On my other post Dosage and Method, I describe the most effective way to take it but what I perhaps did not make clear enough – because it was completely logical for me – was WHY it must be taken with food. I did mention tips about taking it with food, but with the volume of questions I receive, it is clear that there exists a die-hard “I-am-such-a-hero” turmeric user. Those are the ones who take it straight off the spoon (powder or paste). Some like the taste, other spoon-lickers grimace, complaining how vile tasting it is. They don’t like it ‘ruining their food’ even though there are so many ways of taking it with food and not even or hardly notice it.
Lately on a forum and Facebook group, have been asked to supply the ‘science’ behind taking it with food and I can tell you that, no, there is no research project nor biomedical abstract on it. And the reason for that is as clear as why one always takes vitamins WITH food. This is basic nutritional science, found in any text book on digestion and nutrition, reflects the common sense found in ancient tradition and in Ayurveda. As logical as we need air to breathe.
Let us not forget that the 3-5% curcumin in turmeric is a nutrient along with the rest of other micro-nutrients such as iron (6%), manganese (27%), potassium (4%) and to a lesser degree, magnesium (3%) and copper (2%). Add to that vitamin B6 (6%) and others in negligible amounts.
Dr. Doug English, years long user of turmeric before trying it with great success on animals and pets (and their owners) kindly supplied the best answer. The GP he refers to is Golden Paste, a very effective method he devised to optimize solubility and enhance bio-availability.
GP with food (food milk drink, potatoes, nutritious smoothies, stew, scrambled eggs, porridge, sauerkraut etc etc) is perfectly logical because this is the way digestion and metabolism works and there are many many whole books devoted to the digestive processes and thousands of articles.
FACT: Digestion of foodstuffs is far better in combination. Some pure drugs like antibiotics need to be absorbed unchanged and not bonded to foods and should be given on an empty stomach, some pure drugs cause nausea and if given onto a full stomach vomiting occurs. Turmeric is not a drug, but a complex whole food. Do not confuse the pure extract curcumin with whole turmeric which has only about 5% curcumin and 95% other associated beneficial compounds designed by nature to be compatible together.
FACT: GP is better absorbed with food because it is a food.
If you take GP off the spoon onto an empty stomach there is no other contents to dissolve and slow down the passage through the GIT (gastrointestinal tract) and it gets absorbed in one hit without any accompanying nutrients. All nutrients passage through the liver from the portal circulation and if only the turmeric compounds are there they get processed and quickly excreted just like all the other quick pills. As a male with a visible urine stream I see the urine change colour to orange almost immediately after taking, say, a Berocca B complex – guess where all the B complex just went.
With no accompanying foods to dissolve the turmeric components and slow passage through the GIT, the GP that is not absorbed into portal circulation, of which curcumin is a significant amount, is quickly flushed out of the GIT unused.
Re-read that last sentence, please.
My ebook The Ultimate Turmeric Guide and Protocol is packed with information about it, answers the many questions I receive about turmeric in great detail; the science behind it, various protocols and possibly everything you ever wanted to know about turmeric and curcumin for your good health…and the recipe for the Golden Paste as well.
So, take it with food and now you know why!
More related posts:
Any serious book on nutrition and the digestive process.