Turmeric / curcumin supplements with the fewest additives

Curcumin (contained in turmeric) may fight Alzheimer's disease and cancer. However, many turmeric/curcumin supplements contain more than just the active ingredient. The most important toxin to be aware of with curcumin extracts is residue from their solvent extraction (see Toxic Solvent Found in Curcumin Extract for more information) followed by excipients like silica/silicon dioxide, hypromellose/hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, and lecithin.

I try to avoid these additives because they may have questionable health effects. If you want to do the same, my recommendations for the purest turmeric/curcumin supplements are:

Low-additive curcumin liquid recommendation:

This turmeric extract is CO2-extracted, which should be the safest method of extraction. Unfortunately, the company is unable to tell me the exact amount of curcuminoids that will be in each dose.

Photo of North American Herb & Spice Turmerol (Liquid)
North American Herb & Spice Turmerol (Liquid)
Positives:
  • silica-free / silicon-dioxide-free
  • stearic acid-free / magnesium stearate-free
  • hypromellose-free / hydroxypropyl methylcellulose-free
  • lecithin-free
Negatives:
(none)
All ingredients:

Proprietary blend in organic extra virgin olive oil (CO2-extracted turmeric, wild oregano oil, wild turmeric extract, CO2-extracted ginger).

Recommendations for curcumin capsules:

As above, this turmeric is CO2-extracted, which is the ideal.

Photo of North American Herb & Spice Turmerol (Gelcaps)
North American Herb & Spice Turmerol (Gelcaps)
Positives:
  • silica-free / silicon-dioxide-free
  • stearic acid-free / magnesium stearate-free
  • hypromellose-free / hydroxypropyl methylcellulose-free
Negatives:
  • contains lecithin or soy lecithin
All ingredients:

CO2-extracted turmeric, wild oregano oil, wild turmeric extract, CO2-extracted ginger, beeswax, sunflower lecithin (non-GMO), beef gelatin capsule.

Vital Nutrients is unwilling to share their method of extraction or a solvent analysis with me because I am not a medical professional. However, I suspect they are doing responsible extraction because their quality control director wrote the solvent report I mention above.

Photo of Vital Nutrients Curcumin Extract (Veggie Capsules)
Vital Nutrients Curcumin Extract (Veggie Capsules)
Positives:
  • stearic acid-free / magnesium stearate-free
  • hypromellose-free / hydroxypropyl methylcellulose-free
  • lecithin-free
Negatives:
  • may contain silica / silicon dioxide
All ingredients:

Curcuma longa rhizome extract (total curcuminoids min. 85-90% by HPLC), black pepper fruit/berry extract 90% (Bioperine piperine), vegetable cellulose capsule, leucine. May contain silica? (my ingredients list may be out of date, I'm waiting to hear back from the company).

If you'd prefer product with black pepper for better absorption, I'd suggest Gaia for their CO2 and ethanol extraction, in spite of the unnecessary excipients:

Photo of Gaia Herbs Tumeric Supreme Extra Strength (Veggie Capsules)
Gaia Herbs Tumeric Supreme Extra Strength (Veggie Capsules)
Available on gaiaherbs.com
Positives:
  • silica-free / silicon-dioxide-free
  • stearic acid-free / magnesium stearate-free
  • hypromellose-free / hydroxypropyl methylcellulose-free
Negatives:
  • contains lecithin or soy lecithin
All ingredients:

Turmeric root extract (curcuma longa, organic), turmeric root extract (curcuma longa, ecologically harvested, ethanol/EtOH extracted), turmeric root (curcuma longa, ecologically harvested, supercritical / CO2 extracted), black pepper fruit (piper nigrum, ecologically harvested / supercritical / CO2 extracted), soy lecithin (non-GMO), vegetable glycerin, water, capsule (chlorophyll vegetable capsule).

Gaia told me that apart from ethanol and CO2, "Gaia does not use any other solvents to extract their curcumin / turmeric root," and provided me with a description of the CO2 extraction and an explanation of their multiple-extraction process.

Recommended for pure turmeric powder:

Photo of Bulk Herb Store Organic Turmeric Root Powder
Bulk Herb Store Organic Turmeric Root Powder
Available on bulkherbstore.com

I like Bulk Herb Store because they're a family business, which I suspect makes them less likely to cut corners or ignore shady manufacturing problems. They also have decent prices.

