BCM-95® is a patented turmeric extract formula, and in this article I’ll go over what makes it unique, share some results from its research, & provide a review of the top curcumin products currently being made with BCM-95.
There are a handful of other patented formulas besides BCM-95 that have also displayed enhanced absorption/bioavailability over what the standardized-to-95%-curcuminoids turmeric extract can do:
I’m certain I haven’t read through every clinical trial that’s been conducted using one of these novel formulations…
…but I’ve read a bunch.
18 years & 68 studies’ worth
And from what I’ve come across I’m pretty sure that at this point, BCM-95® has the most published research trials under its belt.
This is an important distinction to me when considering not the brand of curcumin supplement to choose, but the type of curcumin supplement.
I’m of the opinion that we’re in the early stages of curcumin’s use as an effective therapeutic supplement, given what challenges exist regarding our bodies’ inability to easily absorb curcumin.
So it’s good to see BCM-95 get tested as much as it has, since some curcumin formulas out there are being marketed at us off the “strength” of one tiny research study…
…that wasn’t even testing for any of curcumin’s reputed health benefits:
*as an anti-inflammatory
*as an anti-oxidant
*as an anti-arthritic
*use against heart failure
Science resources included
As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science & medical resources, clinical studies, and nutritional data used in this article.
Here’s an overview of the flow of this article.
What BCM-95 is
I’ll start us off by sharing what’s in the BCM-95 turmeric extract formula, and illustrate how it’s different than your typical curcumin product by comparing it to the most common turmeric curcumin supplements you’ll find these days.
What BCM-95 has going for it
In this part I’ll lightly dip our toes in the waters of science 😜 so we can see what research has demonstrated, not only with BCM-95 specifically, but also with curcumin in regards to it being able to do anything positive for our health.
(If you’re new here to heydayDo — Hi! And no worries about me discussing anything too complicated…my brain isn’t capable 😄.)
Who the leading BCM-95® brands are
And I’ll also provide product reviews of my choices for what I consider to be the among the best BCM-95 products currently on the market, after evaluating a dozen or so of the popular brands who are using it in their turmeric curcumin supplements.
Here’s a sneak peek of my top choices, and you can click their pics or names if you want to read buyer reviews or check their current price on Amazon.
What Is BCM-95?
*BCM-95® is a patented turmeric extract formula developed & manufactured by Arjuna Natural Pvt. Limited (India).
* It has demonstrated bioavailability in our bloodstream that is 7x (700%) greater than plain curcumin extract, which is created by the use of an absorption enhancer.
*A unique feature of BCM-95 is that it is a 100% turmeric product: its bio-enhancer is made up of 45% concentrate turmeric oil, which provides its own set of health benefits.
*Because it only consists of turmeric it is also 100% natural, unlike other absorption-enhanced curcumin extract formulas.
*BCM-95 has close to seventy published research studies that have been conducted over the past two decades, likely making it the most studied turmeric curcumin formula to date.
Let’s look at each of these points in a little more detail.
A bit more on BCM-95
I have a few fun facts about this novel curcumin extract I’d like to share here.
“My Name Is”
About BCM-95’s name: The “BCM” stands for Biocurcumax™, which was its original name. (1)
The “95” refers to the standardized turmeric extract norm of 95% curcuminoids. (2)
(If you’re new to turmeric supplement lingo, curcuminoids are the bioactive compounds inside turmeric that can give us human beans health benefits.)
I noticed that Arjuna Natural Pvt. Ltd., who own the patent for BCM-95 and manufacture it as well, have been trying to rebrand it in the U.S. under the friendlier, less scientific name Curcugreen™ since 2018.
Taking a look at a Google Shopping page here a few years later, it looks like Curcugreen isn’t making anyone forget about the name BCM-95 just yet:
No surprise really, since the supplement brands using BCM-95 tout the 7x greater bioavailability phrase on their marketing material, which came from the breakthrough research study titled
“A Pilot Cross-Over Study to Evaluate Human Oral Bioavailability of BCM-95®CG (Biocurcumax™), A Novel Bio-enhanced Preparation of Curcumin.” (3)
I see 54 patent registrations for BCM-95 listed on the Arjuna Natural website on this page here.
