Turmeric is perhaps the most researched dietary supplement in modern science. This powder maintained prominence for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine as a holistic approach to healing common ailments, while bringing very few side effects in the process.
Evidence continues to emerge, demonstrating that our ancestors may have been correct about the numerous health benefits of turmeric. Study after study has verified a wide variety of claims. As a result, we’ve witnessed the rapid emergence of turmeric supplements on store shelves worldwide.
What is the recommended turmeric dosage, and how much turmeric per day should you take to achieve maximum benefits? This article will explore daily dosing recommendations, the safe amount of turmeric to take daily, and more.
- Our Picks: Best Turmeric Supplement
What is Turmeric Curcumin?
Turmeric powder is the primary spice in the Indian dish, curry. This powder derives from the ground-up roots of a species of ginger plant known as Curcuma longa. The curcumin content within turmeric provides the bright orange color as well as the majority of turmeric’s benefits.
The problem is that turmeric powder only contains about 3.14% curcumin, which is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. When you’re buying a supplement, it should contain at least 150-250 mg of curcumin per serving to have any real positive effect.
Another issue with turmeric is the poor bioavailability (absorption) into the bloodstream. The body struggles to make use of turmeric by itself without the help of bioavailability enhancers, such as piperine (black pepper extract).
Piperine, usually in the form of trademarked ingredient BioPerine, significantly increases the absorption of turmeric by as much as 2000%. Products that contain AstraGin will see an additional 92% boost in absorption, as well. A good product will contain both, which allows the body to maximize the effects of curcumin.
Turmeric Benefits and Uses
Why do people use turmeric, and what are the health benefits? Curcumin’s therapeutic properties offer numerous practical uses in daily life. Here are several of the proven benefits.
- It Lowers Inflammation: Turmeric is an excellent natural anti-inflammatory. It helps reduce chronic inflammation associated with arthritis and joint pain, migraines, and inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. It also acts as an antihistamine and reduces asthma flare-ups, and may help manage back pain.
- It’s a Potent Antioxidant: Curcumin is a common cold and flu remedy, and a powerful antioxidant with a demonstrated ability to reduce oxidative stress throughout the body. Turmeric’s disease-fighting potential has shown promise as a complementary treatment for thyroid disorders, fibromyalgia symptoms, and cancer.
- It’s Good for Heart Health: Studies show that curcumin can enhance vascular endothelial function, which typically declines with age. This attribute improves blood flow, which has shown beneficial effects for regulating blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels.
- It Manages Weight: Researchers have discovered that turmeric has an innate ability to improve metabolic disorders by increasing insulin sensitivity and enhancing lipid metabolism. Thus, curcumin may be useful for people with diabetes or individuals trying to lose weight.
- It Enhances Brain Function: Curcumin has shown that it can preserve brain function in those with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s or dementia and also slow the progression of these conditions. Additional research shows that turmeric can improve brain health and even reduce symptoms of depression.
- It Supports Liver Health: The liver is the body’s central filtration system and is responsible for dispelling toxins from the body. Studies show that turmeric can assist the liver in its detoxification process, helping to cleanse the body of foreign substances.
- It Improves Digestion: Turmeric can also aid digestion if you struggle with certain inflammatory disorders. Curcumin can diminish uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
How much turmeric should you take per day? Some studies use a dosage between 500-2,000 mg of turmeric per day. This dose comes in the form of an extract, which contains much higher concentrations of curcumin than you’d find in turmeric root powder or food.
The World Health Organization (WHO) deems 1.4 mg per pound (0–3 mg/kg) of body weight to be the recommended allowable daily intake (ADI) for curcumin. This amount should be a safe and tolerable dosage for the vast majority of users looking to decrease arthritis pain, reduce inflammation, or improve overall health.
The best turmeric supplements will contain a mixture of 150-250 mg of curcumin and 1000-1500 mg of turmeric root powder per 2-capsule serving. Any product within this dosing range should be safe for daily use. This is the perfect starting dose that will be highly effective for most people and will allow you room to consume more should you require it.
If you are looking for an encapsulated product for health benefits, keep the following tips in mind:
- Do not buy pure turmeric root powder unless the label discloses the exact curcumin content. Otherwise, you may not be getting enough curcumin to experience the full range of benefits.
- Do not buy a turmeric supplement unless it contains some form of black pepper extract (preferably BioPerine) to increase absorption and bioavailability.
- Recommended: Make sure the product also contains AstraGin, an all-natural patented ingredient that improves absorption by an additional 92% while supporting gut health.
Can you have too much turmeric?
Studies have shown that short-term dosages as high as 8 grams of curcumin are non-toxic to humans in clinical trials. While higher dosages may be useful for some conditions, we do not recommend them for long-term use. Currently, there is not enough data available to confirm the safety or tolerability of such high dosages for extended periods.
In other words, you’re unlikely to overdose on turmeric if you’re taking an over-the-counter supplement and being somewhat reasonable with it.
How long does it take for turmeric to work?
How long do you need to take turmeric before noticing results? The answer depends on the reason you’re using a curcumin supplement. For example, turmeric starts to work almost immediately after taking it for improving overall health and providing temporary natural pain relief.
However, if you’re dealing with chronic inflammation or arthritis and joint pain, you need to stay consistent. It may take 2-4 weeks before noticing any improvement in the arthritic condition. To achieve maximum benefits, you need to remain on a steady dosing schedule for 4-8 weeks.
The results achieved also depend on many other factors, including activity levels, age, body mass, other medications, and the severity of the condition. Turmeric works well, but it’s essential to give curcumin time to build up in your system so it can reduce systemic inflammation.
What is the best time of day to take turmeric?
The best time to take turmeric supplements varies based on the individual. Most people find success taking turmeric either in the morning to start their day, or at night before bed to combat inflammation from the day’s activities.
We also recommend that you take turmeric with a meal since curcumin absorption increases when paired with healthy fats. This will also prevent the potential for stomach irritation that you may experience by taking supplements on an empty stomach.
Potential Side Effects
The side effects of turmeric are quite rare and usually moderate. Keep the following in mind when deciding on whether or not curcumin is right for you.
- Turmeric is a blood thinner that can increase the risk of bruising or bleeding. Discontinue the use of curcumin at least two weeks before any surgery or if you are using anticoagulants.
- Be extra careful if you’re using turmeric for diabetes as it may cause blood sugar to drop too low.
- Turmeric may inhibit iron absorption. If you have an iron deficiency, you may want to avoid curcumin.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not use turmeric. There is not enough reliable evidence to confirm the safety of curcumin during pregnancy.
- Curcumin may also increase the risk of kidney stone formation and can worsen symptomology associated with gallbladder disease.
- In a small number of individuals using higher dosages, turmeric may cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic reactions, or constipation.
Final Thoughts on Turmeric Curcumin Dosage
To recap, how much turmeric per day should you consume? The recommended turmeric dosage is between 150-250 mg of curcumin and 1000-1500 mg of turmeric root powder per day. This is a safe amount of turmeric to take daily and should be enough to yield significant health benefits to those who remain consistent with turmeric supplements.
- Difference between curcumin vs. turmeric
If you’re struggling with arthritis, inflammation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or any other number of issues, turmeric may be able to help. Contact your doctor or primary care physician to see if curcumin can improve your condition.