Turmeric is primarily a spice. It is the main ingredient in curry and has a warm, bitter taste. It is also used in mustards, butter, and cheeses. However, turmeric was historically used as a medicine in a variety of cultures.
Today, it is used for conditions involving pain and inflammation, like arthritis. Occasionally, it is also used for hay fever, depression, high cholesterol, and liver disease. Though, the research for these effects isn’t always conclusive.
If you’re looking to take a turmeric supplement for health reasons, you must choose the right supplement for your need. Some supplements are better than others. Specific supplements have a very high potency for little cost, while third-party sources do not regulate others.
1. Turmeric Curcumin + By Nuzena
Nuzena is our #1 pick for a variety of different reasons. Firstly, it has a generous dose of 1200mg of turmeric root. This dosage sets it apart from most of the competition, which usually have far lower doses. It also contains 100mg of curcuminoids – an ingredient commonly found in turmeric.
This formula is very potent, so that it may work for more conditions than others. It is an excellent option for most users.
2. VitaBalance Turmeric Plus
This turmeric supplement is designed for weight loss, blood pressure control, inflammation, and cognitive health. Of course, we will discuss the legitimacy of these claims later in this article.
It is formulated in an FDA regulated facility that follows GMP guidelines, so you can bet that it is one of the safer supplements out there.
3. BioSchwartz Turmeric Curcumin
This supplement includes 1500mg of turmeric that is the highest potency possible. For this reason, we rated it very high on our list. It also includes 10mg of BioPerine, which can enhance the efficiency of the included turmeric.
It is professionally formulated and is made in the USA. It is made following strict GMP standards, making it safer than other options.
4. Youtheory Turmeric Advanced with Black Pepper Bioperine
With 450 mg of turmeric, this supplement includes less than most others. However, it does include other ingredients as well, like olive extract and black pepper. The supplement is third-party tested and manufactured in the USA.
This supplement is designed to support healthy sleep, weight management, skin health, and mood.
5. Turmeric Curcumin Softgels
This supplement includes 100mg of turmeric. For most people, this is pretty decent. However, turmeric isn’t mainly concentrated, which is why this supplement is #5 on our list. It is very absorbable, which means your body will be able to access the turmeric included.
It is made in a cGMP certified facility, so it is safer than other supplements out there.
6. Nature’s Bounty Turmeric Pills and Herbal Health Supplement
While it does include 1000mg of turmeric, this supplement also includes quite a few other ingredients as well. It includes black pepper, which is known for working well with turmeric. The turmeric is relatively concentrated.
This supplement is also relatively inexpensive, as each bottle contains two-months’ worth of turmeric.
7. Nature’s Base Turmeric Curcumin with Ginger
In this supplement, turmeric is paired with ginger to help fight inflammation. The turmeric included is relatively concentrated, and it includes apple cider vinegar as well. This supplement also functions as an antioxidant.
It can also be used for detox and cleansing.
8. Nature Made Turmeric
This supplement contains many antioxidant benefits. It is also generally inexpensive, and each bottle includes enough for two months. You can purchase a 120-count bottle as well.
In all, each pill includes 500mg of turmeric, which is a bit lower than average.
9. New Age Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine
This supplement includes one of the highest concentrations of turmeric on the market – 1650mg per serving. It is 95% curcuminoids and contains 15mg of black pepper for enhanced absorption. This supplement also has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
This supplement also has non-GMO, no fillers, and no preservatives.
10. Garden of Life MyKind Organics
With 553mg of turmeric, this supplement has a bit lower concentration than others. It comes with 50mg of ginger root and 7mg of black pepper extract as well. We particularly liked the small amount of 4mg probiotic blend.
It is certified USDA organic and is non-GMO as well.
How We Ranked
The FDA does not regulate turmeric supplements, so practically any supplement can call itself a turmeric supplement. When rating each option, we first took into account the dosage of each supplement. You’d be surprised by how many turmeric supplements don’t include much turmeric.
Most research points to around 500mg of turmeric being effective. Because of this, we only included supplements that were at least this much or just below it. Most on our list include 1000mg, which is more than enough.