I grabbed the earliest one filed in the U.S. and headed over to our Patent Office database, where punching in the number showed me that there are 21 BCM-95 registered patents in the U.S. at this time.
The original BCM-95 patent was titled Composition to enhance the bioavailability of turmeric, and it was filed in May 2005.
Here ’tis below:
And both its title & the Abstract layout exactly what BCM-95® / Biocurcumax® / Curcugreen™ was & is to this day:
* A turmeric extract formula that can improve our bodies’ dismally poor ability to absorb curcumin; (3)
* An extract that is 100% natural, unlike the other patented formulas I listed at the beginning of the article, all of whom have synthetic ingredients; (4)
* A turmeric extract formula that is also unique because it is one hundred percent turmeric: it’s made up of 95% standardized curcumin extract and 45% concentrate of turmeric oil; (5)
Random factoid: The inventor of BCM-95 is Benny Antony Ph.D., who is a co-founder of Arjuna Natural and is Joint Managing Director of the company.
Video from Arjuna Natural on BCM-95’s development
Here’s an interesting inside look from the creators of BCM-95 on how it came to be, and on some of its clear advantages over typical turmeric supplements.
Good vibes fact I saw in it: Arjuna Natural powers their research & development lab, manufacturing facility, & corporate office in India with solar energy.
BCM-95 research & turmeric supplement truth
You may or may not be familiar with what’s the factual scoop on turmeric curcumin supplementation, but here are what I feel are a few must-knows.
Curcumin has demonstrated that it’s able to provide benefits for us in a couple of key areas of our health:
- It can reduce pain & stiffness due to osteoarthritis; (6)
- It helps our bodies fight free radicals/oxidants; (7)
- Reduces inflammation as well as NSAIDS can; (8)
- Improves mental function & mood. (9)
Many turmeric supplements on the market are ineffective simply because their daily dose is too low.
- Effective clinical doses of typical turmeric extract used in successful curcumin trials has ranged from 1000 mg – 1500 mg per day of curcumin. (10)
For example, look at the turmeric curcumin product below, first the big “1500 mg” on the front label, and then the Supplement Facts label.
It is the #1 selling turmeric supplement on Amazon for a few years running, and is “Amazon’s Choice” in their Turmeric Supplement category.
A person unfamiliar with how to look at a Supplement Facts label & calculate the amount of curcumin they’re getting per day might actually jump onboard the popularity train & buy this product.
And tens of thousands of people have.
Key point: Turmeric root powder — which is used in hundreds of turmeric curcumin supplements these days — only has 3% curcumin in it. (11)
Effective doses of curcumin used in clinical research trials: 1000 mg – 1500 mg
Amount of curcumin in daily dose (3 capsules) of this turmeric best-seller: 183 mg
This means you’d need to take 6 days’ worth per day — that’d be 18 capsules — to cross over the 1000 mg low-end threshold dose used in successful clinical research.
Have fun with that. 😄
Here’s the math:
1350 mg turmeric root @ 3% curcumin = 40.5 mg of curcumin
150 mg turmeric extract @ 95% curcumin = 142.5 mg of curcumin
40.5 + 142.5 = 183 mg of curcumin**
** 183 mg – Worse still, multiple batches of this product were independently analyzed by third-party testing company ConsumerLab.com. They verified a potency of only 151 mg per dose, nearly 20% under the 183 mg listed on the label. (12)
“& The Ugly…”
…is all about the really lousy absorption job our bodies do with turmeric’s good things.
The “Ugly” part of curcumin supplements — despite our society’s current Turmeric-mania — can be best summed up by the research scientists who invented the enhanced-absorption formula Theracurmin®:
“Curcumin is a polyphenol that is commonly used for its perceived health benefits. However, the absorption efficacy of curcumin is too low to exhibit beneficial effects.”
