Turmeric is a spice that has been used in cooking and natural medicine for centuries, solidifying its well-deserved status as a superfood ingredient. Not only has turmeric been shown to soothe inflammation, but recent research has unearthed several other potential benefits of turmeric pills, including decreased joint pain, increased weight loss, better skin health and more. Best of all, because it’s now available in convenient capsule form, adding turmeric to your daily routine has never been easier.
So what are the benefits of taking turmeric pills, and how much should you take to get the most bang for your buck? Let’s take a closer look.
Benefits of Turmeric Pills
1. Decrease Inflammation
Curcumin, the main ingredient found in turmeric, is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which is widely considered one of the top turmeric pills benefits. Studies show that curcumin can help relieve inflammation by blocking the activity of several key enzymes involved in the inflammatory process. Interestingly enough, an in vitro study published in Oncogene actually found that curcumin extract was more effective than common anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin and ibuprofen at decreasing inflammation.
Inflammation is especially important for those who suffer from autoimmune conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. However, it’s also thought to play a central role in the development of other conditions as well, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
2. Control Blood Sugar
Research shows that taking turmeric pills may be able to help regulate blood sugar levels to support glycemic control. In fact, a study out of Iran actually found that turmeric can help maintain blood sugar by increasing insulin secretion, decreasing glucose synthesis and promoting the uptake of glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells. It may also aid in the prevention of diabetes and slow its progression by improving the function of insulin-producing pancreatic cells.
3. Enhance Mood
In addition to their effects on physical well-being, some research has found that turmeric pills could help optimize mental health as well. For example, a review of six studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association noted that curcumin is effective at reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety within just four to eight weeks. Turmeric can also help bump up levels of DHA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid closely involved in the regulation of brain function and mood.
4. Decrease Joint Pain
Thanks to their potent anti-inflammatory effects, turmeric pills can be an effective way to minimize joint pain caused by inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Studies show that curcumin can act as a natural painkiller and may play a central role in pain management. According to one study out of India, taking curcumin was even more effective at reducing joint swelling and tenderness than diclofenac sodium, a medication often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Support Weight Loss
Many people try taking turmeric pills for weight loss because of their ability to boost fat-burning and prevent weight gain. An animal model conducted by the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University showed that curcumin was able to limit weight gain and fat tissue growth in rats. Another study out of Milan looked at the effects of curcumin in people with metabolic syndrome and found that it helped increase weight loss, reduce body fat and decrease body mass index in participants.
6. Improve Skin Health
In recent years, a multitude of turmeric benefits for skin have started to come to light. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, research suggests that turmeric could help prevent cell damage, enhance collagen deposition and speed up wound healing. It’s also been shown to help treat other issues, such as psoriasis, which is a common condition that causes symptoms like flakiness, dryness and peeling of the skin. For this reason, you can often find turmeric in skin serums and cosmetics, and many people often recommend turmeric pills for acne, redness, eczema and more.
How to Select Turmeric Pills
Selecting high-quality turmeric curcumin pills can maximize the potential health benefits of your supplement and ensure you get the most for your money. Ideally, look for a supplement that contains a high concentration of curcumin, which is the compound responsible for the health benefits of turmeric. High-quality supplements should contain at least 500 milligrams of curcumin and should be fully standardized to 95 percent curcuminoids.
The best turmeric pills should also contain piperine, which is a chemical found in black pepper that enhances curcumin absorption. According to one animal model published in Planta Medica, administration of piperine may increase curcumin absorption by up to 2,000 percent.
It’s also recommended to opt for organic turmeric pills whenever possible and look for curcumin capsules that have undergone fermentation, which may increase absorption even further. Additionally, be sure to always buy from a reputable manufacturer and check out the turmeric pills reviews prior to your purchase.
Turmeric Pills Dosage and Usage
So how much turmeric should you take a day? Is turmeric safe to take daily, or should you limit your intake to just a few times per week instead?
Although the ideal turmeric dosage may vary based on many different factors, research typically suggests that you should get at least one gram of curcumin per day to promote better health. However, doses of up to eight grams per day have been shown to be safe and well-tolerated by most people. To reduce the risk of adverse side effects, however, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for how to take turmeric and use only as directed.
In addition to turmeric pills, there are several other options for getting in your daily dose. Turmeric powder, for example, can be used to make turmeric tea or added to dishes for a bit of extra flavor and color. It’s also often added to skin care products to help treat inflammation and swelling at the source.
Despite the many potential health benefits associated with turmeric, there are also several side effects that should also be considered, especially when high doses are consumed or when it’s applied directly to the skin in concentrated amounts.
What are the side effects of turmeric? A few of the most common turmeric pills side effects include:
- Low blood sugar levels
- Increased bleeding risk
- Changes in menstruation
- Decreased fertility
It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for how to use turmeric to help minimize potential side effects. If you do experience any negative symptoms after taking turmeric, decrease your dosage and consult with your doctor to address any concerns.
Note that taking turmeric may impair iron absorption and contribute to issues like iron-deficiency anemia. Turmeric pills are also not recommended for women who are pregnant, as they may stimulate uterine contractions and induce early labor. Additionally, if you have diabetes and take medications to lower blood sugar, it’s best to consult with your doctor prior to starting supplementation.
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