Derived from the Curcuma longa plant, turmeric is a brilliant yellow spice used in Indian cuisine. Closely related to ginger, the turmeric we eat comes from the stem-like roots of the plant, called rhizomes.
Turmeric’s absorption is greatly improved when combined with black pepper, so supplements that combine the two or include piperine (black pepper’s active compound) are easier for your body to absorb for maximum effectiveness. Turmeric is fat-soluble, which means it is best absorbed when consumed with foods with fat content.
When choosing the best turmeric supplement, opt for one from a reputable brand that offers a potent concentration and is third-party verified from a source such as NSF, USP, or ConsumerLab.
Before beginning a regimen of turmeric, it’s important to discuss your options for supplements with a healthcare professional to ensure risks are low for your individual circumstances.
Benefits of Turmeric Supplements
The active ingredient in turmeric called curcumin offers powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric can be beneficial for people managing health issues caused by inflammation, including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. It may even help in managing stress and sleep.
While many studies indicate turmeric’s capabilities in reducing inflammation, further research will help to determine the best form of turmeric and the exact dose of curcumin needed for the best results.
Turmeric supplements may help relieve symptoms associated with:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease: For those with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis, a study done in 2018 found that 80 mg of curcumin taken three times daily for four weeks improved frequent bathroom usage. A different study found that curcumin is also helpful when combined with melamine, a medication used for ulcerative colitis, suggesting more relief occurs when taken together.
- Digestive Conditions: For hundreds of years, Asian medicine has used turmeric to treat digestive issues. Recent studies indicate that curcumin may even work as effectively as the drug omeprazole for relieving symptoms such as gas, bloating, and stomach pain.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Turmeric shows promise for treating joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis. Studies indicate that 1,000 mg of turmeric may relieve joint pain and tenderness and reduce swelling. It is also helpful for reducing inflammatory symptoms linked to RA, like C-reactive protein. Noticeable relief starts with just 250 mg, with effectiveness increasing at 500 mg and when paired with 50 mg diclofenac sodium. However, more research is necessary for ideal doses.
- Osteoarthritis: Turmeric is helpful for people suffering from osteoarthritis, especially those who combine it with other treatments. Turmeric supplements are effective at helping with pain, but they don’t help with other symptoms of osteoarthritis, such as joint stiffness.
People Who Should Avoid Turmeric Supplements
While turmeric and curcumin supplements benefit many health issues, they may not be right for everyone, including:
- Anyone prone to kidney stones
- Anyone who regularly takes blood thinners
- Anyone on medication for diabetes
- Anyone taking anti-cancer drugs or undergoing cancer treatment
- Anyone currently pregnant or breastfeeding
If any of these apply to you, avoid turmeric root powder, supplements, shots, and other turmeric products unless your medical provider gives the go-ahead.
And as always - before starting any new supplement or herbal medicine, you should always consult your GP or professional health practitioner first.
The 6 Best Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements
- Live Momentous Turmeric Ultra
- Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength
- Life Extension Curcumin Elite
- Garden of Life Mykind Organics Extra Strength Turmeric
- Mindbodygreen Turmeric Potency+
- Thorne Curcumin Phytosome
1.) Live Momentous Turmeric Ultra
- All-around best turmeric and curcumin supplement
- Price point: $
- Serving size: Two capsules, 1,000 mg, daily
- Active ingredients: Meriva curcumin phytosome, turmeric rhizome extract
Live Momentous Turmeric Ultra is one of the best turmeric and curcumin supplements on the market, and it is the best option we’ve found for absorption. The supplement combines Meriva curcumin phytosomes with turmeric rhizome extract to provide a potent dose of curcumin that supports healthy inflammation levels and antioxidant activity.
Meriva is a unique curcumin extract that has been shown to provide up to 29x greater absorption than ordinary curcumin, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to maximize curcumin absorption.
Each serving of Live Momentous Turmeric Ultra contains 1000mg of Meriva and turmeric rhizomes (18% curcuminoids) extract, providing a high concentration of curcumin. Additionally, this supplement is NSF certified, ensuring that it is free of harmful substances and manufactured according to the highest standards.
- Excellent absorption rates with Meriva curcumin phytosomes
- NSF certified
- Optimal daily dose with a high concentration
- Not certified vegan
- Serving size is two capsules per day, which some may find excessive
2.) Thorne Curcumin Phytosome
- Best for absorption and targeted support
- Price point: $$
- Serving size: Two capsules, 500 mg, daily
- Active ingredients: Curcumin phytosome
Thorne Curcumin Phytosome, which also includes the patented formula Meriva, is a highly effective supplement that offers targeted absorption of curcumin. This product is ideal for those looking to maintain a healthy inflammatory response throughout the body and provides relief from occasional aches, joint stiffness, and soreness.
