What's the Right Dosage for Turmeric? How Much to Take for Benefits
7 minute read
It has been well documented that turmeric is the go-to spice when it comes to controlling inflammation. This bright and distinctive spice can do so much more than add flavor your curry.
Turmeric contains beneficial compounds that protect your health as well as promote overall well-being. Because of its increased popularity, supplements are available almost everywhere, and everyone is wondering just how much they should be taking. What dosage is most effective?
Taking Turmeric to Improve Health
Inflammation is a major contributing factor to numerous health concerns and diseases. While some inflammation is beneficial, chronic inflammation can be dangerous. From digestive troubles like irritable bowel syndrome to autoimmune disorders, inflammation is a real problem.
With the discovery that turmeric could effectively control inflammation, people everywhere have begun to look for turmeric supplements or find ways to add colorful spice to their meals.
It turns out you can make turmeric shakes, add some spice to each meal or look for a high-quality supplement. The key is to make sure you are getting enough to see benefits.
It is generally recommended that you need to consume between 500 to 1000mg of curcuminoids per day. This is easy to verify when it comes to supplements because you can just check the labels. When you use the actual spice, it can be more challenging to get the right amount.
It is also important to note that curcumin, the powerful anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric, is not bioavailable. This means it is not easily absorbed by your body, so the best way to ensure it is absorbed properly is to pair it with black pepper.
Many turmeric supplements also contain black pepper for this reason, but if you are cooking with the spice, you need to be sure to add pepper too. As a fat-soluble compound, it also helps to eat turmeric along with a fatty meal.
Be Careful of Turmeric Drinks and Unhealthy Ingredients
With turmeric becoming so popular for fighting inflammation, many products have been launched that claim to contain the anti-inflammatory ingredient.
Consumers need to be careful with these products because they may only contain a small dose of turmeric but fill you full of sugars and preservatives. In this case, the turmeric will not provide any anti-inflammatory benefits, and the excess sugars will increase inflammation in your gut.
The sugars in these drinks are just part of the problem. Taking turmeric supplements is not going to be the ultimate cure for inflammation if you are still following an unhealthy diet.
You will find yourself in a never-ending battle if you don’t change your diet too. Avoiding gluten and other foods that may cause allergic reactions, and cutting back on saturated fats, sugar, and processed foods will support the anti-inflammatory efforts of any turmeric supplement.
Why Turmeric Is Important to Your Health
In addition to controlling inflammation, turmeric (or curcumin) can help boost your health in multiple ways.
Increased Antioxidant Capacity
Along with inflammation, oxidative damage is another leading cause of serious disease. Highly reactive molecules known as free radicals are the culprits, as they damage cells and tissues through their reactions with proteins, fatty acids, and DNA.
Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that is able to neutralize these free radicals and protect you from damage. In addition to this protective role, turmeric also boosts the activity of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes. It, therefore, blocks free radical activity and stimulates your antioxidant defenses.
Enhanced Brain Function
Since the discovery that neurons continue to form new connections after childhood, scientists have been focused on ways to improve brain function and protect against brain degeneration. The hormone BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is the driving force behind these new connections, and levels of this hormone are distinctively low in Alzheimer’s patients.
Since curcumin has the ability to boost levels of BDNF, it is believed that it can play a role in enhancing brain function and protecting against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Reduced Risk for Heart Disease
The number one cause of death in the world is heart disease, and sadly, there are a number of factors that contribute to it. There are, however, a number of ways that turmeric can help to protect your heart.
Endothelial dysfunction is a significant factor of heart disease, as it causes irregularities in blood pressure. Turmeric improves endothelial function, thus restoring your blood vessels to their full capabilities and optimal blood circulation.
In addition to this, curcumin also protects your heart from oxidative damage and inflammation, which also contribute to high blood pressure, stress on the heart, and heart disease.
Possible Treatment for Cancer
Studies are still ongoing, but so far, there is evidence that points to turmeric helping with cancer. Turmeric impacts cancer cell growth and spreads at a molecular level, thus inhibiting uncontrolled growth.
Not only does turmeric contribute to cancer cell death, but it also reduces the growth of new blood vessels in tumors and inhibits metastasis. By protecting your intestines from inflammation, turmeric may also prevent certain cancers, such as colorectal cancer, from even developing in the first place.
Improved Mental Health
Through its effect on BDNF, turmeric also has the capacity to improve symptoms and possibly treat depression. Studies have found that turmeric therapy produces improvements among depressed patients similar to those produced by leading antidepressants.
| Related: Does Turmeric Have Negative Side Effects? |
Depression causes a decrease in BDNF, but turmeric can restore these levels and potentially reverse the symptoms. Turmeric also boosts the natural production of serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters responsible for happy feelings.
The Bottom Line
Turmeric as a spice has been used for centuries to heal and treat many different diseases. Mostly used for inflammatory-related conditions, this spice has helped relieve pain and promote health across the globe.
Because of its limited bioavailability, it is important to pay attention to dosage recommendations and absorption to ensure you get the full benefits it has to offer. Once you have your dosage right, you can be assured of great-tasting food and excellent health.