Curcumin vs. Turmeric: Are Curcumin Supplements Better?

What’s the difference between turmeric and curcumin, and which is better? Find out all you need to know.


Turmeric and curcumin are two of the most popular herbal supplements in the United States touted for their ability to reduce inflammation. (1) While both of these supplements come from the same plant—Curcuma longa—turmeric and curcumin are not the same. 


To find the best anti-inflammatory supplement, you need to understand the differences between turmeric powder and curcumin. This article outlines what sets turmeric and curcumin apart and answers the question, is curcumin better than turmeric? 


The Difference Between Curcumin and Turmeric


Turmeric is a spice that comes from the root of the perennial herbaceous plant Curcuma longa. You can find turmeric root in the produce section of your local grocery store or dried turmeric powder with the spices. Turmeric powder is bright yellow with a touch of orange, and it’s the spice that gives curry its bright color. 


Turmeric is not new to health advocates. It’s been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, a form of traditional medicine originating in India. (2) 


Curcumin is a singular compound that scientists believe is responsible for many of turmeric’s beneficial health effects. (3) Turmeric extracts contain roughly 2–8% curcumin. 


Is Curcumin or Turmeric Better for You?


Turmeric root and powders have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Research shows that this spice has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help with health issues, such as digestive problems (2).


Because curcumin is responsible for many of turmeric’s health benefits, most experts consider curcumin supplements to be more beneficial than turmeric pills. Not only do curcumin products have higher quantities of curcumin, but many supplements have formulations that increase curcumin bioavailability.  


In its natural form, our bodies can only absorb and use a small portion of the curcumin in turmeric. (4) By boosting the quantity of curcumin that our bodies can use, the best curcumin supplements have even greater anti-inflammatory properties than turmeric powder and supplements. 


How to Take Turmeric and Curcumin


The best way to take turmeric is to add it to your cooking. Turmeric is delicious in things like curries, stir-fries, or the popular drink golden milk. 


For those who want to explore the health benefits of turmeric, we recommend curcumin supplements. Just be sure to source a curcumin pill with a formulation that enhances curcumin’s bioavailability.  


What is the Most Bioavailable Form of Curcumin?


Many formulations enhance curcumin absorption, as outlined in a 2020 study published in Molecules. (4) Theracurmin® curcumin supplements are some of the most widely studied, with human research examining Theracurmin’s efficacy and bioavailability. 

Interceutical’s Better Curcumin supplement has high levels of Theracurmin® Curcumin, which contains small curcumin molecules for maximum health benefits.* It’s this type of bioavailable curcumin that’s most likely to support brain health and a healthy inflammatory response.*

Read Related Articles: , ,