A similar sentiment is echoed by the team at Aquanova AG in Germany that invented NovaSOL®:
“Curcumin revealed various health‐beneficial properties in numerous studies. However its bioavailability is low due to its limited intestinal uptake and rapid metabolism.”
Joining the chorus singing “Curcumin Is Great, But…” is the lead investigator of the study that the makers of CurcuWIN® use to market their formula:
“The potential health benefits of curcumin are limited by its poor solubility, low absorption from the gut, rapid metabolism and rapid systemic elimination.”
And finally, here’s inventor Benny Antony from his original report on BCM-95®/Biocurcumax™, which came out years before these other studies:
“Even though curcumin possesses many biological activities, its absorption in the animal system is very little.”
BCM-95’s big absorption advantage
Below is a minute-long video put out by Arjuna Natural, the inventors & manufacturers of BCM-95®.
The video gives a very brief overview of how BCM-95:
1. provides much better bioavailability than typical turmeric products;
2. is superior to its competitors who’ve also developed & manufacture patented, enhanced-absorption curcumin formulas.
BCM-95’s advantages can be summed up as follows:
*It’s a very safe supplement to take, and clinical evidence of its safety is well-documented in numerous studies.
Further, as the American Botanical Council notes
“There is strong evidence of the overall safety of BCM-95. The US Food and Drug Administration accepted the notification of the self-determination of BCM-95 as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in a no objection letter from the U.S. FDA, dated July 11, 2017.”
*Absorption that is hundreds of percent better than the standard curcumin powder.
*It is 100% natural as I mentioned earlier, while other unique curcumin formulas have synthetic & potentially toxic ingredients in them:
- NovaSOL® (polysorbate 80)
- Longvida® (ascorbyl palmitate, maltodextrin)
- CurcuWIN® (polyvinylpyrrolidone AKA povidone, ascorbyl palmitate)
PROGRAMMING ALERT: SCIENCE AHEAD
Next up, I’ll be sharing a bunch of info on the various clinical research trials that have been conducted with BCM-95.
So if you’d like to skip ahead to the section where I provide product reviews for what I think are among the best BCM-95 supplements available these days, you can click this link here.
Several dozen BCM-95 research studies
The oldest BCM-95 clinical trial I could find was published in September 2006 by BCM-95’s inventor Benny Antony, and it was called simply “BIOAVAILABILITY OF BIOCURCUMAX™ (BCM – 095™)”.
I snagged a PDF version which you can check out here.
And below you can see how much more curcumin made it into the bloodstream with BCM-95 vs. a regular curcumin powder supplement:
BCM-95 clinical trials with humans
In this section I’ll share info, references, & links for clinical research studies conducted using humans taking BCM-95 for a specific health condition.
I skipped human studies where curcumin was only being given if in combination with a pharmaceutical drug (like curcumin + diclofenac for osteoarthritis treatment), since one goal for my health in my life is to avoid Pharma products entirely.
I share another subjective bias of mine next, after which I’ll show you all the human BCM-95 clinical trials I found…in case you’d like to check ’em out. 😉
“I am everyday people”
I read a lot of published clinical trials & research papers (mostly on strength & conditioning or on nutritional supplements), but I don’t have a science background by any means.
Still, I have a pretty strong bias when it comes to research studies that are conducted on things being sold to us like supplements, be they for fitness or general health.
And that bias is simply that I put a lot more weight** on a study that used humans versus one that used animals or test tubes filled with human goop.
(** “put more weight” – Assuming the clinical trial is a well-designed, controlled study.)
Applying this subjectiveness on my part to curcumin research is pretty easy.
There are a lot of studies testing & reporting on things curcumin is doing on the molecular level for this or that condition or metabolic scenario.
OK, cool…rock on.
But I’m way more interested in published, peer-reviewed research that used curcumin on people with a particular health condition I’m interested in.