Many supplements include other ingredients as well, like black pepper extract. These are designed to help with the effects of turmeric or to help your body absorb them easier, which can lead to higher benefits.
We also avoided products that contained tons of extras. While things like ginger and black pepper can improve the overall function of the turmeric, there is no reason to have ingredients like artificial sugar, coloring additives, or other similar ingredients.
Finally, we also considered the safety of the product as well. The FDA does not regulate these products. However, some are made in GMP-certified facilities. These are generally considered safer than other options, simply because the facilities have to uphold specific standards.
Furthermore, products made in the USA are often safer than those made elsewhere. This is because some harmful ingredients are banned in the USA. Products made in the USA cannot contain these ingredients, therefore.
Turmeric supplements have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is linked to a variety of health conditions. It can be useful in some circumstances, like when your body is fighting foreign invaders. However, inflammation can also work against your body, like is the case for those with arthritis.
Scientists have found that low chronic inflammation is connected to various health problems, like heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and various other degenerative conditions (1, 2). Therefore, keeping inflammation in check is vital for fighting a variety of different diseases.
Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Because of that, it may help with some of these inflammation-linked conditions. For example, some studies have found this it is so powerful that it matches prescription medications without the side effects (3, 4, 5).
It works this way because it blocks NF-kB. This is a molecule that turns on the genes that cause inflammation. When this molecule is blocked, the inflammation in your body is going to be significantly lower. Many researchers have theorized that this molecule has a role in many chronic conditions.
Turmeric supplements may increase the antioxidant capacity of your body. Antioxidants play an essential role in your health. They protect your body from free radicals, which can cause oxidative damage. This damage is behind aging and many chronic diseases associated with old age.
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant, meaning it protects your body from oxidative damage. This can prevent disorders that are commonly associated with aging (6).
On top of this, there is some evidence that curcumin also helps your body neutralize free radicals using your antioxidants. Because of these, it provides even more of a punch against free radicals (7).
In other words, it stimulates your body’s defenses and throws some of its antioxidants into the fight.
Turmeric supplements may lower your risk of heart disease. There is quite a bit of evidence that turmeric can lower your risk of heart disease. Heart disease is one of the top killers globally, so doing whatever you can to lower your risk is essential.
It may reduce your chance for heart diseases because of its effect on inflammation, which does play a role in heart diseases.
However, studies have found that curcumin may reverse heart disease (8). It seems to improve the function of the endothelium. This is the lining of your blood vessels. Keeping this lining healthy is essential for preventing heart disease.
Endothelial dysfunction is a significant driver of heart disease. It involves regulating your blood pressure, blood clotting, and various other risk factors of heart disease.
One study found that out of 121 people, those who took 4 grams of curcumin a day had a 65% decreased risk of a heart attack. This is a significant reduction and speaks to the potency of turmeric (9).
Turmeric supplements can protect your brain from various disorders. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a growth hormone that works in your brain. It causes your neurons to divide, which is essential for brain health.
A variety of brain disorders have been connected to lower levels of this growth hormone. In particular, studies have linked both depression and Alzheimer’s disease to lower levels of this hormone (10, 11).
Studies have also found the curcumin can increase levels of BDNF in your brain (12). This may prevent these disorders from forming. However, there is no direct linkage between curcumin and preventing these disorders. The only evidence we have is its ability to improve this level of BDNF in your brain.
There is some anecdotal evidence that turmeric may improve everyday brain function, like memory and problem-solving skills. However, there are no studies done on this currently. For this reason, we cannot currently claim that this supplement will help your brain function.
Turmeric supplements may prevent cancer. There are many things out there that people claim can prevent cancer. However, few of them have evidence to back them up. Turmeric is different.
Studies have found that some forms of cancer are affected by curcumin supplements (13). In particular, some forms of cancer appear to be affected by this supplement on a molecular level. Turmeric seems to affect the growth of cancer, as well as its spread (14).
Some particular studies have found that it may contribute to the death of cancer cells and reduce the growth of new vessels in tumors and the spread of cancer (15).
Studies on animals and cancerous materials in labs have found similar results. Turmeric appears to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer in both situations (16, 17).
