CuraMed® is a uniquely formulated turmeric curcumin supplement made by Terry Naturally, and in this review article I will be sharing my evaluation of several of its product features with you.
I am very familiar with CuraMed, and I bought a 60-count bottle of their 750 mg dose that I’ve been taking for a number of weeks now.
But perhaps more importantly, I’ve spent a decent amount of time in the clinical research library learning about the patented formula BCM-95®, around which Terry Naturally’s CuraMed is built.
BCM-95 is the main ingredient that distinguishes this supplement from mainstream turmeric curcumin products, and I’ll get into all that in this Curamed review.
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.
“A Brief History of Turm(eric)”
I believe CuraMed has an edge over a lot of its fellow turmeric curcumin supplements.
And before I get into its review, here are a couple of relevant ideas to ponder.
Turmeric supplements are everywhere
There are a ton of turmeric-based supplements flooding the market, as manufacturers try and take advantage of all the buzz curcumin’s potential health benefits are causing in the online & social worlds.
Look what you get when you go hunting for one in the Amazon jungle:
Not many work
I’m of the jaded — though at least slightly informed — opinion that most of the turmeric curcumin products being marketed at us these days are ineffective at delivering any of the good things curcumin has shown it can provide us:
- arthritis & joint pain relief (1);
- antioxidant protection (2);
- anti-inflammation support (3);
- lessening of depression symptoms (4).
A turmeric supplement’s biggest hurdles
I’m no turmeric guru, just a regular dude who started taking it a couple of years ago after reading encouraging research studies about curcumin having a positive effect in a couple of those areas I mentioned above, joint pain & inflammation.
But since then I have digested a great deal of science facts & clinical data about curcumin: its proven benefits, its potential benefits, & the known challenges that stand in the way of us receiving those benefits.
Here are what I consider to be the big obstacles that stop most turmeric curcumin supplements from doing anything for us:
*Many turmeric supplements on the market have daily serving/doses that are well below the doses used in effective curcumin clinical trials.
However, there a few turmeric supplements that use clinical dosages in their supplement, like this one made by the physicians-owned company 1MD.org:
How CuraMed® avoids the hurdles
EuroPharma USA, the makers of Terry Naturally vitamins & supplements in Green Bay, Wisconsin, decided to really stand out from the turmeric supplement-making crowd when they went with BCM-95® instead of a typical, standardized-to-95% curcumin extract.
I’ll discuss this in more detail in the Ingredients section of the review.
But in short, using BCM-95 makes CuraMed a turmeric supplement with much better absorption & therefore greater bioavailability in our bodies.
OK, let’s get into the meat ‘n taters part of this review article and first, here’s a little outline.
I have a bunch of info I feel is worth passing along to you about CuraMed, and here are the areas we’ll be looking at:
- Buyer ratings
- Supplement Facts label
- Dosage strength & softgel size
- Third party testing
- Product claims
- Company profile
- Certifications & manufacturing quality
This is a very well-liked product by thousands of reviewers.
The ⭐ rating I calculate by compiling all online reviews I can track down at all the stores where Terry Naturally is selling their CuraMed.
It comes in a couple of doses — 750 mg & 375 mg — and I combined their ratings.
The % sign you see is the percentage of buyers who rated CuraMed 4 or 5-star, and anything over 90% is an excellent number for a product.
You can click on the blue name or the pic if you want to read buyer reviews over on Amazon.
NOTE: What I see today may not be what you see when you check them out, since online prices are always on the move… 😉
CuraMed comes in two doses (375 mg & 750 mg) and in three different quantities (30, 60, or 120 softgels) per bottle, so there’s a variety of prices.
Amazon also offers 2-packs & 3-packs for the 60 & 120 sizes, but there’s no price break with those, so I’m going to ignore them here.
I discuss dosing in detail in a little bit, but for now just pocket the fact that the 375 mg softgel gives you 250 mg of curcuminoids via the BCM-95 ingredient, and the 750 mg softgel provides 500 mg.
Whether you know it or not yet, BCM-95 is the only reason you’d decide to take this turmeric supplement or pick somebody else’s instead.