I mean, the only reason I’d consider taking something is because I clearly saw that someone with “issue X” significantly improved after taking that something…
…assuming Issue X is something I’m dealing with too.
Like joint pain.
I started taking turmeric curcumin supplements a couple of years ago after reading a few control studies finding that people dealing with pain & limited mobility due to their osteoarthritis** got a whole lot better after taking curcumin for several weeks.
Less pain more flexibility, thanks to curcumin supplementation…in a clearly demonstrated clinical trial.
Sign me up.
**Thankfully I don’t have to deal with osteoarthritis, but my joints used to get pretty dang sore after certain types of physical activity, pre-curcumin.
Over a dozen human studies using BCM-95
I’ve sorted these clinical trials according to what type of ailment they were trying BCM-95 out on, be it inflammation of some kind, arthritis, depression, diabetes, etc.
Some of the links I have provided may go only to the abstract, since you may prefer reading just a summary versus the entire published study.
These days, I’ve found that full text links to the whole research study are easy to come by — a lot easier than years ago — and are often provided on the same page as the abstract.
Some of these also go to PDFs which you can download and save if you like.
Clinical dosages used in BCM-95 clinical trials
The effective doses of BCM-95 in the research studies I provide below were all at least 1000 mg per day, with 1000 mg being the most common one I saw.
I’ll reiterate this fact down in my Best BCM-95 Brands review, since none of them get you to 1000 mg in a single capsule.
BCM-95 and osteoarthritis
#316 Clinical evaluation of a herbal formulation, Rhulief™, in the management of knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2011;19(Suppl 1):S145-S146
A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res. 2012;26(11):1719-1725.
Efficacy and safety of curcumin and its combination with boswellic acid in osteoarthritis: a comparative, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2018 18:7
BCM-95 & Inflammation, Pre-cancer
Comparative study of the efficacy of curcumin and turmeric oil as chemopreventive agents in oral submucous fibrosis: A clinical and histopathological evaluation. Journal of Indian Academy of Oral Medicine and Radiology. 2010;22(2):88-92
A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Phase IIB Trial of Curcumin in Oral Leukoplakia. Cancer Prevention Research. August 2016, Volume 9, Issue 8
A pilot clinical trial of radio-protective effects of curcumin supplementation in patients with prostate cancer. J Cancer Sci Ther. 2013;5(10):320-324
Effect of Biocurcumax TM Curcumin (BCM-95) On Treatment of Moderate Chronic Periodontitis. Journal of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences. 3/2018, Vol. 27, Issue 28
Comparing different non-invasive methods in assessment of the effects of curcumin on hepatic fibrosis in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Gastroenterology and hepatology from bed to bench. 2018;11(Suppl 1):S8
Role of turmeric extract in minimising mucositis in patients receiving radiotherapy for head and neck squamous cell cancer: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. The Journal of Laryngology & Otology. 2020 Feb 7;1-6.
BCM-95 & major depressive disorder
Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res 2014 Apr;28(4):579-85
Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Affect Disord. 2014;167:368-375.
BCM-95 & type 2 diabetes
The effects of curcumin supplementation on high‐sensitivity C‐reactive protein, serum adiponectin, and lipid profile in patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled trial. Phytotherapy Research. 2019 Mar 12.
The effect of curcumin supplementation on anthropometric indices, insulin resistance and oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome. 2019 Dec;11(1):41
Review of the best BCM-95 supplements
Okie dokie, here are my Top 3 BCM-95 product choices from what’s currently available online or at my local health food stores.
Click on the product name or pic if you want to check Amazon prices or read buyer reviews over there.
Things in common
Obviously all of these have BCM-95 in them and as I said earlier, I think I found 10-12 products on the market that can claim that distinction.
But these three made the first cut because of another similarity: BCM-95 is their main ingredient.
I came across products where BCM-95 was in them but not the star attraction, so I excluded those from consideration as a Best BCM-95 contender.
