II. Background

  1. Turmeric is extracted from plant in the Ginger family
  2. Yellow-colored spice used to flavor curry powder and mustards

III. Mechanism

  1. Active ingredient in Turmeric, curcumin is purported to be an antioxidant and antiinflammatory agent

IV. Efficacy

  1. May be beneficial in Knee Osteoarthritis (insufficient evidence as of 2022)
  2. May be beneficial in Allergic Rhinitis
  3. May be effective in Dyspepsia (low quality evidence)
  4. May have antiplatelet effects
  5. No strong evidence for any indication
    1. Despite this, has been touted for reducing Cardiac Risk, cancer risk, cognitive decline, Covid19 complications

V. Adverse Effects

  1. More common adverse effects at higher doses and in Bioavailable formulations containing piperine
  2. Gastrointestinal adverse effects
    1. Heartburn
    2. Diarrhea
    3. Nausea

VI. Disadvantages

  1. Typical extract dose of 1-2 g/day is equivalent to as much as 5 to 10 tsp ground Turmeric per day
  2. Very expensive (as much as $1 per tablet)
  3. Some preparations have been contaminated with lead, with risk of Lead Poisoning
    1. Purchase only USP verified products

VII. Safety

  1. Typical Turmeric amounts found in food are not a safety concern
    1. However, natural medicine doses are typically 10 fold higher than might be found in food
  2. Natural medicine dose safety (1-2 g/day)
    1. Avoid in pregnancy (risk of uterine contractions)
    2. Unknown safety in Lactation
    3. Unknown safety in children

VIII. Drug Interactions

  1. May increase levels of drugs metabolized by CYP1A2, CYP3A4 and P-Glycoprotein

IX. References

  1. (2016) Presc Lett 23(12): 70
  2. (2022) Presc Lett 29(1): 4
  3. (2023) Presc Lett 30(10): 60

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