What’s The Difference between Curcumin and Turmeric?

July 14, 2020

Ever wonder what is the difference between curcumin and turmeric? Both of them often accompany each other. Curcumin happens to be the most active ingredient in turmeric, and the many significant health benefits of turmeric are attributed to the presence of curcumin.
Turmeric is one of the most extensively used spices in South Asian cooking. It can be used for its color, flavor, and aroma. There is no doubt in its beneficial properties since it has been a part of various ancient medicinal traditions such as Ayurveda. But, if you study it carefully, you’ll wonder about turmeric’s unique color and aroma, and it will make you ask the most basic question: ‘Is there some compound behind its bright yellow appearance and pungent smell?’

Yes, there is. Its Curcumin a refined Turmeric extract containing more “Curcuminoids” which is the active component of Turmeric, responsible for its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties most of the benefits that you often associated with turmeric along with its taste and aroma. The active component (Curcuminoids) in a Turmeric supplement are lower than 95%, and depending on the extract, will contain anywhere between 3-65% active Curcuminoids.

In addition to that, it must be noted the curcumin and turmeric are completely different altogether, for turmeric itself is a source of curcumin, and ginger happens to be the second-best source for it.

How Beneficial Can Curcumin Be?

  1. Considered to be the most important and active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin is not only responsible for giving it a bright yellow color and a pungent aroma, but it is also responsible for most of turmeric’s benefits. But that’s not to say that turmeric does have any benefits that can be linked solely with it irrespective of curcumin’s presence. The fact is, turmeric contains some other plant compounds that are also advantageous to one’s health.
  2. As for curcumin, it has promising abilities to inhibit fungal growth and reducing the inflammatory responses of one’s body tissues. Thus, it fights against many age-related concerns such as arthritis and some well-known neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
  3. Both turmeric and curcumin, are known to bring a healthy balance in the levels of bad-cholesterol and good-cholesterol, thus reducing the risks associated with heart diseases. In other words, it can be said that a healthy intake of curcumin can promote one’s cardiovascular health.
Can Curcumin Be More Beneficial As Compared To Turmeric?

Since most of the benefits of turmeric are derived from curcumin, it is safe to say that curcumin itself is an extraordinarily beneficial compound. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties, it is anti-fungal in nature, and most of all, curcumin can also significantly lower the blood sugar levels and is a known prescription for people suffering from type-2 diabetes.
Strictly speaking, there is no official statement that places curcumin over turmeric or vice versa. However, turmeric that has a higher concentration of curcumin can show some very promising and effective benefits. As a matter of fact, just the amount of turmeric that contains about 1 g of curcumin, upon being regularly consumed, can make you start seeing its positive effects in a matter of 8-12 weeks.
On the other hand, it is also important to point out that the higher dosage of curcumin can also lead to some digestive issues such as indigestion, bloating, and diarrhea. Thus, it is always advised to keep your curcumin consumption under control and regulated.

The bottom line / Takeaway

The takeaway would be that no one can point the different benefits of curcumin and turmeric, as one usually accompanies the other. However, you can also consume curcumin extracts if you don’t want the whole taste of the spice, though it is advised that you consult before doing so. Since curcumin is a proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, there is no doubt in its free-radical scavenging activity, but it is needless to say that it would work best and shows the best results only when it is consumed / taken along with turmeric.

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