Saturday, February 28, 2015

curcumin and piperine, post to PD forum

Megacognito mentioned Longvida(R) form of curcumin helping and he said it had a study to back it up. I have been interested in curcumin because it is unique and therefore may have the possibility of helping in ways that are different from other methods, and therefore more likely to be additive in benefit. The problem is that curcumin is not bioavailable and has not been shown to help in the human brain in any condition at any dose. Many companies and people have been searching for ways around this, further indicating there is a consensus that it would be great if you can get it in the human brain. It appears C3 and Longvida are the main ones that the supplement industry has adopted and the best.

So I looked up the abstract, checked the article-publishing history of the authors (looked good, no conflict of interests except Longvida paid for the study), and I paid the $36 to get the pdf. The only potential drawback is that all 3 researchers are at Australia's Swinburn University. The Longvida company is in Indiana. The product is being incorporated in mainstream supplement lines (NOW foods being the cheaper one with Longvida), available anywhere like amazon, vitacost, and iherb. The trial was properly registered in Australia as ACTRN12612001027808 so you can see the study design in detail. The abstract is

Working memory and sustained attention were the things helped the most. Participants did NOT have dementia or Parkinsons. This was a study on healthy adults. Its mechanism of action may be merely another MAO-I that can increase dopamine, but for several reasons this natural method may be better than pharmaceuticals.

The reviews at Amazon are worth reading:

But the NOW foods brand is cheaper.

But is this better than the older and more popular C3 curcumin when used with Bioperine? Bioperine is a popular brand of concentrated black pepper curcumin and other supplements include in their pills. It enables curcumin to remain in an active form in the blood.

A C3 curcumin study in AD patients did not show a benefit, but it did not use Bioperine to greatly (20x) amplify the curcumin and it was only 18 AD subjects that were treated. There has been more hope for curcumin in AD than PD.

But generally curcumin has been receiving positive results in inflammation and arthritis.

This C3 study included bioavailability data and comparing this to a paper for longvida
I get that longvida free curcumin in the blood was 17 times better per mg dose. However, I can't tell if the mg dose in this 2nd paper was "as Curcumin" or "as longvida". If it was as Longvida, then the bioavailability was 85 times better than C3 of the Curcumin that was absorbed. I believe it is 85x better on a curcumin basis, not counting the effect of Bioperine (95% piperine) in either.

The least expensive brand with Longvida is $0.50 per pill containing 80 mg while the least expensive C3 brand (swanson or now) is $0.25 per pill containing 825 mg, so you get 20 times more per dollar for the C3 products. Also, they are not necessarily larger pills because the Longvida is 80% additives that help in absorption, but C3 can be 95% curcumin. The C3 products also often contain peperine which greatly increases curcumin bioavailability (20x more than curcumin alone) but that does not mean equal benefit will be seen with C3 and Longvida because they might be a similar mechanism as piperine for bioavailability. But it seems to be a different mechanism, so it should help with both, but I did not see bioperine mixed with any Longvida products. Five strong dashes of white or black pepper (0.1 g) will provide more piperine than the 2 to 5 mg Bioperine in C3 curcumin capsules.

Tumeric is 3% curcumin according to wiki, and I see you might be able to tolerate 2 to 4 grams turmeric in a ginger-turmeric tea. A website says you should add 3% black pepper to maximize turmeric absorption. This is a 1 to 1 ratio of black pepper to curcumin, whereas only 1% Bioperine (95% piperine from black pepper) to curcumin is needed in C3 pills. Black pepper is about 7% piperine, so 1 to 1 is about 3.5% piperine, so it's an even better ratio than the Bioperine used in pills. There are probably other things in turmeric that help in curcumin absorption, like oils that Longvida depends on, so it's possible turmeric is as good as Longvida needing only 7 times more (since turmeric is 3% curcumin and Longvida is 20% curcumin). C3 also seems like it is trying to copy what the inventors think are good in turmeric that helps curcumin absorb, being a complex of curcumins like turmeric instead of a single compound. At only 3% curcumin in tumeric, the absorption from a 3 gram turmeric tea (very strong, 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder) with 5 strong dashes of black pepper will have to absorb 4 times better than C3+bioperine to equal 1 C3 pill. This is definitely possible, and if it absorbs as well as longvida due to its complex mixture of oil, this tea is equal to 1 longvida pill.

It seems Longvida will work better (even on a cost basis) than C3 if you take it with 0.1 g black pepper.

