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Article Summary:

Berberine is a natural constituent of a variety of plants, such as goldenseal, Oregon grape, European barberry, and tree turmeric. A very bitter-tasting substance, it is usually found in the roots, rhizomes, stems, and bark of these plants.

Berberine is quite well-known to aid in maintaining healthy blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.* Now, however, berberine is being touted as having appetite-suppressing effects that can result in weight loss. In fact, many social media influencers are dubbing berberine as “nature’s Ozempic.” Ozempic, a pharmaceutical drug typically used to treat diabetes, has recently gained traction with celebrities for its supposed weight-loss potential that can provide fast and significant results. 

However, although berberine is not an appetite suppressant when it is used appropriately, it can play a supportive role in a weight management program. Below, we examine the appetite suppressant claim, dispel the myth surrounding it, and discuss the true potential benefits of berberine on endocrine health and metabolic health.

Is Berberine an Appetite Suppressant – or Not?

Social media influencers on apps like TikTok are claiming that berberine is an appetite suppressant that can result in weight loss. However, none of these claims have been verified. Because berberine is a “nutritional supplement,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates it as a food, not as a pharmaceutical drug. As a result, most existing research on berberine and its effects on the body consists of clinical trials on humans, mice, and rats.

In a pilot study1 on human subjects taking 500 mg of berberine orally three times a day for twelve weeks, a mild weight loss (average 5 lb/ subject) was observed, along with significantly lowered blood lipid levels (23% drop in triglyceride and 9% drop in cholesterol levels). No adverse side effects of berberine on heart, liver, and kidney functions were observed.    

In a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, berberine intake has been associated with a significant drop in body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference (WC), highlighting the role of berberine 

Appetite suppression might also be caused by berberine’s potential side effects, which include: 

These adverse side effects often occur due to berberine’s poor natural bioavailability. After being consumed, berberine exhibits poor solubility and undergoes rapid metabolism; therefore, the absorption of berberine molecules in the body can be severely impacted. However, with the correct formulation delivered through CyLoc® - DexKey® nanotechnology, berberine has many beneficial effects on endocrine health and metabolic health, as well as its support for healthy weight management efforts.* 

Health Benefits of Berberine

As stated above, berberine has been shown to have many benefits for the body’s endocrine system and metabolism.* Many of these benefits are attributable to berberine’s activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an enzyme that regulates energy metabolism.* Activating AMPK can increase energy production, reduce energy storage, and normalize lipid, glucose, and energy imbalances.*3

The following is a listing of berberine’s more notable potential health benefits.

Potential Health Benefits of Berberine
Promotes insulin secretion and enhances insulin sensitivity*: Berberine induces insulin secretion in the body through a cascade reaction of IGF-1, or insulin-like growth factor-1.* This reaction also reduces insulin resistance and enhances the insulin sensitivity of muscle tissues, fat, and the liver.*
Aids in healthy weight management*: While studies show that berberine does not have the same substantial effect on weight loss as pharmaceutical drugs like Ozempic can have, a meta-analysis of several small clinical studies found that berberine did reduce body mass index (BMI) by approximately 0.25.4 
Modulates gut microbiota*: Berberine enriches short-chain fatty acid (FCSA)-producing bacteria, such as butyrate, in the gut.* Butyrate is synthesized through the acetyl CoA-butyryl CoA-butyrate pathway, where it then enters the bloodstream, where it helps moderate lipid and glucose levels.5
Supports healthy lipid levels*: Berberine helps maintain healthy lipid levels, such as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, or “bad” cholesterol) by activating AMPK, an enzyme that contributes to fatty acid oxidation and limits lipid accumulation.* 

Therefore, although berberine is not an appetite suppressant in itself when taken in the appropriate amount, it can provide many benefits to an overall weight management effort and thus promote overall health.* However, selecting a berberine supplement formulated for optimal absorption is important to obtain the most benefit. 

The Right Berberine Supplement for Healthy Weight Management

BerberActiv® is a berberine supplement developed by Tesseract Medical Research for enhanced bioavailability. BerberActiv® supports lipid metabolism, healthy weight management efforts, and gastrointestinal and endocrine health.* This unique formula is powered by Tesseract’s proprietary Cyloc®-DexKey® delivery system. These technologies enhance the bioavailability and absorption of berberine in the body by first encasing each molecule of berberine in its own dextrin fiber delivery cage and then releasing it, maximizing berberine’s effectiveness for optimal weight management support.*

Visit Tesseract Medical Research to learn more about berberine and how you can incorporate BerberActiv® into your daily supplement regimen.


1Hu, Yueshan et al. “Lipid-lowering effect of berberine in human subjects and rats.” Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology vol. 19,10 (2012): 861-7. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2012.05.009

2Cao C, Su M. Effects of berberine on glucose-lipid metabolism, inflammatory factors and insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, vol. 17, no. 4, 2019:3009-3014, https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2019.7295. Accessed 20 Jul. 2023.

3Srivastava RAK, et al. AMP-activated protein kinase: an emerging drug target to regulate imbalances in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism to treat cardio-metabolic diseases. Journal of Lipid Research vol. 53,12 (2012):2490-2514. doi:10.1194/jlr.R025882

4Ye Y, et al. Efficacy and safety of berberine alone for several metabolic disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Frontiers in Pharmacology vol. 12 653887. 26 Apr. 2021, doi:10.3389/fphar.2021.653887

5Wang Y, et al. Berberine-induced bioactive metabolites of the gut microbiota improve energy metabolism. Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental vol. 70 (2017): 72-84. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2017.02.003

Are you considering including curcumin in your diet? Derived from turmeric root, the potential benefits of curcumin for promoting various health functions are well-established. However, because the unpleasant taste of curcumin is a major barrier to its therapeutic use, the issue is determining the best way to take curcumin. In this article, we answer the most common queries regarding the dietary intake of curcumin and how to maximize its absorption in your body to achieve its health benefits.  

