Perhaps the most significant difference between BCM-95 and CurQfen is that taking 250 mg of CurQfen® (of which 91 mg is curcuminoid) creates such high free curcuminoid blood level for more than 8 hours that the active ingredient can reach all the organs/tissue/cells, including the brain. In comparison, in BCM-95 tests only a 2000 mg dose achieved this high free curcumin blood level, although no tests have been done with lower doses yet. In large doses (1-2 g) they raise the free active ingredient blood level identically, however, if taken in small doses only CurQfen® is proved to have a satisfactory effect (long-lasting high free curcuminoid blood level).
This is why CurQfen®+Turmacin® is more suitable for those who plan to take 1-2 capsules per day of a GAL turmeric product. Since this product gets the small amount of active ingredient into the blood effectively it can’t cause digestive problems even for those who have experienced such issues (e.g. loose stools, heartburn) when taking turmeric or our former product. In addition, if you have a pre-existing digestive condition, but would like to take turmeric extract also for its systemic effect we also recommend products containing CurQfen® as opposed to BCM-95. CurQfen® is utilized in nearly equal amounts irrespective of the state of the digestive system and everything, deviation is minimal. CurQfen® is even absorbed through the skin (although it’s not the usage we recommend).
Turmeric's main active agents are curcuminoids. Of the three types of curcuminoids, it contains curcumin is the most significant. Apart from curcuminoids turmeric contains essential oil components, the most effective of which are the so-called aromatic turmerones. They improve the utilization of curcuminoids and hold their own beneficial, e.g. anti-inflammatory effects. Besides curcuminoids and essential oil components (turmerones) turmeric contain water-soluble, anti-inflammatory polysaccharides which, similarly to curcumin proved effective for problems of the joints. Curcuminoids are the most studied and most effective constituents of turmeric, but the essential oil components (aromatic turmerones) and water-soluble turmeric-polysaccharides it contains are also useful.
Like with every form of active agent ingestion the effectiveness of the actual turmeric preparation product is measured by the extent the active agents (in this case mainly curcuminoids) reach the organs/tissue/cells they can have a positive effect on. With most turmeric extracts the active ingredients can only reach the cells of the intestines and the liver and not the cells of other organs/tissue, and sometimes not even the bloodstream, thus they can only affect the intestinal tract and the liver. The most difficult task is to get the curcuminoids (and other active ingredients) into the brain, so the ability to effectively get agents to various parts of the brain shows best how successfully a preparation can bring its active agents to various cells of the body and have an effect everywhere.
Let’s take a look at how curcuminoids are utilized:
1.) It’s difficult for curcuminoids to get through the intestinal wall because P-glycoprotein keeps “shoving” them back to the intestinal tract so they can’t get into the bloodstream. [https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jmf.2011.1845]
2.) The body identifies curcuminoids, like all polyphenols and many other active ingredients as foreign matter and tries to excrete them as quickly as possible. The liver transforms (conjugates) curcuminoids, i.e. connect them to glucuronic acid and in small part to sulphate thus creating mono- and diglucuronides and sulphates of curcuminoids. These are large molecules that can’t get into cells, not to mention across the blood-brain barrier. They have no positive qualities. Only the curcuminoids remaining in free form can get into cells and into the brain across the blood-brain barrier. [Ireson et al, 2001; Pal et al, 2014; Shoji et al, 2014; Choudhari et al, 2015; Begum et al, 2008]
3.) What matters lastly is how free curcuminoids get to the tissue/cells and into their cells (and into the cells’ organelles). The longer we can keep free curcuminoid concentration above a certain level (above ca. 30ng/ml) in the blood the more effective it is. Also, according to new research, it depends on the proportion of free curcuminoids and conjugated curcuminoids to each other. (Free Curcuminoid Ratio – FCR index). The higher the free form and lower the conjugated one the better. [Krishnakumar et al, 2015; Kumar et al, 2016; Szymusiak et al, 2016]
To the first problem, there have been many solutions: CurcuWin®, HyroCurc®, NovaSol®, TheraCurcumin®, Meriva®, etc. All in vain, since these are unable to increase free curcuminoid levels in the blood, at least no such results have been presented until today. (In each case blood samples were treated with glucuronidase (and sulphatase) enzymes before curcuminoid analysis then the results were interpreted as curcumin levels in the study. Of course, experts will notice the mischief in the “methods /preparation / analytical methods” sections of the given study…) Statements that claim “hundredfold utilization” and such typically mean how much higher the completely ineffective curcumin conjugates’ level is in the blood. That’s obfuscation, so it’s no use wasting more time on these products.