Currently, turmeric’s effect on cancer is intensively studied, so we can learn more information in the years to come. The studies we have right now look very promising, however.
Turmeric may help with arthritis symptoms. Arthritis is a common problem among older folks. There are many different types, but arthritis is commonly caused by inflammation in the joints. As we have discussed, turmeric has some anti-inflammatory properties, which may help with arthritis.
One study found that turmeric supplements helped those with rheumatoid arthritis better than prescription, anti-inflammatory drugs (18).
Other studies have found similar results. Most have reported improved arthritis symptoms in those with rheumatoid arthritis when they begin taking a turmeric supplement.
Turmeric may cause minor gastrointestinal side effects. This is true for almost every supplement you take by mouth. Whenever you eat anything, there is a chance that it will not sit well on your stomach. When you take a lot of something, this is even more likely to be true. A little bit of turmeric may be acceptable on your stomach, but 1000mg might not be.
Turmeric supplements may cause slightly intestinal discomfort because of this. Nausea and diarrhea are possible. As you might imagine, this largely depends on your specific stomach. Some people may react negatively, while others will notice no effects.
You may be able to minimize these effects by taking turmeric with food or eating before you take it. Your stomach can usually handle these things better if you have other food on your stomach. At the same time, you may also adjust what time you take your supplement at. Some people may react negatively when taking turmeric in the morning but may be acceptable if they take it in the evening.
Higher dosages are more likely to cause these side effects. If your supplement bothers you no matter what you do, consider lowering your dosage or splitting it up. Supplements that are broken into two servings may be helpful for this reason.
Turmeric supplements may increase your risk of kidney stones. Studies have found that taking a standard dose of turmeric increases the oxalate levels in your urine. This is a sign of kidney stones. Because of this, taking turmeric for an extended period may cause you to develop kidney stones (19).
However, no long-term studies reported kidney stones among their participants. This may mean the turmeric doesn’t increase your chance for kidney stones, even though it does increase your oxalate levels.
This symptom has not been thoroughly studied. Therefore, it may or may not be present. We don’t have any precise information, but some studies have pointed towards the possibility that turmeric increases kidney stones.
For most people, the evidence does not support an extensively higher risk for those on a turmeric supplement. If everyone who took turmeric developed a kidney stone, we would have more information on this side effect by now. However, if you’re already prone to kidney stones, this might be a factor to consider.
Turmeric supplements are very safe. Overall, turmeric supplements are very safe. Besides the few side effects mentioned here, there are no other known side effects. All the side effects known are minor and not life-threatening. Turmeric is generally considered to be very safe because of this.
Before we get into the specific dosage of turmeric, it is essential to realize that it isn’t turmeric associated with all these positive benefits. Instead, it is the bioactive curcumins that cause these excellent effects. This is the primary, active ingredient in turmeric.
However, this ingredient is relatively low in raw turmeric. One study found that there is only approximately 3% of curcumin in raw turmeric, so you’d have to eat a lot of it to consume a significant amount of curcumin (20).
Thus, most people choose to take a supplement of turmeric, which is usually higher concentrated.
Studies have used a large variety of different turmeric concentrations to help with a variety of different health effects. One particular study used a dose as low as 80mg per day reduced blood lipids, inflammation, and produced cognitive benefits (21).
However, other studies have reported much higher doses. One used a dose of 500mg a day, while another used 2000mg a day. However, the second study used raw turmeric instead of capsules, so we can expect curcumin to be lower in these cases (22, 23). These higher dosages seemed helpful for liver and kidney function and those with type two diabetes.
It seems like the benefits of turmeric stack. So, a little bit is helpful and associated with some benefits. However, larger dosages seem helpful for more severe conditions, like diabetes and liver function. The dosage you should take mainly seems to depend on what you’re trying to achieve.
You can generally start with about 400 to 600 mg of turmeric, about 50 to 100 mg of curcumin. Some supplement just provides the turmeric amounts, while others provide the curcumin. The curcumin amounts will be more accurate when they’re provided, but you can guestimate how much curcumin is in a supplement based on the amount of turmeric in it.
What are turmeric supplements good for?