Foreshadowing on the dosing again, I don’t know why anyone would only take 250 mg of curcuminoids a day in that 375 mg size of BCM-95.
Effective doses for BCM-95 in clinical research trials were all 1000 mg & up.
(I’ll talk more about that in the Dosage section too.)
But in any event, and as you might’ve guessed >> with either the 375 mg or the 750 mg size, the 60-count bottle comes out a couple of bucks cheaper than the 30-count, and the 120-count bottle is cheaper by the month than the 60-count.
CuraMed supplement Facts label
Here’s the bottle I got — the 750 mg dose:
And here’s a look at CuraMed’s Supplement Facts panel, and you see that the 750 mg label on the front doesn’t represent how much curcumin you’re getting:
I weighed a softgel capsule and can pass along that the 750 mg you see represents just what’s inside the capsule:
CuraMed 750 mg capsule @ 1.66 grams
The CuraMed softgel is a pretty stout pill, definitely stiffer than say a CLA or fish oil softgel.
As I alluded to earlier, BCM-95 is the star attraction here and is the only ingredient in CuraMed to really key in on…so I’ll talk about it the most.
But I’ll go through the others briefly too, and will do them now.
What’s not in CuraMed®
Essentially, CuraMed consists of two things: their “Proprietary Complex” built on the patented BCM-95 turmeric extract, and the softgel that houses it.
As you’ll see in a bit, BCM-95’s a pure turmeric product, and note the softgel must be pretty clean too, since CuraMed is free of many of these usual suspects found in a processed supplement:
- Artificial colors, flavors, preservatives
- soy, corn, wheat, gluten
- sugar &/or salt
It says complex but it’s a pretty simple recipe: BCM-95 and sunflower lecithin.
Terry Naturally using an extra lipid* carrier?
*lipid – a type of fat. Curcumin is fat-soluble, so taking it with fatty foods is often suggested as a way to help us absorb it a little better. (11)
I’m guessing that Terry Naturally is using sunflower lecithin as an extra phospholipid carrier by choice, and these types of fat molecules have demonstrated the ability to improve our body’s curcumin absorption chances.
I say “extra” because BCM-95 already uses turmeric oil, which of course is on the lipid/fat side of things.
Note that not every company who licenses BCM-95 adds an additional fat like Terry Naturally does here with this sunflower lecithin, and that pure BCM-95 supplements are perfectly fine with just the turmeric oil.
For example, high-quality supplement company Life Extension makes a BCM-95 supplement called Super Bio-Curcumin, and it’s 100% BCM-95, look:
Life Extension Super Bio-Curcumin Supplement Facts label
The FDA’s secret recipe rule
Note that because Terry Naturally gave their CuraMed® a name (“Proprietary Complex”), this falls under the Food & Drug Administration’s definition of a proprietary blend.
This FDA rule allows them to keep their recipe private — meaning they don’t have to disclose how much sunflower lecithin they’re using.
Bottom line: I’m OK with that since I trust Terry Naturally as a company, plus I know the BCM-95 is far & away the dominant ingredient.
However, I do like poking around & accumulating facts up in the ol’ noggin…so I tracked down enough info to figure out how much lecithin is in CuraMed®.
How much sunflower lecithin’s in CuraMed?
The info I snagged is from this summary written by the folks at the American Botanical Council; it’s about a 2018 research study using my 750 mg BCM-95 capsule. 😉
*We know the net ingredients weight inside the CuraMed softgel is 750 mg, and that there’s 500 mg of curcuminoids from “standardized to 95%” curcumin — all that stuff’s written on the label;
* That study summary says there’s approximately 50 mg of turmeric oil used in that size of BCM-95;
* My math head says there’s approximately 526 mg of curcumin (526 mg x 95% = 500 mg curcuminoids);
* 750 mg – 576 mg = approximately 175 mg of sunflower lecithin in CuraMed.
Everything in the Other Ingredients section I’m fine with: the MCT you see there is another fat (& probably coconut oil), which is always OK with curcumin, since curcumin is better absorbed with fats**. (8)
And there’s probably very little of it to boot.
**My constant reminders about curcumin & fats – Yeah, I know…I repeat things I’m trying to drive home…3rd time’s a charm and all that.