Positives:
  • silica-free / silicon-dioxide-free
  • stearic acid-free / magnesium stearate-free
  • hypromellose-free / hydroxypropyl methylcellulose-free
  • lecithin-free
Negatives:
(none)
All ingredients:

Organic turmeric root powder. Sourced from India.


Other turmeric/curcumin supplements

The following are other turmeric/curcumin supplements I'm aware of, sorted alphabetically.

I've contacted the more promising looking brands like Ayush Herbs and Thompson for more information about their solvent use, but haven't gotten complete responses yet.

Name Ingredients
Advanced Orthomolecular Research AOR CurcuViva Curcumin (Veggie Capsules)

Turmeric extract 25:1 (containing 80 mg longvida optimized curcumin), ascorbyl palmitate, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, microcrystalline cellulose, purified water, silicon dioxide, stearic acid, capsule: hypromellose, water.

Ayush Herbs Inc. Curcumin 97% (Capsules)

Pure curcuminoids (97% pure), vegetarian capsule (cellulose and chlorophyll).

Bell Lifestyle Curcumin 2000X (Capsules)

Curcumin, turmeric extract 25:1 from rhizomes, standardized to contain 95% curcuminoids, cayenne pepper, hawthorne berries, vitamin E (alpha).

Bluebonnet Nutrition Herbals Turmeric Root Extract (Veggie Capsules)

Turmeric root extract (curcuma longa, 95%), 100% kosher vegetable capsules, vegetable cellulose, calcium phosphate, silica, vegetable magnesium stearate.

Botanic Choice Turmeric (Gelatin Capsules)

Turmeric powder, gelatin, rice flower, magnesium stearate.

Doctor's Best Best Curcumin C3 Complex (Capsules)

Turmeric root (curcuma longa)(curcumin c3 complex), black pepper fruit extract (piper nigrum)(bioperine), rice powder, magnesium stearate (vegetable source), gelatin capsule.

Doctor's Best Best Curcumin C3 Complex with BioPerine (Tablets)

Turmeric root (curcuma longa) (curcumin c3 complex), standardized to >95% curcuminoids, black pepper fruit extract (piper nigrum) (BioPerine), microcrystalline cellulose, stearic acid, magnesium stearate (vegetable source), silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium.

Doctor's Best Meriva Phytosome Curcumins (Veggie Capsules)

Curcuminoids, rice flour, magnesium stearate (vegetable source), modified cellulose (vegetable capsule), silicon dioxide. Contains soy.

Eclectic Institute Raw Turmeric POW-der (Powder)

Raw 100% organic (freeze-dried) tumeric (curcuma longa) rhizome.

Eden Pond

Turmeric curcumin, vegetable capsule.

EuroPharma Terry Naturally Curacel (Softgels)

Proprietary blend, curcumin CRX 791 (BCM-95) micronized (curcuma longa) rhizome extract, phospholipids, turmeric essential oils, green tea (camellia sinensis) standardized to contain >95% polyphenols, 75% catechins, and 40% EGCG (no caffeine), resveratrol (polygonum cuspidatum) standardized to contain 8% total resveratrols, medium chain triglycerides, gelatin, glycerin, purified water, lecithin, beeswax, carob extract, titanium dioxide. Contains soy (lecithin).

Genceutic Naturals Curcumin (Softgels)

Curcu-gel: 95% standardized curcuminoid complex plus volatile components (as bio-enhanced BCM-95 an extract of turmeric rhizome), medium chain triglycerides, gelatin, glycerin, yellow beeswax, hydroxylated lecithin, high PC lecithin and purified water. Contains soy.

Genceutic Naturals Turmeric (Capsules)

Certified organic turmeric, naturally containing a full spectrum of curcuminoid and sesquiterpenoid compounds including: curcumin, atlantone, zingiberone, bisdemethoxycurcumin, demethoxycurcumin, diaryl heptanoids, b-tumerone and ar-tumerone. Np natural capsule.

Himalaya Herbal Healthcare Turmeric (Capsules)

Organic turmeric rhizome (curcuma longa linn.) standardized extract (95% curcuminoids-218.5 mg), organic turmeric rhizome powder (1% curcuminoids - 3.7 mg), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (capsule).

