What is a Curcumin?
Curcumin is an essential component of an Indian flowering plant named turmeric which is a type of ginger. It is best known as a coloring food ingredient specifically used in cooking of a sub- continental dish “curry”. Apart from its uses in cooking, curcumin is used as an anti- inflammatory compound due to its anti- inflammatory properties. It also has the ability to raise the number of antioxidants produced by the body (Majeed, 2015).
How much Curcumin should I take?
Studies have indicated that an ideal turmeric dose of turmeric for adults should be 500-2000mg per day. As turmeric contains 2-5% by volume of curcumin, the ideal curcumin dose becomes 20-60mg per day. However, no separate study has indicated the ideal dose for curcumin but many studies on curcumins have shown promising health effects within this range (Amalraj, et al., 2017).
How much Curcumin is too much?
Doses of curcumins to even 500mg have shown to pose no harmful health effects. But many studies have indicated that the doses of curcumin 500-2000mg per day can cause side effects from minor headache and nausea to severe types of cancers (Lao, et al., 2004).
What is Bioavailability?
Bioavailability is a subcategory of absorption. It is defined by the fraction or percentage of the amount of an administered compound/ drug in systemic circulation. It is usually 100% in case of intravenous administration. While if a compound is administered via route other than the intravenous route, its bioavailability is decreased due to first- pass metabolism and the intestinal endothelial absorption. The bioavailability of curcumins depends on their form and route of administration (Preetha, et al., 2007).
Why is bioavailability better with liposomes vs. traditional vitamins?
Liposomes are specific lipid vesicles that have a structure and confirmation much alike to the structure and confirmation of body’s own membranous lipid moieties. Liposomes in this way can take any kind of substance in the body at required area with more efficiency. Traditional vitamins are dissolved and eliminated from the body before they can produce their health effects more effectively. The bioavailability of vitamins becomes enhanced when they are administered in combination with liposomes. Liposomes safely carry the vitamins into the systemic circulation where they are required, protecting them from the degradation and itself being degraded when the particular place is arrived. In this way, the delivery of vitamins is made sure to be safer and more protected (Padamwar & Pokharkar, 2006).
Are there better methods to increase bioavailability? Such as injections, patches liquids etc.
Almost 60-70% of the compounds administered are water insoluble having very low bioavailability. Thus, there was a strong need to develop a system to effectively enhance the efficacy and bioavailability of such compounds. Many semi- emulsifying drug delivery systems are currently used. These include injections, liposomes, micelles, patches, dendrimers, self- emulsifying capsules & tablets, beads, controlled released pallets, microspheres suppositories, nanoparticles, implants etc. Although all these systems have shown promising results, but liposomes are still widely being used because of their extremely high efficacy and safety (Gupta, et al., 2013).
Does Curcumin have any side effects?
There are no side effects of curcumin. However, a continuous use of high dose like 500mg or above per day can lead to problems like, diarrhea, dizziness, stomach upset, nausea and to increased heart rhythms or even cancers in extreme cases (Cianfruglia, et al., 2019).
What food should I take to help?
Curcumin usually do not have any side effects at regular doses (mentioned above). But if someone has been consuming curcumin more than the recommended doses, it can cause some minor side effects like diarrhea, headache, dizziness, allergy etc. in this case, drinking too much water can be helpful in removing the excessive curcumin products from the body (Blanton & Gordon, 2020).
What happens if I take too much?
As mentioned earlier, curcumin usually do not have any side effects. But taking too much i.e. >500mg per day can cause dizziness, headache, diarrhea, nausea, stomach upset, increased heartbeats and sometimes even cancers (Cianfruglia, et al., 2019).
How do I know I’m taking the right amount of Curcumin each day?
A teaspoon of curcumin a day is enough to use on daily basis. It does not have any harmful side effects. But still if someone wants to figure out if the amount is right or not, it can be found out by noticing the digestive system and cholesterol levels. Curcumin improves the digestive system of the person and the person will have better diet routine than before. It also reduces the cholesterol level in the body. Curcumins also improve the learning and memory capabilities (Ahmed, et al., 2019).
What are the signs of taking too much and once I start to take curcumin what are the signs that I’m taking too little?
The common signs associated with taking high amounts of curcumin are diarrhea, nausea, headache, vomiting, allergy, gastrointestinal issues and dizziness. While no such signs have been found to be associated with low amounts of curcumin. However, if a person is constantly taking curcumin and then leaves it all of a sudden, that person will have minor digestive issues (Cianfruglia, et al., 2019).
