Turmeric vs. Curcumin: What’s the Difference?
The easiest way to know the difference between turmeric and curcumin is to think of turmeric as the source of curcumin. One of three bioactive compounds, curcumin is a strong antioxidant and therapeutic anti-inflammatory† with a number of health benefits.
Turmeric in ancient Indian Ayurvedic holistic medicine
Recognized for its therapeutic properties more than 5,000 years ago, turmeric was widely used throughout India, Asia and Central America. Its vibrant amber hue made for the perfect fabric dye and in cooking, it became known as the Golden Spice. As an herbal remedy in Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric offered a number of health benefits. Today, turmeric is regarded as a:
- Strong, natural anti-inflammatory†
- Powerful antioxidant
- Supplement for joint health2
The roots of the turmeric plant
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a root vegetable from the ginger family and the star player in curried dishes and the popular drink, Golden Milk. To obtain the Golden Spice, the root of the turmeric plant is dried and ground to a powder. This is the turmeric you find on the spice rack in the grocery store and in some herbal supplements.
Turmeric is a rich source of curcuminoids
When scientists took a closer look at turmeric, they found housed within the root of the plant three bioactive compounds with health-promoting properties. Known collectively as curcuminoids, these antioxidant compounds include:
- Curcumin (or diferuloylmethane)
Curcuminoids are natural polyphenols with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory† benefits.1 Polyphenols occur naturally in plants and contain health-promoting properties to help ward off predators and disease.
As a rich source of anti-inflammatory† antioxidants, curcuminoids are a unique group of polyphenols found only in the turmeric plant. But one curcuminoid stands out above the rest and that is curcumin, or diferuloylmethane, offering the biggest health benefits.Taken as an antioxidant supplement, curcumin can help support an active lifestyle and promote healthy inflammation response† due to physical overexertion.*
Curcumin is the secret to turmeric health benefits
As the primary player in the turmeric powerhouse, curcumin is the one science is most interested in. Countless studies have tested curcumin for its anti-inflammatory†, antioxidant properties and found it to be beneficial in promoting good health.
As an anti-inflammatory†, curcumin offers a number of health benefits and can help support healthy inflammation response.† This is important if you want to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. As an active compound, curcumin can help promote joint health and is especially helpful as a post-workout recovery aid.
As an antioxidant, curcumin can help the body fight free radicals. Both antioxidants and free radicals naturally exist in the body and it’s a daily struggle to keep a healthy balance. The body can only produce so many antioxidants in a day to keep free radicals down, and needs to stock up from the food we eat. Powdered turmeric offers only a low concentration of curcumin and passes through the body too quickly for any real health benefit. But a potent curcumin supplement with enhanced absorption will give you maximum therapeutic effect.
Are all turmeric curcumin supplements the same?
A turmeric curcumin supplement gives you a more concentrated dose of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory† health benefits compared to turmeric powder. But if you want to receive the maximum therapeutic effect, look for a turmeric curcumin supplement like Qunol Extra Strength Curcumin with superior absorption and enhanced bioavailability. It’s your best option for a healthy daily dose of anti-inflammatory† antioxidants.
- Panahi Y, Hosseini MS, Khalili N, Naimi E, Majeed M, Sahebkar A. Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec;34(6):1101-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25618800
- Panahi Y, Rahimnia AR, Sharafi M, Alishiri G, Saburi A, Sahebkar A. Phytother Res. 2014 Nov;28(11):1625-31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24853120
- Amirhossein Sahebkarab, Maria-Corina Serbanc, Sorin Ursoniuc, Maciej Banach. Journal of Functional Foods Volume 18, Part B, October 2015, Pages 898-909.
†May help reduce temporary inflammation associated with physical overexertion or other lifestyle choices.
This product is not intended to treat, prevent or cure inflammation associated with any disease.
- Blog Contributor