Many different forms of bio-available curcumin exist. All these different forms were created to increase the absorption rates of curcuminoids into the blood stream. Without any help, pure curcumin powder is extremely poorly absorbed. First, BCM-95 (BioCurcumin) improved absorption rates by adding turmeric essential oils back into curcumin. Years later, Theracurmin created a colloidal submicron particle mixture that enabled better solubility. Many other versions of curcumin exist, but we will only go over Theracurmin Vs BCM-95 in this article.
Theracurmin Vs BCM-95.
Both increase absorption rates, but the marketing used by these companies can be completely twisted. For example, just because one version claims to be ‘more bio-available than other leading forms of curcumin‘ doesn’t mean it turns out that way for the consumer. All studies comparing Theracurmin Vs BCM-95 used either different # of capsules or different amounts of mg. There was never a true head to head comparison. Which of course confuses the consumer and blurs the real data.
By looking at the Theracurmin Double Blind, 3 Way Crossover Study, it looks like Theracurcmin is superior. The chart shows Theracurcmin blood levels being about 10 times higher than that of BCM-95. However, what most people won’t notice is that the study tested 6 capsules of theracurmin to only 1 capsule of BCM-95. The reason they did this is because the amount of curcumin in each pill was not equal. Because of Theracurcmins method of action, the manufacturing process can only fit an extremely low level of 30 mg of curcumin inside each capsule. Whereas, BCM-95 can fit a high 95% curcumin inside a capsule that was 260 mg in this case. So yes, when comparing exact amounts of CURCUMIN in miligrams, Theracurcmin seems to be more bio-available.
Number Of Capsules.
When comparing # of capsules, Theracurmin Vs BCM-95 indicates a different result. Looking at the same study, if you were to make all capsule quantity the same, the results would look completely different. Of course with out redoing the entire study to reflect matching # of capsules, we really don’t know what the result would be. But with the data we have already, there’s a good chance that theracurcumin wouldn’t look as amazing as this study made it seem. Don’t forget this study was paid for by the Theravalues Corporation that produces Theracurmin.
On the other hand, another study testing BCM-95 Vs Curcumin with Piperine paints yet another picture. This study shows 4 x 500 mg capsules of BCM-95 resulted in 315.8 ng/g plasma levels at its peak. In order to compare this evenly with the results found in the other study, some math needs to be done.
First, I will establish the lowest total mg per capsule that can be found for purchase by both offerings. For BCM-95 it’s 250 mg and for Theracurmin it’s 300 mg (30 mg curcumin). Next, I can easily see that the BCM-95 study used 4 x 500 mg caps which would equal 8 x 250 mg capsules after conversion. Now I have to add 2 capsules to the 6 capsules Theracurmin used in its study. 6 capsules of Theracurmin resulted in plasma levels of 231.5 ng/ml. In a perfect world each capsule would increase blood levels by 38.5 ng/ml in theory. So 8 capsules of Theracurmin would equal 308 ng/ml which is practically identical to the 315.8 ng/g BCM-95 results.
Calculating this way does not in any way show accurate results, but it at least provides a comparison better suited for consumers. At this point, it’s pretty much the only way to compare Theracurmin Vs BCM-95 until a PROPER comparison study is done.
All studies available on these two forms of curcumin are not consumer friendly. Marketing terms like ‘#1 absorbed form of curcumin‘ might give the consumer the wrong idea. If someone takes 2 capsules of BCM-95 and then switches over to Theracurmin still taking the same amount of capsules, they might expect to get higher blood levels due to the wording of marketing material. However, in reality, results might not be any better. Purposely complicated study results and fuzzy marketing strategies only hurt the consumer.
Whats more, other important facts are completely omitted to favor positive results. Theracurcumin failed to mention or discuss free curcumin at all either in that study or in its marketing campaign. I wonder why? BCM-95 is capable of providing free curcumin, whereas Theracurmin is not. Studies show free curcumin might just be the most important element of curcumin for a wide range of health benefits including cancer prevention. Are you willing to take a form that shows no free curcumin absorption? The choice is yours.
In the end it comes down to preference, price, and whether or not free curcumin is important to you. Since absorption is similar when capsule # is the same, these are what you should look into, rather than focusing on which study shows better absorption based on total curcumin used.