Get To Know Tetrahydrocurcumin (THC)
When 24hr Supplement decided to develop the most effective supplement to guard daily health, they asked their team of scientists to investigate Turmeric’s potential as a core ingredient. What they found is remarkable. Below is a scientific comparison of the various health benefits of both curcumin and its lesser-known but powerful partner, tetrahydrocurcumin, which are both bonded with zinc in 24hr Supplement’s key ingredient TurmiZn-OS™.
Tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) is a metabolite derived from curcumin, which is found in Turmeric. THC has high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities (Aggarwal 2014) and it provides protection against ultraviolet (UVB) radiation (Trivedi 2017). These properties render its usefulness in cosmetic applications. As THC scavenges and prevents the formation of free radicals generated by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, chemicals or other environmental stress factors that ages the skin, its inclusion in the cosmetic products can function as anti-aging agent. THC also inhibits tyrosinase, which inhibits the skin from producing melanin. Thus, THC in cosmetic products can act as skin lightning agent. In addition, THC helps to improve the shelf life of topical formulations by inhibiting the autoxidation of fat components that used as an excipient in the formulation of cosmetics. As THC is colorless and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, it can be used in anti-aging formulations, skin lightening and brightening products and topical formulations designed to maintain general skin health and beauty (Nagore 2018). Besides its cosmetic and skin care properties, THC has medicinal value for skin such as wound healing and in the treatment of vitiligo. THC has shown to enhance wound healing activity and reduce epithelialization time (Bhaskar Rao 2015). Interestingly, topical application of THC led to the repigmentation of skin in vitiligo patients. However, the repigmentation effect was slightly more when THC was combined with narrowband UVB monotherapy (Asawanonda 2010).
Tetrahydrocurcumin lacks α,β-unsaturated carbonyl moiety and is white in color. It displays better bioavailability and different biological activity and molecular mechanisms than curcumin. It has been demonstrated that tetrahydrocurcumin displays better solubility and chemical stability than curcumin. The superior oral absorption of tetrahydrocurcumin has been documented in in vivo studies.
Tetrahydrocurcumin exhibits better gastrointestinal (GI) absorption than curcumin, however, it may also be more resistant to hydrolysis in plasma. It has been recognized as a superior antioxidant that is responsible for its chemo-preventive efficacy against various diseases, including hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes, neurotoxicity, cardiovascular disease, hepatotoxicity, and liver fibrosis. In contrast to curcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin does not generate ROS because it lacks conjugated bonds in the central seven-carbon chain. The anti-oxidative mechanism of tetrahydrocurcumin has been shown to be due to its ability to scavenge radicals by phenyl hydroxyl groups. Besides scavenging free radicals, tetrahydrocurcumin exhibits anti-oxidative activity by increasing anti-oxidative enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione-S-transferase. Tetrahydrocurcumin is well known for its anti-oxidative, anti-diabetic, and cytoprotective activities. Tetrahydrocurcumin is also less cytotoxic than curcumin and displays cytoprotective properties against free radicals-induced cellular damage and death. Studies have also suggested that tetrahydrocurcumin is more potent than curcumin in the prevention and treatment of various cancers. Like curcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin has been also shown to extend the lifespan of experimental animals.
Curcumin is a yellow crystalline substance that is isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa). It possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, and immunomodulatory activities. Most of the these activities have been assigned to methoxy, hydroxyl, α,β-unsaturated carbonyl moiety or to diketone groups present in curcumin. Curcumin is used as a traditional medicine against various chronic diseases, including cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, respiratory, pulmonary, autoimmune, metabolic, and other various types of diseases. It is also found to be effective against anorexia, cough, coryza, hepatic diseases, and sinusitis. Curcumin exhibits high anti-inflammatory activity. Curcumin can bind and inhibit numerous targets including DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase-1, heme oxygenase-1, Nrf2, β-catenin, cyclooxygenase-2, NF-kappaB, inducible nitric oxide synthase, nitric oxide, amyloid plaques, reactive oxygen species, vascular endothelial growth factor, cyclin D1, glutathione, P300/CBP, 5-lipoxygenase, cytosolic phospholipase A2, prostaglandin E2, inhibitor of NF-kappaB kinase-1, -2, P38MAPK, p-Tau, tumor necrosis factor-α, forkhead box O3a.
However, the health-promoting utility of curcumin is constrained due to its hydrophobic nature, water insolubility, chemical instability, poor bioavailability, rapid metabolism, and systemic elimination. We have found that curcumin’s limitation can be circumvented by chelating (bonding) it with zinc and tetrahydrocurcumin, forming an extremely utilitarian metal-complex the body can absorb and benefit from all of these properties. The curcumin-zinc-tetrahydrocurcumin complex has been named TurmiZn-OS™ and is patent pending.
Zinc becomes the third player in the triple-complex TurmiZn-OS™ which significantly enhances the properties of curcumin, tetrahyrdocurcumin as well as zinc itself.
