This BCM-95 curcumin review is not about exploring a particular supplement. Instead, this is about cracking the thing as wide open as we can and looking at what exactly is it from every single aspect imaginable.
Thus, we will be looking at and explaining its very essence, we’ll be researching the specific benefits associated with it, and probably most importantly we will be learning how effective it is in all that it does. Moreover, we’ll be looking at its safety and potential side effects, as well as briefly exploring some common supplements using this curcumin form.
What Is BCM-95 Curcumin? The Definition In All Aspects
BCM-95 Curcumin is essentially a bio-enhanced curcumin form that’s made by combining turmeric composed of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin in their natural ratios and standardized to 95% curcuminoids with turmeric essential oil [R, R, R].
To illustrate, a typical BCM-95 final blend (also known as Curcugreen, patented by Arjuna Natural Extracts Ltd.) contains at least 86% curcuminoids, of which no less than 65% is a compound the most capable of all curcuminoids – curcumin, that is augmented by the essential oil that holds within it approximately 45% ar-turmerone [R, R, R, R].
Others define it as a curcumin form that blends within itself curcuminoids with the full spectrum of turmeric volatile oils (turmeric essential oils) for improved absorption and benefit. It’s also something that gets commonly referred to just as bio-enhanced turmeric formulation with increased bioavailability [R, R, R, R].
But essentially either of those two is just slightly simpler versions of what the very first one of this section already forged.
That said I do know that it may initially sound a little complicated, especially given that all key aspects of it are put in a single definition. Hence, let’s break it down a little.
The words “bio-enhanced curcumin form” refer to the fact that this curcumin is improved to deliver higher absorption rates and thus, be more beneficial in its effects. Because curcuminoids as widely advertised are indeed the stuff that naturally our bodies struggle to absorb [R, R, R, R, R, R, R].
As for the words “combining turmeric composed of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin”, refer to the three most beneficial and abundant in turmeric specific compounds, otherwise collectively known as curcuminoids. In this regard, there are even studies that indicate a likelihood that in conjunction they work much better than they ever do alone [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].
Whereas the words “in their natural ratios” refer to the ratios of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Naturally, in turmeric (of the complete curcuminoid amount) you’ll find about 77% of curcumin, 17% of demethoxycurcumin, and 3% of bisdemethoxycurcumin. And the BCM-95 saviors that ratio as it’s thought to deliver more value [R, R].
But most importantly the words “standardized to 95% curcuminoids” refer to the fact that the total amounts of turmeric in BCM-95 do not contain only about 2-5% of curcuminoids as raw turmeric typically does. No, “standardized” is just a fancy way of telling that the total mass of turmeric in the formulation is augmented in a way to contain at least 95% of curcuminoids [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].
Lastly, the words “turmeric essential oil” refer to oil derived from turmeric that comprises within itself turmerone contents (including the most researched and thought to be the most beneficial ar-turmerone). Turmerones being another type of highly beneficial compounds typically present in turmeric [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].
As for the name “BCM-95” itself, it’s an abbreviation derived from two parts. First, is the name Biocurcumax (hence, BCM) which was the formulations original name (something that shows up in studies as well). Second, the idea of turmeric extract within it being of 95% curcuminoids (hence, the number 95) [R].
BCM-95 Curcumin Benefits – The Directly Associated Ones
While it’s widely recognized through research and various studies that turmeric is an extremely beneficial herb, there are other research papers that are done specifically on the added beneficialness of BCM-95 curcumin [R, R, R, R, R].
In this regard, as far as I can tell, to date, there are a total number of at least 49 different studies done on the formulation. Of these, a good number of them have been done on humans (22 studies), others are done on animals (21 studies), as well as there are ones done outside organisms (6 studies).
Whereas as for the nature of the research papers (they do overlap at times), most of them deal with the benefits (16+11+5 studies), others explore safety (5+8+0 studies) while there are also those that do their best in measuring the overall effectiveness and absorbability of the BCM-95 (6+2+1 studies) [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].
That said this section is devoted to uncovering those benefits. The next one will deal with all that regards comparing and measuring how BCM-95 stacks against other patented curcumin formulations. Whereas one after that concerns itself around safety and potential side effects.
