T Nation

Curcumin and Other Caps


I recently read an article stating the following:

In order to get the long-term health benefits of taking curcumin daily, a supplement must include an enteric coating. The standard veggie-caps used by most supplement manufacturers don't work.

After scientists had done some of the research concerning the curcumin benefits as anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agents, they looked at how well the compound is absorbed into the bloodstream. The measured blood serum levels after volunteers had taken very large amounts, up to 10 grams, and found that concentration was very low.

This is seen with other nutrients, as well. An enteric coating is necessary to allow the nutrients to make it through the stomach, undamaged. Once in the upper intestine, the nutrients can pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/medicine-articles/the-benefits-of-taking-curcumin-daily-792147.html#ixzz1DO6v9DeK
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Does Biotest address this issue?




Biotest does address the actual issue. The article is correct that simply providing curcumin in capsules results in poor bioavailability, and it is correct that including piperine, which Biotest does, improves bioavailability "dramatically."

The article is incorrect that enteric coating is required or relevant. I don't know where the author got the idea. I know of no study showing any such thing; the curcumin molecule is stable to stomach acid; and they cite no evidence or reference. I would have to guess the writer was guessing according to what seemed to make sense to her.

There has seemed to be a major trend recently where very "nothing" articles get high Google placement, with very many of these articles on all kinds of topics having recently been generated, I suppose for the sake of gaining ad revenue. The articles seem to have no time spent on them at all and with no indication of actual expertise by the author, but simply some facts that could be obtained in a few minutes plus an opinion or two. It's unfortunate.

Perhaps Google places these articles high because they are vehicles for Google ads: it wouldn't seem to be via their usual criteria for establishing web importance, and perhaps some people have learned to make a lot of money by quickly churning out large numbers of these articles. It might be that instead of earning a few hundred or a couple of thousand dollars for a paid article in a magazine, one might earn many thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in advertising money by doing it this way. I don't know. But something is going on with these articles such as on this Articlesbase site, or with this particular author, Valerie Rosenbaum (273 articles, mostly on skin care: she is also promoting an enteric-coated vitamin line.)

Of course my point is not to discredit the enteric claim by discrediting the author: rather the enteric claim has so far as I know no evidence for it in the case of curcumin -- and curcumin bioavailability is a matter I have researched extensively previously and I did a quick review again just now to see if there was anything new -- and also does not make sense, because curcumin is stable to stomach acid. I mention the part about these articles only because I've been put off a fair amount lately by how prevalent articles like this one have recently become.

The fact that now an article doesn't even need to be good enough to earn a paycheck from any individual evaluating the article, yet can generate a lot of ad revenue (most likely) for the writer and for Google, has resulted in a real lowering of quality, it seems to me.

Yet the reader is absolutely given the impression that the article is an important one: top of the hits for web importance.


Hey Bill,

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. I appreciate it.


Sure thing!


This was a very interesting post Bill, thanks for your time and thoughts.