Consumer Lab 2011 report on curcumin brands

February 18 2011 post. 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. Hi Margaret. Can you tell me which brand you take of curcumin? Thanks. Also, is there any way that someone can get hold of that report without paying for it? Thanks.

  2. ditto, same request as the above reply.
    Would love to know which brand you take of curcumin and if there is any way that someone can get hold of that report without paying for it? Thank you.

  3. Hi, Margaret,
    Doctor Dawn, of KUSP radio fame, recommended two brands of curcumin: Exlamed and Merivac. I have not been able to find them in my area nor on the internet. I may have copied the names incorrectly as I was speaking to her on her radio broadcast.

    I would also like to repeat the above request.

    Thank you,
    Maureen Cooper

  4. On her blog, Margaret informed us that she takes ‘Doctor’s Best Curcumin with Peperin’ 500mg that she bought from Vitacost.

    Margaret’s Protocol, chocolate-curcumin “recipe” and how to get rid of the bright yellow curcumin stains are linked from listings in the column at right.


  5. Caroline,

    So sorry. I wrote from my faulty memory. I meant to write “Doctor’s Best Curcumin C3 Complex with Bioperine” 500 mg capsules from Vitacost.

    It is so very late and time to put myself to bed.

  6. Hope this finds you well Margaret. I read your entry on the feb2011 Consumer Lab report I the Wall St Journal ran an article on July17, 2012 on rating turmeric products. I can’t get a publicly available copy fo the article that shows the individual ratings in the 2011 report. Could you e-mail me and tell me which 2 products did not deliver their promised amounts, AND can you also provide me the report’s information on the Curcu-gel ULTRA 500? Would appreciate it. Many thanks.

    1. George, thanks so much for sharing that about Consumer Labs. I had no idea.
      Currently being innundated with “special offers” from them since a free 24 hr. pass.
      I will be un

  7. I take Doctor’s Best and Ageless Cures (no bioperine in the latter). I can’t say any more than that, sorry…I mean, I could get into trouble…copyright issues…y’know…

  8. I am waiting to find out whether I have smouldering or multiple myeloma.

    I’m beyond glad to have found your blog, Margaret, because it’s about life. That’s my focus. Even if I am experiencing terror right now. Tomorrow I’ll know.

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