The 7 Best Turmeric Supplements of 2021, According to a Dietitian

How to choose a turmeric supplement that is right for you

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Best Turmeric Supplements

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

Turmeric, a bright yellow-colored spice, has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for its healing properties. Today, the rhizomatous plant is widely used in supplement form for its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory powers. The anti-inflammatory capacity of turmeric can be attributed to curcumin, the main active ingredient that also gives the spice its notable bright yellow color.

“The benefits of turmeric come from the active ingredient curcumin which is a powerful antioxidant. This can protect from free radicals forming in the body by neutralizing them," says Caroline Apovian, MD, co-director, Center for Weight Management and Wellness, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. "Turmeric can also help lower resistance to insulin and prevent the risk of type 2 diabetes, reduce the spread of cancer and prevent metastases, and help lower elevations in lipid levels,” she says.

If you're looking to reduce joint inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis, a turmeric supplement may help. Animal research suggests that curcumin may also reduce the risk of heart disease, peptic ulcers, and cancer. Turmeric supplements come in many forms, including capsules, liquid, powder, gummies, and more. Turmeric supplements may have interactions with certain medications or be contraindicated for certain conditions, so always speak with your health care provider if you're thinking of adding a supplement to your routine.

What to Look for in a Turmeric Supplement

Form:

Turmeric supplements come in many forms, including capsules, liquid, and chewable gummies. If you have trouble swallowing pills, consider choosing a gummy, liquid, or powder option. With powder or liquid, you may better adjust how much turmeric and curcumin you are getting.

Complementary Ingredients:

Some turmeric supplements contain complementary ingredients, such as piperine, that may help the curcumin be more bioavailable. Other formulations contain herbal ingredients like ginger or gut-boosting probiotics. When choosing a turmeric supplement, always read the ingredient list to ensure that all of the elements work for you.

Certifications:

Since supplements are not regulated by the FDA, many companies seek certifications and third-party testing verification. Some common certifications include USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Vegan, and Certified Gluten-Free.

Third-party testing is when an independent company evaluates the manufacturing of supplements to ensure safety, accuracy, and quality.

Dosage:

Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and which dosage to take.

There are no established recommended intake guidelines or tolerable upper intake level for turmeric supplements. The World Health Organization (WHO) has determined 1.4 mg per pound of body weight is an acceptable dose.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is turmeric and what does it do?

    Turmeric is a plant in the same family as ginger, whose roots are used in cooking. You can use both fresh and dried turmeric in cooking. Turmeric contains powerful compounds called curcuminoids. The primary curcuminoid is called curcumin, which is also the most widely studied for its health benefits. Curcumin helps fight inflammation and acts as an antioxidant in the body.


    Curcumin may help prevent and treat diseases in which underlying chronic low-grade inflammation contributes, such as heart disease, dementia, arthritis, and some cancers. It’s difficult to get significant amounts of curcumin through diet alone (you’d have to eat a lot of turmeric), so adding a curcumin supplement is a good idea to possibly reap these benefits.

    Curcumin is also poorly absorbed, but you can take it with black pepper, which has a compound that increases curcumin’s absorption rate. Also, since curcumin is a fat-soluble nutrient, it’s best to take it with a source of fat (like avocado or a handful of nuts) to enhance absorption.

  • What does turmeric taste like?

    Turmeric has a very earthly, slightly bitter flavor, with a bit of peppery kick. On its own, it doesn’t have the greatest flavor, but it blends beautifully with other seasonings to make for some seriously delicious pairings. Turmeric tastes great with a variety of other seasonings. It’s one of the ingredients in curry powder, including chili powder, ginger, and coriander. Turmeric also pairs well with warming spices and herbs — think cinnamon, black pepper, and cumin.

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science, as well as clinically tested and approved for use in humans. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. These attributes include non-GMO, Organic, and allergy-friendly products that are free of most artificial ingredients including colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners. When possible, we recommend products that are third-party tested and certified.

It's important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend.

