My GNC Turmeric Curcumin Review – Is It Worth The High Price?

My GNC Turmeric Curcumin Review - Is It Worth The High Price?

It’s time for my GNC Turmeric Curcumin review, a supplement that I chose mainly because of the brand. I’m quite familiar with GNC and I know they have some really good products overall. I really appreciate that they have a more natural source, compared to others.

But when it comes to their turmeric supplement, I wasn’t really thrilled with it. It has a lot of good parts, but I feel like it could have done more for me. At least that’s what I expected, considering I’m a fan of this brand. 

So let me give you my full view about this product, with both its good and bad points. 

Note: My review is based on my experience with this supplement, so it may or may not agree with other reviews you find. I am not trying to praise/criticize the product or the company, I am simply telling my personal opinion about it. 


So Let’s Get To The Review

My GNC Turmeric Curcumin Review - Is It Worth The High Price?Full Name: Herbal Plus Turmeric Curcumin 500 mg from GNC

Quantity : 100 capsules

Best Actual Price: $34.99

Where I Bought It From: Ebay

Designed For: Inflammation and every form of arthritis that involves swelling. You can use it for rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis and any joint pain caused by inflammation. I don’t really recommend it in osteoarthritis, because inflammation isn’t really the problem there

My Rating: 4.50 out of 10. Maybe the 1000 mg version would get a higher score, but not a huge one anyway

Worth Buying?: No, not in my opinion. 100 pills for $35 sounds great, but I needed more than one pill per day. Once I increased the dose, I also dealt with side effects, so I just had to give it up.

An essential thing is that the 500 mg version doesn’t have any bioperine, so you’re not getting the whole quantity of curcuminoides from the pills. So overall it’s not really worth it, and the price is really high in my opinion


What I Liked About It

  • You can find it in lots of website, I think they even sell it in shops and drugstores
  • On paper, one bottle should last 100 days because you’re taking one pill per day (but in reality it’s not that good)
  • There’s a pretty high quantity of curcuminoides, 475 mg to be exact. Compared to most supplement, that is 4 times more
  • The brand has lots of experience in supplements and quality praises


What I Didn’t Like About It

  • There’s no bioperine in the 500 mg version, which reduces the dose of curcminoides that is absorbed to less than 50%
  • One pill didn’t work for me, so I had to increase the dose to 4 to notice some big change
  • Though 4 pill really worked, I also suffered from a bad diarrhea so I had to stop the pills (and I got better pretty short after)
  • The 1000 mg version has bioperine, unlike the 500 mg one. That even though they have the same label, name and everything, it’s only the dose that is different on the front label
  • I don’t think a pill per day would do for some with arthritis or joint pain
  • Overall, it’s really expensive for how it works. It looks like a great deal initially, but I finished one bottle in about a month, which is really short


My GNC Turmeric Curcumin Review - Is It Worth The High Price?




PRO #1 – High Dose Of Curcuminoides

My GNC Turmeric Curcumin Review - Is It Worth The High Price?That’s probably the first thing that caught my eye about this supplement. I usually take a look at the ingredients first, as they are the most important factor, in my opinion.

But I don’t want to talk about the ingredients right now, because they sort of disappointed me (I’ll tell you more on this below). 

What I really liked, though, was their dose. I bought the 500 mg version, which contains 500 mg of Turmeric extract. That is about 475 mg of curcuminoides, which is definitely a great number.

Imagine that my #1 recommended supplement contains about 100 mg and it relieves my pain so well. So on paper, 475 mg should do a lot more, like relieve my pain completely. 

But unfortunately, that’s just on paper because that didn’t happen in reality. Anyway, I will tell you more about that a few lines below. 

The point is that, at first sight, I was really hopeful about this supplement, because of the dose of curcuminoides it contains. This ingredient doesn’t work that well alone, but 475 mg still looks amazing. In fact, I don’t know many supplements with such a high dose, so thumbs up for GNC’s product. 


PRO #2 – It Lasts A Lot, On Paper

My GNC Turmeric Curcumin Review - Is It Worth The High Price?If there’s one thing that I really like about GNC’s supplement, it’s surely this one.