About the second problem, we are only aware of 5 turmeric extracts (by March 2022) whose free curcuminoid-level raising effect is clinically verified and increased compared to “plain“ 95% curcuminoid extracts, and only two that significantly raise the level: CurQfen® and BCM-95. (Longvida® also increases the level, but can hardly reach the threshold concentration that’s effective for getting into the brain cells. In the case of CurcuGen® and BioCurc® – as we’ll soon see – it’s basically skulduggery with the numbers because the blood level achieved with these products is about 100 times lower than in the case of the others, so it can be regarded as 0.)
Raw material manufacturers tend to compare the free curcumin-level raising effect of the products they develop with “plain“ (non-formulated) 95% curcuminoid in their studies. It’s problematic because consuming plain, non-formulated 95% curcuminoid has a very particular effect on the blood’s free curcuminoid level, it’s different in every study, typically 0 or nearly 0, but sometimes quite “decent“. This presents opportunities for extensive skulduggery since if in a series of studies the blood level observed, achieved with a formulated (for increased utilization) product is compared to blood levels achieved with non-formulated curcuminoid products where the former reached 3ng/ml (which is practically nothing) the latter 0,03ng/ml then they can promptly claim that absorption is a hundredfold. In the case of another participant, they achieved 300ng/ml with the formulated one but the non-formulated one only produced 10ng/ml for the same individuals (which is almost nothing) so they only communicate 30% absorption although in fact, it’s a hundred times more effective than the product communicated as achieving hundredfold utilization. We’ll see that through specific examples. [Schiborr et al, 2014]
The third problem, namely the actual arrival at the target tissue/organs/cells has only been tackled by CurQfen. Solely CurQfen is proven to be able to get curcumin into various organs/tissue in large measure (including the brain and its diverse areas). [Krishnakumar et al, 2015; Kannan et al, 2021] Also, concerning BCM-95 (aka CurcuGreen/BioCurcumin) there is a new study which – although it focused on the historic distribution of curcumin – could reveal significant curcumin levels in the brain, among other areas in BCM-95 consuming rodents. [Manna et al, 2021]
Besides that CurQfen is unique in the sense that in a human clinical trial its FCR was above 1 (FCR=1.3) which means it’s the only product/base material existing today that gets the majority (ca 75%) of curcuminoids it contains into the bloodstream in free form and thus enables instant uptake for any cell (even for brain cells due to the high, over 100ng/ml continuous free curcumin concentration). [Kumar et al, 2016] In contrast, merely 1% of non-formulated curcumin products reach the bloodstream so 99% of it is useless. [Pan et al., 1999]
Human clinical studies also verify that CurQfen gets into the brain. Obviously, brain tissue samples can’t be taken from participants of a study so the effect on brainwaves was observed which is a marker of getting into the brain. Besides its effect on brainwaves, it improved audio and visual reaction times (decreasing reaction times by 30-36%). [Khanna et al, 2020]
Since only CurQfen can boast studies where FCR was measured just like where the path of the curcuminoids was traced to tissue, not only blood it would be easy to say that only CurQfen can positively get curcuminoids everywhere, all other products are questionable. However, it’s not the done thing to pass up the fact that even when investigating CurQufen the researchers concluded that the steadily (lasting for hours) high level (above 30ng/ml) of blood’s free curcuminoid concentration is the most important factor in getting the proper amount of curcuminoids to every cell of the body. The already mentioned 5 different, increased release, formulated curcuminoid base materials have been tested where the effects of their diverse doses on blood levels of free curcumin or free curcuminoids were observed. It’s completely objective this way so let’s see how much what dose of which curcuminoid formation increased the level of free curcuminoids appearing in the blood.
