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Published July 26, 2016
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:
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:
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.
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