Yesterday I read a Google Alert concerning a recent report by Consumer Lab (“a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition”) on some tainted curcumin brands. You can read the CNN story here: http://www.healthnewsdigest.com/news/Research_270/Consumers_Warned_of_Lead_in_Some_Turmeric_Supplements.shtml
Needless to say, I was alarmed by the mention of an incredibly high amount of lead found in a “popular” curcumin brand and by the news that some brands did not provide the amount of curcuminoids stated on the label. Yikes! In order to view the report, I subscribed to Consumer Lab for an entire year. Interesting website. I am now glad I subscribed. I will be checking out other supplements as well.
I cannot publish the curcumin report here, for obvious reasons, but I can tell you (without getting into trouble, I hope!) the following: the “popular” brand reported by Consumer Lab is no longer available. It was the NSI, or Nutraceutical Sciences Institute, Superior Turmeric Curcuma Longa Non-Irradiated (400 mg per capsule). In the beginning, I confused it with the NSI curcumin that I have taken on occasion. Luckily for me, these are two different products. Phew! (I still have quite a bit of this particular brand in my cupboard!)
Another brand that was found to contain an excess amount of lead was Solgar. Surprise.
But my biggest surprise was to see that Ageless Cures Curcumin C3 Complex contained only 49,3% of “claimed curcuminoids.” I have never bought or used this brand, but I know that other curcumin-takers take it. Another brand that did not pass the Consumer Lab test was Physician Formulas, which had a very low content of curcuminoids. And Vibrant Health did not specify the “plant part” used in its product, so it failed the test as well. Never heard of either of these.
I would like to point out that most curcumin brands, of the ones that were tested, passed the Consumer Lab test. About two-thirds. I was very disappointed, though, to see that the brand that I usually take had not been tested. Drat. Oh well…