Turmeric is a plant that has been used in oriental medicines for millennia. Today, it is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and is used in food supplements to alleviate various symptoms. However, the assimilation of turmeric and curcumin in the digestive system is not easy and, therefore, we want to talk to you about this topic in depth.

Assimilation of turmeric

Turmeric or turmeric is a plant of the ginger family native to India. Its scientific name is Curcuma longa and the most useful part is the rhizomes, thick and branched, of a very bright yellow tone. In addition to their medicinal properties, they are dried and ground to be used as a condiment for their coloring power and aroma, for example, in curry.

From the point of view of health effects, the most relevant components of turmeric are called curcuminoids, including demethoxycurcumin and curcumin or diferuloylmethane, which is a polyphenol. The latter is the most studied molecule and constitutes a variable proportion between 3 and 22% of the weight of the powdered extract.

Curcuminoids are active ingredients, natural chemicals that are extracted for incorporation into food supplements, resulting in a much higher potency than turmeric. For this reason, it is always advisable to obtain them from products that provide them in high concentration.

Among the most important anti-inflammatory effects is the action on inflammatory mediators. The mechanisms are the reduction in the production of leukotrienes, cytokines and 5-hydroxy-iscosatetraenoic acid. It also inhibits neutrophil infiltration and platelet aggregation.

Low bioavailability

The problem it presents is its low bioavailability, a concept that indicates the proportion and speed with which it is absorbed into the blood and reaches the tissues. Thus, even when very high oral doses of turmeric or powdered rhizome are administered, their effect in relieving inflammation and osteoarticular pain is insufficient. Therefore, finding combinations with ingredients that increase bioavailability is essential.

The main obstacles to rapid absorption and the achievement of high plasma levels are:

  • Low solubility in water.
  • The instability of the molecule, leading to its degradation.
  • Hepatic metabolism, which is very active.
  • Their short half-life.

Why is it said to take turmeric with black pepper?

Among the drawbacks, one of the most important is the hepatic transformation of curcumin into certain metabolites. These compounds have no anti-inflammatory action and cannot increase the amount of antioxidants in the body to counteract oxidative stress.

For this reason, even at doses as high as 12 grams per day of a 95% pure extract, blood levels are still too low to produce physiological effects.

Administering turmeric together with black pepper, another natural substance, is one of the solutions to solve this problem. The reason is the presence of piperine, an alkaloid found in the outermost layer of the Piper nigrum fruit. This last plant belongs to the Piperaceae family and is also commonly used as a condiment for its spicy flavor. In different degrees of ripeness, pepper can be white, green or black.

Piperine inhibits hepatic and intestinal glucuronidation processes, while increasing the absorption rate of curcuminoids. At high doses, the bioavailability of this polyphenol increases by 154%.

The most appropriate ratio to increase absorption and achieve benefits seems to be to administer piperine at 1% of the curcumin dose. However, there is evidence to suggest that this black pepper alkaloid could modify the permeability of the intestinal mucosa.

Is black pepper always necessary?

Whenever turmeric is consumed, it is important to incorporate black pepper for the reasons stated above.

However, we, the manufacturers of food supplements, use curcumin. Curcumin is the particular extract that gives turmeric its health benefits.

Curcumin is processed in different ways and is usually found as a phytosome or liposome. These are processes in which an external coating is implemented to favor their absorption by the organism.

The difference between the two processes is the type of coating. In the case of being phytosome, curcumin is coated by a sphere formed by phospholipids. The liposomal curcumin is covered by a solid lipid bilayer, while the technology coating the active ingredient.

For this reason Olimina 3, a product formulated to relieve the joint discomfort of arthritis and osteoarthrosis, does not require the addition of piperine. Specifically, this quality-tested food supplement in capsules is based on several natural compounds with synergistic anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action derived from the Mediterranean diet:

  • Polyphenols derived from extra virgin olive oil.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: alpha-linolenic (ALA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA).
  • Liposomal curcumin.

Thanks to this combination, we provide better bioavailability and you can benefit from its effects. In addition, food supplements containing natural products with scientifically proven results are a guarantee of health and well-being.

Turmeric is a plant that has been used for millennia and can help you feel better, especially when the assimilation of its active compounds is fast and safe. Always remember that life is to be enjoyed. Visit our website!


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