Jarrow Formulas Curcumin 95 (Capsules)

Turmeric concentrate (curcuma longa) (95% total curcuminoids) (rhizome), cellulose, magnesium stearate (vegetable source) and silicon dioxide, capsule consists of gelatin.

Jiva Curcumin & Fermented Soy (Veggie Capsules)

Curcumin 95% extract curcuma longa (roots and rhizomes), fermented soy protein, bioperine piper nigrum (fruit), rice flour, vegetable stearate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (veggie cap).

Jiva Fermented Soy and Curcumin Nutritional Beverage Mix

Vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamin (b1), riboflavin (b2), niacin (b3), vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, potassium, fermented whole soy bean, non-GMO (certified organic QAI), curcumin c3 complex, (curcuma longa l. 95% curcuminoids), bioperene, (95% alkaloid piperine), ginger root, cardamom, barley malt, lecithin, cocoa powder, chocolate flavor, luohan, xylitol.

Life Enhancement Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw's GalantaMind Plus (Capsules)

Vitamin C (as calcium ascorbate), vitamin E (as d-alpha-tocopheryl succinate), vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride), folic acid, vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), turmeric root (powder), green tea extract (leaf), quercetin, galantamine hydrobromide (extracted from galanthus nivalis), lithium (as lithium sulfate), gelatin capsule, ascorbyl palmitate.

Life Enhancement Turmeric Root Power (Capsules)

Turmeric (curcuma longa) root, gelatin capsule, silicon dioxide.

Life Extension Super BIO-Curcumin (Veggie Capsules)

BCM-95 bio-curcumin (curcuma longa) 25:1 extract (root) [std. to 95 % total curcuminoids complex by HPLC (380 mg)], vegetable cellulose, rice flour, silica, magnesium stearate. Contains rice.

Natural Balance Super Flex Back Formula Maximum Strength (Tablets)

Magnesium (as magnesium oxide), MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), glucosamine blend (glucosamine sulfate KCI, glucosamine HCI) (shellfish), boswellia (boswellia serrata)(resin extract) (standardized to 65 mg [65, %] boswellic acid by titration including all organic acids), kava (piper methysticum)(root extract), ginger (zingiber officinale)(root), turmeric (curcuma longa)(root extract) (standardized to 14 mg [95 %] curcumins), protykin japanese knotweed (polygonum cuspidatum)(root extract) (standardized to 2.7 mg [50 %] trans-resveratrol), cellulose and/or maltodextrin, calcium silicate, magnesium stearate and stearic acid.

Natural Factors CurcuminRich Turmeric Root Extract Theracurmin (Veggie Capsules)

Theracurmin (surface controlled particle dispersion of turmeric root, [curcuma longa] extract (root)), cellulose, vegetable capsule (modified cellulose), magnesium stearate.

Natural Factors Liv-Gall Cleanse Formula (Capsules)

Milk thistle (silybum marianum), powdered extract (20:1) (aerial), silymarin, turmeric (curcuma longa), powdered extract 10:1 (root), curcumin, dandelion (taraxacum officinale), powdered extract (4:1) root, inulin, artichoke (cynara scolymus), powder (leaf), gelatin capsule (gelatin, purified water), cellulose, magnesium stearate (vegetable grade).

Natural Factors Milk Thistle Extract (Capsules)

Milk thistle (silybum marianum), powdered extract (seed), silymarin (80%), dandelion (taraxacum officinale), powdered (root), turmeric (curcuma longa), powdered (root), gelatin capsule (gelatin, purified water), rice powder, magnesium stearate (vegetable grade), silica.

Natural Factors Turmeric & Bromelain (Capsules)

Turmeric (curcuma longa) powdered extract (root), curcumin (95%), bromelain 1000 GDU (from pineapple stem), powdered extract, di-calcium phosphate, gelatin capsule (gelatin, purified water), magnesium stearate (vegetable grade).

Natural Factors Turmeric & Bromelain (Capsules)

Turmeric (curcuma longa) powdered extract (root), curcumin (95%), bromelain 1000 GDU (from pineapple stem), powdered extract, di-calcium phosphate, gelatin capsule (gelatin, purified water), magnesium stearate (vegetable grade).