Each serving of two capsules per day contains 250mg of sustained-release curcumin phytosome, making it optimal for GI, liver, and joint support. Thorne also ensures that its supplements are of the highest quality, produced in CGMP-compliant labs and third-party tested. Additionally, Thorne's Curcumin Phytosome uses Indena S.p.A.'s proprietary "phytosome" technology, which attaches curcumin extract to a phospholipid, allowing for optimal absorption. The sustained-release formula also includes Time-Sorb, providing long-lasting effects.
Thorne manufactures its supplements at the highest standards, in CGMP-compliant labs. While Thorne is a US-based company, the supplements are third-party tested, and Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration awarded the company an A1 rating and full certification.
- Superior manufacturing and quality assurance
- NSF certified
- Developed for excellent absorption
- Timed-release formula
- Price is on the higher end
- High-dose formula
- Not certified vegan or vegetarian-friendly
3.) mindbodygreen Turmeric Potency+
- Highest Turmeric Potency
- Price point: $$$
- Serving size: Two capsules, 500 mg daily
- Active ingredients: Turmeric, ginger root, black pepper fruit
If you are looking for a dietary supplement with impressive turmeric potency, you can’t go wrong with mindbodygreen’s Turmeric Potency+ supplements. With a whopping 500 mg of turmeric per two-capsule serving, these supplements make it easy to reap the numerous benefits of natural turmeric.
This supplement is also formulated with ginger root, black pepper fruit, and other ingredients that support joint, muscle, skin, heart, digestive, and whole-body health. The components of this supplement are designed for maximum absorption and efficacy; clinical studies demonstrate that it provides 10 times more absorption than alternative forms.
Since these turmeric supplements are free of GMO, soy, gluten, and dairy, they are ideal for any dietary preference!
- Manufactured and packaged in the U.S.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No artificial sweeteners
- Higher potency than other capsules
- More expensive than other options
4.) Life Extension Curcumin Elite
- Best Black Pepper-Free Option
- Price point: $
- Dosage: One capsule daily, 200 mg
- Active ingredients: curcuminoids, turmeric, and fenugreek seed
Life Extension Curcumin Elite offers 200 mg of curcuminoids plus ar-turmerone, another turmeric compound. This formula features a potent form of curcumin and doesn’t contain black pepper. Instead of black pepper, it includes galactomannan sourced from fenugreek seeds to boost curcuminoid absorption.
As for the best turmeric pills or tablets, this product has 45 times more bioavailable free curcuminoids plus 270 times the enhanced absorption compared to basic curcumin. This supplement is also certified non-GMO and gluten-free, making it the best turmeric supplement if you want to avoid black pepper.
- Excellent curcumin potency and absorption
- Black pepper-free formula
- Once-daily supplement
- Certificate of analysis available
- Third-party tested
- Large size; not ideal for those with difficulty swallowing pills or capsules
- Vegetarian-friendly but not certified vegan friendly
5.) Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength
- Best Vegan Option
- Price point: $
- Dosage: One capsule daily, 482 mg
- Active ingredients: organic turmeric extract and black pepper extract
Gaia Herbs produces top-quality herbal supplements. Their Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength is a great example of their commitment to purity and potency. The brand states this particular formula is easily digestible with greater absorption than powdered extracts.
Each capsule of this supplement is designed to help absorb curcumin effectively. It contains 482 milligrams of turmeric root extract, including 36 milligrams of curcuminoids, as well as black pepper.
Gaia has very strict production standards, and all products are traceable using a tool on their website, enabling you to view plant origins and validation of quality. This product is purity-tested, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free and made in the USA.
- Strict standards for all products, including verifications
- Includes black pepper for superior absorption
- Fully vegan
- Tested for heavy metals
- Not third-party tested
- The large capsule may be hard to swallow
6.) Garden of Life Mykind Organics Extra Strength Turmeric
- Best Option for Inflammation
- Price point: $
- Serving size: One tablet, 500 mg daily
- Active ingredients: Organic turmeric blend, organic fermented ginger root, organic black pepper fruit extract, probiotic blend
For those who want to ensure they are getting maximum turmeric absorption benefits, Garden of Life MyKind Organics Extra Strength Turmeric is a highly potent blend that helps relieve inflammation. It features fermented turmeric and ginger, black pepper fruit, and a probiotic blend to boost absorption.
