Top 9 Side Effects Of Turmeric & Curcumin Supplements
It’s already clear that turmeric brings a lot of benefits to our body. But is it all positive? Can’t it cause any harm, even in higher doses?
Today it’s time to take a look at the negative side – because there is one.
So what are the side effects of turmeric & curcumin supplements?
- How can they hurt you, and it what doses?
- And most importantly, are they really so harmless?
- Or they’re rather a blessing in disguise?
It’s time to dig deep into the facts and find out the truth about turmeric and curcumin supplements.
1. Digestive Problems
Turmeric and curcumin are known for their gastroprotective effects.
Many patients take these herbs in order to protect their stomach from the effects of painkillers or NSAIDs.
- So how can they produce digestive problems as a side effect?
- Why are they said to protect the stomach if they don’t?
The reason why: Well, here is the explanation.
Turmeric and curcumin supplements don’t affect the stomach – but they can worsen an affection called gastroesophageal reflux disease.
This condition doesn’t affect the stomach itself, but rather the esophagus.
And though it usually doesn’t have a pathological cause, it can be very annoying.
So turmeric and curcumin don’t produce any damage the stomach. After all, they are meant to protect it.
But if gastroesophageal reflux condition is already present – these supplements may worsen it.
2. Kidney Stones
The title may be a bit deceiving here. Turmeric and curcumin don’t cause kidney stones themselves, that would be absurd.
But they can increase the risk – especially in a person who had this problem in the past.
The reason why: Turmeric contains a substance called oxalate.
Once this oxalate gets inside our body, it binds to calcium molecules and they form calcium oxalates. If you ever had kidney stones, you know this name so well.
Calcium oxalates are usually the structures that produce kidney stones:
- They are harder to eliminate
- So they tend to accumulate in our kidneys
- That’s how they form the so-called “stones”
Now, don’t imagine that consuming turmeric or taking it as supplements will give you kidney stones. As I said before, it can only increase the risk.
And unless you have had problems in the past or you know you’re inclined to kindey affections, you shouldn’t worry too much.
Not everyone tolerates every single drug, you probably know that.
In fact, nausea is one of the most common side effects of drugs in general – and turmeric supplements make no exception.
The reason why: In some cases, this herb can produce mild nausea and diarheea.
I said before that turmeric can aggravate a gastroesophageal reflux disease.
This happens because turmeric tends to irritate the esophagus and part of the stomach. That’s why nausea appears as well.
But don’t get too scared. Nausea from turmeric usually appears if you take:
- high doses (over 4 grams per day)
- for at least a few months
So if you’ve been taking your herbal supplement for a while and you start getting nausea, don’t panic.
It may be just because of the pills, so stop the treatment for a few days and see how you’re feeling.
You see this side effect on almost every drug’s label.
But in reality – there are quite a few people who really develop allergy as a side effect. However, it also exists in turmeric’s field.
The reason why: Allergic reactions usually come as:
- an urticaria
- a dermatitis
Now – these are both pretty minor affections. Rashes aren’t very common, or at least there weren’t many cases reported.
What’s interesting is that there is a certain category of people allergic to turmeric supplements:
- the ones allergic to ginger
- or allergic to yellow food coloring
Ginger belongs to the same family as turmeric, so the connection makes sense.
Therefore, if you know your body doesn’t tolerate these things very well – it’s better to stay away from turmeric. It may not cause you any harm, but it’s better to stay safe.
5. Bleeding Problems
Turmeric and curcumin have never been friends with blood thinning drugs.
The reason why: In fact, some studies showed that curcumin slows down blood clotting.
At first sight, this may seem very useful – taking turmeric can help with your varicosity.
But surprisingly, turmeric supplements are forbidden together with blood thinning medicines.
On the other hand, if you suffer from bleeding conditions like haemophilia – turmeric and curcumin supplements are also a big no:
- They decrease blood clotting
- So they can increase the risks of bleeding
And this is enough to kill someone with a bleeding affection.
6. Iron Deficiency
If there’s someone most people don’t know about turmeric – it’s that it can cause a certain level of anemia.
This doesn’t happen everyday, but there were enough cases reported in the past.
Studies showed that the substances from turmeric powder can bind to iron molecules.
Where can we find iron in our bodies? Mostly in the red cells, the ones that carry the oxygen molecules.
The reason why: Once turmeric’s compounds bind to the iron molecules, our body can’t absorb enough iron from the foods we eat.
So that’s how iron deficiency appears. And the immediate consequence of this is anemia, one of the most common problems in these days.
The bad news is that:
- sometimes it’s so hard to find out what’s causing this anemia
Who would think that a harmless turmeric supplement can produce such a massive effect?
Probably no one, that’s why it’s so important to let your doctor know about all your medication – even herbal remedies that are apparently harmless.
Iron deficiency caused by turmeric supplements it pretty rare, but it does exist.
7. Gallbladder Problems
Just like they can cause kidney stones, turmeric supplements can also cause gallbladder issues.
The reason why: As I told you before, turmeric powder contains a substance called oxalate.
Once this oxalate binds to calcium molecules, it can produce kindey stones. That’s the classic scenario.
The other possible scenario is not so common – but it can happen if you have a history of gallbladder problems:
- The calcium oxalates can add up in your gallbladder instead
- So they cause stones there
Once again, that’s not something that happens daily, but you have to be aware of this risk if you start taking turmeric supplements.
It’s been scientifically proved that turmeric consumption increases the amount of oxalates from our blood. So make sure you are free of any possible problems before starting a treatment with curcumin and turmeric remedies.
Though there isn’t any real evidence that it would be harmful – turmeric is forbidden in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
In fact, scientists say that consuming turmeric as a spice during pregnancy is totally harmless.
However, there’s a reason why the supplements aren’t allowed in pregnancy.
The reason why: In a higher dose, turmeric was proved to stimulate uterine contractions.
During pregnancy, this would be extremely dangerous because it would mean risking the baby’s life.
So if you experience joint pain at that time, it’s best to talk to your doctor instead of taking any supplement.
When it comes to breastfeeding – there aren’t many reports or information. Scientists don’t know yet if turmeric would pass through breast milk, and this means it’s better to stay away from it.
This is another very common symptom of most drugs. So surprisingly or not, turmeric is also on the list.
The reason why: Higher doses of turmeric and curcumin can lower the blood pressure. And the first symptoms that indicate a lower blood pressure are:
Normally, no one would think it’s the herbal supplement behind all this.
But if it’s taken in a higher dose for a longer period (like a few months), turmeric can produce this effect.
However, don’t worry about consuming too much turmeric as a spice.
Even if you’re using it daily, it’s not enough to cause you any side effect, except maybe for a small allergy. It’s only the supplements that can lower the blood pressure or produce any other side effect.
So What Side Effect Have You Experienced?
If you’ve never tried turmeric before and you’re thinking about starting a treatment, I hope this post didn’t scare you too much. This wasn’t the point, that’s for sure.
Don’t worry, you won’t get any side effect overnight or in the first week.
You should take a pretty high dose for a few months to see the side effects. Something above 4 grams per day.
Otherwise, you could at most get a small allergy, but even that is very unlikely.
Turmeric can produce:
- kidney or gallbladder stones
- digestive problems
But these are effects that appear very rarely. In fact, it is quite a safe herb, so don’t get discouraged by these possible side effects.
So which of the side effects of turmeric & curcumin supplements have you experienced? Let me know your answer in a comment and I will reach out to you.