Nature's Bounty Turmeric Curcumin (Capsules)

Turmeric (curcuma longa) (root), turmeric extract (curcuma longa) (root) (standardized to contain 95% curcuminoids), gelatin, silica, vegetable magnesium stearate, vegetable stearic acid.

Nature's Life Turmeric Ginger Joint Ease (Capsules)

Turmeric (curcuma longa) (root extract), ginger (zingiber officinale) (root extract), gelatin (capsule), silica and magnesium stearate.

Nature's Plus Herbal Actives Turmeric (Veggie Capsules)

Turmeric (curcuma longa rhizome), silica, vegetable cellulose (USP) and purified water.

Nature's Way Curica Pain Relief (Tablets)

Meriva turmeric (curcuma longa) root and rhizome extract (phosphatidylcholine [from soy lecithin] complex), white willow (salix alba) bark extract standardized to contain 120 mg of salicin, ApresFlex boswellia serrata gum, extract standardized to contain 20% 3-0-acetyl-11-keto-b-boswellic acid (AKBA), cellulose, modified cellulose gum, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, magnesium stearate, modified cellulose, silicon dioxide, vegetable glycerin.

NatureWise Organic Curcumin (Veggie Capsules)

Organic turmeric curcumin powder, organic ginger, BioPerine black pepper extract, vegetable cellulose (capsule), organic rice bran extract.

New Chapter Turmeric Force (Softgels)

Turmeric (rhizome) hydroethanolic extract (min 22 mg curcuminoids), turmeric (rhizome) supercritical extract, extra-virgin olive oil, maltodextrin, silica and yellow beeswax, capsule: gelatin (halal), vegetable glycerin, water and carob.

Now Foods Bio-Curcumin Phytosome (Veggie Capsules)

Bio-curcumin phytosome, (turmeric root extract (curcuma longa)/phosphatidyl choline complex) (meriva turmeric phytosome), rice flour, cellulose powder, cellulose (capsule), magnesium stearate (vegetable source) and silica. Contains soy derivative.

Now Foods Boswellia Extract (Capsules)

Boswellia extract (boswellia serrata) (gum resin) (min. 65% organic acids including boswellic acids), turmeric root extract (curcuma longa), turmeric root powder (curcuma longa), rice flour, cellulose (capsule), magnesium stearate (vegetable source) and silica.

Now Foods Boswellia Extract Extra Strength (Veggie Capsules)

Boswellia extract (boswellia serrata) (gum resin) (min. 65% organic acids including boswellic acids), turmeric root (curcuma longa), cellulose (capsule), silica and magnesium stearate (vegetable source).

Now Foods Curcumin (Veggie Capsules)

Curcuminoids from 700 mg of standardized turmeric root extract (curcuma longa l.) [min. 95% curcuminoids (containing curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin)], cellulose (capsule), rice flour, magnesium stearate (vegetable source), stearic acid (vegetable source) and silica.

Now Foods Turmeric & Bromelain (Veggie Capsules)

Turmeric root extract (curcuma longa) (standardized to min. 95% curcuminoids), bromelain (2400 GDU/g), cellulose (capsule), stearic acid (vegetable source), magnesium stearate (vegetable source) and silica.

Nutrigold Turmeric Curcumin Gold (Veggie Capsules)

Curcumin C3® Complex Turmeric Standardized Extract (curcuma longa [root] extract standardized to contain 95% Curcuminoids), BioPerine® Black Pepper Extract, vegetarian capsule (non-GMO plant cellulose).

Organic India Turmeric Formula Healthy Inflammation Response (Veggie Capsules)

Organic turmeric rhizome (curcuma longa), turmeric extract - 95% curcuminoids, organic ginger rhizome (zingiber officinale), herbs certified organic by control union, vegetable cellulose (capsule).

Paradise Herbs Organics Turmeric (Veggie Capsules)

Warning:
ConsumerLabs found this product to contain very little of the supposed active ingredient (thanks to Suzanne in the comments for pointing this out).

Organic turmeric rhizome extract 150:1, capsule (vegetable material).

Paradise Herbs Turmeric (Veggie Capsules)

Turmeric root extract 4:1, capsule (vegetable material).

