U. K. (2012). Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer's disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Ayu, 33(4), 499.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Small, G. W., Siddarth, P., Li, Z., Miller, K. J., Ercoli, L., Emerson, N. D., ... & Chen, S. T. (2018). Memory and brain amyloid and tau effects of a bioavailable form of curcumin in non-demented adults: a double-blind, placebo-controlled 18-month trial. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(3), 266-277.
Go to source
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