Curcumin versus Turmeric as Cancer Therapy-What’s the Difference?

Share Button

 Curcumin (Cu), which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is the most active constituent of turmeric, making up between two to six percent of this spice.”

Dear Cancer Coach: Is Turmeric and Curcumin (CU) considered to be the same thing?  I am taking Turmeric, 450 mg.  Is that enough?  Should I shift to Cu, take Turmeric/Curcumin at same time or what?
And what are the health benefits of curcumin/turmeric?

I am asked about curcumin vs. turmeric as cancer therapy frequently. Here is the answer. A good explanation of  Turmeric Curcumin benefits:
A good explanation of the difference between Curcumin and Turmeric:
“Is cu and turmeric the same?
Turmeric is derived from the rhizomes (underground stems) of the plant Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family. … Cu, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is the most active constituent of turmeric, making up between two to six percent of this spice.”
As both a multiple myeloma survivor and MM cancer coach I believe that the important issue when consider cu supplementation is a supplement’s “bioavailability” meaning how much curcumin gets into your blood stream. I take a brand of curcumin that is comprised of BCM-95. Life Extension Super Bio-Curcumin has been evaluated and approved my Consumerlab.com.
Please read the article linked below for more information about BIOAVAILABILITY-
David Emerson
  • MM Survivor
  • MM Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:



With such incredible health potential, it is no wonder that the market in cu supplements is booming. With literally hundreds of brands to choose from and many using different additional ingredients, which is the best supplement for you?

Image result for image of BIOPERINE


BioPerine is used by manufacturers of cu powder and capsules as an ingredient to increase the absorption of curcumin into the system. The amount of the ingredient used by weight is usually under 1%…


Like BioPerine, Longvida is a branded ingredient sold to manufacturers for use in cu supplements. Unlike BioPerine, Longvida actually contains cu. It is actually composed of 20% curcumin and 80% phospholipids. If you are not sure what a phospholipid is, it is a type of lipid or fat similar to wax and sterols. Longvida was patented in 2006 and is used by manufacturers to enhance the absorption of cu…


Like Longvida, theracurmin contains cu though at 10%, it is a lower level than the former. The remaining 90% is made up of other curcuminoids which are also naturally occurring in turmeric but are largely inert.

Theraceurmin was patented by a Japanese company in 2008 and is once again purported to help the body absorb cu. Like the previous ingredients, the manufacturers of the product claim that it the best absorbed curcumin supplement available…


Meriva is composed of 20% cu and 80% phospholipids. Like the other supplementary ingredients mentioned, it is a branded ingredient which was patented in 2006. Meriva was developed by an Italian company who label it as Phytosome. It is used to increase the bio-availability of curcumin and also a range of other products including ginkgo biloba and green tea extracts…

5) BCM-95

BCM-95 is derived totally from turmeric making it unique among its competitors which include additional ingredients. This is truly a 100% turmeric supplement which includes curcumin, curcuminoids and essential oils derived from turmeric.

Once again, the manufacturers claim that their formula enhances the absorption of curcumin and cite 14 clinical trials on their website. However, just 2 of those studies are bio-availability trials. The others examine the efficacy of BCM-95 to treat a range of specific ailments including cognitive function, mood, cancer and inflammatory response


Unlike the previous supplements, black pepper is not a proprietary ingredient but many lower end supplements make use of it because of the presence of piperine – an alkaloid which is found in black pepper. Piperine is well known to help the absorption of many different nutrients.

When it comes to improving the bio-availability of curcumin, piperine can help increase the absorption rate by as much as 2,000% compared with curcumin alone. (6) Recent studies have showed that piperine is less likely to be effective in larger doses. (7)


When it comes to the absorption of curcumin, Longvida and Theracurmin come out on top. The increased absorption allowed by piperine does not come near the levels achieved by smaller particles in the case of Theracurmin and the phospholipids in Longvida.

That is not to say that BioPerine is still not a good choice; it is versatile and since it lacks curcumin, you can vary the dose yourself. While it may be inferior in terms of bio-availability, it is still an attractive option in terms of cost meaning you can use more doses throughout the day.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120
(2) http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf9024807
(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20092313
(4) http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/np1007262
(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20046768
(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120
(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21076901

Leave a Comment:

Add Your Reply