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What Is the Suggestion for Curcumin Supplement Use?

Article Summary

  • The Allowable Daily Intake value of curcumin ranges from 0-3 mg/kg body weight as per the European Food Safety Authority. 
  • Although the safety and efficacy of curcumin are supported by various clinical studies, there can be adverse side effects with high curcumin doses.
  • Tetrahydrocurcumin—a bioactive derivative of curcumin—is more bioavailable than other forms of curcumin. Because lower doses are effective, this form is better suited for supplementation.   

The potential benefits of curcumin—the primary bioactive pigment in turmeric—have been extensively studied, spurring an ever-growing number of curcumin nutritional supplements to enter the market. Several recent studies have explored the role of curcumin as a potent immunomodulatory agent, with results indicating activation of T cells, B cells, neutrophils, macrophages, natural killer cells, and others to support a healthy immune response.* Other studies have assessed the role of curcumin in enhancing joint function in terms of movement, morning stiffness, and occasional discomfort.* 

But while the therapeutic potential of curcumin is well-known, there are many questions about appropriate amount of curcumin supplement to use, its efficacy, and side effects.       

What is the appropriate curcumin supplement use for supporting immune and joint/muscle health?

The Allowable Daily Intake value of curcumin ranges from 0-3 milligrams/kg body weight daily as per the European Food Safety Authority. The U.S. FDA approves curcuminoids as ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ (GRAS) to be used as a food additive. However, there are currently no standard suggested use recommendations for supporting immune health and joint/muscle health. 

Can you take too much curcumin supplement?

Ingesting large amounts of curcumin in supplement form for longer periods can cause stomach upset and/or diarrhea. A study on the effect of curcumin in rats concluded that long-term intake of high doses of curcumin could trigger various imbalances through metabolic disorders, oxidative stress, and other stressors and may induce liver injury. To avoid this possibility, talk to your healthcare practitioner about the correct curcumin usage for your needs.

Are there any adverse effects associated with curcumin use? 

Several clinical trials have established the safety and efficacy of curcumin, and few adverse effects have been reported. In a dose escalation study that evaluated the maximum tolerated dose and safety of a single dose of standardized, uniformly milled, curcumin powder extract, 24 healthy volunteers were administered escalating doses from 500 to 12,000 mg and were followed for 72 hours. Although seven subjects experienced diarrhea, rash, headache, and yellow stool, symptoms were transient and no toxicity appeared to be dose-related. 

How long does it take for a curcumin supplement to work after ingestion?

Although factors such as age, weight, overall health, supplement formulation, frequency, and the amount taken can influence how fast a curcumin supplement works, studies are inconclusive regarding exactly what to expect. 

One clinical trial on 60 healthy adults, aged 60-85, reported better performance on sustained attention and working memory tasks within one hour of taking a solid lipid curcumin formulation.* Another animal study involved oral administration of 500 mg of curcumin/kg body weight. At one hour, curcumin concentration peaked in the intestine, while it peaked in the blood at 6 hours, and levels remained high at 24 hours. When co-administered with piperine—the bioactive compound present in black pepper, intestinal absorption of curcumin was relatively higher, with a maximum level of intact curcumin detected in the brain at 48 hours. However, piperine, in combination with curcumin, has been associated with gastrointestinal irritation in some people.        

What makes a curcumin supplement effective?

Poor absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid systemic elimination are three key factors contributing to the low bioavailability of curcumin in the body. This means the therapeutic potential of curcumin can be difficult to realize in practice, regardless of the amount taken. The unpleasant taste of curcumin also makes it difficult to tolerate.

Tetrahydrocurcumin—a partially reduced derivative of curcumin—outperforms its parent compound in terms of both bioavailability and physiological stability. Although tetrahydrocurcumin displays physiological and pharmacological properties similar to curcumin, its chemical structure allows for easier absorption through the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, a smaller amount is needed to confer its therapeutic benefits.

Tesseract’s TetraCumin® formula contains the powerfully bioactive tetrahydrocurcumin as an active ingredient. Coupled with the revolutionary CyLoc® - DexKey® delivery technology that places tetrahydrocurcumin into a molecular matrix for targeted release, this advanced formulation optimizes the bioavailability of the active ingredient while also enhancing palatability. The result is a powerful supplement that helps maintain the body’s healthy inflammatory response and supports optimal joint health.*

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in the proprietary science of proven nutrients and unrivaled smart delivery, making them the most effective for supporting immune health and musculoskeletal health.*

Al Czap, Founder | Tesseract

Al Czap has more than four decades of professional experience in preventative medicine. He founded Thorne Research in 1984 (sold in 2010) and he published Alternative Medicine Review for 17 years beginning in 1996. AMR was a highly acclaimed, peer-reviewed, and indexed medical journal. Al was the first to recognize the need for hypoallergenic ingredients and to devise methods of manufacture for and delivery of hypoallergenic products to underserved patient populations. His work has greatly impacted those with impaired immune and digestive systems and compromised health due to environmental exposures.

The advanced formulations based on our revolutionary, patented, and patent-pending technology are only available through Tesseract. No other medical, pharmaceutical, or supplement company is licensed to utilize our proprietary technology.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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