What are the Benefits of Curcumin?
Curcumin has been studied extensively in many diseases as a potential therapeutic approach and has shown many promising results. Due to its anti- inflammatory and anti- oxidative properties, curcumin has been found to treat certain types of inflammations, cardiovascular diseases, body’s high cholesterol levels, rheumatoid arthritis, osteosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Depression and many such inflammatory diseases. It has been found to boost learning and memory capabilities, improve skin health and reduce eye degeneration. Curcumin has also been found to be associated with anti- aging effects (Hewlings & Kalman, 2017).
What are benefits of taking Curcumin using Liposomal delivery technology?
Curcumins have many potential health effects and have been used as a therapeutic compound in many diseases. However, curcumins have a major limitation associated with them and that is the curcumins have very low aqueous solubility and poor bioavailability. While at the same time, curcumins also have rapid metabolism and high systemic elimination. Due to these reasons, mostly curcumins are eliminated from the body before they can pose any health effects. This limitation has been overcome by use of artificial delivery systems such as liposomes, dendrimers, microemulsions, solid dispersions, nanogels and micelles. Out of all these, liposomes have been extensively studied and widely used for the direct delivery of curcumins into the body. Liposomes are mostly made of lipids containing the curcumins in required dose and they easily cross the membranes of the cells. Once they get entered into the body, they are metabolized like other normal body lipids, thus, taking the curcumins safely and successfully inside the body (Feng, et al., 2017).
Would injections of Curcumin be better? Is there a higher cost of injections vs. Curcumins?
Curcumins have many potential therapeutic effects, but their efficiency is greatly reduced due to their low bioavailability and immediate systemic elimination. These problems have been overcome by use of combinational therapies as well as artificial delivery systems which help in taking the curcumins to the exact place inside the body where required. Both injections and oral delivery systems have been found useful in this regard. However mostly oral delivery systems are being used via liposomes or other such systems which efficiently take curcumin inside the body. Still injections are used in cases where curcumins are required at very particular areas in specific concentrations such as in case of neurological problems and cancers where curcumins are required to be directly injected in pharmacological doses in the brain or in the particular tumor cells. Injections are bit costly than oral method, but the cost is still not too much to be afforded (Cas & Ghidoni, 2019).
Can I take other vitamins if I’m taking Curcumin?
One can take other vitamins along with Curcumin. In fact, studies have shown that the health effects of curcumins are greatly increased if they are used in combination with other vitamins. For example, it has been found that Curcumin along with vitamin C and vitamin D has shown much better results improving joints health (Advanced, 2016). But still it is better to consult a doctor before taking any such combinations because curcumins have already been found to interact with certain drugs for example blood thinners leading to even harmful effects (Graedon & Graedon, 2015).
What vitamins (if any) will affect me negatively while taking Curcumin?
No such data is found to know if taking vitamins along with curcumins can be harmful or not. But studies have shown that taking curcumins with certain compounds can lead to even harmful effects. These compounds are those which are metabolized by the liver and their metabolism is greatly slowed down by using them in combination with curcumins. Similarly, curcumins were also found to be dangerous if used in combination with blood thinners, estrogens and medications for rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes (RX, 2020). Thus, it is better to consult a health specialist before taking any such combination.
What are Liposomes and why are they important?
Liposomes are spherical vesicles prepared by the disruption/sonication of biological membranes. Liposomes contain at least one lipid bilayer and are mostly composed of phospholipids particularly the phosphatidylcholine. Some liposomes may also contain other forms of lipids such as egg phosphatidylethanolamine until their compatibility with the structure of the lipid bilayer. Liposomes are designed in order to help the surface ligands bind with certain unhealth tissues. They are important as vehicles in drugs delivery systems and administration of certain nutrients (New, 1990).
Are turmeric and curcumin the same thing?
Turmeric are curcumin are not same things. Turmeric is a flowering plant used in certain foods and medications. It consists of almost 100 chemical components. Curcumin is one of the phytochemicals found in turmeric. A single turmeric consists of almost 2-5% of curcumin of its total composition (Ikpeama, et al., 2014).
Is Curcumin safe for kidneys?
Curcumin is safe for kidneys. It is in fact found to be beneficial in treating the chronic kidneys disease by activating the endogenous alkaline phosphatase (Ghosh, et al., 2014). But very high doses of curcumin (more than the recommended dose) can lead to kidney damage and even kidney failure in many cases (Nayeri, et al., 2017).
