Can turmeric supplements cause liver damage? They are not among the supplements commonly know to cause liver injury, such as high-dose vitamin A, chaparral and others – which is why I was surprised to read this case report of a woman who suffered from autoimmune hepatitis after taking a turmeric supplement for almost a year. She had temporary liver damage but fortunately her liver enzymes (markers of liver injury) started decreasing after 1 month off turmeric and then returned to normal soon thereafter.
Typically, turmeric is thought to support and improve healthy liver function and for most people consuming it, the whole spice or powder shouldn’t pose any problem whatsoever — even in large quantities of many tablespoons per day. But in the supplement form of curcumin it appears that a small minority of people taking it suffer this side effect. A review of 35 research studies found that about 5% of patients taking a curcumin supplement may experience reversible elevation in liver enzymes. Usually once the supplement is discontinued then the liver enzymes return to normal. Also the longer one takes curcumin as a supplement, the higher the risk.
Therefore if you are taking curcumin for longer than one month consult with your doctor to make sure that it is safe to do so, and that your liver enzymes are being monitored if necessary. Turmeric should be used with caution by patients with liver or gallbladder disease, because studies show it can improve bile flow and stimulate emptying of the gallbladder. It should also be avoided by patients who are taking blood thinners (like Coumadin) because of its effects on blood clotting, and should be stopped 2 weeks before surgery for the same reason.
As with all herbs and supplements, turmeric is not totally benign and should be taken under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. That is the best way to take advantage of its incredibly powerful therapeutic and anti-inflammatory effects while being safe and avoiding adverse effects.
Hey, Iove this article thanks for sharing, I keep reading reviews about Turmeric with BioPerine but can’t make up my mind because of the price. I understand it has a ton of value which I can kind of justify for the price but then again in this review, http://www.totalbeings.com/how-turmeric-capsules-saved-my-life/ they are saying it is great. Would love to get your opinion on it and is it something someone needs when first starting out. Thanks again for the tips. I’m on the fence if I should sign up or not.
I’ve taken it for 10 years – 2-4 grams/day and no side effects. I use the spice and black pepper that I mix myself in a soup everyday for lunch. It was instrumental in curing my lupus and arthritis. To answer your question, don’t buy the capsules and simply prepare your own in a meal daily.
Thanks. I got the right capsules couldn’t make up my mind. I have Lupus. One dr says yes another no. Been researching. Different answers for same question. Have gallstones also. I wont take capsules
Forget the capsules. A friend buys turmeric in bulk from the local health food store. Cheap and does the job.
I’m in my sixties, but very active and productive. For all my life I was aware that my liver was not so “generous” as those from normal people, I had to avoid excess in alcohol and fat.
Last month I bought the Sunfood Organic Tumeric Powder and started to use it, half coffee spoon dissolved in a glass of water.
Yesterday afternoon I just felt down in bed with terrible pain, like if my liver had gone to hell. After two episodes of throwing until finish everything I had eaten the last two days, I got better. I’m still very weak and refuting eat anything that can have a small part of fat. I feel like my liver had almost finished. The only thing I changed in last month was starting the Tumeric complement. So, never more!
Leila (from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Hi Leila we are farming turmeric in our home
In India turmeric powder locally available product
So use powder only
The lesson here is consult your Doctor before taking any supplements. We all know Turmeric is good for our body but we don’t know how much quantity we need. Self-medication practice are very common, the bad thing is it can worsen your liver instead of curing you.
I live in Alaska, USA, snd tell all my doctors and other medical practitioners what supplements I take and why – unfortunately none of them know much, if anything, about the supplements, and don’t bother to investigate. Have been very ill for over 30 years, so bankrupted by medical bills, all catastrophic incidents due to western pharmaceutical effects, and have been relegated to Medicare and Medicaid for the last 20 years. These government programs are completely in bed with Big Pharma and are rabidly opposed to embracing Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, etc., etc., so no coverage for these services or prescriptions. When I had some money, I chose Ayurveda and Naturopathic physicians and Chinese-medicine trained acupuncturists, but that was early on, and I have been self-studying Dr. Lad’s textbooks and reading websites like this for the past 12 years. The REAL LESSON for most of us without endless bank accounts or access to an Ayurvedic doctor, is NOT to ask your western doctor about things of which he/she knows nothing, but to educate yourself and save for an Ayurvedic consult if at all ppossible. Politically, we can advocate for
inclusion of validated complementary treatments in insurance coverage. I see progress, and am optimistic, especially as more traditionally-trained Ayurvedic doctors begin to influence their frustrated western colleagues who have realized how poorly they have been educated to deal with real-world diseases and the cultivation of true health. I am profoundly grateful for having discovered not only Ayurveda, but the Vedas and Vedanta and now the Sanskrit Language, which I am now studying. Thank you India!