We can’t guarantee eternal youth, but we can limit ageing, says Christophe Lépine, CEO and founder of Curcumaxx

In 2011, CEO Christophe Lépine founded Curcumaxx, which is  headquartered “in a small village near Toulouse.” Another company, in Andorra, is dedicated to the Andorran market and the development of all curcuma-based products in Europe. In the future, the company plans to develop two of the world’s biggest markets: the United States and Russia.

We talk to Christophe about the benefits of curcuma.

Interview: Irina Rybalchenko

Curcuma is a plant whose root is used as a spice and colouring agent, as well as in the medical field. What is its most important quality?

Curcuma as such is not a medicine, nor is an effective plant. It is simply a dietary spice containing a compound called curcumin. This is what is healthy and can be included in food supplements.

The dietary supplement does not require a prescription and can meet the needs of every individual.

Let me give you a simple example of how it works: an orange is not quite rich in vitamin C – you would have to eat eight oranges a day to get the concentration you need. Another example would be ginger root (which, like curcuma, belongs to the Zingiberaceae family). Curcuma is the same. We use its rhizome, an underground stem that is sometimes called the root. The rhizome contains only 3% active curcumin. We specialise in extracting this 3% and combining it into 100% active ingredients.

Curcuma is one of the main ingredients in Ayurveda, a traditional Indian and Chinese medicine that dates back over a thousand years. In India, curcuma is often mixed with milk to make a vitamin drink. And what about Europe?

India is the motherland of curcuma. Despite very high levels of pollution there, its people have good immunity because the body’s defence at cellular level, thanks to curcumin, begins at birth, when the mother feeds her baby.

In the Western world, we don’t have this tradition. That’s why Westerners are advised to treat illnesses as a preventive measure.

In fact, daily consumption of curcumin acts as cellular protection, limiting the risk of disease. What’s more, curcumin prevents viruses from entering the body, heals wounds and protects the gastric flora. In other words, in general, it’s an effective active ingredient that defends the body.

What is the best way to consume this product to see its effects?

As noted previously, one gram of curcuma root contains around 3% active ingredient. If you’re feeling well, taking 30 mg a day, as a preventive measure, will limit the risk of disease. By following two one-month or one-and-a-half-month courses of treatment, (e.g., October-November and March-April), you limit the risk of viral illnesses (sore throats, flu, etc.). It’s a boost to the immune system.

Around the age of 30-40, you need to start thinking more seriously about prevention and then treatment.

If you already have a pathology, you need 140 to 150 mg of active ingredient a day.

Curcuma is considered the elixir of youth. Is this true?

Absolutely, because it’s all about protecting the cells. The more we protect our cells, the less they age. We can’t guarantee eternal youth, but we can limit ageing.

Do you personally take curcumin and for how long?

I’ve been taking curcumin for about 20 years and I feel perfectly well!

Curcumaxx develops and offers a range of food supplements, mainly composed of curcumin and curcuminoids. What is their main value?

In Europe, according to the legislative nomenclature, we are authorised to use anti-inflammatories for headaches, joint pain, muscle pain and painful menstruation. With a good dose of curcumin, pain disappears in 20 minutes. This has been verified.

Anti-inflammatories are considered irreplaceable in the sports’ world. That’s why we sponsored the Education First cycling team for two years, giving them the benefit of our products.

What’s more, curcumin ensures a good pH balance, which is responsible for regulating psychological stress and enabling the body to sleep well. And a good night’s sleep is known to promote rapid recovery.

Are there any contraindications to taking curcumin?

Curcuma thins the blood. Contraindications include hepatitis, gastritis, ulcers, vascular disease and glaucoma.

Given what scientific studies have shown, consuming curcuma is not at all a good idea if you suffer from kidney stones.

You have the Ecocert and Nature & Progrès quality certificates. What does this mean? Is it difficult to obtain quality certificates in France?

Curcumaxx products are certified by Ecocert (a private body recognised by the state) and by Nature & Progrès. We began by offering drinkable solutions and have since developed curcuma into capsules, joint and muscle gel to soothe inflammatory conditions, and so on.

The Nature & Progrès certificate commits us to traceability, from the root to the finished product and in terms of composition. It is much more difficult to obtain this certificate than Ecocert.

The rhizome is imported and inspected by Ecocert before and on arrival. The controls are standard: they check for the absence of lead, mercury and pesticides, but they also check the curcuminoid content, which must be over 95%.

Curcumaxx is made in France to strict specifications.

It’s important to respect the dosages indicated on the products.

Where are your production facilities located?

To extract the active ingredient and manufacture the finished product, a food additive, we have been working with farmers in India, who have been supplying us with rhizomes for the last 15 years. The finished product is manufactured near Toulouse.

Where can we buy your products?

These are natural products certified at European level, so they can be found in organic shops. The products can also be bought via our website.

We offer drinkable solutions (the most effective ones for rapid relief of inflammation) and capsules (the most practical and comfortable form for daily preventive treatment).

How do you plan to develop your business?

According to statistics, two out of four people have the problems described above or suffer from chronic illnesses. We’re expanding in Europe (we have distributors in Portugal, Switzerland and Belgium); we’ve also moved closer to the United States, and we’re exploring the prospects of entering the Russian market. We hope to find a specialised distributor who can organise sales to the Russian population. If there is a demand, we will find the ways and means to meet it.

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