Why is curcumin difficult to absorb orally?

Because the gastrointestinal tract is a rather watery environment, it doesn’t naturally provide the right environment for the absorption of the fat-soluble curcumin molecule. As a result, curcumin is rapidly metabolized and eliminated from the body. Thus, the low absorption of curcumin in the small intestine and its extensive metabolism in the liver significantly decrease or limit its bioavailability. The degradation reactions in the liver, in turn, change curcumin’s chemical structure and properties, leading to its rapid elimination through the gallbladder. Although curcumin is safe and effective, its poor bioavailability in the body, even when ingested in a high amount, has led to the development of various supplement formulation strategies.

What is the best way to take curcumin? 

There are several ways to include curcumin in your diet. Because curcumin is soluble in fats, consuming it with a fatty meal enhances its absorption. This is why conventional dietary practices involve taking curcumin with digestible lipids, such as milk or heating turmeric in oil and then mixing it with food in a meal. 

Bioavailability-enhancers also help optimize the therapeutic benefits of curcumin supplements. The early supplement formulation strategies included the addition of lipids, such as turmeric oil, turmeric oleoresin, and piperine to make curcumin more bioavailable. Combining curcumin with enhancing agents such as piperine — a major active component of black pepper, has been found1 to increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000%. However, intake of piperine in higher amounts may result in an upset stomach and increase the risk of gastric bleeding in affected individuals.   

What are the different available forms of curcumin for dietary intake?

The majority of commercially available curcumin supplements for oral intake are available as powder nanoparticles, tablets, capsules, emulsions, and liposomal encapsulations. 

Free curcumin molecules have been found to aggregate with one another through hydrophobic interactions and form further clusters by hydrogen bonding. The aggregative, large cluster of curcumin molecules hinders cellular absorption. In contrast, curcumin formulations containing powder nanoparticles have been found to display higher cellular uptake.  

In tablets and capsules, curcumin molecules are encapsulated in an efficient carrier system to avoid the molecules’ rapid metabolization during their transit through the intestinal tract. Curcumin-loaded emulsions and liposomal encapsulations trap curcumin molecules in edible microparticles and nanoparticles to enhance their bioavailability. Curcumin-loaded emulsions have been found2 to display higher bioaccessibility than non-encapsulated curcumin.

Can I take curcumin supplements with my prescription medications?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration categorizes curcumin as ‘Generally Recognized As Safe’ for use as an ingredient in various food categories. Various clinical trials have shown good tolerability and safety profiles for curcuminoids — curcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, and demethoxycurcumin — even at high doses of 4,000-8,000 milligrams daily. However, it is always recommended that you consult with your healthcare provider before taking a curcumin supplement with prescription medication.   

How to determine the right curcumin supplement to include in my diet? 

When selecting a curcumin supplement to include in your diet, you should look at the active ingredients in the formula. The efficacy of a curcumin supplement depends on its bioavailability. Although pure curcumin has immense therapeutic potential, it is chemically unstable under physiological conditions. 

Tetrahydrocurcumin, an active metabolite of curcumin, displays more stability than curcumin and is more water-soluble than curcumin, which leads to its enhanced oral bioavailability and absorption in the body. As a superior antioxidant with enhanced bioavailability, tetrahydrocurcumin makes a curcumin supplement more effective.       

TetraCumin®, a patented curcumin supplement formula developed by Tesseract Medical Research, contains the bioactive tetrahydrocurcumin to support a healthy inflammatory response and to promote joint and muscle health. Tesseract’s revolutionary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery system further enhances tetrahydrocurcumin’s absorption, encasing each molecule to protect it from degradation before it reaches the desired point in the intestinal tract. With the targeted delivery of individual nutrient molecules resulting in unprecedented absorption, this smart delivery system enables micro-dosing — achieving faster physiological responses with lower amounts of the active ingredients. The result is a safe and effective curcumin supplement with more positive, therapeutic outcomes to support your health.

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in the proprietary science of proven nutrients and unrivaled smart delivery, making them the most effective for supporting musculoskeletal health.*

Works Cited

1Shoba, G et al. “Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers.” Planta medica vol. 64,4 (1998): 353-6. doi:10.1055/s-2006-957450

2Nelson, Kathryn M et al. “The Essential Medicinal Chemistry of Curcumin.” Journal of medicinal chemistry vol. 60,5 (2017): 1620-1637. doi:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00975

Article Summary:

Curcumin, the naturally occurring pigment found in turmeric, is known for its wide range of beneficial pharmacological and physiological activities.* The therapeutic potential of the compound has also been extensively researched to explore how it promotes a healthy immune response and a healthy gastrointestinal environment, as well as supporting cardiovascular health, optimal lipid profiles, and musculoskeletal system.* 

Currently, curcumin is widely used in joint support supplements. However, it is important to understand how curcumin works to ensure you choose the right supplement.    

How does curcumin support joint health? 

Curcumin has been found to interact with numerous molecular targets, either by binding with them directly and modulating their activities or indirectly regulating their functions. Among curcumin’s molecular targets, some, like NF-κB, are involved in bone remodeling, which suggests the role of curcumin in supporting musculoskeletal and joint health.* 

The therapeutic benefits of curcumin are also attributed to its antioxidant properties and its ability to support the body’s natural inflammatory responses.* As a potent antioxidant, curcumin promotes a healthy inflammatory response to non-chronic musculoskeletal and joint discomfort.*     

How much curcumin should I take to maintain optimal joint health?

As per the European Food Safety Authority, 0-3 mg/kg per body weight is the Allowable Daily Intake (ADI) value of curcumin. In clinical trials studying the impact of curcumin on joint health, volunteers received between 100-400 mg/day or more. It is worth noting that there is no standard suggested use of curcumin for supporting joint health.

Are joint curcumin supplements effective?