AUC (Area Under Curve) presents altogether how much free curcumin(oid) got into the blood during testing while Cmax indicates its maximum concentration. The other interesting parameter is how long after administering the dose the above 30ng/ml free curcumin(oid) concentration in the blood remained. This is the level above which every cell of the body (including brain cells) can ingest curcuminoids. These three parameters can best determine the efficacy of a turmeric preparation – as far as we know.
Let’s go through the five, currently existing curcuminoid base materials designed for increased utilization that have tests measuring free curcumin(oid).
This is a completely natural raw material only containing ingredients from turmeric and silicon dioxide. It contains water-soluble polysaccharides, essential oil components (turmerones) and curcuminoids It has a 50% curcuminoid content. There’s only one clinical trial where its effect on the free curcumin level of the blood was measured. [Panda, Kumar et al, 2021]
Dosage: the first participants were given 4g CurcuGen® (which contained 2000mg curcuminoids).
AUC (amount of all curcumin getting in the blood): 3 (ng/ml*h)
Cmax (maximum blood concentration): 1 (ng/ml)
How long was the blood level above 30ng/ml? No such period was recorded.
Summary: good aspects are that it’s natural and full spectrum, but based on this it can only have an effect on the liver and the intestines even in a 4g extreme dose.
BioCurc® (not to be confused with BioCurcumin®):
Preparation with low curcumin content made with the help of various surface-active agents. It contains a plethora of artificial substances. There’s only one clinical trial where its effect on the free curcumin level of the blood was measured. [Stohs et al, 2018]
Dosage: 400mg BioCurc® (64,6mg curcumin)
AUC: ca. 15ng/ml*h (inaccurate value determined from graph)
How long was the blood level above 30ng/ml? No such period was recorded.
Summary: Fully chemical and based on the indicators virtually no effect can be expected besides the liver and the intestines.
Lecithin/phospholipid-based liposomal curcumin raw material. Different effects were verified by clinical trials.
One clinical trial on its free curcumin blood level increasing effect exists where four different doses were studied. [Gota et al, 2010]
Dosage: 650mg AUC: 178 ng/ml*h Cmax: 22ng/ml
How long was the blood level above 30ng/ml? No such period was recorded.
Dosage: 2000mg AUC: 189 ng/ml*h Cmax: 33ng/ml
How long was the blood level above 30ng/ml? No accurate data, presumably for a couple of minutes.
Dózis: 3000mg AUC: 302 ng/ml*h Cmax: 31ng/ml
How long was the blood level above 30ng/ml? No accurate data, presumably for a couple of minutes.
Dosage: 4000mg AUC: 375 ng/ml*h Cmax: 41 ng/ml
How long was the blood level above 30ng/ml? No accurate data, presumably for an hour.
Summary: Relatively natural composition although besides phospholipids it contains some non-nature-identical ingredients. Its clinically proven effects are diverse. For a short period, its high doses achieve the level in the blood that makes it possible to have beneficial effects on the brain.
CurcuGreen® (also called BCM-95® and Bio-Curcumin®)
It contains ingredients 100% retrieved from turmeric, literally nothing else but curcuminoids (ca. 85-90%) and a turmeric essential oil standardized for high aromatic turmerones. These are “rolled into one” and micronized. It doesn’t contain turmeric’s water-soluble polysaccharides, but it’s still “full spectrum enough” because the two most important ones are in it.
Most clinical trials have been conducted with this raw material from among the increased absorption of turmeric raw materials. It has clinically proved wide-ranging positive effects.
Although there are two studies investigating the blood level increasing effect of free curcuminoid one should be disregarded because it wasn’t conducted following the suggested use: it was a test of BCM-95’s competing manufacturer and BCM-95 was taken on an empty stomach. This is how they compared it to their product whose best absorption can be achieved when taken on an empty stomach while BCM-95 should be taken with a meal. This procedure is very unsportsmanlike, we can also call it deceit.
