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Curcumin For Sleep and Stress Management

Last updated: January-30,2023

An Overview of Curcumin as a Stress and Sleep Management Supplement

According to an August 2020 article published on the NutraIngredients USA website, sales of stress management supplements have increased 35% year-over-year. This category mainly includes mood and sleep support products. The sales totaled almost USD 400 million (mass channels + natural channels) from January to July 2020!

Moreover, the sleep category reached USD 48.6 million in sales; a year-over-year improvement of 43%.[i] Such numbers indicate one thing – now is one of the best times to bring stress and sleep management products to the market that contain well-researched and high-quality nutraceutical ingredients.

One such ingredient that checks both boxes and has garnered the attention of consumers is curcumin. Derived from turmeric, curcumin has shown some interesting results associated with human health. Over the next few minutes, I will cover key areas you need to know about this trending nutraceutical ingredient!

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What is Curcumin?

Turmeric consists of several plant substances, but one group called the curcuminoids offer the greatest health-promoting effects.[ii] [iii] The three prominent curcuminoids (bioactive compounds) found in turmeric are demethoxycurcumin, curcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Among all these curcuminoids, curcumin is the superhero! It is the most active compound and provides optimum health benefits – thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.[iv] [v]

It’s curcumin that gives turmeric its unique flavor and color – making about 2 to 8% of most turmeric preparations.[vi]

How is Curcumin different from Turmeric?

Turmeric is from the common name of the plant called Curcuma longa, which belongs to the ginger family. Yes, it resembles ginger but has an intense hue of yellow to golden. While turmeric contains 2 to 8% curcuminoids, 75% of them are curcumin.[vii]

What Are the Properties of Curcumin?

Curcumin offers promising anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, let’s take a closer look at these.

Anti-inflammatory properties of Curcumin

Inflammation is extremely important for the body to fight foreign invaders and help stimulate the repair of tissue damage. In the absence of inflammation, the army of bacteria could take over the body and almost kill you! Short-term inflammation is tolerable and important, but when it gets chronic, it may attack the body’s tissues. Certainly, the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of disease—as well as a consequence of disease—is well established. Indeed, when we think about chronic inflammation, we generally associate it with various disease states such as arthritis or IBD. While such an association is certainly correct, it is important to remember that there are non-disease causes of inflammation that should be considered. These include diet and colder temperatures, as well as over-exercising.[viii]

Enter Curcumin’s excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory compound that can be particularly useful against inflammation induced by diet, colder temperatures, and over-exercising.[ix] [x] [xi]

Antioxidant properties of Curcumin

Oxidative damage is a contributing cause of aging. The oxidative damage process includes free radicals and extremely reactive molecules with unpaired electrons. These free radicals undergo reactions with important cellular components like proteins, fatty acids, DNA, etc. This is where antioxidants play a critical role – they help protect the body from free radicals.

Curcumin is one such potent compound that helps neutralize free radicals because of its structure.[xii] This compound has also been found to help increase the activity of the body’s antioxidant enzymes.[xiii]  So, the heroic antioxidant properties of curcumin work in two ways – it helps block the free radicals and triggers the body’s antioxidant defense.

Curcumin stimulates BNDF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor)

Neurons, otherwise known as brain cells, can form new connections, but in certain brain areas, they are found to increase and multiply in number. And one of the most important factors that participate in this process is BNDF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BNDF is a kind of growth hormone that is found in the brain. Curcumin has been found to help increase the levels of BNDF in the brain.[xiv] Such effects may cause curcumin to help improve memory and promote healthy cognitive function.[xv]

Curcumin for Stress and Stress Management

Researchers suggest that turmeric functions by helping reduce the stress hormone cortisol while helping enhance the levels of serotonin and noradrenalin.

It can also help increase the production of dopamine, that monitors human behavior while dealing with pain and pleasure. Animal research suggests that curcumin may help protect hippocampal neurons against damage caused by chronic stress.[xvi] Other animal research also suggests curcumin can lower stress-induced anxiety levels to help promote sleep.[xvii] [xviii]

Turmeric and curcumin may help boost neuron regrowth, repair DNA, increase dendrites, counter free radical damage, and boost neurotransmitters.

Studies have also indicated that curcumin triggered extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) and p38 kinases, cellular signal transduction pathways that are believed to be involved in the neuronal plasticity and stress responses’ regulations.

Curcumin Supplement Market Outlook

The global curcumin market size was valued at USD 58.4 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR OF 12.7%. By 2027, it is believed to reach USD 151.9 million![xix] This can be attributed to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Also, the fact that it falls under the category of stress and sleep management supplement ingredient has led to its popularity among consumers.

The time is right to make an entry in the market with your own curcumin supplement with the help of an experienced supplement contract manufacturer like NutraScience Labs.

With over 120 years of experience in the nutraceutical industry, the team at NutraScience Labs has been the go-to contract manufacturer for over 2,300 dietary supplement brands located in the United States and around the globe. Here are just a few reasons why:

Ready to get started? Request a free price quote or call 855-492-7388 to speak to one of our knowledgeable production specialists who will work with you every step of the way to help you create a winning curcumin supplement!


[i] https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2020/08/18/Stress-management-supplements-sales-surge-with-sleep-and-adaptogen-lines-leading-the-way

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5414457/

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514855/

[iv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3857752/

[v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3918523/

[vi] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23339049/

[vii] https://originsfunctionalmedicine.com/turmeric-curcumin-same/

[viii] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric

[ix] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12676044

[x] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304383501006553

[xi] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1357272508002550

[xii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17569207

[xiii] http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02772248.2013.829061

[xiv] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899306027144

[xv] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432812006997

[xvi] http://www.power-of-turmeric.com/curcumin-and-depression.html

[xvii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18586477

[xviii] https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/warm-milk-to-sleep

[xix] https://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/curcumin-market

May 3rd, 2021

About the Author:

Gene Bruno

Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG) - Mr. Bruno possesses over 43 years of dietary supplement industry experience. With a Master's degree in nutrition and a second Master's degree in herbal medicine, he has a proven track record of formulating innovative, evidence-based dietary supplements. Mr. Bruno currently serves as both the Senior Director of Product Innovation at Twinlab Corporation and Professor of Nutraceutical Science at Huntington University of Health Sciences.