Going a step further — BCM-95 is the only bioactive ingredient in these three brands as well, and what I mean by that is that these brands didn’t add an additional supplement to the mix like ginger, fish oil, boswellia extract, etc.
(All of those have been paired with turmeric extract by a number of supplement manufacturers.)
So I also excluded the products that had a combo thing going with BCM-95 and something else.
Things that are different
The only two differences between my top picks occur in the amount of curcuminoids per serving and in the choice of phospholipid carrier, which are fats used to help the curcumin survive our GI tract and make it into our bloodstream.
The ⭐ rating I calculated from tabulating all online buyer ratings I could track down at all the various retailers who carry these supplements.
And the % you see represents the percentage of buyer reviews that are 4 & 5-stars.
I’m calculating their monthly cost off of prices I see today as I’m writing this, but since they change often these days you may see something different when you look them up.
Important reminder about effective dosage
The BCM-95 dosage amounts that proved clinically-effective for those health conditions I listed earlier were all 1000 mg or higher per day, and I’m pretty sure 1000 mg was the most common daily dose.
I’m banging this point home only because you won’t find a BCM-95 supplement that delivers 1000 mg in a single capsule, which these manufacturers all list as their serving size.
So if you want to match or exceed the minimum dose that worked in a 1000 mg study, you’d need to double up your Terry Naturally & Curcu-Gel to two capsules, and triple your Life Extension to three per day.
4.7 ⭐ – 91%, 6500+ online reviews
*Dosage per serving (1 capsule): 500 mg of curcuminoids.
*Excellent buyer ratings
*Not pure BCM-95 only, it has sunflower lecithin which Terry Naturally is likely using as an additional phospholipid carrier besides the turmeric oil that’s in the BCM-95 formula.
*Cost – I see a 60-count bottle for $48 & change, so that’d be $24-$25 a month @ 500 mg of curcuminoids per day.
4.7 ⭐ – 90%, 1800+ online reviews
*This is the purest BCM-95 product of the bunch, because that’s the only ingredient in the capsule, aside from a teensy bit of stearic acid, which is there to help stabilize the curcuminoids as they deal with our bodies’ absorption systems.
*Dosage per serving (1 capsule): 380 mg of curcuminoids, which makes it the lowest dose of the bunch.
*The other ingredients you see — aside from the stearic acid — are what the veggie cap is made out of.
*Another great company with top notch manufacturing quality standards like Terry Naturally is. Great buyer reviews too.
*Cost – The price I’m looking at right now is about 22 bucks for a 60-count bottle.
If you’re OK with taking just 380 mg a day, you’ll only be paying $11 per month — which is under 40¢ a day (if my math brain is firing properly today).
Even taking two — which would get you 760 mg per day — is still cheaper than Terry Naturally’s ($22 vs. $24.36/month) even with 50% more curcumin (760 mg vs. 500 mg.)
4.7 ⭐ – 82%, 300+ online reviews
*This 500 mg product is almost identical to Terry Naturally’s CuraMed, down to the medium chain triglycerides and the sunflower lecithin.
*The only difference I see is that the gelatin they’re using for their softgel is Kosher-certified.
*Their reviews are lower-rated than the other two, but the company clearly states on their website that they have third-party testing done to insure potency & purity standards are maintained at a high level:
“Non-GMO and Pesticide Free, Exclusively Formulated and Manufactured in US cGMP Certified Facility.”
I saw a complaint about the yellow color from the curcumin staining people’s hands, and a couple of people saying it didn’t do anything for them*.
*- But I read where people only took it for a day or two, thinking it would behave instantly like ibuprofen apparently…egads. 😳
*Cost – I see a $28 60-count bottle, so that’d be 14 bucks a month @ 500 mg curcuminoids per day.
This makes it $10 per month cheaper than Terry Naturally’s CuraMed, which as I noted is dang near the same product.
Related turmeric curcumin articles here on heydayDo
I hope that this article on BCM-95 is useful to you, and that the clinical research & product review info is helpful too.
I wish you well on your fitness journey.