Taking Turmeric and Curcumin: What are the considerations?

Things to Think about when Taking Turmeric and Curcumin

Turmeric continues to be studied for its anti inflammatory properties. Studies have suggested it may reduce a variety of inflammatory markers like ESR, CRP and IL-6. We have had an interest in understanding its benefits in a variety of hair disorders.

Turmeric is not particularly “bioavailable” meaning alot of what goes into the body does not actually get absorbed. A variety of strategies are used to increase the amount that ultimately does get absorbed including taking with a fat source and taking with black pepper.


Anyone who takes turmeric supplements will note that they are frequently combined with “lipid-based” absorption-enhancers and by combining turmeric with other natural substances, including various black pepper derivatives (ie piperine) which may increase its bioavailability. The ideal dose of curcumin or turmeric is not known. Many studies have examined the role of 1500 mg as a typical dose. 1 tablespoon of turmeric has about 200-500 mg curcumin although some sources may have a bit less. Many turmeric based supplements indicate the amount of “curcuminoids” in the product. Individuals need to be aware that turmeric and related supplements may increase bleeding tendencies and so any such use should be discussed with a health care professional especially before surgery.

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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