New Consumer Lab report on curcumin…

Consumer Lab (“a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition”) published a new report on curcumin brands just a couple of days ago, on February 16th. As you can imagine, I was very eager to read it. Or to read more about it…

Here you can find the publicly-available Consumer Lab information:

Consumer Lab tested the following ten curcumin brands: Advance Physician Formulas Curcumin, Doctor’s Best Curcumin C3 Complex with Bioperine, Doctors Purest Ageless Cures Curcumin C3 Complex, Douglas Laboratories Ayur-Curcumin, GNC Herbals Plus Standardized Curcumin, Jarrow Formulas Curcumin 95, Life Extension Super Curcumin with Bioperine, Natural Factors Turmeric and Bromelain, Naturally Enhanced Absorption Curcu-Gel and Curcu-Gel Ultra, Nature’s Life Turmeric Ginger Joint Ease, Nature’s Way Turmeric, Paradise Herbs & Essentials Turmeric, Solgar Turmeric Root Extract, Swanson Superior Herbs Curcumin, and Vitamin Shoppe Standardized Herbs Turmeric Extract.

I cannot publish the names of the two brands that didn’t make the cut (due to copyright issues, understandably), but I can tell you that I had never heard of them before and that they were found to provide only 7.7% and 14.7% of expected curcuminoid compounds (see above-mentioned link). Oooooooh, that is VERY VERY VERY BAD! Shame, shame, shame on those two companies!!!!!!!!! Booooo!!!!!!!!!

But the report also contains some really good news for us curcumin-takers, namely that none of the tested products had any lead and cadmium contamination. Yaaay! Superrrrrr!!!

An interesting excerpt: “Consumers need to select turmeric or curcumin supplements carefully to be sure they are getting a quality product. The products that failed our testing would deliver only a small fraction of the doses expected from their labels. In addition, because curcumin is poorly absorbed, certain specially formulated products may offer greater bioavailability,” said Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of To help consumers get the best value from a supplement, calculated the cost to obtain a 500 mg dose of curcuminoids, which ranged from 13 cents to 52 cents among products that passed testing, some of which included bioavailability enhancers. For the two products that failed testing, the costs were $3.44 and $7.88, due to the small amounts of curcuminoids that they actually contained.

Well, while I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to read the full report (March update: I have read the full report but have nothing to add), I’m ecstatic to note that my own brand passed the CL test…And, for now anyway, that is good enough…indeed, more than good enough!…for me…


  1. Margaret- thanks for this information. I have sent a request to my ND for any comments, and asked him whether he has access to the report. If he does, I hope he won’t mind sharing.

    I’ll keep you posted.

  2. I’m really glad to know that. Like you, I am taking Doctor’s Best, thank heavens! Thanks for keeping us posted.

  3. In Colombia I could not find Curcumin in anything but the raw powder… errrrg. So I couldn’t determine how to parcel it out or how much to add to a fruit smoothie. I got a small amount there, but now I’m in the US I’m going to get my year’s supply here and take it back. Capsules are much easier to swallow, too.

  4. Hello Margaret,

    I am taking ORGANIKA Tumeric. It states on the bottle it is 95% Certified. The only other ingredients listed are Magnesium Stearate, Gelatin (capsule) Silicon Dioxide Collodial, Brown rice flour. Funny thing is that I tested high for levels of Cadmium???

  5. Hi Margaret,

    After reading your blog and consumer lab report, I want to advise my brother to start the curcumin protocol:

    – curcumin 8 gram
    – quercetin/bromelain 1 gram
    – Fish Oil 1 gram

    I will suggest him to go for Doctor’s Best Curcumin. Do you have any advice on products reqarding quercetin/bromelain and fish oil.

    With kind regards and thank you.

  6. The massive price increase may also indicate that curcumin is about to be made into a drug/ licensed medication. Or am I being cynical ?

  7. Hi Katherine. What does it mean to say Organika is 95% certified. It doesn’t really specify exactly what they are talking about.

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