Scientists have found overwhelming evidence that metal-curcumin complexes, such as zinc-curcumin found in TurmiZn-OS™, not only solve curcumin’s bioavailability limitation but deliver a wide range of health-supporting properties, that they coined as “multi-anti” effects, in the most comprehensive review recently published in the noted peer-reviewed International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
The study, “Metal–Curcumin Complexes in Therapeutics: An Approach to Enhance Pharmacological Effects of Curcumin, found the zinc-curcumin metal complex has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory,antiviral, antimicrobial, as well as having neuroprotective and immunomodulatory properties that aim at various disease states such as cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, neurological disorders, diabetes, and ulcers to name a few.
Zinc is also one of the micronutrients with the strongest evidence for immune support (Gombart). Zinc is a key nutrient in maintaining immunity because it activates the enzymes that help in breaking down proteins present in viruses and bacteria. This helps decrease the spread of infection. It also contributes when the innate response gets activated, by attaching to the cells (with the help of a protein), that are the first to respond to infections. Zinc can then help fight against the infection, and thereby, helping support the immune system.
The breakthrough came as result in discovering TurmiZn-OS™ molecular complex allows for tremendous increase in bioavailability of curcumin and tetrahydrocurcumin while simultaneously providing the zinc requirements for the body.
TurmiZn-OS™ Efficacy in the Immune System
The efficacy of TurmiZn-OS™ stems from its inherent ability to cross cell membranes far more readily than curcumin alone. In lab experiments, TurmiZn-OS™ readily crosses cells membranes found in the intestinal tract five times better than curcumin. Additionally, scientists have used animal studies to verify TurmiZn-OS™ is found in blood after 2 hours of oral consumption and was three times better than curcumin and demonstrating absorption rates. But as said before, it’s not enough to simply increase bioavailability of curcumin to increase efficacy. The real magic of TurmiZn-OS™ becomes a highly superior antioxidant compared to curcumin. 24hr Supplement performed lab tests showing TurmiZn-OS™ is 65 times better in eliminating free radicals than just curcumin. When free radicals are eliminated in the body, a host of beneficial health effects can start occurring for maintaining immunity. An example of these health benefits of TurmiZn-OS™ on the immune system are related to the levels of certain molecules called cytokines. Cytokines are a diverse group of small proteins that are secreted by cells for the purpose of intercellular signaling and communication. During times of stress on the body and immune system a reaction called the Cytokine Storm occurs. Cytokines get released and cause life-threatening systemic inflammatory syndromes involving immune-cell hyperactivation. The Storm can be triggered by various stresses, pathogens like Covid 19, cancers, autoimmune conditions, and monogenic disorders. Reducing cytokine release from stressed cells or enhancing certain cytokines is important for maintaining the immune system and overall health. Scientists at 24hr Supplement have shown that TurmiZn-OS™ can modulate disruptive cytokines in the Storm while helping beneficial ones be released. For example, TurmiZnOS™ can modulate the cytokines IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-15, IL-18 by some 67% to 80%, as well as IL-17 in cells stressed by Lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Simultaneously, TurmiZn-OS™ can help the production of the beneficial cytokine GM-CSF in these cells.
TurmiZn-OS™ harnesses the powers of curcumin and tetrahydrocurcumin by bonding them with zinc. With increased stability and bioavailability, TurmiZn-OS™ delivers the promised beneficial health effects in a vastly improved manner. This single ingredient, which is virtually tasteless and odorless, becomes a highly practical ingredient to add to daily supplements and in functional foods and beverages. In turn, the human body will be able to fight off the stresses of oxidation and infiltration of free radicals that cause disease, inflammation and other age-related conditions to maintain normal health.
Studies show that TurmiZn-OS™ is a more powerful antioxidant than curcumin or tetrahydrocurcum alone because it can be absorbed 5x better, allowing its free radical scavenging activity to be more effective. TurmiZn-OS™ also normalizes certain cytokines levels, which has been shown to be prevalent in high stress situations, including fighting off pathogens like viruses and bacterial infections. The practical application of TurmiZn-OS™ can be found in 24hr Supplement’s Immunity and Joint Support formulas, serving as the core ingredient.
Aggarwal BB, Deb L, Prasad S. Curcumin differs from tetrahydrocurcumin for molecular targets, signaling pathways and cellular responses. Molecules. 2014 Dec 24;20(1):185-205.
Trivedi MK, Gangwar M, Mondal SC, Jana S. Protective effects of tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) on fibroblast and melanoma cell lines in vitro: it's implication for wound healing. J Food Sci Technol. 2017 Apr;54(5):1137-1145.
Nagore D, Pawar P. Skin lightening effect of tetrahydrocurcumin. J Dermatol Dis. 14th World Conference on Cosmetic Dermatology & Skin Allergies. November 26-28, 2018 | Athens, Greece.
Bhaskar Rao A, Prasad E, Deepthi SS, Haritha V, Ramakrishna S, Madhusudan K, Surekha MV, Venkata Rao YS. Wound healing: a new perspective on glucosylated tetrahydrocurcumin. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2015 Jul 13;9:3579-88.
Asawanonda P, Klahan SO. Tetrahydrocurcuminoid cream plus targeted narrowband UVB phototherapy for vitiligo: a preliminary randomized controlled study. Photomed Laser Surg. 2010 Oct;28(5):679-84.