Have I discovered the holy grail of anti-inflammation, or did I just buy another useless supplement?
About 4 months ago, a friend of mine told me to try Purathrive’s liposomal turmeric extract.
After doing some background research, I went ahead and bought 3 bottles — roughly 3 months’ worth of extract.
In this post, read about my personal experience with the supplement, the science behind it, and whether or not YOU should consider trying it.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a plant of the ginger family that gives curry its vibrant, yellow color.
In the last 10 years or so, it’s gotten increasingly popular in health and fitness circles.
This is because science finally started backing up what Indians have known since ancient times:
Besides spicing up your food, turmeric has potent medicinal qualities and a long list of incredible health benefits.
Whole Food VS Extract
Most of the plant’s healing properties has been linked to compounds called curcuminoids — the most notable one being curcumin.
Unfortunately, the total amount of curcumin found in turmeric is quite small — even pure turmeric powder only contains 3.14% according to studies.
This is why most of the research surrounding its health benefits are done with extracts.
If you only consume the plant as a spice, it’ll be nearly impossible to gain all of its positive effects.
Instead, your best bet is to use a high-quality turmeric supplement with concentrated doses of curcumin (and other nutrients).
One such supplement is Purathrive’s liposomal turmeric extract.
My Health Struggle
So, why exactly am I doing this review?
Why did I buy the supplement in the first place?
After all, if you’ve read through our site, you’ll see that we mostly advocate for whole plant-based foods.
And that’s definitely our main focus, because you need that solid foundation of everyday nutrition to achieve optimal health.
Still, even if you tick all the boxes in your daily diet, some health issues may remain.
These can be disorders you’ve gotten from long-term stress, aging, an accident or even your genetics.
In other words:
Serious, long-term health problems that just won’t go away.
For me, it’s always been asthma and allergies.
Living With Asthma & Allergies
Ever since I was born, I’ve had to cope with a lot of allergies — pollen, dust, cats, dogs, you name it.
As a child, I remember being outside in late springtime with my friends — my pockets completely stuffed with tissues.
While the others were playing comfortably in the sun, I was struggling with a red, runny nose and constant sneezing.
Later, at age 11, I was also diagnosed with asthma and was handed an inhaler.
It looked something like this:
As I grew into my teens, I would come to hate it.
Every night prior to bed, before every gym class, at the start of every weight-lifting session — I just couldn’t escape it.
I sucked on that thing like I was an addict.
And, according to my doctor, I had to keep doing it.
He told my parents that I would be on it for life — “there is no cure for asthma”, he said.
My Search For Relief
Being skeptical of authority as always, I didn’t just accept the doc’s statement outright.
So, in my late teens, I started researching natural asthma remedies online.
I came across all sorts of stuff — growth hormone injections, vipassana meditation retreats, bio-resonance therapy…
These were all very advanced, time-consuming and expensive methods.
As a 17-year old student this just wasn’t doable at the time being.
And so, my search went on for several more years.
Eventually, though, the light-bulb moment came, when I was about 21 years old.
I was reading through an online forum about alternative medicine when I stumbled upon an interesting post…
This particular forum post was written by a passionate woman who claimed she cured her asthma and allergies.
And the best part?
She said she did it with nothing but diet and natural supplements.
The key, she claimed, was to:
- Consume foods that shield you from inflammation and
- Completely avoid foods that cause inflammation.
In particular, she highlighted dairy as a major contributor to asthma and allergies.
Desperate to finally dump my inhaler, I decided to give it a shot.
For at least 3 months, I would cut out all dairy and up my fruit and veg intake.
At this point, I was already a vegetarian, but I consumed a lot of pizza, milk and cheese.
Because of this, I more or less went completely vegan for 3 months, with a heavy emphasis on anti-inflammatory plant foods.
And guess what?
After cutting dairy from my life, my asthma and allergies were never the same, ever again.
A Surprising Change
After removing milk and cheese from my diet, I slowly-but-surely noticed a change in my body.
- My wheezing wasn’t as heavy as it used to be.
- I didn’t sneeze every time I went outside in springtime.
Was this it?
Could I actually get rid of this crap?
