One of the most popular products among our patients and customers is curcumin. Patients are consistently asking us for it as it seems that their awareness has grown about curcumin and its anti-inflammatory properties and role in disease prevention.
Curcumin is the same thing as turmeric, which is a type of ginger. The Latin name for turmeric is Curcuma longa which gives curcumin its name. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory effect because it is a cox-2 inhibitor. Curcumin increases cellular levels of glutathione to enhance detoxification. Curcumin also has the ability to increases the enzyme activity of phase II detoxification. As an antioxidant, curcumin scavenges free radicles of oxygen and nitrogen.
So with all these benefits it isn’t surprising that many people are using curcumin supplements. However there is one major problem with curcumin. To get these affects you need to have curcumin absorbed into your blood stream from your intestines. This is a big problem as the oral absorption of curcumin is very low. In fact, one study found that curcumin couldn’t be detected in the blood of anyone taking less than 4 g per day. This makes it very difficult to deliver curcumin to any location in the body other than the gut.
The good news is there is a new product on the market called Meriva®. Meriva® is a standardized curcumin specially formulated to enhance absorption. A recent study showed that Meriva when compared to regular curcumin had an absorption rate of approximately 29 time that of the regular curcumin. So Meriva can help enhance blood levels with a much smaller dosage.
Curcumin is relatively safe and has been used as a food for centuries. Caution should be exercised while pregnant or lactating as its use as a supplement during that time has not been tested. Curcumin does inhibit platelet aggregation and caution would need to be exercised if taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications.
Special Blog Offer: Type MERIVA in coupon code to receive offer. Offer Expires May 30, 2011