Quercitin, coconut oil, silibirin and heat increase bioavailability:

The amazon reviews for C3 and Longvida are both good, but it would take a lot of work to determine if the reviews really reflect benefit and not placebo. Nutritional supplements generally get excellent reviews.

Piperine reduces depression and improves cognition.
comment on a review at amazon:
Longvida absorbs 85 times better than C3 on a curcumin basis, 7 times better on a cost basis using your data, but therefore 3 times worse than C3+bioperine on a cost basis. Four strong dashes of pepper (75 mg at 7.5% piperine in black pepper can offset this. A problem I have with the bioperine story: the only paper I could find on it was with curcumin, not C3 or Longvida. They used 20 mg piperine and 2 g curcumin, and the full 20 mg might be needed for a "threshold" effect. Even without this, it means they need to use 5 mg Bioperine instead of the typical 2 or 3 mg for 500 mg pills.

I wonder if both C3 and Longvida are merely trying to copy what you see in turmeric, both the oils and complex curcumins. Are the oils in plants nano-mixed with the active ingredients? How does C3's curcumin composition compare to turmeric?

I'm reading that heat and oils helps the active ingredients absorb, so that a hot turmeric tea with 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (7% curcumin+others?) and 0.1 gram black powder should work 20x (2000%) better than Longvida 500 mg pills and 7 times better than C3+bioperine.

Concerning the comparison between bioperine and black pepper, piperine is the "active" pungent ingredient of black pepper, so you can taste the potency. Bioperine is merely an extract, so it can only decrease bioavailability compared to the original spice. I just tasted 3 mg of bioperine from an opened C3 capsule and would say its pungency is equal to or less than 1 dash of black pepper (easily tolerable), indicating the 95% piperines is too high, or the 7% piperines estimate I used above for black pepper is too low, or Wikipedia's comments on the source of pepper pungency are wrong.

To what extent are these nutritional supplements up to the same games the Pharmaceuticals have been playing forever? You mention Bioperine as strongly supported via research, but my taste buds indicate it is not as good as a dash of pepper. Likewise C3 and Longvida are using the expectation of profit to fund research, but are we going to miss out on the obvious alternative of whole, cooked, turmeric from lack of funded research? Where's the turmeric paper that shows how much curcumin was in the blood after a meal using 4 grams of it?
Post to PD forum and Dr Trutt in response to 2 articles by Dr Trutt:

Dr Trutt, the chart you got from youtube is from a Japanese study that was funded by the Japanese Theracumin company.   Prior to their measurement of "curcumin", they used "1000 U beta-glucuronidase at 37 C for 1 hr to hydrolyze the curcumin conjugates" which sounds like they did not measure free curcumin.  This correlates with your previous comments questioning a previous study's BCM-95's "free curcumin" data, since this study found a lot of "curcumin" in BCM-95. They never mention free curcumin or the conjugates in plasma.
The data are based on curcumin in the pills and BCM-95 has 17 times more per pill, so even Theracumin's paid researchers showing 10x better theracumin absorption are admitting BCM-95 per pill is 70% better.  Theracumin is charging 30x more per curcumin, so at 10x better theracumin absorption per curcumin, BCM is still 3x less expensive per effectiveness.  So, BCM-95 is 3x less expensive and you can take 3.5 pills instead of 6 to get the same effect.
Again, this does not seem to mean "free curcumin".  But there seems to be only 1 study on longvida free curcumin, and I can't get the entire artilce
An indian study looked at their own formulation of 6% curcumin: "lipidic formulation of CRM (CRM-LF). CRM-LF consisted of CRM (6.17% w/w), Gelucire44/14 (16.46% w/w), Labrasol (5.76% w/w), Vitamin E TPGS (3.29% w/w), PEG 400 (55.55% w/w), ethanol (8.23% w/w), anhydrous citric acid (2.88% w/w) and HPMC E5 (1.64% w/w). CRM-LF forms the nanosized globules upon dilution with aqueous medium."
They got 1.3 uM/L free curcumin max when converted to a 2 g dose. They patented it and published in 2012 titled "Bioavailability of a Lipidic Formulation of Curcumin in Healthy Human Volunteers"
They did not have controls, so the complaint you made about BCM-95 might also be made here.
What do you think about people trying to mix turmeric or curcumin in a ultrasonic denture cleaner with heated lecithin to try to get a similar formulation? 

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