Encouraged, I stuck with it for almost 4 months before I hit a major milestone:
I completed an entire gym session at school without needing the inhaler!
The next year, I was greeted by another welcome surprise:
No pollen allergies — I mean, it was just gone.
6 years later, the changes remained.
- I no longer had sneezing fits in the spring time, and I could be close to pets without getting a stuffy nose within 10 minutes.
- Best of all, however, I no longer needed to suck on that horrible inhaler every single day.
- I could breathe freely as I did my workouts, and I could go to bed without any hassle.
When I look back on the changes I’ve made to my health, I’m incredibly grateful.
Good, But Not Great
Unfortunately, even though I cleared up most of it, some issues stayed with me through the years.
As opposed to that lady on the health forum, I never got rid of my asthma or allergies completely.
While I didn’t need to puff my inhaler daily, I still got some minor asthma symptoms in winter times, or when I slept in a dusty room.
And, while my pollen allergy was gone, I still got a runny nose and itchy eyes from petting my neighbor’s cat.
Still, I figured I had done what I could.
Besides, an 80% reduction in symptoms is something to be grateful for, right?
Since the disorders had been so reduced, I stopped trying to improve the few symptoms that still remained.
That is, until recently.
New & Exciting Discoveries
As I’ve grown older and gained experience, I’ve become more sensitive to my body and its processes.
At the same time, my knowledge of, and interest in, the study of health has increased.
This caused me to reopen my investigation into asthma and allergies.
Had I really maxed out my treatment, or could I improve my symptoms even more?
Well, almost 8 years after my initial success, I’m happy to say that I’ve hit new ground.
It would seem that the passionate lady on the health forum was right on the money all along.
Inflammation & Asthma
Do you know what’s at the center of asthma and allergies?
What is the main thing that makes your body so unbearable to deal with?
“With asthma, there is inflammation of the air passages that results in a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs.
This results in asthma symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.”
But why does your body create inflammation?
Well, believe it or not, it actually has an important function.
Good VS Bad Inflammation
When your body is invaded by unwanted organisms, like virus or bacteria, your body “sounds the alarm”.
White blood cells and their protective chemicals are then released into your blood stream and/or tissues affected by the invasion.
This results in increased blood flow, which can cause redness, swelling and a feeling of warmth.
All good and necessary for your body to protect itself from micro-invaders.
However, if you have a certain disorder (like asthma), this defense system can be triggered even though there’s no real threat.
Chronic Inflammation & “Inflamm-Aging”
As the alarm is falsely triggered over and over again, inflammation goes from being protective to damaging.
Besides being extremely uncomfortable, long-term inflammation can have serious health implications down the road.
Depending on where it’s located, long-term (chronic) inflammation can lead to:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Joint pain
- Lower back pain
- Poor sleep quality
- Receding gums
- Hair loss
- Loose and wrinkly skin
- Weight gain
- Weaker bones
- Heart disease
- Memory loss
- Increased risk of cancer
Basically, a long list of incredibly nasty things you really don’t want in your life.
Notice how pretty much all of those health problems are associated with aging?
In recent years, chronic inflammation has been identified by researchers as one of the main contributors to aging and age-related diseases.
This effect has been dubbed “inflamm-aging“.
Here’s a great presentation about the topic, by Dr. Irminne Van Dyken:
My Experience With The Extract
Considering everything I’ve talked about so far, I had two major reasons to buy Purathrive’s turmeric extract:
1. Reduce the asthma-induced inflammation of my airways — making me even less dependent on inhalers.
2. Fight low-grade inflammation across the board — slowing down the aging process.
When I scrolled through the sales page of the extract, I was impressed by the amount of research that was cited there.
Of course, I was going to buy it either way, since a friend of mine had recommended it.
Still, it was nice to see a supplement company doing their homework for once — it made me a lot less skeptical.
I went ahead and ordered 3 bottles of the liposomal turmeric extract.
A few days later, the package arrived.
Taste, Dosage & Usage
I decided to follow the recommended daily amounts of 2 ml (or 8 pumps) a day.
Out of curiosity, I tried to consume the liquid completely plain with a spoon.