The efficacy of a joint curcumin supplement depends on the bioavailability of the active ingredients and how well the body absorbs them. Although curcumin holds immense beneficial potential, its clinical application is hampered by its low solubility. This leads to poor absorption and fast metabolism, followed by rapid clearance from the body, resulting in poor bioavailability of curcumin to the plasma and tissues. 

Several strategies have been used to enhance curcumin bioavailability in oral supplement formulations, including using bioavailable forms of curcumin such as Tetrahydrocurcumin, combining curcumin with piperine, a bioactive compound in black pepper, mixing turmeric powder and turmeric essential oil, and developing nanoformulations.

A clinical trial studying the effect of oral curcumin supplementation on post-exercise muscle soreness demonstrated beneficial changes in inflammatory cytokine profiles — the signaling proteins that help modulate the body's inflammatory response. This suggests that oral supplementation with bioavailable curcumin translates to faster recovery from — and enhanced functional capacity during — subsequent exercise sessions.*    

Are there side effects of curcumin supplements? 

Although several clinical studies have established curcumin’s efficacy and safety, ingesting higher amounts of curcumin may be associated with certain adverse effects. In dose escalation studies evaluating the safety of ingesting high amounts of curcumin (500-12,000 mg), some volunteers experienced diarrhea, nausea, headache, rash, and yellow stool. To avoid these potential adverse effects, individuals should consult with their healthcare practitioner about the appropriate amount of curcumin intake for their needs.     

How do I select the right curcumin supplement for joint health? 

When it comes to selecting the right curcumin supplement, palatability and efficacy are key factors for consideration. Early curcumin supplements faced challenges with patient compliance due to their inability to mask the unpleasant taste of curcumin. In addition, curcumin’s poor bioavailability required users to take significant amounts of a curcumin supplement to experience therapeutic benefits.

Tesseract Medical Research has developed TetraCumin® — a proprietary joint supplement formulation that contains tetrahydrocurcumin to support musculoskeletal and joint health. Tetrahydrocurcumin — a major metabolite of curcumin, displays similar pharmacological activities to those of curcumin but is more stable. The stability of tetrahydrocurcumin makes it more bioavailable in tissue and plasma and significantly more effective than curcumin. Thus, tetrahydrocurcumin avoids the pitfalls of the older versions of curcumin supplements. 

Tesseract's TetraCumin has overcome curcumin's bioavailability challenges with our revolutionary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery system to enhance the bioavailability of tetrahydrocurcumin, ensuring its timely absorption at the targeted point in the intestinal tract. 

The CyLoc® technology encases each tetrahydrocurcumin molecule to maintain its integrity and mask the unpalatable taste and smell. The DexKey® technology accompanying each CyLoc® molecule ensures targeted delivery of the molecules at the desired release point within the intestinal tract. The result is the optimal absorption and effectiveness of each tetrahydrocurcumin molecule, making them a bioavailable therapeutic reality.        

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing of multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Visit our website for more information about how Tesseract’s products can help support your musculoskeletal health.*

Works Cited

1Lao CD, Ruffin MT 4th, Normolle D, et al. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006 Mar 17;6:10. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-6-10. PMID: 16545122; PMCID: PMC1434783.

2McFarlin BK, Venable AS, Henning AL, et al. BBA Clin. 2016 Feb 18;5:72-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbacli.2016.02.003. PMID: 27051592; PMCID: PMC4802396.

Article Summary

The health of your gut microbiome is critical to your overall well-being. Several studies have highlighted the role of short-chain fatty acids, particularly butyrate, in regulating gut and immune functions.* Butyrate is also known to impact the gut-brain axis, thereby influencing your mental health.* 

Because butyrate is primarily produced by bacterial fermentation of dietary fibers in the lower intestine, including fiber-rich foods in the diet is often recommended to enhance the level of butyrate in the gut. However, some individuals with complex medical conditions may be intolerant of the high amounts of fiber consumption required to produce desired butyrate levels for optimal gut function. A butyrate supplement can be an easy alternative to increasing the level of butyrate in the intestine.*       

Purpose of A Butyrate Supplement for Gastrointestinal Health*

How to take butyrate supplements, shown as clear capsules in a wooden spoon, over a background of vegetables.

To understand how a butyrate supplement can promote gastrointestinal health, let’s look at what might prompt an increased demand for endogenous butyrate production that would dictate supplementation. 

An animal study on the effect of butyrate supplementation on the composition of gut microbiota found that exercise, in combination with butyrate supplements, beneficially alters the gut microbiota. The combined factors enhance the density of butyrate-producing fecal bacteria and subsequent butyrate production.* 

Butyrate supports the gut barrier by inhibiting bacteria and other microbes from entering the bloodstream. Thus, a butyrate supplement can provide substantial nutritional support to help address symptoms of various adverse health conditions that impact the gastrointestinal environment.*

How To Take Butyrate Supplements for Optimal Benefits

If you are considering taking a butyrate supplement, then it’s important to consider:

Although the immunomodulatory effect has been established for short-chain fatty acids produced by probiotics, the mechanism of their action is still being studied. Although the tolerability of oral butyrate, even in a significantly high amount, has been confirmed through clinical studies, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before taking a butyrate supplement with any prescription medication and/ or other nutritional supplements.      

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in the proprietary science of proven nutrients and unrivaled smart delivery, making them the most effective for supporting gastrointestinal health and neurological health.*

Works Cited

1Yu C, Liu S, Chen L, et al. J Endocrinol. 2019 Nov;243(2):125-135. doi: 10.1530/JOE-19-0122. PMID: 31454784.

2Banasiewicz T, Domagalska D, Borycka-Kiciak K, Rydzewska G. (2019). Przegla̜d Gastroenterologiczny, 15(2), 119-125. https://doi.org/10.5114/pg.2020.95556

3Markowiak-Kopeć P, Śliżewska K. (2020). Nutrients, 12(4). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041107

Article Summary

The body’s natural inflammatory response, a protective biological reaction of the immune system, is carefully controlled by several signaling pathways. Failures in the regulatory mechanisms of these signaling pathways can result in adverse immune reactions. 