Here, the best turmeric supplements:

Best Overall: Thorne Research Meriva SF

Thorne Research Meriva SF
Pros
  • Highly available form compared to regular curcumin

Cons
  • Expensive

Thorne's Meriva-SF (soy-free) sustained-release capsules take the top pick among turmeric supplements for its high-quality, bioavailable formula. Meriva, a highly-studied form of curcumin, has been shown to have 29 times greater absorption than ordinary curcumin. The supplement manifests in phytosome form, meaning that the curcumin is bound to a phospholipid, sunflower oil, to optimize absorption.

Each gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free tablet contains 250 milligrams of curcumin phytosome. Thorne recommends taking one to two capsules twice daily or as recommended by your healthcare provider.

Meriva-SF may also be a good choice for those with osteoarthritis. One study following 100 patients with osteoarthritis over an eight-month period showed that supplementation with two 500-milligram Meriva-containing tablets per day resulted in better disease control, decreased use of NSAIDs for pain, and an overall improvement in the quality of life.

Key Nutrients: Meriva curcumin | Vegan: Yes, not certified | Gluten Free: Yes, not certified | Non-GMO: No | Organic: No | Additives: Calcium citrate, calcium laurate

Best for Joint Pain: Garden of Life mykind Organics Maximum Strength Turmeric

mykind Organics Maximum Strength Turmeric
Pros
  • Organic 

  • Combined with black pepper for better bioavailability

Cons
  • Has several additives besides active ingredients

Garden of Life’s mykind Organics Maximum Strength Turmeric provides a powerful 500 milligrams of curcuminoids in each once-daily tablet. The USDA Organic, Certified Vegan, and NSF-Certified Gluten-Free supplement combines black pepper and ginger with turmeric to create a highly effective anti-inflammatory. In fact, research shows that the piperine in black pepper enhances the absorption and bioavailability of curcumin by up to 2000 percent. Ginger is a powerful supplement on its own, and it may add to the anti-inflammatory benefits of this supplement.

Research suggests that curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, may be useful in decreasing pain in those with osteoarthritis. As a result, Garden of Life's Turmeric supplement may be a great option for those looking to improve joint pain.

Key Nutrients: Curcumin, ginger, black pepper | Vegan: Yes, not certified | Gluten Free: Yes, not certified | Non-GMO: Yes, certified | Organic: Yes, certified | Additives: Gum Arabic, Guar Gum, Dextrose, Sunflower Lecithin, Maltodextrin

What Experts Say

“Turmeric is an excellent ingredient to sprinkle into your diet for those looking for more anti-inflammatory benefits and an added antioxidant boost. While it’s not necessary to take turmeric as a stand-alone supplement, it’s quite easy to integrate it into your cooking to obtain the sought-after health perks.”—Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, MS, RD

Best Budget: Nature Made Turmeric 500 mg Capsules

Nature Made Turmeric Curcumin
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Free of preservatives or artificial colors 

Cons
  • Not suitable for vegan diet

The cost of turmeric supplements can vary, and the quality and effectiveness usually coincide with the price. However, Nature Made's Turmeric capsules are an exception. They're budget-friendly without sacrificing quality. The supplements are guaranteed to meet Nature Made's quality standards and provide 47.5 milligrams total curcuminoids in each capsule.

Curcumin is fat-soluble, so taking a curcumin supplement with a meal may improve absorption. Nature Made recommends taking one capsule daily with water and a meal. The gluten-free capsules are also free of added colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

Key Nutrients: Curcumin | Vegan: No | Gluten Free: Yes, not certified | Non-GMO: No | Organic: No | Additives: Gelatin, cellulose gel

Best Capsules: Vimerson Health Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine

Vimerson Health Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine
Pros
  • Turmeric paired with piperine compound for better bioavailability

Cons
  • Only a 30 day supply in bottle

Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, with some studies showing that it matches some anti-inflammatory drugs' effectiveness, without the side effects. If you’re frequently dealing with chronic inflammation or osteoarthritis, these turmeric capsules from Vimerson Health are an excellent supplement to try.