Surprisingly, it’s not bad at all — it has a very faint taste of turmeric mixed with a dash of sweetness (probably the glycerin used in the extraction process).
Still, for the sake of convenience, I just dropped 8 pumps of the extract into my daily protein shake.
According to Purathrive, this is completely fine to do — as long as the liquid isn’t heated, as that could degrade the liposomes in the supplement (more on that later).
3 Months On Liposomal Turmeric Extract
Whenever I start a new health regime, I always give it 2-3 full months to check out its effects.
Our bodies are complex creations with a bunch of cycling processes — lasting changes are rarely noticed right away.
Because of this, I’ve found that just trying something for a few weeks is not enough.
With 2-3 months, however, I can more easily pinpoint what changes (if any) have happened, and what caused it.
In the first month of taking the turmeric extract, I noticed only a few small changes:
- Less muscle soreness after workouts
- Slightly increased mental alertness throughout the day
Welcome changes, to be sure, but not really worth the money.
In the start of the second month, however, things started happening:
Reduced allergic reactions (less of the itchy eyes and stuffy nose)
Then, at the end of the second month/early in the third month, I noticed one big, final benefit that I didn’t count on:
- My asthma had been so reduced that I could barely feel it anymore.
I went for two whole weeks without the need for a single puff of my inhaler!
So, did I finally do it?
Did I cure my asthma once and for all?
According to my doctor:
No — I still have asthma, technically at least.
BUT the symptoms (inflammation) have been so reduced that I barely notice it.
As mentioned, I already got rid of my need for daily inhaler puffs after cutting out dairy and upping my fruit and veg intake.
It felt great, but I still experienced some wheezing here and there — mostly when I was out in the cold weather or in dusty basements.
Still, after 3 months on liposomal turmeric extract, I’ve felt no more significant inflammation in my airways.
In fact, my inhaler has been sitting on my bedroom shelf ever since.
All in all, here’s the complete list of benefits I’ve experienced while taking the Purathrive liposomal turmeric extract:
- Less muscle soreness after workouts
- Slightly increased mental alertness throughout the day
- Reduced allergic reactions
- Near elimination of asthmatic symptoms
Was it worth the money?
I’d say so.
In the next part of this review, we’ll take a look at the research behind the supplement.
Are there any studies that back up PuraThrive’s claims?
Why did I get those specific health benefits, and could there be even more in store?
Proven Health Benefits Of Turmeric
As mentioned, turmeric has been used as a healing plant throughout history, especially by Indians, in the form of curry.
However, while there’s been plenty of anecdotal evidence, there hasn’t been much hard science behind it — until now.
Here, I’ve compiled a list of turmeric health benefits that have been documented in scientific studies.
The Two Types Of Turmeric Extract
Before we dive into the list, though, it’s important that we make something clear:
Not all turmeric extracts are the same.
As of now, two types exist:
- Isolated curcumin
- Full-spectrum turmeric
Isolated curcumin is the form you’ll find in most so-called turmeric supplements these days.
Even though it has many potential health benefits, it’s simply not as effective as it could be.
This is mainly because isolated curcumin has been found to be poorly absorbed by the human body.
According to Purathrive, this is because you need the full range of compounds in turmeric, which can not be found in the highly-isolated supplements.
That’s why their extract is made with a different technique — one that uses organic, full-spectrum turmeric.
So, when we discuss the following health benefits, keep in mind that we’re talking about the full-spectrum kind — which includes curcumin plus hundreds of other compounds.
Proven Benefit #1: Reduces Inflammation
As mentioned, this was my number one reason for buying the extract and the biggest benefit I experienced.
Since chronic inflammation has been so strongly connected to major diseases and age-related illnesses (“inflamm-aging”), we should do what we can to prevent or reduce it.
Turmeric has long been linked to anti-inflammatory activity in humans.
However, it’s been unclear whether this was due to the curcumin alone, some other compound within turmeric, or a combination.
Recent research, however, has now begun to shed light on this.
A scientific review from 2013 found that non-curcumin compounds within turmeric also showed anti-inflammatory properties — not just isolated curcumin.
These include turmerin, turmerone, elemene, curdione and many more.
