Because curcumin is not a medication and does not require FDA approval, no clearly established dosages have been proven both safe and effective. Although studies of curcumin are in preliminary stages, one study for colon cancer used a dosage of 36 to 180 mg per day. Before buying curcumin supplements, you should make sure the manufacturer of the product is reputable.
The recommended dose of curcumin has not yet been established. Unlike most medications, for which the standard doses have been carefully established in specific studies, less information is available for determining the best dosage of most herbal supplements, including curcumin.
With medications, researchers establish the safest and most effective doses in specially designed studies known as dose-range studies. These studies are done early in the development of medications, long before they are ever approved. However, because herbal supplements do not require approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dose-range studies are rarely performed. Without such studies, very little reliable dosing information is available.
Studies of curcumin are in the early stages; for some uses, only animal (not human) studies have been performed. One human study of curcumin for colon cancer used a dosage of 36 mg to 180 mg per day. Another study used 500 mg of turmeric (a spice which contains curcumin) four times daily for dyspepsia (indigestion or heartburn).
Considerations for people taking curcumin include the following:
- Because the manufacturing of supplements such as curcumin is not closely regulated, it is important to choose a trustworthy manufacturer. Your pharmacist is a good source of information regarding which supplement manufacturers are more reputable than others.
- If you have any chronic health problems or take any prescription medications, you should check with your healthcare provider before taking curcumin.
- If you are unsure about anything related to your dosage of curcumin, please talk with your healthcare provider.