In three different studies with 45, 52, and 111 participants (single-blind, double-blind, double-blind, respectively, all randomized, placebo-controlled studies), the formulation has proven that it’s a great help when battling major depression. Interestingly, the studies additionally showed that there were no further improvements with the dose being 1000 milligrams daily (as opposed to 500 milligrams daily) [R, R, R].
Whereas when BCM-95 was tested on 96 cognitively healthy subjects in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess potential benefits to thinking power, mood, and general quality of life, no improvements were identified (1500 milligrams daily). However, it’s worth noting that the placebo group did not experience any cognitive decline either (this was what the trial originally set out to explore) [R].
Thus, it’s hard to say for sure if in case of cognitive decline being present, whether the formulation could have improved their condition. On that note though, there was a study in 2017 that showed BCM-95 as a part (along with Lactobacillus fermentum extract, papaya enzyme, zinc, alpha-lipoic acid, and burdock seed) of an effective remedy for chronic inflammation. As well as improving the general quality of life mostly through lowering muscle and joint pains (Infla-Kine formula) [R].
Then there also was a study on 27 probable or possible Alzheimer’s patients. It assessed whether or not there’s any additional improvement to people’s condition on top of standardized ginkgo Biloba leaf extract that as of its own has already shown to have a positive effect on such patients. However, the BCM-95 throughout the study did not prove to bring any additional benefits (1000 milligrams and 4000 milligrams daily) [R].
Then there were two randomized, two-arm, open-label studies (28 and 45 participants) that examined the potential benefits of BCM-95 versus the standard treatment battling osteoarthritis (BCM-95 + Boswellia) and rheumatoid arthritis (no placebo group). Meaning, versus celecoxib and diclofenac sodium groups, respectively, the curcumin formulation was, essentially, as effective providing similar benefits. But safer specifically when compared to diclofenac sodium [R, R].
The same was also concluded in a 2019 (randomized, open-label, parallel, active-controlled) trial that compared the efficacy and safety of BCM-95 versus diclofenac in treating knee osteoarthritis (139 patients). Namely, both treatment options were similar in benefits and effectiveness but curcumin formulation was the way more better-outcomed choice in terms of adverse effects [R].
In corresponding studies, the BCM-95 curcumin has also shown that it can improve the conditions of oral submucous fibrosis and oral leukoplakia, as well as provide significant improvements in urinary symptoms in patients undergoing radiotherapy (plus hormone ablation) due to prostate cancer (an open-label 32 patient and randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled 223 and 40 patient studies, respectively) [R, R, R, R].
Another study showed that BCM-95 was also somewhat effective in treating moderate chronic periodontitis (randomized, double-blind, 30 patients) [R].
As well as there were a number of studies that tried establishing the basis for benefits yet didn’t manage to.
But above all, don’t forget that these are just the added specific benefits of the BCM-95 curcumin formulation. It will provide all of the standard curcumin benefits, as well as ar-turmerone-related benefits as well.
How Effective Is The Formulation When Compared To Others?
A lot of manufacturers when you read their respective supplement promotional materials will try to convince you that BCM-95 Curcumin is the currently best Curcumin form known.
But is that really the case? Or are they likely just exaggerating to create more sales?
Well, it’s more likely the latter.
There has been a number of studies on BCM-95 curcumin and other patented curcumin formulations. And all of them pretty much fall either of the two categories – those that compare various patents directly and those that measure their performance against a common benchmark.
However, it’s not that simple and straightforward, when comparing these formulations across different studies, as one would suspect.
I mean, it would be great if all of the studies evaluating such curcumin formulations would use the same study design, population, analytical methods, as well as utilize the same kind of product administration. But that’s not the reality. Which only means you have to be extremely careful when comparing the effectiveness across different studies [R, R]
I mean, it is far too tempting to just directly compare the numbers concluded in the studies. When in reality, due to the mentioned differences no such comparisons can be made. And any that are, are complete rubbish.
That in mind, how good is the BCM-95 when compared to a standardized no additional ingredients added turmeric of 95% curcuminoids?