One study looked at a 2g dose on two occasions with similar results. Free curcumin levels were tested in both. [Anthony et al, 2008]
AUC: 3201 and 3975 ng/ml*h
Cmax: 457 and 689 ng/ml
How long was the blood level above 30ng/ml? For about 8 hours.
100% natural: contains ca. 40% curcuminoids, while the remaining 60% is a so-called galactomannan fibre obtained from fenugreek seeds. (This fibre extract is free from saponins and phytoestrogens found in fenugreek seeds.) It contains nothing else (or rather, the modified CurQfen we developed contains other things, but more on that later). Using ultrasound and through FenuMAT® technology a matrix structure for curcuminoids is created with these fibres which functions as what you call a reversible hydrocolloid system and is the new generation of absorption-enhancing colloid technologies (in layman’s terms, incorrectly but more understandably: liposomal technologies). The effect this technology can achieve doesn’t only mean that it bypasses the liver, the digestive system and with them the neutralizing enzyme system to get the active ingredients into the bloodstream but does it steadily and with a delayed release so that each cell of the body (including brain cells) can obtain the most and they can reach the organelles as well. Practically, in a sense it even surpasses intravenous administration, i.e. it can match up to the effectiveness of a half or full day of steady intravenous dosing.
As we’ve mentioned earlier only CurQfen® has been tested in a way that followed the complete course of life of curcuminoids in every organ after ingestion of CurQfen both in the short and long term. It’s also only CurQfen® that has been tested in a human clinical trial where FCR was found above 1 and where entering the brain was verified by changing brainwaves. In addition, it was involved in the largest number of studies conducted where various doses’ free curcumin(oid) blood level increasing effect was measured. This has been tested six times and as opposed to the other turmeric extracts presented not simply in one, but 3 different doses in 3 separate tests. [Krishnakumar et al, 2012; 2015; 2016]
Since one of these 3 tests produced a very high value which can either be attributed to a mistaken unit of measurement or the fortunate case of the low number of participants (8) let’s concentrate on the largest group (50 people, by far the largest among the studies presented so far) test results because that is the most accurate and it’s also where the two extreme doses (250 mg and 1000 mg) were tested. [Krishnakumar et al., 2016]
It’s important to mention that due to the delayed, steady release realised through FenuMat technology the tissue/cells absorb more so fewer active agents appear in the blood since the target areas, the cells can quickly take it up. All the active agents would only be identifiable in the blood if it were continuously tested which is practically impossible. As a result, we can expect lower values. As opposed to other curcumin products there were no two peaks on the absorption graph (it’s not biphasic – if the liver processes/conjugates it two peaks appear, not just one) which proves that it bypasses the liver and gets directly to the cells.
(In these tests in the case of ACU free curcuminoids were also measured, not only free curcumin. Because of this free curcuminoid value is also indicated here, not just the free curcumin value which can be calculated by subtracting the 30-50% of the curcuminoid value for AUC and 20% for Cmax.)
Dosage: 250mg CurQfen (98mg curcuminoid)
AUC: 963 / ng/ml*h Cmax: 342 ng/ml
How long was the blood level above 30ng/ml? For about 8-12 hours.
Dosage: 1000mg CurQfen (391mg curcuminoid)
AUC: 2274ng/ml*h Cmax: 440 ng/ml
How long was the blood level above 30ng/ml? For more than 12 hours. (No further test was taken but after 12 hours free curcuminoid was at 100ng/ml and free curcumin at about 75 ng/ml.)
Clearly, if testing had been continued after 12 hours AUC would have been higher but in fact, it’s not the blood value that counts but tissue distribution which has only been tested in the case of CurQfen.
Another significant difference in the case of CurQfen is that the studies conducted have been the highest quality of all (e.g. conducted with the most participants, 50 people) and only CurQfen increased free curcumin(oid) blood level equally well for each participant. In the other studies for the turmeric preparations listed standard deviation, the dispersion of the set of values was either not indicated or it was gigantic. This means that CurQfen will be superbly utilized in anyone while the extent of utilization is questionable for each individual in the case of the others.
