Most people know curcumin as the compound that gives turmeric its characteristic bright yellow colour. Turmeric has a long history of use in India both as a culinary spice and for its health promoting properties too. Yet it is only fairly recently that the Western world has started to take notice of these potential health benefits. A large number of studies now show that curcumin has major benefits for both body and brain. However, curcumin is well known to be poorly absorbed, so most of these studies involve very high doses, which is highly impractical for everyday life.
Most curcumin supplements are poorly absorbed and ineffective
Supplementation is an incredibly useful way to experience the benefits of curcumin without adding heaps of turmeric to everything that you eat and drink. However, since curcumin is known to be poorly absorbed, the major challenge for supplement manufacturers has been to produce a form that is well absorbed, yet without needing to take huge doses. Many products boast high levels of ‘active’ ingredients in a bid to persuade you that this will deliver maximum health benefits. Yet the true measure of how effective a curcumin supplement is actually has very little to do with the amount of active ingredients it contains, because if these cannot be absorbed they will have virtually no effect anyway.
So what should I be looking for, if it’s not just high levels of active ingredients?
The most important measure of a curcumin supplement’s effectiveness is how well it is absorbed, and it must be able to demonstrate this, backed by clinical research. Better absorption = higher bioavailability and this means that a large amount of active ingredient reaches the desired site of action. This is absolutely key for a product to be effective. A curcumin supplement that can demonstrate high absorption is the true barometer of its effectiveness. If you combine high absorption with optimal levels of active ingredients then you have a winning formula.
Why is curcumin absorption so difficult?
Supplements are taken orally and pass directly into the acidic environment in the stomach. From here they are broken down, absorbed through the gut wall and distributed to the areas where they can exert their beneficial effects. For many nutrient and herbal ingredients, this process works pretty seamlessly, yet not for curcumin. Once ingested, fat-soluble curcumin becomes unstable in the acidic aqueous environment of the stomach and this makes it difficult for curcumin to be absorbed.
NovaSOL® – High curcumin absorption backed by research
NovaSOL® is a new form of curcumin, which has been developed specifically to ensure high absorption. In a recent clinical trial published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, NovaSOL® curcumin was shown to be 185 times better absorbed than standard powdered curcumin and significantly better than any other form too.
New delivery method ensures better absorption
NovaSOL® is much better absorbed due to its delivery method. NovaSOL® curcumin extract is packaged in a cluster of tiny molecules called micelles, water-soluble particles which surround fat-soluble curcumin making it completely stable in the acidic environment of the stomach and thus easily absorbed through the gut wall. Research shows that as well as being significantly better absorbed, this micellar delivery method helps the body to keep hold of the curcumin extract for longer than other forms, enabling it to exert its positive effects in the body.