Made of all-natural, non-GMO ingredients, the formula contains 1200 milligrams of turmeric root, 100 milligrams of turmeric root extract, and 10 milligrams of BioPerine per serving. BioPerine is a patented extract from black pepper that contains the active compound piperine. The addition of piperine enhances the bioavailability of the turmeric by up to 2000 percent and enhances the absorption with no adverse effects.

It contains no hormones, no preservatives, artificial ingredients, or antibiotics, and it’s also free of sugar, yeast, starch, and cholesterol. To ensure the highest quality and purity, the supplement is made in an FDA-registered, GMP-certified facility.

Key Nutrients: Curcumin, BioPerine | Vegan: Yes | Gluten Free: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Organic: No | Additives: None

Best Powder: FGO Organic Turmeric Root Powder

FGO Organic Turmeric Root Powder
Pros
  • Pure turmeric powder with no additives

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Curcumin not as concentrated as pill supplements


If you prefer to take your turmeric in powder form, try Feel Good Organic’s Turmeric Root with Curcumin. This pure turmeric powder comes in a resealable bag, and you can add it to teas, smoothies, curries, or other culinary applications.

This turmeric powder is certified organic, non-GMO, raw, and contains zero additives. Although this turmeric powder is not third-party tested, we still like it because it is lab tested for purity and produced under Good Manufacturing Practices. 

Key Nutrients: Curcumin Vegan: Yes | Gluten Free: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Organic: Yes | Additives: None

Best Gummy: Garden of Life MyKind Organics Turmeric Inflammatory Response Gummy

Garden of Life MyKind Organics Turmeric Inflammatory Response Gummy
Pros
  • Organic

  • No animal gelatin— suitable for vegan diet

Cons
  • Lower dose than capsule supplements

  • 7 grams of sugar per serving

If you prefer a sweet, chewable gummy instead of swallowing pills or mixing powder, Garden of Life's Mykind Organics Turmeric Inflammatory Response Gummies are a great choice. The tasty fruit-flavored gummies contain no added sugar and are sweetened with natural fruit juices.

Each serving of four gummies provides 35 calories and 254 milligrams of Certified Organic Turmeric Blend, which provides 50 milligrams of curcuminoids. Each serving does contain seven grams of sugar from organic fruit, so this should be considered if you are watching your sugar intake.

The gummies are made with real fruit and contain no animal gelatin. Plus, they're Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified USDA Organic, and NSF Certified Gluten-Free.

Key Nutrients: Curcuminoids | Vegan: Yes | Gluten Free: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes Organic:  Yes | Additives: None

Best Spice: Simply Organic Turmeric Root Ground

Simply organic tumeric
Pros
  • Organic

  • Versatile ingredient for cooking

Cons
  • Much lower dose of curcumin than supplement form

If you don't love to take supplements, use a spice instead. While many studies use high doses of curcumin, which would equate to copious amounts of powdered turmeric, simply using a few shakes of the spice in everyday cooking may have small protective benefits.

Simply Organic's ground turmeric root is perfect for adding the distinctive golden yellow color to curries but can be used in various dishes from rice and salad dressings to baked goods and beverages. Each bottle is made from Certified Organic Alleppey turmeric, with a minimum of 4 percent curcumin content. Choosing Simply Organic is also good for the planet. The company is committed to supporting organic and sustainable farming.

Key Nutrients: Turmeric | Vegan: Yes | Gluten Free: Yes | Non-GMO: No | Organic:  Yes | Additives: None

Final Verdict

For a high-quality turmeric supplement in pill form, consider Thorne Research's Meriva-SF Sustained Release Phytosome Supplement (view at Amazon). Its formula is highly bioavailable, meaning your body is able to absorb a greater amount than ordinary curcumin.

For another excellent turmeric supplement option, try Garden of Life mykind Organics Maximum Strength Turmeric (view at Amazon). It contains black pepper to increase curcumin’s bioavailability, as well as ginger, which provide additional anti-inflammatory properties.

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