It has a long history of being used as a food ingredient. The root of the Curcuma longa plant is used to grind up the spices in theTurmeric you purchase. One of the natural chemicals in turmeric is Curcumin, which is thought to have a number of benefits. Over the past several years, sales ofTurmeric have grown and it is now one of the top selling natural products in the USA. Reports of serious injuries associated with consumption are becoming more frequent.

From an efficacy point of view, clinical trials with turmeric have been disappointing. There is some suggestion of benefit for certain conditions, but there is no evidence for routine medical use. The main challenge is that the chemical is poorly absorbed. The interpretation of any trial can be complicated by the different formulas that have been developed. Tablets, liquids, and root extracts are included in many of the formulations. The safety profile is usually considered safe even at daily doses measured in grams when consumed for several weeks due to the poor absorption. Some turmeric supplements are being marketed as being combined with black pepper which greatly improves its absorption. If you haven't already seen it, it's pretty funny. Black pepper's component, piperine, seems to have an effect on the metabolism in the body. The amount of Curcumin available to the body is increased through inhibition. The risk of unwanted or harmful effects is increased. There are other ways to increase absorption.

Higher effective doses seem to be causing more cases of damage to the bile duct. It is reported to start with fatigue, nausea, and poor appetite, followed by dark urine and jaundice, after ingestion. When the turmeric consumption is stopped, recovery is quick.

The American Journal of Medicine published a paper about ten cases of injury associated with turmeric. The Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN) was established in 2003 as a cooperative agreement across academic centers and studies the effects of drugs and supplements on the body. The paper reviewed all of the cases in whichTurmeric was implicated as a cause. Causality and available product were analyzed. There have been ten cases of turmeric injury in the last eight years. One of the patients died of acute liver failure. The products that were tested had chemical analysis confirm them. There were three products with piperine.

Some people may be at higher risk of having a bad reaction toTurmeric because of their genetics. Seven cases were found to have the HLA-B*35:01) allele, which has already been implicated as a potential indicator of liver damage from other products, such as green tea. It's associated with the risk of injury from regular medication. 5% to 15% of the US population carry this allgene.

Italy banned health claims related to turmeric and put a warning on products derived from Curcuma longa root due to concerns about the potential for serious harm. There were reports of about 20 cases ofLiver damage attributed to use.

IMPORTANT WARNING In case of liver, biliary or calculosis abnormalities in the biliary tract, the use of the product is not recommended. Do not use during pregnancy and lactation. Do not use for prolonged periods without consulting your doctor. If you are taking medications, it is it is advisable to hear the opinion of the doctor.

Conclusion: Turmeric has rare but serious risks

The role of turmeric supplements is not well known. The absorption of the drug is increased by combining the two. It's a rare risk of consuming. Use with or without piperine should be held consistent. The potential to identify those at greater risk of harm is the result of research into genetic risk factors. Monitoring for signs and symptoms ofLiver damage or other harms is important until then.

  • Scott is looking at the profession of pharmacy through the lens of science-based medicine. He wants to improve the cost-effective use of drugs. Scott has a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Toronto. He has worked in both community and hospital settings. He is a registered pharmacy in Canada. Scott doesn't have conflicts of interests. Scott does not represent the opinions of any current or former employers or organizations that he may be associated with. Information should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed and accredited health professional.

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