In recent years, the role of curcumin as an immunomodulating agent has been extensively researched.* Various studies have established the interaction of curcumin with a wide range of immune cells and signaling molecules, leading to the use of curcumin supplements for supporting immune function.*

How Curcumin Supports Immune Functions*

Before incorporating a curcumin supplement into your diet, you should understand how it can support immune function.* The body’s natural immune responses result from the activation of T cells, B cells, neutrophils, macrophages, dendritic cells, and natural killer cells, among others. 

Activating these immune cells is mediated by various signaling pathways and transcription factors, including nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). Several studies indicate the potential role of curcumin in down-regulating NF-κB.* The down-regulation of NF-κB, in turn, down-regulates the expression of various proinflammatory cytokines, the signaling molecules that promote adverse inflammatory reactions. 

Studies on Curcumin’s Support of Immune Function

Title Overview Findings
How curcumin influences serum cytokines in obese individuals

A clinical trial investigated curcumin’s role as a lipid-lowering agent in obese individuals.  Pro-inflammatory cytokine serum levels — IL-1β, IL-4, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) — showed improvement after intake of a curcumin supplement.* Findings indicate curcumin can beneficially alter circulating concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines.*
Immunomodulatory activity of curcumin
A study investigated curcumin’s effects on immune cells induced with mitogen or antigen (molecules that trigger immune cell functions). The results suggest curcumin can inhibit cytokine production by inhibiting the NF-κB target genes that induce immune responses.*
Effects of curcumin supplementation in fish
In a feeding trial, 300 animals consumed diets supplemented with curcumin to study its effects on immune function, growth performance, antioxidant response, and feed utility. There was a significant increase in lysozyme activity (an innate immune defense factor) and total immunoglobulin levels (IgG and IgM), the proteins the immune system uses to identify and neutralize foreign objects.*

Several signaling pathways, proteins/enzymes, receptors, and genes are involved when the body’s normal physiological and immune functions are impaired. The unique molecular chemical structure of curcumin has been found to bind readily with various biomolecules, including receptors, enzymes, signaling molecules, transcription factors, and proteins in cell membranes.* The interaction of curcumin with various biological targets to inhibit or activate their functions is worth noting, as it indicates its potential role in supporting immune function.*    

Enhancing Immune Function With a Curcumin Supplement

Although the beneficial effects of curcumin on immune function are well-established, the curcumin molecule in its free form displays poor solubility and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Its rapid degradation into inactive metabolites and elimination from the GI tract greatly reduces its efficacy as a nutritional supplement.  

Tetrahydrocurcumin, a bioactive metabolite of curcumin, exhibits beneficial properties similar to those of curcumin, but with greater stability. Tetrahydrocurcumin also appears to be a superior antioxidant, with studies indicating its easy absorption through the gastrointestinal tract.* 
TetraCumin® — Tesseract’s immune-supportive supplement contains tetrahydrocurcumin, in  either quick-release or sustained-release.* TetraCumin’s advanced formula uses the revolutionary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery system that masks curcumin’s unpleasant taste and odor while enabling targeted delivery of tetrahydrocurcumin molecules at the desired point in the intestinal tract.* This makes TetraCumin® a highly efficacious and patient-compliant nutritional supplement to promote healthy immune function.

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing of multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Visit our website for more information about how Tesseract’s products can help support your immune health.*


1Ganjali S, Sahebkar A, Mahdipour E, et al. ScientificWorldJournal. 2014 Feb 11;2014:898361. doi: 10.1155/2014/898361. PMID: 24678280; PMCID: PMC3942342.

2Gao X, Kuo J, Jiang H, et al. Biochem Pharmacol. 2004 Jul 1;68(1):51-61. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2004.03.015. PMID: 15183117.

3Mahmoud, HK, Al-Sagheer, A. A., Reda, F. M., et al. (2017). Aquaculture, 475, 16-23

4Hatamipour M, Johnston TP, Sahebkar A. Curr Pharm Des. 2018;24(19):2129-2136. doi: 10.2174/1381612824666180522111036. PMID: 29788873.

5Hundshammer, C., Schön, C., Kimura, M., et al. (2021). Journal of Functional Foods, 79, 104410

Article Summary

Butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, has recently gained significant attention for its potential role in supporting gastrointestinal health.* Butyrate, propionate, and acetate are some of the key organic acids produced in the lower intestinal tract, the result of bacterial fermentation of undigested dietary fibers and resistant starch, and to some extent, dietary and endogenous proteins.

Several studies highlight the role of butyrate in modulating immune function and supporting a healthy inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal tract.* Furthermore, there is growing evidence of butyrate’s beneficial effect on modulating brain function through the gut-brain axis.* 

Low dietary fiber intake can limit the gut’s production of short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate, which can adversely affect local and systemic GI inflammatory responses. That’s why it‘s important to have a diet full of butyrate-rich foods. Incorporating a butyrate supplement is an effective alternative to supporting a healthy gut microbiota.* 

How to Incorporate a Diet of Butyrate-Rich Foods

The colonic microbiota is one of the body’s most metabolically active areas. Short-chain fatty acids contribute up to 60-70% of the energy required by colonic epithelial cells and 5-15% of the human body’s total caloric requirements. 

Although butyrate is the least abundant short-chain fatty acid produced in the body, it is a major energy source for colonocytes.* Because the presence of undigested dietary fiber in the intestine and the production of butyrate are closely associated, it’s important to include high-fiber foods and butyrate-rich foods in your diet.   

