- Q&A Columns
- Contest Photos
- Contest News
- Athlete Profiles
- Product Reviews
Curcumin and Turmeric
Q: I’ve noticed that curcumin and turmeric are getting a lot of good press lately, even in the mainstream media. What’s the difference between these two ingredients and what kinds of benefits can they provide? Are they any good for athletes?
A: Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a perennial plant of the ginger family and is native to southeast India. The primary active compound in turmeric is called curcumin, and it’s becoming very well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, some studies show that curcumin is just as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in treating inflammation pain. This is especially useful for athletes because many sports-related injuries result in painful inflammation issues. On top of its incredible anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin has also been studied for its beneficial effects on testosterone secretion. Research shows that curcumin can boost testosterone through the activation of enzymes found in the testes that are involved in the biosynthesis of testosterone. Some research even shows that curcumin can help reduce estrogen production. When looking for a tumeric supplement, try to find one that’s standardized for 95 percent curcuminoids and at least 70 to 80 percent curcumin. It’s important to note that curcumin on its own has poor bioavailability, but it can be dramatically improved when combined with an ingredient such as Bioperine (piperine).
To read more from the Supplement Godfather, click here!
Photo of Antoine Vaillant courtesy of Simon Lau