3rd Generation Curcumin Is Here – T Nation Content – COMMUNITY

The Evolution of Turmeric Supplements

The older forms of curcumin boosted blood levels by a small amount, but the new generation is 95 times more powerful.

Turmeric, or rather its active ingredient, curcumin (on Amazon), is everywhere now. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who wasn’t aware of the plant’s anti-bacterial, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-fat accruing, antioxidant, anti-thrombotic, anti-erectile dysfunction, and anti-viral effects.

Turmeric is found in skin products, teas, and digestive aids. And some people even throw the root directly into their protein shakes. Sadly, they’re largely wasting their time. Even the people who’ve graduated to using curcumin rather than the root that contains it aren’t doing themselves much good.

Here’s the problem. Turmeric contains too little of its active ingredient (curcuminoids) to do much of anything. And even if you do manage to ingest large amounts of raw curcumin, your digestive system goes to great lengths to absorb it and shuttle it off to your body where it can do its magic.

There are several reasons for this. For one, ordinary curcumin isn’t soluble in the acidic pH of the stomach. When it reaches the neutral or alkaline environment of the large intestine, much of it’s converted into inactive waste, a process called glucuronidation, which is how the body rids itself of most drugs and things it considers pollutants.

Even when some of the raw curcumin makes it through the large intestine intact, it’s subjected to further breakdown by the bacteria in the colon. Oh, a small amount eventually does get absorbed into the bloodstream, but much of it gets quickly metabolized by liver cells and excreted through bile.

As evidence, there are several studies, all disturbing, that have chronicled giving patients large amounts of raw curcumin, e.g., 3.6 grams (about 7 capsules), only to discover, an hour or more later, that blood and liver levels of free-form curcumin were almost non-existent. So yeah, all those people eating/drinking raw turmeric or non-enhanced curcumin are probably doing themselves little good.

Scientists knew this from early on, so they’ve devoted a great deal of time figuring out how to make curcumin the supplement it was supposed to be. It took three generations of curcumin formulations to get it right.

First Generation Curcumin

The earliest attempts to improve curcumin’s absorption included the addition of turmeric oil (BCM-95, BioCurcumax, Curcugreen), producing it as oleoresin (Curcugen), or adding a small amount of piperine, an alkaloid present in black pepper.

The piperine stimulated the gastrointestinal system, prevented curcumin efflux, and, most importantly, inhibited the hepatic and gastrointestinal glucuronidation described earlier. It roughly increased curcumin absorption 20-fold over raw, unmodified curcumin.

The result of this curcumin/piperine alliance was a measurable improvement in bioavailability and safety, significantly reducing delayed onset muscle soreness. It also led to anti-arthritic and even anti-diabetic effects, decreased oxidative stress, and reduced DNA damage. Most importantly, it teased at what curcumin could ultimately be, if bioavailability could somehow be enhanced further.

Second Generation Curcumin

Curcumin is hydrophobic. Water “scares” it. Throw a scoop of it into a glass of water and it just floats there.

The natural response was to enhance curcumin’s solubility and bioavailability by combining it with fats – polysorbates, phospholipid complexes, liquid droplet nano micelles, and spray drying.

These second-generation formulations showed excellent bioavailability and proved to be anti-arthritic, anti-diabetic, and anti-viral in various clinical studies, along with improving the survival rates of cancer patients, supporting ulcerative colitis patients, and even having pro-sexual effects (raising testosterone levels).

These second-generation curcumins had 27 times the bioavailability of pure curcumin. Quite an achievement, but there was still room for improvement.

Third Generation Curcumin

The newest curcumin formulations increase the bioavailability of “free” curcuminoids (the active polyphenol constituents found in curcumin) without using synthetic polysorbates and/or emulsifiers employed in the previous generation.

Further, they contain no adulterants, which makes them safer, i.e., nongenotoxic and nonhepatotoxic (safe for the liver). Most impressively, they’ve increased curcumin bioavailability by almost 100 times over that of raw curcumin. Comparing first-generation curcumins (or, worse yet, turmeric teas and various products) to this third-gen tech is like comparing Ask Jeeves to ChatGPT.

Biotest chose to go with a lecithin/curcumin complex invented by neuroscientists at UCLA and patented as Longvida Optimized Curcumin®, sold as Micellar Curcumin (on Amazon). The formulation is termed a “solid lipid curcumin complex.” It elegantly survives initial hydrolysis and delivers free curcumin and its metabolites to the brain and throughout the body via the lymphatic system.

Take a single dose and high levels of curcumin are detected in the bloodstream within one hour. Furthermore, high levels are detected as long as 24 hours later, suggesting that one daily dose is all you need for round-the-clock protection.

And none of this is theoretical. More than 50 review papers involving humans have found Longvida’s Optimized Curcumin® (on Amazon) offers a host of tangible health benefits, including, but not limited to, eye and neural health support, healthy aging, joint health, reproductive health, gut health, and mood and cognitive health, along with possibly having beneficial effects in the prevention or treatment of various diseases.

