Curcumin, the natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow color, has increasingly come under the scientific spotlight in recent years, with studies investigating its potential health benefits.
Dr Oz talked about the potential anti-cancer benefits of the ingredient in 2011, a segment is said to have done a lot to get curcumin on the consumer’s radar.
The Nutrition Business Journal reports that turmeric is in the top 10 best-selling supplements in the US, with sales of curcumin- and turmeric-based supplements expected to grow 21.5% from 2013-2016 to $235 million.
Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent Expo West show in Anaheim, EuroPharma’s Lemerond said that there is worldwide academic and commercial interest in curcumin because the ingredient triggers multiple pathways in the body.
With the science building for the ingredient, and consumer awareness and demand growing, much attention has focused on delivering the benefits of curcumin for supplement and functional foods.
Various suppliers offer curcumin ingredients with enhanced bioavailability, with some forms up to 46 times more bioavailable. EuroPharma’s Curamin and Curamed products contain the branded BCM-95 curcumin, which is produced by a patented process that increases the bioavailability of plain curcumin up to 10 times, the company has said. This is achieved by micronizing curcumin powder and then blending it with essential oils from turmeric, it added.
“We have never singled anyone out as being a non-quality product,” Lemerond told us. “We have the most clinically studied product in the curcumin space with 15 clinical studies.
“We drove the curcumin market,” he added. “Nobody has given it the attention that we have.”
The medicinal value of curcumin and turmeric is tremendous, he said, with over 7,000 studies in the last several years.
From warm climes to cold…
Lemerond also talked about his company’s SagaPro product for supporting bladder health. The product is formulated using water extracts of Icelandic angelica (Angelica archangelica), which is wild crafted in Iceland.
“We launched SagaPro about a year ago and it has performed very well in the market,” he said. The product is also finding a niche in sports nutrition with long-distance runners benefiting from the product’s ability to reduce urinary activity.
The product, which was recently approved by Health Canada, is reported to work on bladder volume to increase capacity. “Results show a three-fold increase,” said Lemerond.
According to a paper published in the Scandinavian Journal of Urology (2013, Vol. 47, pp. 26-32), the plant contains isoquercitrin, which may be active in affecting nocturia (waking up during the night to go to the bathroom).
“Isoquercitrin is a flavonoid that influences the activity of leukotriene LTD4. Leukotrienes (LT) are compounds which are derived from arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) in smooth-muscle cells in the bladder and cause contractions by stimulating receptors,” explained the researchers.
Results of a parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study suggested that two tablets of the SagaPro product before bed for eight weeks offered a “beneficial effect in individuals with decreased nocturnal bladder capacity”. While significant benefits were recorded for a sub-group of the overall cohort, no significant benefits were observed between the active and placebo groups.