Summary of the data: CurcuGen and BioCurc can produce hardly any units of free curcuminoid blood level, and CurcuGen not even with an extremely high, 4000 mg dose. Not for a minute are they close to the necessary blood level. Even so, because of the skulduggery mentioned earlier, the manufacturers declare manifold utilization. For example, CurcuGen claims to achieve 39 times relative free curcumin utilization, whereas CurcuGreen/BCM-95 only 7 times, CurQfen 45 times (though they emphasize that it doesn’t matter). On the other hand, CurQfen and CurcuGreen/BCM-95 generate thousands of times higher blood levels than CurcuGen even with a fragment of the dose.
Comparing the above 5 base materials if taken in the same dosage these are the ballpark figures for their capacity to get free curcuminoids into the blood:
Back to our product
We asked FenuMAT technology’s experts to develop a variant of CurQfen for us where besides curcuminoids, turmeric root’s essential oil is also integrated into the fibre matrix of FenuMat in a way that they process an identical aromatic turmerone/curcuminoid ratio to what we regard as so far the best turmeric product, Bio-Curcumin (=CurcuGreen/BCM-95). Namely, as if we applied FenuMAT technology to this already introduced base material thus integrating the advantages of Curcugreen and CurQfen.
We added Turmacin® to our product to CurQfen which we believe is developed to perfection so that we can smuggle in the benefits of turmeric’s water-soluble polysaccharides. We chose Turmacin® because, on the one hand, it’s 100% natural and only contains turmeric’s water-soluble active agents, turmeric polysaccharides, and on the other, because there’s a clinical trial available on its effect to relieve arthritis. It’s far not as convincing as the clinical trials for BCM-95 and CurQfen but at least it exists. For now, we only added a small amount of Turmacin as there isn’t enough research that would vindicate making the product more expensive with a larger amount. If more convincing studies are conducted we can increase the amount later, but until then it is present in the product for a fuller spectrum. Besides we entertain the romantic notion that perhaps it’s not a coincidence that there are water-soluble polysaccharides in turmeric, there may exist a synergy between them and curcuminoids if it does between curcuminoids and turmerones…
Who do we recommend this new product to and who is the earlier GAL BioCurcumin? For most we would recommend our new product because of its more firmly verified ability to get to the cells we presented earlier, however, based on the blood level data it’s possible that taken in the same amount (eg. 1g CurQfen versus 1g BCM-95) BCM-95 gets about the same amount of active ingredient to the same tissue, including the brain. If this is so, BCM-95 is a bit more cost-effective. In any way, both turmeric raw materials are splendidly utilized for all tissue. Whether CurQufen is much better is yet to be decided, however, it has one more great advantage: ingesting much less active material is enough to achieve the same effect. It means that in proportion, less curcumin gets into the intestines and more into the blood which is a huge advantage for those who experience digestive problems, such as loose stools, heartburn or nausea when taking other turmeric extracts. A 250mg dose of CurQfen (ca. 91 mg curcuminoid content) provides an adequately high blood level, in addition, a daily dose of 400mg is clinically verified to be effective for particular problems.
Fun fact: after dissolving it in water it can be applied to the skin because it is absorbed through the skin as well. However, the tests were done with oral administration so obviously, that’s what we recommend.
1-3 pieces are the recommended daily supplementation, they can be taken at the same time if you take more than 1. Eating doesn’t influence the effect so it can be taken with or without food.
From workplace stress to changing brainwaves and improving liver function to joints it has been found effective for several things in human clinical trials with a daily dose of 400-1000mg. For more on this and on (not souped-up) CurQfen, visit: www.curqfen.net
Made in the EU
KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. DO NOT EXCEED RECOMMENDED DOSE.
If you are undergoing treatment for a medical condition or if you are pregnant or lactating, please consult your medical practitioner before introducing supplementary foods to your normal routine. The dietary supplement should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet or a healthy lifestyle. Store tightly closed in a cool and dry place.
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