Is Curcumin Safe?

It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before using curcumin. Safety precautions include an increased risk of bleeding, potential problems in people who have gallbladder disease, and the safety of taking the supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, because curcumin supplements are not closely regulated, it is a good idea to buy a product that is made by a reputable manufacturer.

Is Curcumin Safe? -- An Overview

Curcumin is an herbal supplement that is claimed to be beneficial for a number of uses, including high cholesterol. You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking it if you have:
  • Gallstones or gallbladder disease
  • A bleeding disorder
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Curcumin Safety Warnings and Precautions

Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of curcumin include the following:
  • Theoretically, curcumin could make gallstones or some other gallbladder problems worse. If you have any such problem, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking curcumin.
  • Theoretically, curcumin may interfere with the blood's ability to form clots. This could be a problem for people who are already predisposed to bleeding, such as those who have bleeding disorders.
  • Curcumin is a dietary supplement and is, therefore, not as closely regulated as prescription or non-prescription drugs. Also, it can be marketed without any proof that it is either safe or effective. Do not assume that just because it is sold in the United States that it is safe or effective. Also, look for a curcumin product that is made by a reputable manufacturer. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are the most reputable.
  • Theoretically, curcumin may interact with some medications (see Curcumin Drug Interactions).
  • It is not known if curcumin is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (see Curcumin and Pregnancy and Curcumin and Breastfeeding).
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