I’ve seen far too many articles out there that rush to declare that it’s 7 times better (or some quote the exact number of 6.9 folds) as mentioned in a study examining the formulation’s bioavailability [R].
However, a more accurate, complete, comprehensive interpretation of that same result is one that reports BCM-95 curcumin to be 27 times more bioavailable than your typical turmeric standardized to 95% curcuminoids [R].
There are, of course, a number of other studies (done in both animals and humans) that look at this same idea of compared absorbability. But, again, different methodologies account for the different results. Which ultimately though, are all the same and I feel are best described by that number in the previous paragraph [R, R, R, R, R, R].
But what about the other curcumin formulations out there? How does BCM-95 curcumin compare to those?
Well, mostly unfavorably.
It’s definitely the better alternative than 95% curcuminoids plus BioPerine (20 times better than standard) or patented formulations like CurQfen (16 times better), MicroActive (10 times better) or Micronised curcumin (9 times better). However, it stands nowhere near giants like NovaSol (185 times better than standard), CurcuWin (136 times better) or Longvida (100 times better) [R, R, R, R, R, R, R].
Which only forces us to conclude that manufacturers that use the BCM-95 curcumin in their supplement formulations often unnecessary exaggerate the claims of it being the most effective and bioavailable curcumin form out there.
BCM-95 Curcumin Side Effects & Safety – There Are None
When speaking of curcumin as a consumable herb’s safety, it’s in its core extremely safe food and supplement to consume. Arguably one of the safest of all there is.
In that regard, not only studies examining the various aspects and benefits of curcumin typically fail to report any negative side effects, but also the ones specifically aimed at exploring the safety almost always fail to do so [R, R, R, R, R].
There even was a dose-escalation study done on 24 volunteers that did it’s best in trying to find the maximum tolerated dose for curcumin but failed [R].
In this particular study, they administered doses of Curcumin C3 Complex ranging from 500 milligrams to 12,000 milligrams At which point they stopped as it wasn’t possible to take more than those 12 grams of the formulation comfortably.
Granted, seven of the participants reported 4 different side effects: diarrhea, rash, headaches, and yellow stools. But all of them are to be considered mild. Furthermore, none of them were related to the actual dose consumed. Hence, generally, we’ve no idea how much is too much [R].
And the exact same applies to BCM-95 curcumin side effects as well.
A good number of studies done on mice and rats with everything ranging from single-dose studies at 5000 milligrams per body weight to 90-day ones at doses of up to 1000 milligrams per body weight daily, none showed any signs of toxicity. Moreover, also studies that explored whether or not BCM-95 causes gene-toxicity at high doses (up to 2000 milligrams per body weight) didn’t find anything [R].
And without a surprise at all, also BCM-95 curcumin toxicity studies in humans indicate that it’s an extremely safe formulation.
Whereas a study (done on 27 Alzheimer’s patients) examining three groups – first, of 4 grams daily, second, of 1 gram daily, and third, placebo – for 6 months reported mild adverse effects (most commonly gastrointestinal-related discomfort). However, those adverse effects were reported among all groups with the highest number in the placebo group (7 participants) and the lowest in the 4 grams group (2 participants) [R].
Thus, it may be that the actual side effects were caused by Alzheimer’s-related medication (as all participants still subscribed to whatever additional treatment their respective physicians deemed appropriate). Whereas the added curcumin removed most of them.
All in all, it’s hard to look at it in any other way. BCM-95 curcumin, similarly as the typical curcumin, seems to be among the safest, most side-effect-free substances there is with virtually no real record of toxicity.
Viable Supplement Choices Involving The Patented Curcumin Form
Though the BCM-95 curcumin is a patented formulation there is no shortage of manufacturers that through their supplements are trying to take advantage of it. They’re often exaggerating the claims but that’s a whole another story.
Let’s look at some potential options you could go for if you’re looking for a proper BCM-95 supplement.
The very first that comes to mind is the Super Bio-Curcumin by Life Extension.
They offer a solid, comprehensive, reference-filled description page. Hence, pretty much every single claim they make is based on science and thus, it lacks the natural over-exaggeration when it comes to the supplement selling common among many other brands.
