The Bioavailability of Turmeric


Turmeric and curcumin are notoriously used to help managed and prevent chronic disease as well as keep inflammation at bay. The reason why turmeric can be so protective is because of its bioactive components, the curcuminoids. Although turmeric can work wonders on certain condition it can be poorly absorbed in the body and has limited systemic bioavailability, however new things are being done in order to overcome the possible limitations of turmeric so we can more easily absorb this superfood. 

Let’s discuss why turmeric is often times used medicinally. Curcumin which is the main bioactive part of turmeric has been shown to decrease inflammation, act as an antioxidant, fight off tumors, as well as work as an antibacterial and antiviral agent. Turmeric has been used in sauces and used as a 

seasoning for many years but it is often times used as a supplement as well. Although turmeric can improve many aspects of health, turmeric is often times very poorly absorbed in the body. Author Dallas Clouatre has stated that he would like to see and possibly even be involved in the research of improving the bioavailability of turmeric.

Bioavailability is the part of the substance that enters the circulation when introduced into the body which allows it to have an active effect on the body. The bioavailability of turmeric needs to be improved. Turmeric has low bioavailability for a number of reasons including the way it is distributed throughout the tissues in the body, its rapid metabolism and excretion from the body as well as its short half-life which decreases its activity in the body. Another reason why turmeric is not very bioavailable in the body is because of its low solubility in water.

Despite the fact that turmeric has low bioavailability and is not readily absorbed in the body does not mean that we should not be consuming this super food. There are ways to improve the bioavailability and absorption in the body. Combining black pepper with turmeric is one way to help the turmeric become better absorbed in the body. Mixing turmeric with fats such as coconut oil, flaxseed oil or olive oil is another way to help improve the absorption of turmeric in the body. Quercetin is a flavonoid which is found in things like apples, onions, red grapes, and citrus fruits and helps to inhibit an enzyme called sulfotransferase which causes turmeric to become inactive. Combining quercetin with turmeric can also be beneficial. If you are taking a turmeric supplement or plan too, looking for a supplement with agents such as black pepper or other ingredients that help with turmeric absorption will make the turmeric more readily available in your body. 

Studies and further research continues to be done on how to increase the absorption and bioavailability of turmeric even further. It is known that this superfood can prevent things like inflammation as well as cancer and understanding how to make this plant based medicinal medicine work better in our bodies could be a life changing discovery.