The other things you see listed there are what the softgel is made out of, and are pretty standard stuff.
Softgels are usually made up of a combo of glycerin, water, gelatin — which we see on CuraMed’s label — and an ingredient to make it opaque…hence the beeswax. (6)
Glycerin – In food products, glycerin is typically sourced from vegetable oils, sometimes from animal fat or more rarely, petroleum. (7)
I doubt Terry Naturally would use anything other than a vegetable source for their glycerin, given their close affiliation with the Natural Products Association.
Source: Terry Naturally/EuroPharma website’s About Us page
Gelatin – This ingredient would likely disqualify this product for you if you’re vegan, because even health-conscious natural products companies like Terry Naturally will use bovine or porcine gelatin for their softgels (beef & pork, respectively).
CuraMed is all about the BCM-95
OK, time to cover the ingredient that’s driving the CuraMed magic bus, BCM-95.
It’s a turmeric extract product unlike any other, and it has a more researched track record than any other patented curcuminoid formula. (9)
Terry Naturally didn’t invent BCM-95, nor do they manufacture it.
They license its use and buy it from Arjuna Natural, who invented & manufacture BCM-95 in India.
BCM-95 in a nutshell
I wrote an in-depth article on everything BCM-95 you can read here on heydayDo, and it’s titled “All About BCM-95 and the Best Brands That Make It”.
In it I cover its unique formula of ingredients, the company behind its creation, and the extensive clinical research that has been conducted on it thus far (60+ studies & growing).
I’m just going to highlight some key points here, but you can get a lot more info in that article if you’d like.
*Despite its scientific sounding name, BCM-95 is a 100% natural product.
*BCM-95 has shown in clinical trials that it has 7x (700%) greater bioavailability than regular curcumin. (10)
*That’s the point that separates CuraMed from the majority of turmeric supplements on the market these days.
** curcuminoids – In case you didn’t know, curcuminoids are what have all the benefits we’re hoping to get when we take a turmeric supplement. They are the bioactive compounds inside curcumin, which is inside turmeric, which is found inside the rhizomes (underground stems) of the Curcuma Longa plant, which grows profusely inside the borders of the Indian subcontinent. 😄
Quick BCM-95 video
Here’s a nice 1-minute video that points out a number of the unique features about CuraMed.
Here’s how the 750 mg softgel compares in size to a quarter:
*Total curcuminoids per serving/capsule is 500 mg in that 750 mg size.
BCM-95 clinical research dosages
Here’s a point I definitely want to share with you.
While the higher dose CuraMed — the 750 mg size — delivers 500 mg of curcuminoids, it’s important to be aware that effective clinical doses per day were higher.
In other words…
…in the research studies on humans where BCM-95 delivered positive benefit, the people were taking more than 500 mg of BCM-95 curcuminoids per day.
>> Most of the clinical trials I’ve come across (over a dozen) the dose was 1000 mg per day or higher.
>> Thus for example, if you wanted to match a 1000 mg study’s effective dosage, you’d need to take two of the 750 mg CuraMeds a day in order to hit that 1000 mg clinical number.
Ploughing through & verifying the research
You can confirm what I’m saying by following in my footsteps and looking up the studies individually at the U.S. Library of Medicine, & by going through the list of research trials on Arjuna Naturals website here…which is what I did.
(There are Indian clinical studies there that are not listed in our Pub Med database.)
They both have studies published up through 2020, but going through them all took me hours, just sayin’…
…I did find a summary of clinical doses used in BCM-95 research studies that runs through 2017.
She discusses all of the doses used in the section “Dosage & Duration of Administration” found near the beginning of the article, which makes it easy-peasy to see that 1000 mg is the low number.
(Kinda wished I would’ve come across that info before I did all that clinical research excavation…😄.)
Certifications & manufacturing quality
Terry Naturally, the makers of CuraMed, note on their website that they insist on meeting or exceeding the standards of the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices, aka cGMP.
The FDA (our Food & Drug Administration) put these standards into place with a specific set of regulations that independent certification agencies verify when inspecting food & supplement manufacturers like Terry Naturally.
