Curcumin dosage: How much curcumin should I be taking?

22 July 2021
For thousands of years, turmeric and curcumin have been a staple in both culinary creations and medicinal practices.

Research into the health benefits of both turmeric and its key active ingredient – curcumin, has only boosted the popularity of the supplement, but it isn’t always clear how much is the correct amount to consume.

We look at curcumin’s key uses, the most effective doses and important safety issues to consider.

What is curcumin?

Curcumin is one of several curcuminoid compounds that make up the popular eastern spice, turmeric. Curcumin is the key active ingredient and is also responsible for giving turmeric its distinctive bright, yellow colour.

Curcumin is used to help alleviate a wide range of health complaints and ailments, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nature and has also been linked to increased brain function and the prevention of heart disease amongst other benefits[1].

How much curcumin should I take?

Studies suggest that an effective dose of curcumin is typically between 500-2,000 mg per day. This is generally consumed as a curcumin extract which contains a much higher concentration than is generally found in turmeric root powder, or that naturally occurs in foods.

Usually, turmeric spices contain around 3% curcumin, however, turmeric extract contains around 95% curcuminoids, the most potent of which is curcumin[2].

While clinical human trials have shown that doses as high as 8 grams of curcumin are non-toxic[3], it is not suggested that these high doses should be used as long-term solutions over extended periods of time as there is no current data to confirm human safety or tolerance.
There are no definitive statistics on effective doses of curcumin or turmeric, but based on research, it is typically suggested that:
  • High cholesterol: 700 mg of turmeric extract twice daily for 3 months
  • Arthritis or osteoarthritis: 500mg of turmeric extract twice daily for 2-3 months 
  • Irritable or itchy skin: 500mg of turmeric three times daily for 2 months[4]
 Find out more in our article: How much turmeric/curcumin should I be taking?

When can I expect to see changes?

Curcumin begins to work almost immediately after consumption by improving your overall health or to temporarily alleviate pain and discomfort.

However, depending on the specific concern, times may vary when looking for relief. Consistency is key when tackling longer-term issues, with chronic inflammation, arthritis or joint issues taking around 2-4 weeks before improvements are felt.

Effectiveness may also be impacted by:

  • Age
  • Body mass
  • Other medications
  • Activity level
  • Condition severity
  • How supplements are consumed (e.g., are they taken alongside other supplements or complementary foods).

Who should avoid curcumin?

Although side effects of curcumin consumption are rare, there are a number of cases in which people may wish to avoid turmeric and/or curcumin supplements, such as:

  • People already taking blood thinners or have bleeding disorders
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • People suffering from kidney stones or gallbladder disease
  • People who suffer from iron-deficiency[5].
While more long-term studies are needed to determine a more complete list of potential adverse effects, common symptoms of those who take too much curcumin, or may take it for too long a period can include allergic reactions and stomach upsets including pain, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.

Find out more

Discover more about curcumin dosage and Cortiba Health’s groundbreaking, patented technology here.