One bottle contains 100 capsules, which is a pretty impressive number itself. Most supplements contain about 30-60 pills per bottle, which is quite normal for us because that’s the standard on the market right now. Yeah, they do cost at least $10 less, but that’s another thing. 

So considering there are 100 pills inside, I thought that the label would recommend taking about 3 per day.  I’m saying that based on most supplements I tried.

Well, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that you only need to take 1 pill per day.

Except the fact that it’s really comfortable (I will not insist on that, don’t worry), it’s also going to last a lot. I’ve done a few calculations and if I’m not wrong, that would mean about 3 months and a bit. 

So that is definitely a lot of time, which is pretty surprising for a turmeric supplement. As I said, most of them are made to last only one month per bottle. Obviously, you might have to take more pills if you don’t see an improvement. In fact, that is very possible, because it was my case. But I will discuss that later on. 

Now there’s also a bad part, because you would have to store it properly and that can be harder if you use the same bottle for 3 months. I mean it’s easier for the capsules to get damaged if the bottle is reopened for such a long period, compared to one that is opened 3 times less. But that’s only a possible problem. 


PRO #3 – Price Is Pretty Low, At First Sight

When I first checked out this supplement, I was pretty taken aback by its price. I don’t really like to pay a lot for a turmeric supplement, because I know I can get a great one for about $23. So I wouldn’t normally spend $35 because it’s a lot.

That’s probably what you’re also thinking at first, I did exactly the same. But if you analyze the things, this supplement isn’t as expensive as it seems.

So for $35 you’re getting 100 pills, which is enough for 100 days. That means about 3 months and a few days. Considering you’re taking one pill per day, that’s how long it would last. So far, it’s great. That would mean about 35 cents per day, which is a great deal. 

But there’s only one problem. Judging after my experience, you might need more than one pill per day. In fact, that’s quite a high probability if you have arthritis or joint pain. So that means about 70 cents per day, which isn’t a lot, but it’s not that impressive anymore.

But anyway, this wasn’t the point. It’s not 100% sure that you will need more pills, so let’s take the facts as they are. On paper, the price is really good if you take a look at the whole picture. $35 for 100 pills isn’t that bad, is it? 


CON #1 – No Bioperine

I have to mention once again that I will refer to the 500 mg version, because that’s the one I tried. There’s also a 1000 mg one, but I noticed it’s a bit harder to find (and obviously, a lot more expensive).

Well, the major downside of GNC’s supplement is that it doesn’t contain any bioperine among its ingredients.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with turmeric and curcumin, you should know that our body doesn’t absorb these herbs very well and the biggest part of them is eliminated very soon. More than 50%, from what I know. 

But scientists discovered that certain substances can improve the absorption significantly. Bioperine is probably the most popular one, as lots of good supplements use it. It’s actually the extract of black pepper and it only needs 5-10 mg to make a difference. According to studies, it increases curcumin’s absorption with up to 2000%. 

So that’s why I never recommend turmeric supplements that have no bioperine. If they contain another helper, it’s completely fine, it doesn’t need to be bioperine. But that’s the most affordable choice, so that’s why lots of supplements use it. 

For this reason, I couldn’t possibly like this supplement, no matter how much I try. No bioperine means that over 50% of it won’t get absorbed, so you’re taking 475 mg for nothing. Out of there, I think there would be about 250 absorbed, or maybe even less. 

Judging after my experience, that’s a really big downside. It’s a lot more essential than the good price or the great quantity. They’re all pointless if there’s not the right thing inside.


CON #2 – Different Ingredients In 500 Vs. 1000 mg Version

My GNC Turmeric Curcumin Review - Is It Worth The High Price?To be honest, that’s the thing that really made me question this supplement for real. I still don’t understand the reason behind. 

As I said, I chose the 500 mg version of this product because it was cheaper (at $35, I know) and I found it in a more convenient place. After a while, I just happened to take a look at the 1000 mg version, for no reason.

So logically speaking, there should be only one difference between them – the quantity of curcuminoides. I guess everyone agrees here. Well, guess what?

It seems that the 1000 mg version also has 20 mg of black pepper extract, aka bioperine. That’s a great thing because bioperine would make a huge difference, but why does only the 1000 mg version have it? Why doesn’t the 500 mg one have it too? Just because it’s cheaper (if $35 can be considered cheap)?

