What to Look for in a Turmeric Supplement


Turmeric is a root similar to ginger that has been used by traditional cultures for thousands of years. While ground turmeric can add flavor and color to meals, it is poorly absorbed by the body and therefore does not provide the full anti-inflammatory†* benefits of turmeric. However, taking turmeric in supplement form can provide a more concentrated dose of turmeric, and certain added ingredients can help overcome turmeric’s absorption issues.

With so many turmeric supplements available these day, it can be hard to know which one to choose. Let’s take a look at the different forms of turmeric, what you should look for in a turmeric supplement, and why Qunol Turmeric is the better choice.


Turmeric vs curcumin

You may have heard the terms “turmeric” and “curcumin” used interchangeably, but they are technically not the same. Turmeric refers to the whole root that is ground into a spice powder. Turmeric contains powerful antioxidants called curcuminoids, with curcumin being one of three main curcuminoids. So when you see “curcumin” or “curcuminoids” on a label, you know that you are getting the active ingredient.



Turmeric powder supplements

Some turmeric supplements are made simply by taking turmeric powder and putting it into capsules. You will see this listed as “Turmeric (Curcuma longa)” in the supplement facts section of the label. The problem with these supplements is that you may only be getting about 3% curcuminoids. While these supplements appear to be the most affordable, they are not the best option because there is usually nothing added to help enhance the absorption of the turmeric.



Concentrated curcuminoids

Turmeric supplements made with concentrated curcuminoids are a step up from turmeric powder supplements. This ingredient is extracted from turmeric and provides a highly concentrated dose of curcuminoids. You will often see the terms “standardized turmeric root extract” or a percentage of curcuminoids listed in the supplement facts section, with 95% curcuminoids being a common concentration. But even at this high percentage of curcuminoids, there can still be problems with absorption.



Black pepper extract and absorption

High quality turmeric supplements will include absorption enhancers to help the curcuminoids get into your bloodstream. One popular absorption enhancer is black pepper extract (piperine). A patented black pepper extract called BioPerine® is commonly used in conjunction with 95% curcuminoids. Research shows that black pepper extract can increase the absorption of curcumin by 20X.1



Even better absorption

While black pepper extract can help improve absorption, researchers have developed an even better way. An absorption enhanced called gamma cyclodextrin helps the curcuminoids disperse in water and has been shown to increase absorption by about 40X.2 Our Qunol Turmeric is made with bioenhanced turmeric formulated with gamma cyclodextrin for superior absorption in the body.  



Key takeaways

  • Turmeric powder is great for cooking, but only provides a small amount of curcuminoids
  • Concentrated curcuminoid supplements still struggle with absorption in the body
  • Black pepper extract can help enhance absorption
  • Bioenhanced turmeric supplements with added gamma cyclodextrin provide even better absorption




  1. Shoba, G. et al. Planta Med. (1998), May;64(4):353-6.
  2. Purpura, M. et al. Eur. J. Nutr. (2018), 57: 929.

§ Absorption of Qunol® Turmeric (Eur. J. Nutr., 2018, 57:929) and Turmeric with BioPerine® (Planta Med., 1998, 64(4):353-6) compared to standardized unformulated curcumin extract (regular turmeric) 


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.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

BioPerine® is a registered trademark of Sabinsa Corporation.

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  • Blog Contributor
Comments 3
  • Donald Weaver
    Donald Weaver

    I tried the samples of 500mg Tumeric Complex + 50mg Ginger powder & really liked it. My question: Is the powder mix more readily absorbed in the gut or is the gel tab equally absorbed? It would seem that the powder would be better absorbed since it is already dissolved in liquid before it enters the gut.

  • Gregg Lambert
    Gregg Lambert

    Loved the sample single packet but it doesn’t appear Sell them, why not? Would be great for people like me who travel for living, let me know when you make single size packets available, I’ll be the first to buy them and tell my friends

  • Michele Edwards
    Michele Edwards

    Question: What are the pros / cons of Qunol liquid versus soft gel turmeric..

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