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The Difference Between Turmeric and Curcumin
Do you know the difference between turmeric and curcumin? Sometimes the terms are (erroneously) used interchangeably. But while each is a unique substance, you can’t have one without the other.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is an herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family. It is native to Indonesia and southern India where it has been harvested for thousands of years.
Turmeric powder comes from the underground stems, or rhizomes, of the plant, which have tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. The roots are ground into powder that is used for a variety of purposes. Interestingly, the powder was traditionally called Indian saffron since its deep yellow-orange color is similar to that of saffron.
Turmeric powder is perhaps best known as an ingredient for cooking. The powder has a peppery, bitter taste and has been used by many cultures to create traditional dishes. It’s key to making curry, is one of the most widely used spices in Asia and the Middle East, and even gives that mustard you put on your hot dog its bright yellow color.
Beyond cooking, turmeric has been used as a textile dye, and for traditional medicinal purposes.
The health benefits of turmeric are thought to come from its three active chemical compounds—curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. And it’s believed that of the three, curcumin is perhaps the most active component.
Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant. It not only has been found to support joint and respiratory health, but also plays a unique and important role in digestion by helping you achieve optimal gall bladder function.
A properly functioning gallbladder is critical for healthy digestion, especially if your diet consists of eating a lot of fatty foods. When you eat fatty foods, your gallbladder releases bile to break down the fats in your small intestine. When bile production is not working optimally, fats are not able to be broken down, which can lead to slow stomach emptying and other digestive issues, such as constipation and gas.
One randomized, double-blind crossover study found that supplementing with 40 mg of curcumin (standardized to 95%) stimulated the gallbladder to contract, supporting the body’s natural release of bile into the small intestine in order to break down fat.
Our TruDigest contains that exact 40 mg dosage of a potent form of curcumin called Curcumin C3 Complex®. Unlike regular curcumin extract, this unique extract contains all three of turmeric’s chemical compounds (curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin) and is standardized to 95%.