Turmeric can cause joint pain

Turmeric - a plant just in case?

Turmeric or curcumin is not very soluble in water, is very poorly absorbed in "pure" form and only in small quantities through the intestine and is quickly excreted by the body. In order to actually achieve an effect, very large amounts would have to be eaten or the bioavailability would have to be increased. Therefore some manufacturers advertise a "particularly good bioavailability" of their products, for example by adding an extract from black pepper (piperine) or technological processes such as the "packaging" of curcumin in so-called micelles (transport vehicles).

Even if this actually enables a higher bioavailability, this does not mean that this can also lead to improved abilities and a biological effect in the product that go beyond normal digestive effects.

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has assessed the health risks of isolated piperine and recommends: Adults should not consume more than 2 milligrams of isolated piperine per day from food supplements. The BfR advises pregnant women against using such agents.

What is turmeric?

Turmeric belongs to the ginger family. It thrives in the tropical regions of Asia. The subterranean part of the perennial, which can reach a height of over a meter, is used, which looks similar to ginger, but has an intense yellow color. Turmeric is therefore also called goldenseal. The taste is described as "mild-spicy, with a slightly earthy-bitter note".

While fresh turmeric is often used in food preparation in Asia, in Western cuisine it is more known as a curry powder ingredient, as a food coloring (E100) or as an agent for coloring eggshells.

What ingredients do turmeric products contain?

Turmeric powder contains essential oils, resins, proteins and sugar compounds as well as about 5% curcumin and other curcuminoids, which give the yellow color and are considered to be the biologically active ingredients of the turmeric plant. They are obtained from the dried root tissue (the rhizome) by solvent extraction and are among the polyphenols.

Be in the dietary supplements Completely different ingredients depending on the product and provider Uses: Either pure turmeric powder, unspecified, different "turmeric extracts", various curcuminoids including curcumin, curcumin alone - or variants with additives such as black pepper extract (piperine), vitamins (e.g. vitamin D), vitamin-like substances like choline or other herbal additives. Due to this variety of extracts and compositions, the individual products, effects and study results can hardly be compared with one another.

Since curcumin products with improved bioavailability (e.g. through the addition of piperine) can be viewed as a new type of food, according to a current statement from BVL / BfArM, it must be clarified in each individual case whether the respective product is approved as a so-called novel food and has to undergo a safety assessment . Because: The improved bioavailability could lead to other toxic effects than conventional curcumin.