There isn’t an exact dosage but start off with a 1/4 teaspoon 2/3 times a day to let your body adjust. See how you feel and whether you are noticing any benefit. Increase your dosage when you feel ready – just a little at a time and continue until you are feeling the benefits. Your required dosage will depend on many factors ie the type of turmeric you are using, what you are taking it for, etc.
Turmeric does not stay in the body for more than 6 – 8 hours so little an often of small doses is more beneficial.
Turmeric is a natural food so you should not experience any negative effects but if you do have any reaction that makes you uncomfortable stop or reduce your dosage and seek some further advice. If you are being treated for a chronic illness and are taking medication please consult with your doctor to enquire whether turmeric would be beneficial.
Can turmeric prevent or treat cancer?
A phase I clinical trial looked at giving curcumin to 25 patients with pre cancerous changes in different organs. This study seemed to show that curcumin could stop the precancerous changes becoming cancer.
Research has also shown that there are low rates of certain types of cancer in countries where people eat curcumin at levels of about 100 to 200 mg a day over long periods of time.
A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.
A 2007 American study that combined curcumin with chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer cells in a laboratory showed that the combined treatment killed more cancer cells than the chemotherapy alone.
A 2007 American study in mice seemed to show that curcumin helped to stop the spread of breast cancer cells to other parts of the body.
Doctors think that curcumin stays in the digestive system and is absorbed by the cells in the bowel. To find out more, a small study in the UK looked at how curcumin is absorbed from the human gut into liver cells. This study looked at how much of the curcumin is absorbed into both cancer cells and normal cells. This was a very small study of people with bowel cancer that had spread to the liver. They were given curcumin for 7 days before surgery.
During the surgery doctors removed liver tissue and they then then measured the levels of curcumin in the tissue. The results showed that the level of curcumin absorbed into the liver was not high enough to have any anticancer effect. The researchers suggested that future clinical trials of curcumin should focus on preventing bowel tumours. Several studies have shown that curcumin taken as capsules does get absorbed by the gut and is present in the blood. But the amount in the blood is small.
An American phase 2 study reported in 2008. 25 patients had curcumin treatment and 21 had tumours that could be measured. In 2 patients their tumours shrank or remained stable. In some patients their levels of particular immune system chemicals that destroy cancer cells went up. But the researchers found that blood levels of curcumin were very low because it is not well absorbed from the gut. Scientists have since developed injectable, fat soluble forms of curcumin which may improve the results.
These studies look promising but we need to do more clinical trials in humans before we will know if curcumin has any potential to treat cancer in people.
A trial is currently under way in Puerto Rico to find out whether curcumin can shrink precancerous growths in patients with a genetic disorder that greatly increases their risk of bowel cancer.
To find trials in the UK using curcumin or turmeric go to our clinical trials database.
It is important to remember that turmeric used in cooking is very safe. But we don’t know how safe curcumin is when used for medical reasons. So far, research studies seem to show that it causes few or no side effects. But we don’t know much about the side effects of taking it in large amounts to treat or prevent cancer.
There have been some reports of stomach pain if too much turmeric is swallowed and skin problems if it is taken for a long time. For these reasons we recommend that if you use curcumin for reasons other than in cooking, you should talk to your doctor first.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning about the turmeric based food supplement Fortodol (also sold as Miradin). Fortodol has been found to contain the strong anti inflammatory drug nimesulide. Nimesulide can cause serious damage to the liver and is not licensed as a medicine in the UK. The Food Standards Agency in the USA states that taking products that contain unknown amounts of nimesulide could be very harmful.
Fortodol and Miradin are sold in the UK and on the internet as food supplements. The FSA advises anyone taking these products to stop doing so immediately, and contact their doctor if they have any signs of liver disease. The signs include jaundice, dark urine, nausea, vomiting, unusual tiredness, stomach or abdominal pain, or loss of appetite.
Information source: www.cancerresearchuk.org
How to Make Golden Paste
- 60gms turmeric powder
- 250 – 500ml water
- 1.5 teaspoons ground black pepper*
- 70 ml cold pressed Extra Virgin Coconut oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- In a saucepan put turmeric powder and 250 mls of water and heat over a low heat. Let the mixture simmer for around 7 – 8 minutes – the mixture will thicken** as it heats up.
- Now add the coconut or olive oil and then the black pepper and gently stir until blended
- Leave to cool
- Store in an airtight container – preferably glass
- Must be kept in fridge and will keep for up to 2/3 weeks
* Omit pepper if you are unable to tolerate it. Absorption of turmeric will be enhanced by cooking along with your preferred oil but will be less effective without the pepper
**Additional water can be added to create a good texture – you are looking for the consistency of thick double cream
Always use quality ingredients for your paste.
Do not buy it if you do not know the quality as there are turmeric brands out there that have had the curcumin removed (these are just used for flavour and colour in food preparations).
The oil you use needs to be high in omega 3, this means the oil is a natural anti-inflammatory oil. Virgin or cold pressed oils are needed.
The three best oils to use are: Coconut Oil, Linseed Oil or Olive Oil
The pepper needs to be whole black pepper that is freshly ground.
Just like approximately 5% of the spice turmeric is composed of an active compound called curcumin, about 5% of black pepper by weight is comprised of a compound called piperine. Curcumin is responsible for the yellow color of turmeric and piperine for the pungent flavor of pepper. Piperine is a potent inhibitor of drug metabolism. One of the ways our liver gets rid of foreign substances is making them water soluble so they can be more easily excreted. But this black pepper molecule inhibits that process.
And it doesn’t take much. If people are given a bunch of turmeric curcumin, within an hour there’s a little bump in the level in their blood stream. We don’t see a large increase because our liver is actively trying to get rid of it. But what if the process is suppressed by taking just a quarter teaspoon’s worth of black pepper? Then you see curcumin levels skyrocket. The same amount of curcumin consumed, but the bioavailability shoots up 2000%. Even just a little pinch of pepper – 1/20th of a teaspoon – can significantly boost levels. And guess what a common ingredient in curry powder is besides turmeric? – Black pepper.