How much curcumin should I take and why?

How much curcumin should I take and why?

Curcumin is the active ingredient in the turmeric plant (lat. Curcuma longa), known for its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. The turmeric plant originates from Southeast Asia, but today it's spread worldwide. Curcumin is a popular supplement in its isolated form or mixed with other active ingredients. 

Keep reading and find out what is the optimal daily dosage of curcumin

Curcumin - supplement

Curcumin is a polyphenol by chemical structure, meaning it possesses several phenolic groups. It is the dominant polyphenol amongst others present in turmeric powder, and the one responsible for giving it its characteristic bright yellow color

Some health benefits of curcumin supplements are:

  • helps with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions such as muscle soreness,
  • slows the development of metabolic diseases,
  • protection against oxidative stress in healthy people,
  • improves cognitive skills and protects against memory loss,
  • helps with menopausal symptoms

All these benefits of curcumin were tested and confirmed in human trials (1). 

The main problem with taking curcumin is its low bioavailability, mostly due to the fast absorption and fast metabolism of this compound. In other words, taking 1 gram of curcumin alone won't mean that 1 gram of it did anything in the body because most of it will be too easily absorbed and metabolized.

Therefore, it is not uncommon to see curcumin-containing supplements in formulation with compounds that increase their bioavailability, such as piperine from pepper. It is known that pepper can increase the efficiency of curcumin supplements by 2000% (2). 

Curcumin - dosage per day

Curcumin is recognized and approved as a dietary supplement by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where it gained a Generally Recognized as Safe status. 

EFSA declared the safe daily amount of curcumin to be up to 3 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, which equals 210 milligrams daily for a person who weighs 70 kilograms.

However, many studies done on human subjects tested up to 2 grams or 2000 milligrams of curcumin daily with no reported side effects (1). 

Only very high doses of curcumin (3 - 12 grams per day) resulted in several side effects over 72 hours (3):

  • headache,
  • rash,
  • diarrhea,
  • yellow stool,
  • nausea. 

For better handling of curcumin, it's best to take it divided through several doses and with meals. Since many studies tested up to 2 grams of curcumin daily and found this safe, the most common regimen is taking up to 700 milligrams of curcumin up to 3 times a day. Always check how much of the pure curcumin the supplement you're taking contains, especially if it's a mix of different active compounds.

You should in any case consult your healthcare professional before incorporating curcumin supplements in your diet, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications.

Find more about how curcumin helps with menopause symptoms here


1. Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS. Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods. 2017 Oct 22;6(10):92. doi: 10.3390/foods6100092. 

2. Shoba G., Joy D., Joseph T., Majeed M., Rajendran R., Srinivas P.S. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med. 1998;64:353–356. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-957450

3. Lao C.D., Ruffin M.T., Normolle D., Heath D.D., Murray S.I., Bailey J.M., Boggs M.E., Crowell J., Rock C.L., Brenner D.E. Dose escalation of a curcuminoid formulation. BMC Complement. Altern. Med. 2006;6:10. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-6-10. 

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