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.
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.*
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.
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.*
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.
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.*
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.