So, if you want to fight inflammation with as much power as possible, opt for a full-spectrum turmeric extract.
Proven Benefit #2: Boosts & Protects Your Brain Function
Brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) is a form of growth hormone that’s present in our brains.
Lower levels of this hormone have been strongly correlated to a number of serious brain disorders, including chronic depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
A study from 2013 showed that curcumin increased levels of BDNF in rats, which resulted in an anti-depressant effect.
Remember how I mentioned that I experienced a more stable mood in the second month on the extract?
Well, seems like I’m not alone:
A recent study from March 2018 found that curcumin significantly improved mood, memory and attention in human test subjects.
This could be one of the reasons why older people in India have fewer incidents of Alzheimer’s disease and a better cognitive performance overall.
The beneficial effect is believed to be caused by a decrease in, one again, inflammation — this time in the brain.
Proven Benefit #3: Can Ward Off Heart Disease
According to a scientific review published in the journal of Pharmacological research, turmeric can protect you against certain heart disorders.
These include arrythmia (irregular heartbeat), cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle) and others.
This mostly has to do with turmeric’s strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity.
Also, turmeric extract has been shown to significantly improve blood vessel function, even in people who are already (supposedly) healthy.
Keep in mind that cardiovascular disease can develop over several decades.
When it reaches a critical point, it can become life-threatening (seemingly) out of nowhere.
With that in mind, it’s best to take preventive measures early on by having a heart-healthy lifestyle and diet.
Turmeric could be a part of that.
Proven Benefit #4: Promotes Healthy Digestion
Turmeric can aid your digestive system in a number of different ways.
Firstly, it’s been shown to improve bile flow.
Bile is extremely important in the digestive process.
It contains acids that are critical for proper digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins.
Secondly, in Ayurvedic (traditional Hindu) medicine, turmeric has long been used as a natural remedy for common stomach problems like gas, bloating and cramping.
These effects were confirmed by researchers as early as in 1989.
In a study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, turmeric was found to be highly effective against indigestion.
After only 7 days of daily turmeric consumption, 87% of the treatment group experienced symptom relief from the disorder.
Proven Benefit #5: Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, turmeric was found to have a bunch of positive effects on blood sugar levels.
The results of the study indicated that turmeric could:
- Stimulate glucose intake (by increasing expression of certain genes)
- Decrease glucose production in the liver
- Trigger insulin secretion
- Improve pancreatic cell function
- Reduce insulin resistance
Turmeric was shown to be extremely good at stabilizing blood sugar levels.
The plant can also help those who are suffering from prediabetic symptoms.
A long-term study from 2012 followed two groups of people who were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
For 9 months, one group consumed a daily curcumin supplement, while the other took a placebo.
When the study concluded, 16.4% of the people in the placebo group had unfortunately gotten diabetes.
And in the curcumin group?
Not a single person developed type 2 diabetes in the entire 9-month period of taking the extract.
Proven Benefit #6: Helps Your Skin Stay Healthy
An extensive study from 2003 showed that curcumin restricts a particular enzyme called elastase.
If left unchecked, this enzyme hinders elastin from forming, which could lead to premature aging of your skin.
Together with collagen, elastin is a critical component in youthful-looking skin.
It’s responsible for making it elastic (hence the name), pliable and smooth.
Turmeric also contains potent antioxidants including vitamin C, E and, of course, curcumin.
Antioxidants are your first line of defense against free radicals.
If free radicals run rampant, they can cause premature aging of your skin, leading to wrinkles, brown spots and sagginess.
Thankfully, getting enough antioxidants in your diet can significantly reduce the damage by intercepting the free radicals.
Proven Benefit #7: Improve Detoxification
The industrial revolution has given us a ton of useful technologies and a much higher standard of living.
At the same time, however, it has brought us a number of new health risks.
A big one is pollutants.
Many modern countries have gotten better at regulating pollution and toxicity levels, but the situation is still far from perfect.
Our bodies are still routinely exposed to toxic compounds.
They’re in our food, water, air, building materials, plastics — almost impossible to avoid altogether.
Thankfully, your body has its own detoxification system.