Fiber is defined as a complex mixture of dietary residues, primarily carbohydrates that are not digested or absorbed by the small intestine but are used instead as a food source by the colonic microbiota. The USDA recommends a daily dietary fiber intake of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. This includes non-starch polysaccharides, non-digestible oligosaccharides, and resistant starch.

Butyrate-Rich Foods To Add to Your Diet
One of the best sources of resistant starch, raw, dried legumes contain 20-30% resistant starch by weight. Beans, peas, and lentils are also good sources of galactooligosaccharides. 
Whole Grains Oats, cooked and cooled rice, quinoa, wheat, rye,
and other whole grains are good sources of resistant starch.
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits like watermelon, pear, blueberries, mulberries, red currants, raspberries, and figs are rich in oligosaccharides. Plantains, green bananas, and cooked, cooled potatoes are good sources of resistant starch. White onions, green cabbage, red cabbage, scallions, leeks, garlic, broccoli, and kale are also high in oligosaccharides. 
Nuts & Seeds

Chia seeds, almonds, pistachios,
and sunflower kernels are rich
in dietary fiber.
Dairy Products
Moderate dairy intake: The lactic acid bacteria in foods like butter and parmesan cheese help break down milk fats and produce short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate. 

A well-balanced diet comprising these fiber-rich components promotes a healthy gastrointestinal environment. However, not every individual can tolerate the amount of fiber needed to produce the required quantity of butyrate for optimal gut function. Therefore, a butyrate supplement can be an easy, effective way to fill any nutritional gaps and increase butyric acid levels.*    

Butyrate Supplementation Promotes Gut Health*

When considering butyrate supplementation, it is worth noting that not all nutritional supplements are alike. The efficacy of a butyrate supplement depends on whether it is formulated to optimize the bioavailability of the active ingredient, thus leading to enhanced absorption and augmenting the gut’s butyric acid level.*     

ProButyrate®, a Tesseract formula, is specially designed to restore balance and stabilize the gut microbiome.* The revolutionary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery technology isolates and encases individual molecules of butyric acid to ensure their palatability and optimal absorption throughout the GI tract, one molecule at a time.* The hypoallergenic formula yields overall positive health benefits and helps you take control of your gut health every day.*    

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing of multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Visit our website for more information about how Tesseract’s products can help support your gastrointestinal health.*

Works Cited

1 ​​Tan J, McKenzie C, Potamitis M, et al. Adv Immunol. 2014;121:91-119. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800100-4.00003-9. PMID: 24388214.

Article Summary

Curcumin, a biologically active compound found in turmeric, is well-known for its immense therapeutic potential. However, the low water solubility of curcumin greatly limits its bioavailability and effectiveness. Various curcumin formulations, including capsules, tablets, powder nanoparticles, liquid micelles, and others, have been designed to enhance its bioavailability and consequent bio-efficacy. 

When looking for a curcumin supplement to incorporate into your daily regimen, liquid turmeric vs. capsules is one of the first questions to answer. In this post, we compare the two forms of curcumin supplements and their relative efficacy to help you determine the most appropriate formulation for your lifestyle.   

Liquid Turmeric vs Capsules—Which Works Better? 

Because curcumin is a fat-soluble molecule, its rapid metabolism in the body can be restricted by encapsulating the molecule within a hydrophobic phase, such as pure oil, oil droplets, solid fat particles, and hydrophobic protein particles. Whether formulating liquid turmeric or capsules, the objective is to trap curcumin within edible microparticles or nanoparticles, such as micelles, liposomes, solid lipid particles, emulsions, and biopolymer particles to enhance its bioavailability. 

Liquid Turmeric

Liquid turmeric is an emulsion (that is, two liquids that won’t mix and are stabilized by an emulsifier). Liquid turmeric or a curcumin-loaded emulsion has a yellow-orange, clear-to-milky appearance and is widely used for the encapsulation, stabilization, and delivery of curcumin. The bioaccessibility of curcumin in an emulsion format has been found to be greater than non-encapsulated curcumin. 

Consuming curcumin with food that contains digestible lipids, such as milk or adding turmeric oil or a small amount of piperine (the active component found in black pepper), is one of the early formulation approaches to develop liquid turmeric and enhance its absorption in the body. Novel formulations, such as liquid droplet nano-micelles have been shown to have the highest bioavailability, with more than 400 times higher absorption compared to unformulated curcumin.

Curcumin Capsules

Curcumin encapsulation refers to using an efficient carrier system that preserves its physiochemical properties during transit through the stomach. Recent developments have enabled the encapsulation of curcumin by nanocarriers, such as protein-based nanocarriers, cyclodextrins, nanogels, and liposomes. Nanocarriers provide a high surface area-to-volume ratio, resulting in higher solubility and dissolution rates of the curcumin molecule. The small particle size prolongs the integrity of the encapsulated curcumin in circulation and allows for targeted delivery of the nutrient molecules.

Curcumin-loaded microemulsions containing curcumin, oil, and a surfactant (a chemical compound that decreases surface tension between curcumin trapped in oil molecules) are also used to encapsulate and release curcumin. The curcumin, oil, and surfactant are mixed together and then incorporated into pellets or capsules. Such a mixture forms a microemulsion after coming in contact with stomach fluids. Animal feeding studies show excellent physical and chemical stability of such formulations, resulting in a 17-fold increase in the oral bioavailability of this form of curcumin compared to the non-encapsulated form.   

Liquid Turmeric vs. Capsules: A Comparison

Liquid Turmeric Curcumin Capsule
Strategy Liquid turmeric, an emulsion, traps curcumin molecules in digestible lipids like milk, oil, and others to enhance absorption. Encapsulating curcumin in particle-sized nanocarriers prolongs the molecules' integrity during circulation, giving them greater solubility and targeted delivery.
Liquid Turmeric Curcumin Capsule
Efficacy Liquid droplet nano-micelles have the highest bioavailability, with 400 times higher absorption than unformulated curcumin. In animal studies, curcumin-loaded microemulsions show an increased oral bioavailability 17 times greater than non-encapsulated forms. Such microemulsions are frequently enclosed in pellets or capsules.

