What is C3 Complex Supplement? Is it Different from Curcumin Supplement?

Many of our readers have asked us the difference between Curcumin and C3 complex.

Before going ahead with the answer, if you are not aware of the context, here is little background.

If you browse through website like amazon for turmeric / curcumin supplements you will see several products mentioning that they have “c3 complex” in them. While others just say turmeric extract or curcumin.

Obviously, this causes confusion – what is it and is it better to choose it over say just curcumin?

Here is the answer.

What is C3 complex

One of the most exciting constituents of turmeric (Curcuma Longa) are curcuminoids.

They constitute around 2-6% of Turmeric. The percentage varies a lot based on factors such as where it is grown, climate, etc.

c3 complex curcuminoids

The three curcuminoids present (in terms of weight) are:

  • Curcumin (around 50-60%) – Most of the research is done on curcumin in terms of health benefits provided by turmeric.
  • Demethoxycurcumin (around 20-25%)
  • Bis- Demethoxycurcumin (around 20-25%)

So when a supplement brand says they are selling C3 complex they are referring to a combination of the above 3 in some proportion and maybe along with other ingredients such as bioperene.

In most of the case there will be no indication of the % of curcumin in the complex.

Several firms seem to be selling patented C3 complex too. We have to dig in to find out what exactly in patented – the process or the proportion mix.

Curcumin supplements? – What about them?

First of all there is lots of misinformation in the market.

Most supplements marketed today just buy white label products and then just brand them on their own.

This means – many have no idea what they are selling. For example many say they selling – “Turmeric Curcumin”. But there is nothing like that.

When you look at ingredient list you find – they are selling turmeric powder. This is same like selling a lemon by calling it as “Lemon Vitamin C” 🙂 Does not make sense right?

So, when a brand says they have curcumin, you never know they may actually be talking about curcuminoids and not specifically “curcumin”. Talk to the supplier if you need to.

In the end..

So do not be confused by C3 complex it is just a combination of all the 3 curcuminoids present including curcumin.

If you are not sure you are getting curcumin or all 3 curcuminoids, do ask the brand about it.

About the Author

Fazila (B.Sc Biotech. & Bioinformatics)

Turmeric for Health's writer team consists of passionate writers from the fields of biotechnology, pharmacy, nutrition, Ayurveda & microbiology.Our writers are highly qualified with many having Ph.D., M.Tech & MSc degrees while others having B.Tech, BSc, B.Pharm. Our differentiation lies in researching and presenting ONLY FACTUAL SCIENTIFIC information. We spend 10s of hours to write a single article. Info of our articles is sourced from reliable scientific sources which are also provided as a link alongside for readers to refer if they want. You can read more about our team in the " About us" section.

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23 Comments

    1. Hi. While we have not investigated or compared brands with non-organic and organic turmeric, it appears that the turmeric used to prepare organic supplements is derived from organically grown turmeric. What’s important while purchasing a turmeric supplement is to ensure that it contains standardized extracts (standardized 95% curcumin with bioperine) or patented extracts and is free from fillers and heavy metal toxicity. Please consult your health practitioner before taking any supplements.

  1. Please tell me just what to look for in the turmeric to get the right amount of curcumin. I want to use it for inflamation, I have used Schwartz ultra pure turmeric curcumin and has not helped, have used for over a year.

    1. Hi. When buying a turmeric supplement, opt for standardized extracts that contain Bioperine or patented extracts that have Bioperine or other agents to boost bioavailability. In case of chronic conditions, you may need to take a higher dosage.

  2. Been emailing you for a while now to get answer re golden paste versus Curcumin c3. I am making and taking G. Paste for my dogs and myself and it is definitely beneficial.- however is curcumin c3 more potent?

    1. Hi Judy. Sorry for the delayed response. For pets we always recommend turmeric spice as Golden Paste. Though we have mentioned curcumin supplements in the dosage section for dogs (this was taken from another website) we do not recommend supplements for pet.

      Curcumin C3 is essentially purified curcumin with other curcuminoids. These are present in turmeric as well but with other therapeutic components such as turmeric oil. Curcumin C3 may deliver a higher dose of curcumin than turmeric spice but for pets natural turmeric and its curcumin content suffices.

      We can’t comment on the potency of the two, but for most health conditions pets should respond to natural turmeric in the form of Golden Paste.

  3. I was wanting to know are there any supplements that have (piperine, piper Nigrum, Piperaceae) in them to help with absorption of Curcumin?

  4. Curcumin C3 Compex is a registered trademark of Sabinsa, and they have the most tested and most effective Curcumin extract.

    1. Hi. No study yet has ascertained the long term effects of curcumin formulations. It is best to get a health practitioner’s advice on this.

  5. will raw form of curcumin along with ginger paste provide joint pain releafe ? or for the perpose it can be added to some other pain reliving items like cloves. Thanks

  6. As said above the curcumin in increasing dosage and that too for longer period can cause some difficulties.. Is that bad effect on liver due to its use with bioprin or pierine? Does plain turmeric extract (viz Curcumin) with out bioprin or piperine have similar side effects on suffering from old age syndrome without any previous history of gall blader or kidney stones? If raw termuric powder paste is consumed in dosage of two grams will it have bad effects on consumers ?

    1. Excessively high doses of curcumin primarily cause severe gastric discomfort. We have not come across any evidence that suggests bioperine affects liver health. Curcumin with bioperine would not be well absorbed in the body unless some other adjuvant is incorporated.
      Turmeric powder paste at 2 g dosage is absolutely safe. In fact we recommend at least 1 tsp 3 times a day. You can also opt for turmeric milk
      https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-recipes/how-to-make-turmeric-paste-or-golden-paste
      https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-recipes/benefits-of-turmeric-milk

  7. Thanks for all your information – it helps by my confusion what and how to take. but still I’m not sure if I buy C3 capsule with 450/500 curcumin how to take if you advise from 1mg to 8 mg in 8 weeks. I had breast cancer and want to take it to prevent… also no idea how it works to take the pure powder with pepper…!? I guess I can’t eat this pure so would prefer the capsules… unfort. no side like this I could find in Germany… thanks for your help!!!

      1. So, if taking curcumin for a long time is not good, then which one is best for long term?
        I need a natural anti-inflammatory that I can take full time, I have a lot of pain issues and the anti-inflammatory meds I am taking are causing uric acid build up. I don’t have a lot of prawns and crab, nor red meat, so that leaves the Mobic.
        I know long term use of anti-inflames can harm the liver, so I have been wanting to get off them for some time.
        I did in fact try to do that, after a week the pain was so bad I had to take them again for a lack of another form to try.
        If you have any info that can help me I would be very grateful

        1. Curcumin as such wont be harmful but taking it at supplemental doses may affect on long term. Turmeric and ginger are excellent anti-inflammatory agents and you can consider them on long term when included in diet as a paste or tea. These will also protect liver and stomach from toxicity.

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