In short, it does all the things the earlier generations of curcumin delivery systems hinted at, only a lot better.




  1. Mangala Hegde, et al. Curcumin Formulations for Better Bioavailability: What we Learned from Clinical Trials Thus Far? ACS Omega, 2023. 8, 10713-10746.
  2. Shah et al. Acute human pharmacokinetics of a lipid-dissolved turmeric extract. Planta Med. 2012. 48-PH5.
  3. Gota VS et al. Safety and pharmacokinetics of a solid lipid curcumin particle formulation in osteosarcoma patients and healthy volunteers. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Feb 24;58(4):2095-9. doi: 10.1021/jf9024807.
  4. Cox KHM et al. Further evidence of benefits to mood and working memory from lipidated curcumin in healthy older people: A 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, partial replication study. Nutrients. 2020 Jun 04. 12(6): 1678. doi: 10.3390/nu12061678.
  5. Esfahani K et al. A phase I open prospective cohort trial of curcumin plus tyrosine kinase inhibitors for EGFR-mutant advanced non-small cell lung. J Clin Oncol. 2019. 37(15_suppl): e20611-e20611. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2019.37.15_suppl.e20611.
  6. Scholey A et al. Curcumin improves hippocampal function in healthy older adults: A three month randomized controlled trial. Poster Presentation in 13th European Nutrition Conference – Malnutrition in an Obese World: European Perspectives (FENS). Dublin, Ireland. 2019: P3-01-02.
  7. Scholey A et al. A highly bioavailable curcumin extract improves neurocognitive function and mood in healthy older people: A 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (OR32-05-19). Current Dev Nut. 2019 Jun. Poster Presentation. Volume 3(Issue Supplement 1): nzz052.OR32–05–19. doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzz052.OR32-05-19.
  8. Gupte PA et al. Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of capsule solid lipid curcumin particles in knee: A pilot clinical study. J Inflamm Res. 2019. 12: 145-152. doi: 10.2147/JIR.S205390.
  9. Koronyo, Y et al. Retinal amyloid pathology and proof-of-concept imaging trial. JCI Insight. 2017. 2(16). doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.93621.
  10. Santos-Parker JR et al. Curcumin supplementation improves vascular endothelial function in healthy middle-aged and older adults by increasing nitric oxide bioavailiability and reducing oxidative stress. Aging. 2017 Jan. 3. Vol 9(No1): 187-208.
  11. McFarlin et al. Reduced inflammatory and muscle damage biomarkers following oral supplementation with bioavailable curcumin. University of North Texas. BBA Clinical. 2016 Feb 18. 5: 72-78. doi: 10.1016/j.bbacli.2016.02.003.
  12. Santos-Parker JR et al. Curcumin supplement improves vascular endothelial function in middle-aged and older adults. Geront. 2015 Dec. 55(Suppl 2): 195. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnv554.01.
  13. Rafii MS et al. The biomarker initiative DSBI pilot: Proof of concept for deep phenotyping of biomarkers. Front Behav Neurosci. 2015. 9: 1-11.
  14. Cox KH et al. Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population. Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University. J Psychopharmacol. 2015 May. Vol 29(No 5): 642-651. doi: 10.1177/0269881114552744.
  15. Hazarey VK et al. Efficacy of curcumin in the treatment for oral health – A randomized clinical trial. Government Dental College and Hospital. Nagpur, Maharashtra, India. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2015. 19: 145-52. doi: 10.4103/0973-029X.164524.
  16. Machida N et al. Effects of Solid, Lipid Curcumin Particles on alcohol metabolism – An expiatory and a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group crossover study. Jpn Pharmacol Ther. 2020 Apr. 48(5): 867-873.
  17. Frost S et al. Retinal amyloid fluorescence imaging predicts cerebral amyloid burden. Alz Dement. 2014. 10(4): P234-P235.
  18. DiSilvestro et al. Diverse effects of a low-dose supplement of lipidated curcumin in healthy middle-aged people. The Ohio State University. Nutr. J. 2012 Sep 26. 11(79). doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-79.
  19. Khattry N et al. Curcumin decreases cytokine levels involved in mucositis in autologous transplant setting: A pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic study. Poster presented at 54th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting. Atlanta, GA. 2012 Dec 08. Blood. 120(21): 3039.
  20. Shah et al. Acute human pharmacokinetics of a lipid-dissolved turmeric extract. Planta Med. 2012. 48-PH5.
  21. Pharmacokinetics of lipidated curcumin: Dose-concentration correlation. Unpublished, UCLA 2011-2012.
  22. Gota et al. Safety and pharmacokinetics of a solid lipid curcumin particle formulation in patients and healthy volunteers. Tata Memorial Cancer Centre. J Ag Food Chem. 2010. 58(4): 2095-2099.

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Nyc Health Store | Amazon Affiliate Store
Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)