Shane Ellison, The People’s Chemist, explained to subscribers to his email (quoted below) that often times there are big differences in quality between competing products in the health market. His example, curcumin, can be ruined with a water extraction method that leaves behind many of the best parts of the compound. Curcumin is found in turmeric. Turmeric is eaten in India more than anywhere else, and rates of prostate cancer there are the lowest in the world.
How Pure is Your Curcumin?
Also pictured above are two orange pills of curcumin. Both look identical. Yet one was made via a water extraction. For most natural products, this is a prehistoric method of isolation that pulls out the useless – inactive – compounds, while leaving behind the beneficial nutrients!
The end product of a “water extraction” is a “bad” curcumin/turmeric supplement. It doesn’t yield the health benefits touted on the label and it’s a waste of money…it’s just a vapid, bright orange powder.
As a chemist, this is obviously infuriating to me. I see it all the time at the store, and have watched clueless people toss worthless bottles of turmeric (or curcumin) into their shopping carts.
The other identical looking curcumin supplement is loaded with curcuminoids thanks to proper preparation and isolation methods that pull out both water and fat soluble compounds from turmeric!
That one came from Daily Dose. I used my chemistry background to produce it. Not only is it jam-packed with curcumin but also memory boosting boswellic acids! Together, they’re a powerful, antioxidant duo…and more.
Early in the 1990s, the University of Texas’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, found the anti-cancer effects of turmeric to be “staggering.” After sprinkling a pinch of the spice on cancer cells in the lab, they found that it blocked a crucial pathway required for the development of skin cancer and other types, including prostate tumors.
Epidemiology has further increased the excitement around turmeric with population studies showing that India, the country whose residents consume most of the world’s turmeric, has the world’s lowest prostate cancer rate — twenty-five times less than that of men within the United States!
Dr. Ajay Goel, Ph.D., a cancer researcher, and director of Baylor University’s Center for Gastrointestinal Research, recently sat down with me to share his interest and findings about curcumin over the phone…
He told me that his lab has found that, “Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory. we are finding that this enables it to be a great cancer fighter. In fact, we should start thinking of cancer as “inflammation that can be treated,” not cancer that is automatically deadly. Boswellic acid from frankincense is another botanical that activates another anti-inflammatory mechanism that complements turmeric and boosts its health properties, especially for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Read more from the People’s Chemist here.