Whether it is liquid turmeric or encapsulated turmeric, the efficacy of a curcumin supplement lies in the active ingredient used in the formulation. Tetrahydrocurcumin, a biologically active, colorless, or white-colored metabolite of curcumin, exhibits similar pharmacological properties to those of curcumin but displays superior bioavailability in tissue and plasma.* Tetrahydrocurcumin has been found to be more stable than curcumin with a longer degradation half-life in plasma and cell culture medium. Formulating nutritional supplements containing tetrahydrocurcumin as the active ingredient enhances the therapeutic potential to support various health functions.*            

Incorporating Curcumin Supplements into Your Diet

TetraCumin®, a Tesseract nutritional supplement formulated with tetrahydrocurcumin, further enhances the bioavailability of the active ingredient through our revolutionary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery technology. This smart delivery system encases each molecule of the active ingredient, masking its unpalatable taste and odor while preserving its integrity during transit through the GI tract. Tesseract’s revolutionary nutrient delivery enables the release of active ingredient molecules at the desired point in the intestinal tract to accomplish maximum absorption and efficacy. The advanced formulation of TetraCumin® promotes several health functions, including immune response, cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal environment, lipid profiles, musculoskeletal system, and others.*

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in the proprietary science of proven nutrients and unrivaled smart delivery, making them the most effective for supporting musculoskeletal health and immune health.*

Works Cited

1Vijaya Saradhi UV, Ling Y, Wang J, et al. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2010 Nov 15;878(30): pgs. 3045-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2010.08.039. Epub 2010 Sep 17. PMID: 20934924; PMCID: PMC2975763.

2Hu L, Jia Y, Niu F, et al. Preparation and enhancement of oral bioavailability of curcumin using microemulsions vehicle. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Jul 25;60(29): pgs.7137-41. doi: 10.1021/jf204078t. Epub 2012 Jul 10. PMID: 22587560.

3Stohs SJ, Ji J, Bucci LR, Preuss HG. J Am Coll Nutr. 2018 Jan;37(1): pgs.51-59. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2017.1358118. Epub 2017 Oct 18. PMID: 29043927.

4Stohs SJ, Chen O, Ray SD, et al. Molecules. 2020 Mar 19;25(6): pg.1397. doi: 10.3390/molecules25061397. PMID: 32204372; PMCID: PMC7144558.

5Nelson KM, Dahlin JL, Bisson J, et al. J Med Chem. 2017 Mar 9;60(5): pgs.1620-1637. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00975. Epub 2017 Jan 11. PMID: 28074653; PMCID: PMC5346970.

Article Summary

Curcumin—the yellow pigment found in turmeric—has long been studied to understand its influence on the biological mechanisms associated with several chronic health conditions. Although researchers continue to explore curcumin’s antioxidant properties and its ability to maintain the body’s natural inflammatory responses, its poor bioavailability makes it difficult to know how effective curcumin supplementation really is.

The low bioavailability of curcumin is attributable to its chemical instability, which leads to poor solubility in water, rapid metabolism, low absorption from the gut, and rapid systemic elimination. This results in very low—or even undetectable—concentrations of curcumin in blood and extraintestinal tissues after supplementation. 

Several human studies have investigated the poor absorption of curcumin. A dose escalation study was performed on 24 healthy participants to determine the maximum tolerated dose and safety of a single dose of curcumin powder extract. With doses ranging from 0.5 g to 12 g, the study revealed excellent tolerance of curcumin; however, no curcumin was detected in the serum of the subjects given amounts between 0.5g and 8g. Low levels of curcumin were detected in participants administered 10 g or 12 g.

To overcome this problem, various approaches have been undertaken to increase curcumin’s bioavailability. Today, the most promising of these involves turning to tetrahydrocurcmin.   

Tetrahydrocurcumin: The Most Bioavailable Form of Curcumin

The bioavailability of a nutritional supplement relies on two key factors: transformation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and bioaccessibility. Several human studies have tracked the degradation of orally ingested curcumin in humans. 

In the GI tract, curcumin tightly binds to mucus, which delays uptake by epithelial cells and causes oxidative degradation. After it is transported into epithelial cells, curcumin undergoes extensive Phase I and Phase II biotransformation.

Phase I metabolism reduces curcuminoids into dihydrocurcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin, hexahydrocurcumin, and octahydrocurcumin, followed by Phase II conjugation with sulfate, glucuronide, and glutathione.

Curcumin and its metabolites then proceed to the intestinal lumen for elimination where they are further metabolized by the gut microbiome in the colon, leaving little opportunity for reabsorption. The reabsorbed curcumin compounds are again metabolized by hepatocytes in the liver, transforming them into reduced and conjugated forms — the majority of which enter the bile with only minor amounts entering circulation. After entering circulation, curcumin and its metabolites adhere strongly to proteins, particularly albumin. 

Tetrahydrocurcumin—one of the primary active metabolites of curcumin, exhibits pharmacological activities similar to those of curcumin, but it is more easily absorbed in the GI tract. An animal study involving the administration of Curcuma-P® for four weeks showed the presence of tetrahydrocurcumin—but not curcumin—inside subcutaneous adipose tissue.

Science nerds will appreciate the magnitude by which tetrahydrocurcumin shows more stability than curcumin, with a degradation half-life of 813 minutes, compared to 186 minutes for curcumin in a cell culture medium. In plasma, the half-lives of curcumin and tetrahydrocurcumin are 111 minutes and 232 minutes, respectively.

Several other studies have shown that tetrahydrocurcumin is more active than curcumin and appears to be a superior antioxidant with enhanced bioavailability.

