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Q. What do I buy for a natural anti-inflammatory product, turmeric or curcumin?

A. Turmeric is the source of all curcumins. Curcumin is the active ingredient that seems to have an anti-inflammatory effect on body tissues. It must pass through the digestive system, enter the blood circulation and travel to cells we are trying to target.

Those cells have a lipid (made of fats) barrier called the cell wall. It is protective and can repel watery substances. It tends to attract like substances, and curcumins love fat. Some tissues will absorb easily, some will not. The rest will be excreted in sweat, urine and feces.

The body generally responds well to whole foods that it breaks down for the active ingredients. There are less side effects in this way. Drug companies seem to isolate the active ingredient, throw away the other accompanying substances, and deliver to us a concentrated form that will hopefully overwhelm any natural obstruction and blast our target. This can cause side effects. Sometimes the discards would have improved absorption or mitigated the side effects.

Some curcumins mitigate pain better than others, curcumin meriva is one of those (Available on Amazon from Thorne Research and also Jarrow–good manufacturers).

In my opinion, for mild-moderate chronic pain and as a general anti-inflammatory aid, I would choose Turmeric Curcumin (Vita Breeze is an excellent product and a bargain) with Biperine–an extract made from black pepper that increases the absorption in humans. Take 2 capsules for daytime, 1-2 for night time and take it preferably with a fatty food–whole dairy, coconut oil/milk etc. You get all the curcumins with Biperine and fat to facilitate transport to the sources of your aches and pains.