What foods have Curcumin in them? Can I just eat food to have Curcumin I need?
Turmeric is a rich source of Curcumin. A turmeric root contains almost 2-5% of curcumin. One can eat turmeric in order to have curcumin but there is a problem associated with it which is, curcumin has a very low bioavailability and a high systemic elimination which make it hard to be dissolved and used by the body. Thus, oral consumption of curcumin in the form of turmeric is good but it is not as much useful as direct delivery systems of curcumin intake (Rehmani, et al., 2018).
Advanced, N., 2016. Nutri Advanced, Use Curcumin with Ginger, Vitamin C & Vitamin D for Powerful Joint Support. [Online]
Available at: https://www.nutriadvanced.co.uk/news/using-curcumin-with-ginger-vitamin-c-vitamin-d-for-powerful-joint-support/
Ahmed, T., Nawaz, M. & Iqbal, W., 2019. Pharmacological Effects of Curcuminoids in Neurological Disorders. In: Curcumin for Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders. s.l.:Academic Press, pp. 129-154.
Amalraj, . A., Plus, . A., Gopi, S. & Gopi, S., 2017. Biological activities of curcuminoids, other biomolecules from turmeric and their derivatives–A review.. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine , 7(2), pp. 205-233.
Blanton, C. & Gordon, B., 2020. Effect of Morning vs. Evening Turmeric Consumption on Urine Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in Obese, Middle-Aged Adults: A Feasibility Study.. nternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(11), p. 4088.
Cas, M. D. & Ghidoni, R., 2019. Dietary Curcumin: Correlation between Bioavailability and Health Potential. Nutrients, 11(9), p. 2147.
Cianfruglia, L. et al., 2019. Side effects of curcumin: Epigenetic and antiproliferative implications for normal dermal fibroblast and breast cancer cells.. Antioxidants, 8(9), p. 382.
Feng, T., Wei, Y., Lee, R. J. & Zhao, L., 2017. Liposomal curcumin and its application in cancer. Int J Nanomedicine, Volume 12, p. 6027–6044.
Ghosh, S. S., Gehr, T. W. B. & Ghosh, S., 2014. Curcumin and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Major Mode of Action through Stimulating Endogenous Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase. Molecules, 19(12), p. 20139–20156.
Gupta, S., Kesarla, R. & Omri, A., 2013. Formulation Strategies to Improve the Bioavailability of Poorly Absorbed Drugs with Special Emphasis on Self-Emulsifying Systems.. International Scholarly Research Notices, Volume 2013.
Hewlings, S. J. & Kalman, D. S., 2017. Curcumin: a review of its’ effects on human health.. Foods, 6(10), p. 92.
Ikpeama, . A., Onwuka, G. I. & Nwankwo, C., 2014. Nutritional composition of Tumeric (Curcuma longa) and its antimicrobial properties.. International J Scien Eng Res, 5(10), pp. 1085-1089.
- & Graedon, T., 2015. The Settlement Times, People on blood thinners must avoid turmeric. [Online]
Available at: https://www.seattletimes.com/life/wellness/people-on-blood-thinners-must-avoid-turmeric/#:~:text=Having%20your%20blood%20too%20thin,of%20these%20anti%2Dclotting%20medications.
Lao, C. D. et al., 2004. Dose escalation of a curcuminoid formulation.. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 6(1), pp. 1-4.
Majeed, S., 2015. The state of the curcumin market.. Natural Products Insider.
Nayeri, A. et al., 2017. Acute calcineurin inhibitor nephrotoxicity secondary to turmeric intake: a case report.. Transplantation proceedings, 49(1), pp. 198-200.
New, R. R. e., 1990. Liposomes. s.l.:IRL at Oxford University Press.
Padamwar, M. N. & Pokharkar, V. B., 2006. Development of vitamin loaded topical liposomal formulation using factorial design approach: drug deposition and stability.. International journal of pharmaceutics, 320(1-2), pp. 37-44.
Preetha, A., Kunnumakkara, A. B., Newman, R. A. & Aggarwal, B. B., 2007. Bioavailability of curcumin: problems and promises.. Molecular pharmaceutics, 4(6), pp. 807-818.
Rehmani, A. H. et al., 2018. Role of curcumin in disease prevention and treatment.. Advanced biomedical research, Volume 7.
RX, 2020. RX List, Turmeric. [Online]
Available at: https://www.rxlist.com/turmeric/supplements.htm