The supplement itself offers 400 mg of the turmeric formulation with no additional stuff. It’s completely straightforward that way.
As for additives, it’s also a very bright one. It uses vegetable cellulose (capsule), microcrystalline cellulose, stearic acid, silica (silicon dioxide). All of which are completely safe to use long-term with any side effects being non-existent (unless you have an allergy).
Success rates for this one are also pretty great, and people generally are very pleased with it (more on that in the full review).
It’s solid. However, I do feel that Terry Naturally CuraMed might be the better counterpart.
Terry Naturally’s difference is the fact that it offers almost twice the amount of the BCM-95. But yeah, it comes with quite a heavy price tag. Which is, however, a package for 4 months of supply. Which doing the math is a significantly better value for money [R].
There are a few more additives than in the previous supplement (medium-chain triglycerides, gelatin, glycerin, beeswax, purified water, turmeric in sunflower oil, silica). Still, all of them are as harmless as they come, in regard to which some may even be considered beneficial.
Furthermore, global success rates are amazing. So, there’s every reason for it to be extremely beneficial.
Plus, it carries quite a number of awards to its name as well.
However, not every BCM-95 curcumin supplement will be a great bet.
Bad Supplement Choices For The Curcumin Form
In truth, just because a certain supplement contains a particular ingredient that has proven itself to be highly beneficial, does not mean you should blindly go for it. There can be many harmful ingredients (mostly as additives) and other red-flags like likely poor manufacturing practices.
So, are there any BCM curcumin supplement formulations that you should definitely avoid?
I feel something to absolutely steer clear of is the Res-Q Curcumin Ultra.
This is a supplement that while offers solid 400 milligrams of BCM-95, also sins pretty confidently when it comes to its choice of additives.
Meaning, while 4 out of 5 (gelatin, magnesium stearate, stearic acid, silica) are completely fine to consume long term, there is an additional one that I strongly believe isn’t. Talc.
In its essence, it’s a very controversial ingredient. And the discussion on it is quite back and forth. Whether it causes cancer or not. Still, by far more court cases have been won that support this kind of correlation. Hence, I would truly suggest avoiding absolutely anything that contains this ingredient – be it supplements, processed food or even baby products [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].
Another supplement that you should without a doubt keep away from is one named Curcumin Extreme Curcumin BCM-95.
So, the active ingredients sound good. Moreover, all of the additives (Gelatin, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Stearic Acid, Magnesium Stearate, and Silicon Dioxide) are harmless ones despite the somewhat controversy floating around about Magnesium Stearate [R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R, R].
Thus, where’s the problem.
With this Curcumin Extreme Curcumin BCM-95, the issue is not the ingredients. The issue is likely the manufacturing practices.
There is nothing that you’ll find across the internet about this manufacturer. Moreover, it looks like that it may be the only supplement in their lineup (at least I was unable to come across any other Curcumin Extreme supplements).
Thus, for all we know, the manufacturing practices may be miserable. And any manufacturer that likely employs poor manufacturing practices and has (as far as I can tell) zero culture, is very likely creating pathetic, quality lacking, borderline harmful supplements (no matter how great the active and inactive ingredients in it are).
Hence, something to absolutely avoid like the plague. I mean, I would not take such a supplement even if they paid me to. That’s exactly how bad (and detrimental) they can be (or not, but it’s way more likely that they are).
There Are More Capable Options But BCM-95’s Still Very Viable
Overall, it must be said that BCM-95 curcumin is without a doubt one among the most studied patented curcumin formulations out there.
There are plenty of studies that support its efficacy through various benefits, studies that estimate and do their best in assessing its safety, as well as those that are geared towards measuring its bioavailability as of itself and in comparison with other patented formulations.
And in this regard, although it may not be the most absorbed one of all, it’s still a very capable and trustworthy patent that for sure will make those curcumin associated benefits a reality for you.
I feel there’s more than sufficient evidence to approve that.
Above all, I hope this BCM-95 Curcumin review helped you learn about and find the information you were looking for. What is your favorite aspect of the formulation? Is it something you see yourself trying? Or will you rather default to one of the other available formulations? Let me know below.
This article was last updated on October 25, 2020.