As long as you give it the right fuel, it can take care of most pollutants before they reach critical mass.
Among other things, the healing root stimulates your liver — enhancing its ability to cleanse your body of heavy metals and other dangerous toxins.
What Is Liposomal?
Ok, so turmeric can give you a bunch of powerful health benefits.
But what’s with the word “liposomal” in the product title?
Well, you know how most supplements come either in the form of tablets or capsules?
Liposomes are simply another form of delivering nutrients to your body.
They’re basically microscopic spherical sacs, which look something like this:
In the case of Purathrive’s turmeric extract, they use an advanced form of it, called micelle liposomes.
Usually, if you take a tablet or capsule, parts of the supplement may be broken down by digestive juices and enzymes.
According to Purathrive, these tiny molecular spheres prevent that from happening.
The micelle liposomes deliver the extract through your digestive system without it being degraded.
This allows it to enter your blood stream and cells fully intact.
And their claims aren’t unfounded, either.
One study from 2014 showed that a micelle liposomal delivery had up to 185 times greater absorption than regular curcumin.
As mentioned in the study, regular curcumin’s bioavailability is actually very poor.
If you’ve taken a turmeric/curcumin supplement before without much effect, this is probably why.
There’s still research to be done on liposomes and their effectiveness.
Still, this could very well be one of the reasons why people are having greater success with this extract than with other similar ones.
What Is Fulvic Acid?
Another major selling point of the extract is the fact that they added something called fulvic acid.
It’s an acid that contains 77 macro and trace minerals, which are created in tiny amounts by millions of microbes.
This creation can only take place while the microbes are breaking down plant matter in a soil with plenty of oxygen.
Since this process is so complex, fulvic acids are very hard to make on demand.
Ok, so what?
Does it actually add something to the extract, or is it just a sales pitch?
Proven Benefits & Uses
On top of the liposomal delivery, the fulvic acid makes the extract even more potent.
In the supplement world, fulvic acid is known as a “nutrient booster”.
This is because it helps our bodies better absorb and make use of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Together, the fulvic acid and liposomal delivery makes for a powerful pairing.
It seems like Purathrive put a lot of resources into this one-two punch combo, to make sure the absorption rate was maximized.
Is It For You?
So, I’ve told you about my experience with Purathrive’s turmeric extract.
We’ve also covered the proven benefits of turmeric/curcumin, liposomal delivery and fulvic acid.
But the question remains:
Is it a good supplement for YOU?
Well, first off, are you’re suffering from a disorder that causes inflammation?
I’m talking about things like:
- Crohn’s disease
- Chronic stress
- Sleep deprivation
If so, I’d strongly recommend that you try it out for a month or two.
The turmeric extract might not cure you disorder, which in my case was asthma/allergies.
However, based on my experience, it can reduce the resulting inflammation which damages your body and makes your life worse.
If you’ve been living with inflammation for a long time (like me), you know just how valuable such relief can be.
Slowing Down The Aging Process
If you don’t suffer from this type of disorder, you can still benefit immensely from lowering inflammation overall.
Since chronic inflammation is so heavily involved in the aging process (DNA damage), it’s important to lower it as much as possible.
This has become more of a focus for me as I’m progressing through my 30s.
If you want to stay healthy and attractive for as long as possible (and who doesn’t?), I suggest you invest in lowering inflammation, too.
Do this with supplementation as well as exercise, diet, sleep and stress management.
As mentioned, while turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, it also has other proven health benefits:
- Boosts and protects your brain function
- Defends against heart disease
- Promotes healthy digestion
- Regulates your blood sugar levels
- Helps your skin stay healthy
- Improves detoxification
Most of these effects, however, can be quite subtle, and may only be felt in the long-term — maybe never.
Because of this, I can’t say for sure if the extract will provide you with these benefits, even though they are well-documented.
Still, I view these as possible bonuses to a supplement that’s already proven itself useful to me.
It seems I’m not alone in my experience, since the extract has over 200 5-star reviews on Amazon.
The reason I bought the turmeric extract, and why I recommend it to you, is because it’s so potent at fighting inflammation.
If that’s something you want in your life, I’d say you should give it a try.