Progressive Laboratories Curcumin BCM-95 (Veggie Capsules)

Curcumin BCM-95, rice flour, hypromellose (vegetable capsule), silica, vegetable magnesium stearate.

Source Naturals Meriva Turmeric Complex (Capsules)

Meriva turmeric complex (proprietary blend of turmeric rhizome extract and phosphatidylcholine), gelatin (capsule), dibasic calcium phosphate, maltodextrin, silica, and magnesium stearate. Contains soy.

Source Naturals Meriva Turmeric Complex (Tablets)

Meriva turmeric complex (proprietary blend of turmeric rhizome ext. and phosphatidylcholine), dibasic calcium phosphate, silica, magnesium stearate, stearic acid, and modified cellulose gum. Contains soy.

Source Naturals Turmeric Extract (Tablets)

Turmeric rhizome extract yielding 333 mg curcuminoids, bromelain (extracted from pineapple) (2,000 GDU per gram), black pepper fruit extract (BioPerine), dibasic calcium phosphate, stearic acid, modified cellulose gum, colloidal silicon dioxide, and magnesium stearate.

Swanson Premium Turmeric Whole Root Powder

Turmeric (curcuma longa, rhizome), gelatin, magnesium stearate.

Swanson Superior Herbs Curcumin Complex (Gelatin Capsules)

Curcumin complex (curcuma longa, rhizome), Bioperine® Nature's Thermonutrient® (piper nigrum, fruit), gelatin, may contain one or both of the following: magnesium stearate, silica.

Thompson Turmeric Curcumin

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) (root extract) (Guarantees 95% [285 mg] curcumins), gelatin (capsule).

Thorne Research AR-Encap (Veggie Capsules)

Chloride (from glucosamine sulfate potassium chloride complex), potassium (from glucosamine sulfate potassium chloride complex), methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), glucosamine sulfate (as glucosamine sulfate potassium chloride complex), indian frankincense extract (gum) (boswellia serrata), curcumin phytosome (curcuma longa extract (root)/phosphatidylcholine complex), devil's claw extract (root) (harpagophytum procumbens), boswellia standardized to beta boswellic acids 20%. harpagophytum standardized to harpagosides 1.8%, hypromellose (derived from cellulose) capsule, leucine, silicon dioxide. Contains ingredients derived from shellfish (glucosamine sulfate = crab and/or shrimp) and soy (phytosome).

Thorne Research Meriva-SR Curcumin Phytosome (Veggie Capsules)

Curcumin phytosome (curcuma longa extract (root) / phosphatidylcholine complex), high and low viscosity hydroxypropyl methyl-cellulose and CalciumCitrateLaurate, hypromellose (derived from cellulose) capsule, leucine, silicon dioxide, microcrystalline cellulose. Contains ingredient derived from soy (phytosome).

Thorne Research Phytoprofen (Veggie Capsules)

Two capsules contain:, bromelain, curcumin phytosome (curcuma longa extract (root) / phosphatidylcholine complex), indian frankincense extract (gum) (boswellia serrata), picrorhiza extract (root) (picrorhiza kurrooa), hypromellose (derived from cellulose) capsule, leucine, silicon dioxide. Contains ingredient derived from soy (phytosome).

Thorne Research S.A.T. (Veggie Capsules)

Silybin phytosome (silymarin marianum extract (seed) / phosphatidylcholine complex), artichoke extract (leaf) (cynara scolymus), curcumin phytosome (curcuma longa extract (root) / phosphatidylcholine complex), hypromellose (derived from cellulose) capsule, microcrystalline cellulose, leucine, silicon dioxide. Contains ingredients derived from soy (phytosomes).

Vibrant Health Maximized Turmeric Curcuminoids (Tablets)

95% curcuminoid extract of turmeric root, curcuma longa, bioperine 95% piperine extract of black pepper fruit, piper nigrum, standardized 95% curcuminoids extract of turmeric root, dicalcium phosphate, cellulose, bioperine piperine extract, stearic acid (veg, ), magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, methyl cellulose coating.

Wakunaga - Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Curcumin (Capsules)

Meriva turmeric complex (proprietary blend of curcumin and phosphatidylcholine), aged garlic extract powder (bulb), gelatin, cellulose, silica and magnesium stearate (vegetable source), phosphatidylcholine is derived from soybeans.


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