Enhancing the Bioavailability of Curcumin

There are several nutritional supplement formulations designed to enhance curcumin’s bioavailability. A combination of curcumin and piperine—the natural alkaloid of black pepper, for example, produces significantly higher serum concentrations of curcumin than with curcumin alone. Similarly, a curcuminoid mixture with lecithin has better bioavailability than a non-lecithin curcuminoid mixture.   

Curcumin in hydrophilic nanoparticles shows enhanced gastrointestinal absorption. A study on comparative absorption of curcumin formulations revealed a 46-fold increase in oral absorption of a water-soluble curcumin formulation compared to unformulated curcumin.

Healthcare professionals may be encouraged to learn that delivery systems like liposomes, micelles, microemulsions, nano-emulsions, phospholipid complexes, nanostructured lipid carriers, solid lipid nanoparticles, and microgels, all hold great potential in enhancing the bioavailability of curcumin.

Advanced tetrahydrocurcumin formulations, such as TetraCumin®, enhance the bioavailability of curcumin even further with a revolutionary delivery technology designed to ensure maximum absorption. The enhanced curcumin absorption, in turn, unlocks the immense therapeutic potential of curcumin for supporting musculoskeletal health and immune function in the body.

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing of multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Visit our website for more information about how Tesseract’s products can help support your musculoskeletal health.*

Works Cited

Lao CD, Normolle D, Heath DD, et al. (2005). BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 6, 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-6-10

Neyrinck AM, Alligier M, Memvanga PB, et al. (2012). PLoS ONE, 8(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0081252

Vijaya Saradhi VR, Ling Y, Wang J, et al. (2010). Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences, 878(30), 3045. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2010.08.039

Aggarwal BB, Deb L, Prasad S. (2015). Molecules, 20(1), 185-205. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules20010185

Anand P, Kunnumakkara AB, Newman RA, Aggarwal BB. Mol Pharm. 2007 Nov-Dec;4(6):807-18. doi: 10.1021/mp700113r. Epub 2007 Nov 14. PMID: 17999464.

Cuomo J, Appendino G, Dern AS, et al. J Nat Prod. 2011 Apr 25;74(4):664-9. doi: 10.1021/np1007262. Epub 2011 Mar 17. PMID: 21413691.

Article Summary

The potential benefits of curcumin—the primary bioactive pigment in turmeric—have been extensively studied, spurring an ever-growing number of curcumin nutritional supplements to enter the market. Several recent studies have explored the role of curcumin as a potent immunomodulatory agent, with results indicating activation of T cells, B cells, neutrophils, macrophages, natural killer cells, and others to support a healthy immune response.* Other studies have assessed the role of curcumin in enhancing joint function in terms of movement, morning stiffness, and occasional discomfort.* 

But while the therapeutic potential of curcumin is well-known, there are many questions about appropriate amount of curcumin supplement to use, its efficacy, and side effects.       

What is the appropriate curcumin supplement use for supporting immune and joint/muscle health?

The Allowable Daily Intake value of curcumin ranges from 0-3 milligrams/kg body weight daily as per the European Food Safety Authority. The U.S. FDA approves curcuminoids as ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ (GRAS) to be used as a food additive. However, there are currently no standard suggested use recommendations for supporting immune health and joint/muscle health. 

Can you take too much curcumin supplement?

Ingesting large amounts of curcumin in supplement form for longer periods can cause stomach upset and/or diarrhea. A study on the effect of curcumin in rats concluded that long-term intake of high doses of curcumin could trigger various imbalances through metabolic disorders, oxidative stress, and other stressors and may induce liver injury. To avoid this possibility, talk to your healthcare practitioner about the correct curcumin usage for your needs.

Are there any adverse effects associated with curcumin use? 

Several clinical trials have established the safety and efficacy of curcumin, and few adverse effects have been reported. In a dose escalation study that evaluated the maximum tolerated dose and safety of a single dose of standardized, uniformly milled, curcumin powder extract, 24 healthy volunteers were administered escalating doses from 500 to 12,000 mg and were followed for 72 hours. Although seven subjects experienced diarrhea, rash, headache, and yellow stool, symptoms were transient and no toxicity appeared to be dose-related. 

How long does it take for a curcumin supplement to work after ingestion?

Although factors such as age, weight, overall health, supplement formulation, frequency, and the amount taken can influence how fast a curcumin supplement works, studies are inconclusive regarding exactly what to expect. 

One clinical trial on 60 healthy adults, aged 60-85, reported better performance on sustained attention and working memory tasks within one hour of taking a solid lipid curcumin formulation.* Another animal study involved oral administration of 500 mg of curcumin/kg body weight. At one hour, curcumin concentration peaked in the intestine, while it peaked in the blood at 6 hours, and levels remained high at 24 hours. When co-administered with piperine—the bioactive compound present in black pepper, intestinal absorption of curcumin was relatively higher, with a maximum level of intact curcumin detected in the brain at 48 hours. However, piperine, in combination with curcumin, has been associated with gastrointestinal irritation in some people.        

What makes a curcumin supplement effective?

Poor absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid systemic elimination are three key factors contributing to the low bioavailability of curcumin in the body. This means the therapeutic potential of curcumin can be difficult to realize in practice, regardless of the amount taken. The unpleasant taste of curcumin also makes it difficult to tolerate.

Tetrahydrocurcumin—a partially reduced derivative of curcumin—outperforms its parent compound in terms of both bioavailability and physiological stability. Although tetrahydrocurcumin displays physiological and pharmacological properties similar to curcumin, its chemical structure allows for easier absorption through the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, a smaller amount is needed to confer its therapeutic benefits.