Turmeric is best known for its ability to fight inflammation. Because of this, it works best for diseases and disorders that involve inflammation. Surprisingly, a wide variety of diseases involve inflammation. Everything from obesity to diabetes is associated with inflammation. Things like arthritis are often associated with inflammation too.
Turmeric directly blocks the molecule associated with inflammation, so it works in a variety of conditions.
At the same time, turmeric also has many powerful antioxidants. These can protect against free radicals, which are the cause of many age-related conditions. It may also help with some of these conditions because of that.
How much turmeric should you take as a supplement?
As discussed in our recommend dosage section, studies have used a wide variety of different dosages. It appears that even a little bit of turmeric can be helpful, though larger dosages produce more significant results. Usually, you should start with a dosage of around 500 mg of turmeric. If the supplement lists the curcumin amount, you should aim to consume about 50 to 100 mg.
You may need to play with your dose to get them the exact right amount. The correct dosage for you will depend on various factors, including the benefits you’re looking for, your overall diet, health, and genetics. There is not a one-size-fits-all answer.
What are the side effects of a turmeric supplement?
Turmeric supplements are generally considered very safe. Like all supplements, they may cause some stomach discomfort. However, this is more because you’re taking a lot of one thing at once, not necessarily because of the turmeric itself. You may want to take it with food or split up your dose if you’re having particular difficulties.
Turmeric may interfere with some medications, so you should check with your doctor if you’re taking anything. This is especially the case with blood thinners, which seem to be particularly susceptible to herbal supplements.
Turmeric may make you more suspectable to kidney stones. The urine markers for kidney stones go up when you consume turmeric. However, there are no more kidney stones reported among any of the studies we reviewed. Because of this, there may be something going on with the markers separately that doesn’t have anything to do with kidney stones.
What is the best form of turmeric to take?
Capsules seem to be more concentrated, which is essential when the active ingredient in turmeric is so low in concentration. You’d have to eat a lot of turmeric to consume enough to do anything, which is why capsules are a good option for most people.
Besides that, it doesn’t matter. Powders likely work the same as capsules. So, if you don’t like taking pills, that is an option. Gummies are hard to find, but they may exist and likely work just as well.
Who should not take turmeric?
Turmeric is safe for practically everyone. The only people who should question taking turmeric are those who are prone to kidney disease and those on blood thinners. Turmeric isn’t always bad in these cases, so it might be perfectly fine for you to take anyway. However, you should talk with your doctor before taking it – just to ensure that it is a good option for you. Your doctor will also keep an eye on you to ensure turmeric doesn’t make your condition worse.
If you’re taking turmeric for a specific condition, like type two diabetes, you should also speak with your doctor. Turmeric works well for many conditions. Because of this, you may have to adjust your medication. Of course, this isn’t a bad thing, but it is something to keep in mind.
Does turmeric help sexually?
There is no evidence that turmeric can help sexually. However, it does help with inflammation, so it may help with some underlying conditions that might be getting in the way. It was used traditionally as an aphrodisiac, but we don’t have any studies backing this information up.
Is turmeric bad for your liver?
Anything can be bad for your liver if you consume enough of it. Turmeric is no different. However, we don’t have any evidence that turmeric is particularly bad for your liver. No damage was reported in any of the studies we read, so it is not a widespread problem by any means. The average person should not worry about it, but it may be something to keep in mind if your liver is already compromised.
Overall, there is no link between turmeric and liver damage. However, some people might be particularly sensitive to substances, which may result in liver damage. If your liver is already damaged or you have an underlying condition that makes liver damage more likely, we recommend speaking to your doctor.
Is turmeric bad for you?
No. Turmeric is very safe in a variety of settings. There are no extreme side effects associated with it, and the large majority of people can take it without a problem. There are a variety of benefits associated with it as well, such as decreased inflammation and increased antioxidants.
Of course, some people may want to think twice before consuming a lot of turmeric. Turmeric may interfere with some medications and may increase your risk of kidney stones. However, for most people, turmeric is very safe.
There are many different benefits associated with turmeric. For example, it is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and to be high in antioxidants. This can help with a variety of conditions, ranging from diabetes to age-related cognitive decline.
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