Beyond the FDA’s cGMP policy, Terry Naturally goes into much more detail on their commitment to product quality on their website:
Third party testing approved
In addition to the above…
…I checked up on CuraMed on ConsumerLab.com, an independent third-party vitamin & supplement testing company run by Tod Cooperman, MD.
(I pay for annual subscriptions there so that I have access to their testing reports.)
CuraMed is listed as an Approved turmeric curcumin supplement there.
ConsumerLab tests for:
- label accuracy,
- product purity,
- & sometimes nasties like heavy metals, dioxins, filth, etc.
Being “Approved” means CuraMed® passed all of those tests with flying colors.
CuraMed product claims
Here are pics of the box’s side panel and the bottle’s back label from the CuraMed I just bought:
I know where they’re drawing water from for all of the claims they’re making here that you see, & I’ll provide you with the references so you can go check ’em out for yourself.
Starting with the pic on the left
“…60 groundbreaking, published studies”
Arjuna Natural’s website used to have a list of published BCM-95 clinical research studies, though I couldn’t find it today. Several of them are listed in the National Library of Medicine’s database: BCM-95 Studies at PubMed
“Supports liver, brain…etc.” and “Protects cells from…etc.”
Refers to various clinical study results — which you can track down though they’re are all over the place. My article on BCM-95 has links to many of these studies.
“High antioxidant ORAC value…”
I can’t find the lab testing report for this claim, so it’s likely a piece of intellectual property that Terry Naturally is keeping to themselves.
If you’re unfamiliar with the acronym ORAC, it stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, which was a measurement calculated for the U.S.D.A. (U.S. Department of Agriculture) that attempted to quantify a food’s antioxidant ability. (13)
But the ORAC measuring system lost authority several years ago when science exposed some glaring flaws in the ORAC scoring system, and the USDA bailed on the program way back in 2012. (14)
Just My Opinion: So I’m not bowled over by the fact that Terry Naturally is touting a number (on their product label) from a test that was abandoned 10 years ago due to its inaccuracy.
“CuraMed delivers up to 500 times more curcumin…than turmeric.”
This is just some turmeric/curcumin math that’ll be easy for you to follow, and they provide the numbers they’re using in teeny-weeny print down near the bottom of the bottle.
They’re comparing CuraMed to regular turmeric which, if you didn’t already know, has almost no curcumin in it — most tests show it’s only around 3% curcumin.
And in the final line they’re just reiterating the evidence (anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, heart health, etc.) from those same studies already referenced.
The box panel pic on the right
There are just three things they’re claiming here, and all of them have been mentioned elsewhere on their product’s marketing material &/or packaging:
- “Superior Absorption” is from the “7x greater bioavailability” study;
- the 500 mg of curcuminoids (in the 750 mg size);
- the “500 times more vs. turmeric” claim.
About CuraMed’s company, Terry Naturally
EuroPharma HQ, home of Terry Naturally
Here’s a four minute look into the makers of CuraMed®, as told by its founder & a few of its employees:
*The company is headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Here’s their website and contact info:
955 Challenger Dr.
Green Bay, WI 54311
*Terry Naturally is the retail store for EuroPharma, which was founded here in the US in 1982 by Terry Lemerond.
*Terry opened the first Terry Naturally retail store in 2006.
*Terry has worked in the natural products industry for over 40 years, and has researched & developed over 400 nutritional & botanical health supplement products.
“He is credited as the first to introduce glucosamine sulfate, IP-6, standardized Ginkgo biloba, the concept of botanical standardization and also complex formulations for specific health indications to the U.S. health food market.”
*He has been honored numerous times for his “significant lifelong contributions to the natural products industry”:
- first recipient of the American Botanical Council’s Champion Award in 2015;
- Southeast Natural Products Association President’s Award, 2013;
- Southwest Natural Products Assn. – President’s Award, 2010;
- 2017 inductee into the Natural Products Expo’s Hall of Legends.
Related turmeric curcumin resources here on heydayDo
I’ve researched the main turmeric curcumin formulas used in clinical trials and many of the brands that use them.
Here are other curcumin articles I’ve published:
I hope that my review article on Terry Naturally’s CuraMed is useful to you, and I wish you well on your fitness journey.