Tesseract’s TetraCumin® formula contains the powerfully bioactive tetrahydrocurcumin as an active ingredient. Coupled with the revolutionary CyLoc® - DexKey® delivery technology that places tetrahydrocurcumin into a molecular matrix for targeted release, this advanced formulation optimizes the bioavailability of the active ingredient while also enhancing palatability. The result is a powerful supplement that helps maintain the body’s healthy inflammatory response and supports optimal joint health.*

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in the proprietary science of proven nutrients and unrivaled smart delivery, making them the most effective for supporting immune health and musculoskeletal health.*

Article Summary

High blood pressure increases the risk for cardiovascular diseases and stroke — the leading causes of death in the United States. High blood pressure (hypertension) is diagnosed when systolic blood pressure (SBP) is consistently ≥130 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) is consistenlty ≥80 mmHg.

Several clinical studies have investigated the beneficial effects of curcumin, the main bioactive compound in turmeric, on blood pressure and how curcumin interacts with multiple molecular targets to support heart health.* If you are considering a curcumin supplement to support your heart health and promote normal blood pressure, here are a few scientific research-backed answers to frequently asked questions.*

How does curcumin support healthy blood pressure?

Curcumin supplementation has been found to limit oxidative stress and enhance the availability of vascular nitric oxide.* Nitric oxide plays an active role in expanding and dilating your blood vessels and controlling your heart rate, thereby regulating your blood pressure. A clinical study on 39 healthy, middle-aged and older adults were administered curcumin (2,000 mg/day) for 12 weeks demonstrated enhanced function of the endothelium — the thin membrane lining the inside of the heart and blood vessels.* A systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 studies comprising 734 participants suggested that consuming curcumin helps maintain normal systolic blood pressure (SBP) when administered over long durations.*

Can you take a curcumin supplement with prescription blood pressure medication? 

Amlodipine is a widely used antihypertensive drug that blocks the movement of cellular calcium to relax smooth muscles in the heart and blood vessels. As smooth muscles relax, it reduces the afterload — the amount of pressure exerted by the heart to eject blood during the contraction of the heart ventricles. This pressure is recorded as systolic blood pressure. The results of an animal study evaluating the effect of co-administration of curcumin with amlodipine suggests that hypertensive patients taking prescription amlodipine can consume curcumin without inhibiting its blood-pressure-lowering effect and may derive additional benefit from taking curcumin as well.

What is the best way to incorporate curcumin into your diet? 

Nutrition and lifestyle are critical to maintaining a healthy blood pressure and overall heart health. Curcumin has been traditionally incorporated into the diet in the form of a spice or food additive, which lends the distinctive yellow color and “curry” flavor to the food. However, curcumin has poor bioavailability as it undergoes (in rapid succession) rapid absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid elimination from the system. This is why ingesting curcumin in food often does not result in important therapeutic benefits. 

Studies show that various strategies used in formulating curcumin supplements can enhance its absorption and bioavailability, making a curcumin supplement the best way to incorporate curcumin into your diet. Lipid additions, including turmeric oil, piperine, and turmeric oleoresin, particle size reduction through micellar and nano-particle formulations, and enhanced delivery systems, such as solid-lipid nanoparticles, liposomes, and microgels can boost curcumin’s efficacy. Using piperine, a black pepper component, to enhace curcumin absorption is common, but can be associated with undesirable effects — primarily gastrointestinal irritation — in some.    

What is the recommended use of curcumin for supporting heart health?

The Allowable Daily Intake Value of curcumin as determined by the European Food Safety Authority is up to 3 mg/kg of body weight daily (1kg = 2.2 lbs.). The U.S. FDA categorizes turmeric as a ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ (GRAS) food ingredient, with curcuminoids used as antioxidant and flavoring agents at maximum levels of <20 mg per serving in specific foods.

It’s worth noting that there are no definitive statistics on effective amounts of curcumin or turmeric for maintaining normal blood pressure and supporting your heart’s health.* However, clinical studies involving the administration of single doses of 500 to 12,000 mg of curcumin to healthy volunteers have shown excellent tolerance of curcumin in humans.*

How do I determine the right curcumin supplement to benefit my blood pressure? 

The efficacy of using curcumin for maintaining a healthy blood pressure level is determined by how well the curcumin is absorbed by the body. The right curcumin supplement formulation not only enhances curcumin’s bioavailability, it also makes it more palatable and easily tolerated. 

Tesseract’s TetraCumin® contains tetrahydrocurcumin, a partially reduced yet highly bioactive derivative of curcumin, and shows superior therapeutic potential to curcumin, owing to its stable chemical structure and solubility in water.* Tetrahydrocurcumin’s chemical stability contributes to its enhanced bioavailability and absorption in the body, thereby boosting its efficacy.

Tesseract’s revolutionary CyLoc®-DexKey® nutrient delivery technology further enables targeted delivery of active ingredients while masking their unpalatable taste and smell for unprecedented absorption. With TetraCumin®, you can be assured of maximized therapeutic benefits of tetrahydrocurcumin for optimal heart health.*

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in the proprietary science of proven nutrients and unrivaled smart delivery, making them the most effective for supporting cardiovascular health.*

Works Cited

Lao CD, Normolle D, Heath DD, et al. (2005). BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 6, 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-6-10

Neyrinck AM, Alligier M, Memvanga PB, et al. (2012). PLoS ONE, 8(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0081252

Vijaya Saradhi VR, Ling Y, Wang J, et al. (2010). Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences, 878(30), 3045. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2010.08.039

Aggarwal BB, Deb L, Prasad S. (2015). Molecules, 20(1), 185-205. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules20010185

Anand P, Kunnumakkara AB, Newman RA, Aggarwal BB. Mol Pharm. 2007 Nov-Dec;4(6):807-18. doi: 10.1021/mp700113r. Epub 2007 Nov 14. PMID: 17999464.

Cuomo J, Appendino G, Dern AS, et al. J Nat Prod. 2011 Apr 25;74(4):664-9. doi: 10.1021/np1007262. Epub 2011 Mar 17. PMID: 21413691.

The advanced formulations based on our revolutionary, patented, and patent-pending technology are only available through Tesseract. No other medical, pharmaceutical, or supplement company is licensed to utilize our proprietary technology.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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