This turmeric supplement is kosher and third-party certified by USDA Organic, non-GMO project verified, certified vegan, and gluten-free. ConsumerLab also tests and approves Garden of Life MyKind Organics Extra Strength Turmeric for additional assurance.
- Organic and non-GMO formula
- Extra-strength potency
- Includes black pepper fruit and ginger
- Extensively tested and certified
- Large tablet
- Contains probiotics, which some people may not be looking to take
The Best Curcumin Supplements: What to Look For
The spectrum varies greatly in regard to turmeric supplements. Widely available and with little regulation, it’s a difficult market to sort through.
Here are a few points to keep in mind when purchasing to ensure you get the best turmeric supplement available that is safe and effective:
- Third-Party Testing: Third-party testing that regulates supplements for quality assurance ensures that the supplements contain what companies claim and also ensures no contamination occurs. Some of the most reputable third-party certifications include USP, NSF, and ConsumerLab.
- Additional Supplement Pairings: The bioavailability of curcumin, the beneficial compound in turmeric, can be increased by certain ingredients. To get the most out of your turmeric supplement, look for formulas that include black pepper, lecithin or fats, ginger, turmeric root extract, and curcuminoids to boost the absorption of curcumin.
- Ingredients: The purity and quality of the ingredients in your turmeric and curcumin supplements are important. Before purchasing any product, carefully read and evaluate the ingredient list, including the type of turmeric.
Turmeric and Curcumin FAQ:
Here are some of our most commonly asked questions about turmeric and curcumin.
How do you choose the top turmeric supplements?
When it comes to our picks for the best turmeric and curcumin supplements, testing and research are our first priorities. We review top products and prioritize turmeric and curcumin supplements verified for quality, purity, and performance. We are big on science and data and only recommend brands with solid reputations.
What about reports of turmeric supplements related to liver toxicity?
In recent years, some reports of turmeric use indicated occurrences of liver injury or acute liver toxicity. In many of these cases, the subjects used liver supplements that included piperine (black pepper extract) for added absorption.
Interestingly, a study found that many individuals involved in the study experienced liver injury due to carrying a gene known as HLA-B*35:01. While more research is important, such incidents are very rare.
What is the best turmeric or curcumin dosage?
Most people take 250, 500, or 1,000 milligrams of turmeric every day, but there is no universal dose of turmeric or curcumin supplements that you need to follow. However, be mindful of the amount of curcumin or turmeric you consume as extremely large doses may cause some undesired effects.
Can you take too much turmeric or curcumin?
Yes, it is possible to take too much turmeric and there are a few turmeric side effects if you overload on the product, as with any other supplements. However, taking too much turmeric is rare if you follow the recommended dosage on the supplement bottle.
Most studies examine the use of 1,000 mg-1,500 mg of turmeric daily, which has proved to be safe, so it may be best to take it at that maximum range. Your personal maximum dosage may also vary based on the potency of the supplement, whether the supplement is turmeric or curcumin, and other ingredients in the supplement.
What is the best way to take turmeric?
You can consume turmeric in capsules, gummies, tablets, liquid turmeric extract, or turmeric powders. Formulated supplements are measured so that it’s easy to know how much you are taking every day. Because turmeric is fat-soluble, it absorbs best when paired with fat, especially meals containing fat. You may also combine turmeric and black pepper to boost absorption.
Does turmeric have a taste?
Yes, turmeric has a unique, slightly strong flavour that can range from spicy to citrusy and earthy. Some find turmeric pungent and bitter, and others enjoy the flavour blended with other Indian, Middle Eastern, or Moroccan spices and herbs.
Can turmeric help me lose weight?
There is no conclusive information on using turmeric directly as a weight loss aid, but it does have numerous holistic health benefits which are likely to contribute to healthy weight reduction over time if you are overweight and addressing it correctly.
Are turmeric and curcumin the same thing?
No. Turmeric is a herb often used in cooking, and curcumin is a compound found in turmeric.
The Bottom Line
Most of the best turmeric supplements we’ve found contain high-potency extracts combined with additional ingredients to support increased absorption.
Turmeric is a promising herb, offering benefits to reduce inflammation, pain, and other ailments. Whether you choose a turmeric root extract, a combination of turmeric root and curcumin, or opt for a formula that prioritizes curcuminoids, extract quality and brand transparency are extremely important factors you should be considering.
When choosing a turmeric or curcumin supplement, we recommend searching for turmeric brands that undergo third-party testing (& make it easily available) and contain absorption-boosting ingredients.