How can turmeric help lower cholesterol levels? Here’s a look at how turmeric and cholesterol levels are related, as well as other benefits of the spice.
Used mostly as a spice, turmeric has been used for wellness in Ayurvedic medicine.
Ayurvedic medicine is a holistic approach to health originating over 3,000 years ago in India.
While supplements are widely available, it’s important to know how much to take to lower cholesterol levels and experience other benefits.
How to Take Turmeric for Inflammation
Chronic, low-grade inflammation can lead to diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
Turmeric has a potent plant chemical called curcumin that may have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
According to a number of studies, people with osteoarthritis who consumed turmeric saw a reduction in knee pain and improved knee function.
How to Take Turmeric for Cholesterol
In another randomized controlled trial (RCT), overweight participants consumed turmeric supplements for three months.
On average, there was a cholesterol reduction: 32% overall reduction, 42% LDL cholesterol reduction, and 39% triglyceride reduction.
Individuals experiencing chronic kidney disease and itchy skin may also see an improved quality of life by taking turmeric supplements.
Turmeric Dosage for High Cholesterol
Studies usually use between 500 and 2,000 mg of turmeric a day.
The amount of curcumin found in these turmeric extracts is much higher than those found in food sources.
For example, while turmeric spices have about 3% curcumin, the extracts used in scientific studies contain 95% curcumin.
Currently, there is no official turmeric dosage, but the following doses have had promising results in various studies.
- Osteoarthritis: 500 mg turmeric extract, twice daily for 2 to 3 months
- High cholesterol: 700 mg turmeric extract, twice daily for 3 months
- Itchy skin: 500 mg turmeric, three times daily for 2 months
Since currently there is no research confirming the long-term effects of consuming turmeric supplements, taking high doses of turmeric and curcumin is not recommended.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has given the following guidelines: 1.4 mg per pound of bodyweight daily is acceptable.
Who Should Avoid Turmeric?
Most people won’t experience any adverse effects after taking turmeric supplements.
However, certain people should either avoid taking turmeric or consult their physician before taking turmeric supplements.
Currently, the research is insufficient to determine if turmeric is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Turmeric is high in oxalates, which can cause kidney stones in people who are vulnerable to getting them.
People with diabetes can see blood sugar drop too low, and it may also interfere with iron absorption.
Individuals with gallbladder disease can experience worsening symptoms as turmeric may cause the gallbladder to contract.
Finally, turmeric may slow blood clotting, which could cause adverse effects in people with bleeding disorders.