Curcumin

What is curcumin?

Curcumin is a yellow-colored substance found in turmeric root. You might be more familiar with turmeric as the spice that gives many curries their bright-yellow color. Curcumin has been shown to decrease swelling (inflammation) and relieve occasional soreness.*

Should I consider taking a curcumin dietary supplement?

Curcumin appears to offer several health benefits. Research supports its use as an antioxidant.* Curcumin dietary supplements often are used to help relieve occasional aches and soreness.*

Be aware that not all curcumin is well-absorbed. Research suggests that curcumin that is bound to phospholipids, called a phytosome, has enhanced absorption and results in increased blood levels of curcumin. This means you can take less to receive the same benefits.

What are the dietary sources of curcumin?

The plant turmeric, which is used as a spice in cooking and is a constituent of curry powder, is the major source of curcumin. Turmeric powder is about three-percent curcumin, so if you regularly consume curry, you are receiving some of curcumin's health benefits. Higher amounts are available in dietary supplements.

How can curcumin affect my health?

Supplemental curcumin can benefit you in several ways:

  • Helps maintain a healthy inflammatory response in various parts of the body*
  • Provides antioxidant support*
  • Provides support for joint, eye, GI tract, liver, prostate and nerve health*
  • Provides relief from occasional soreness*

How much curcumin should I take?

  • If you are taking unmodified curcumin, the general recommended amount is 3,000 to 12,000 mg daily (3-12 grams).
  • If you are taking curcumin bound to a phytosome such as Meriva, the recommended amount can be 500 to 2,000 mg daily as this form is more easily absorbed.

Are there any side effects from taking a curcumin dietary supplement?

Studies of curcumin generally have shown it to be well-tolerated, even at high doses (up to 8,000 mg a day). However, doses of more than 6,000 milligrams a day can cause mild GI discomfort, such as gas and loose or yellow stools. If you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, stop taking curcumin and seek medical attention.

Is it safe to take a curcumin dietary supplement with other medications?

Curcumin can interact with various medications. It may:

  • Increase the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) for individuals on an anti-diabetes drug
  • Increase the risk of bleeding if used with a blood-thinning medication (anticoagulant), such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) and others
  • Interact with the drugs talinolol and sulfasalzine (Azulfidine EN-tabs)
  • Interact with certain chemotherapy drugs

If you are considering taking a curcumin dietary supplement, check with your health care professional first, especially if you are pregnant or have a health condition.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

July 26, 2016 See more In-depth

See also

  1. Add flax to your baking
  2. Are you getting enough calcium?
  3. Calcium: Building better bones
  4. Calcium
  5. Calcium supplements for men
  6. Timing calcium supplements
  7. Can vitamins help prevent a heart attack?
  8. Dietary supplements: Skip megadoses
  9. Vitamin C and mood
  10. Eye vitamins: Can they prevent or treat glaucoma?
  11. Fiber supplements
  12. Flaxseed best when ground
  13. Flaxseed for breakfast?
  14. Ground flaxseed
  15. Heartburn medicines and B-12 deficiency
  16. Herbal supplements
  17. Integrative medicine: Different techniques, one goal
  18. Kratom and pregnancy: Not a safe mix
  19. Magnesium supplements
  20. Multivitamins for kids
  21. Nutrition: Does it come in a pill?
  22. Nutrition know-how: Why whole food counts
  23. Percent Daily Value
  24. Prebiotics, probiotics and your health
  25. Prenatal vitamins
  26. Nutritional supplements
  27. Are dietary supplements right for you?
  28. Bromelain
  29. Calories and nutrients to fuel sports performance
  30. Dietary supplements: What to know before you buy
  31. Is your dietary supplement safe?
  32. Melatonin
  33. Smart practices for healthy living
  34. Tips for staying supplement savvy
  35. What are omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil?
  36. What are probiotics?
  37. What are multivitamin/mineral dietary supplements?
  38. What is Boswellia?
  39. What is ginger?
  40. What is whey protein?
  41. Vitamin C megadoses
  42. Vitamin C: An essential nutrient
  43. Vitamin D and MS: Any connection?
  44. Vitamin D: Can it prevent Alzheimer's & dementia?
  45. Vitamin D deficiency
  46. Vitamin D: Essential with calcium
  47. Vitamin D for babies
  48. Vitamin D toxicity
  49. Vitamins for MS: Do supplements make a difference?
  50. Vitamins 101
  51. What does a 'seal of approval' mean?
  52. Wheatgrass