Is Curcumin Good for Menopause?

Is Curcumin Good for Menopause?

Is Curcumin Good for Menopause?

Known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, curcumin, a compound found in the golden-hued spice turmeric, has emerged as a subject of interest in the realm of menopausal health.

In this article, we explore the potential impact of this remarkable spice on menopausal symptoms, delving into the scientific insights that hint at its ability to offer relief and support during this significant life transition.

What is Curcumin?

Curcumin is a polyphenol, a type of organic compound characterized by its antioxidant properties. Its chemical structure is responsible for the distinctive yellow color of turmeric, making it not only a culinary delight, but also a source of intrigue for researchers exploring its therapeutic potential, including its benefits during menopause.1

Benefits of Curcumin in Menopause

1. It may relieve hot flashes

Hormonal fluctuations are a hallmark of menopause, often leading to symptoms like hot flashes. Studies have shown that curcumin can help decrease hot flashes associated during menopause.

This was supported by a study among 93 postmenopausal women supplemented with curcumin and Vitamin E for eight weeks showed that it can significantly reduce hot flashes among the participants.2

2. It may improve cholesterol levels and menopause-associated weight gain

Research shows that  when estrogen levels drop during menopause, women may experience higher LDL or bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels.3 A study of postmenopausal women found that compared with placebo, curcumin supplementation decreased fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.4

On the other hand, a study of perimenopausal women showed that over three months, those eating improved their body weight, waist circumference, and fasting blood sugar. The researchers speculate this is partly due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.5

3. It may support  cognitive function

Curcumin’s antioxidant properties have been studied for their potential neuroprotective effects. A study of middle-aged and older adults found oral intake of curcumin improved memory performance over 18 months. The same study found that curcumin may help stabilize mood and prevent the buildup of plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease.6

Side Effects

Potential side effects of curcumin are generally mild, and they may include gastrointestinal issues such as nausea or diarrhea, especially in high doses. It can also have blood-thinning properties, so individuals on blood-thinning medications should exercise caution. Additionally, some people may be allergic to curcumin, experiencing skin rashes or itching.7

It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating curcumin supplements, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications.

Recommended Dosage and How to Consume

Studies suggest that an effective dose of curcumin is typically between 500-2,000 mg per day. This is generally consumed as a curcumin extract which contains a much higher concentration than is generally found in turmeric root powder, or that naturally occurs in foods.

Usually, turmeric spices contain around 3% curcumin, however, turmeric extract contains around 95% curcuminoids, the most potent of which is curcumin.8

There are no definitive statistics on effective doses of curcumin or turmeric, but based on research, it is typically suggested that:9-11

  • High cholesterol: 700 mg of turmeric extract twice daily for 3 months
  • Arthritis or osteoarthritis: 500mg of turmeric extract twice daily for 2-3 months
  • Irritable or itchy skin: 500mg of turmeric three times daily for 2 months

Possible Interactions

Curcumin may interact with certain medications or conditions. As mentioned, it can have mild blood-thinning effects, so it is important to discuss with a healthcare professional before taking curcumin when you are taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs. There may also be interactions with drugs that affect blood sugar levels, so individuals with diabetes should monitor their levels closely.

Moreover, curcumin might enhance the effects of drugs that lower blood pressure. People taking medications for gallstones or bile duct obstruction should avoid curcumin supplements.12

Final Words

As scientific research continues to investigate the relationship between curcumin and menopause, a more comprehensive understanding of its role in managing symptoms is also coming into place, providing additional options for women seeking natural approaches to support their wellbeing during this transformative period.

References:

  1. Curcumin. (2023, January 3). Linus Pauling Institute. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/curcumin#introduction.
  2. Ataei-Almanghadim, K., Farshbaf-Khalili, A., Ostadrahimi, A. R., Shaseb, E., & Mirghafourvand, M. (2020). The effect of oral capsule of curcumin and vitamin E on the hot flashes and anxiety in postmenopausal women: A triple blind randomised controlled trial. Complementary therapies in medicine, 48, 102267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2019.102267.
  3. Mesalić, L., Tupković, E., Kendić, S., & Balić, D. (2008). Correlation between hormonal and lipid status in women in menopause. Bosnian journal of basic medical sciences, 8(2), 188–192. https://doi.org/10.17305/bjbms.2008.2980.
  4. Hamidreza Yousefi-Nodeh, Azizeh Farshbaf-Khalili, Behnaz Sadeghzadeh Oskouei, Nayyer Jafarilar-Aghdam, Negin Kazemi-Zanjani & Samira Pourzeinali (2022) Curcumin and vitamin E improve hot flashes, lipid profile, and fasting blood glucose without any detrimental effect on the liver and renal function in postmenopausal women: A triple-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, Health Care for Women International, DOI: 10.1080/07399332.2022.2117815.
  5. Ogbodo, E.C. & Ugorji, B.N. & Meludu, S.C. & Ogbu, Innocent Sidney & Chikezie, D.O. & Igwebuobi, C.F. & Nduka, Nonso. (2021). Changes in lipd profile and some biochemical parameters in perimenopausal women treated with turmeric. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biological Sciences. 9. 24-28. 10.18231/j.jpbs.2021.004.
  6. Small, G. W., Siddarth, P., Li, Z., Miller, K. J., Ercoli, L. M., Emerson, N. D., Martinez, J., Wong, K., Liu, J., Merrill, D. A., Chen, S. T., Henning, S. M., Satyamurthy, N., Huang, S., Heber, D., & Barrio, J. R. (2018b). Memory and brain amyloid and TAU effects of a bioavailable form of curcumin in Non-Demented adults: a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled 18-Month trial. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(3), 266–277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2017.10.010.
  7. Lilyadmin. (2020, March 18). Curcumin: Health benefits and cautions explained. Arthritis WA. https://www.arthritiswa.org.au/health-and-lifestyle/curcumin-health-benefits-and-cautions-explained/.
  8. Stohs, S. J., Chen, O., Ray, S. D., Ji, J., Bucci, L. R., & Preuss, H. G. (2020). Highly Bioavailable Forms of Curcumin and Promising Avenues for Curcumin-Based Research and Application: A Review. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(6), 1397. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25061397.
  9. Chandan, S., Mohan, B. P., Chandan, O. C., Ahmad, R., Challa, A., Tummala, H., Singh, S., Dhawan, P., Ponnada, S., Singh, A. B., & Adler, D. G. (2020). Curcumin use in ulcerative colitis: is it ready for prime time? A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Annals of gastroenterology, 33(1), 53–58. https://doi.org/10.20524/aog.2019.0439.
  10.  Hercz, D., Jiang, S. H., & Webster, A. C. (2020). Interventions for itch in people with advanced chronic kidney disease. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 12(12), CD011393. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011393.pub2.
  11.  Zeng, L., Yu, G., Hao, W., Yang, K., & Chen, H. (2021). The efficacy and safety of Curcuma longa extract and curcumin supplements on osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Bioscience reports, 41(6), BSR20210817. https://doi.org/10.1042/BSR20210817.
  12.  Shaikh, J., MD, & Mbbs, K. K. (2022, December 16). Which medications should not be taken with turmeric? Drug interactions. MedicineNet. https://www.medicinenet.com/which_medications_not_to_take_with_turmeric/article.htm.
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