So I just criticized the 500 mg version for having no bioperine, and I was really surprised to see that the 1000 mg one has it. 

In my opinion, that is not fair at all. Both supplements look exactly the same, they don’t have any different names or anything. If I as a customer don’t check the ingredients of both, how could I know?

I’m not trying to criticize GNC or anything, but I really did not like this thing. It really disappointed me, so I didn’t really trust the supplement anymore.


CON #3 – Didn’t Make Miracles

Considering there were 475 mg of curcuminoides inside (and I feel better when I use a thing with 100 mg), I was expecting for the best from the supplement. 

But once again, I got pretty disappointed. 

So I started out with one pill per day for several week, but it didn’t seem like I was getting better. In fact, I don’t think I felt any big difference. My joints were still swollen (I had RA), I still woke up with stiffness and the pain was still there, and pretty terrible. 

Once I noticed nothing was changing, I decided to take 2 pills instead of one. Yes, I started to feel an improvement, but it wasn’t very major. Other than my pain, there was nothing getting better. I still had morning stiffness and inflammation. 

At one point I even took 4 pills a day, but it wasn’t for long. In that time I was getting considerably better in terms of pain, and it was also my swelling decreasing.

But I started experiencing diarrhea short after, which I knew that was caused by the pills. Sometimes turmeric can cause that, but I noticed it happens when you take a higher dose than recommended. Obviously, I wasn’t going to hurt myself just to heal another problem. 

So I soon gave up this supplement, because it was quite clear that it wasn’t the right thing. Maybe I reacted differently, but I don’t think so, because I only got diarrhea when I took a very high dose. 

I’m really curious about the 1000 mg version, because it also has bioperine so I think the effect should be better with one pill. But a bottle costs about $50 and it only has 60 pills. So the risk is not worth it, in my opinion.


CON #4 – Be Careful With The Side Effects

So as I said before, if you have arthritis or chronic joint pain, I don’t think that one pill per day will be enough for you. Most likely, you won’t get any big relief so you will try more pills instead. 

That surely works, as 4 pills really decreased my pain and my joints were a lot better overall. But I got diarrhea really fast, and I think I would have got it anyway if I continued even with 3 pills instead of 4. 

So you’re somehow treating your pain but getting another problem instead. In my case, that’s how it was. 

Therefore, I don’t really know what to recommend you as a way of taking the pills. I would probably tell you to choose another supplement instead, but that’s just my personal opinion. So if you already have GNC’s supplement (or decided on it), I think you should start with 2 pills. That’s what I would do. 

If it seems to help, reduce the dose to one after a while. But if it doesn’t, you can try taking 3 pills. If you experience any sudden problem, just stop it. If you’re lucky enough and you don’t, 3 pills should reduce your pain, so you should notice an improvement. 

But anyway, take big care if you take more than 2 pills. You will see if it’s worth or not for your case. 




My Final Verdict – Is It Worth The Money?

Short answer: Not really. The 500 mg version I tried doesn’t have any bioperine, so it didn’t work very well. I needed a very high dose to see a change, but unfortunately I also got a really bad side effect. So I can’t say it did its job, though I was quite sure it would. 

Therefore, I would not buy this supplement again. I personally don’t recommend it, even though there are some pretty good things about it, starting with the brand. I don’t know if it was just me or not, but judging only after the ingredients, it was not just me.

So if you need another reason why I didn’t like it, it’s the price.

I know I said it’s really good overall, and it really is on paper. But in reality, I needed a lot more than 1 pill per day, so I finished the bottle in about a month.

So paying $35 for 475 mg of curcuminoides isn’t really worth it, in my opinion. You’re not even getting those 475 mg, because of the lack of bioperine. So there are a lot of things that don’t look good in GNC’s turmeric supplement. 

I personally think it’s way too expensive, but if you’re willing to try it, you’re completely free to do it. In fact, I would love to hear your opinion about it in the future. But for now, I continue to recommend my #1 turmeric supplement, which is cheaper and a lot more valuable, in my opinion. 

Heather Pharm.D.

Heather Tracy Foley is a Pharmacy graduate, Blogger and Author with a vast experience in health sciences. She has a particular interest in joint pain and rheumatology and spent several years studying health problems. You can find her on Pinterest or via email.

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