According to a study published in the Nutrition Journal, it is thought that turmeric has a half-life (the time it takes the body to eliminate half of a drug) of 6-7 hours.1
Another study has suggested that intestinal absorption of curcumin was relatively higher when administered with piperine (the bioactive compound of black pepper), and it stayed significantly longer in the body tissues.
Before we get into the details of this, let’s first cover what turmeric is, the benefits of it, optimal dosage, as well as everything else you need to know about this remarkable spice!
What is Turmeric?
You would often find turmeric on the shelves in supermarkets being sold as the golden spice, popular in Asian cuisine.
Though, not only is turmeric known as one of the most popular spices on the globe, but it can also be taken as a supplement in the form of tea, tablets, oils, and much more.
Turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional Indian system of treatment, due to the many noted health benefits.
Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric, which is thought to be the part that holds the powerful health benefits and biological properties.
Therefore, you sometimes may find the terms ‘curcumin’ and ‘turmeric’ used interchangeably.
But is there really much difference? Or is one better than the other?
Curcumin and the curcuminoids found in turmeric are extracted to produce supplements that typically have a higher potency than turmeric, thus potentially better health benefits.
However, research has not yet shown how significant this difference may be. Additionally, turmeric has unique benefits that curcumin doesn’t provide, so as it stands there is not one better than the other.
Let’s look at the benefits of turmeric and curcumin!
The Benefits of Turmeric Supplementation
Over recent years, much research has emerged on the benefits of curcumin and turmeric, particularly around pain and inflammation.
Many of the possible health benefits include:
Easing Symptoms of Pain and Inflammation
Studies have shown that turmeric supplementation has been linked with reduced pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, a joint condition that results in wear and tear of the cartilage surrounding the joint.2
Additionally, turmeric is thought to have a positive effect on improving physical function and reducing inflammation.
Reducing Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
One study has suggested that turmeric supplementation appears to be more effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety when compared with a placebo.2
Early studies have suggested that turmeric appears to lower triglyceride levels (fat in the blood), with some noting a small reduction of high cholesterol and a minor increase in “good” cholesterol in those with high cholesterol.2
Potentially Aiding Digestion
Turmeric is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may have a positive effect on maintaining a healthy digestive system.
Some research is currently being conducted on the potential role of turmeric as a remedy for digestive conditions such as IBS.
Turmeric: Optimal Dosage
At the time of writing, there is no concrete evidence to suggest an optimal dose of turmeric.
Though, studies typically use doses between 500-2,000mg per day, often in the form of curcumin extract.
Effective doses from 250mg have been noted, particularly when combined with black pepper extract, which is thought to improve the absorption and bioavailability of curcumin.
However, doses are typically dependent on the specific supplement, the reason for taking the supplement, and what other ingredients are included in the supplement.
For example, Performance Lab Flex is a joint supplement containing 250 mg of turmeric combined with other compounds such as glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM, which are all beneficial for joint health.
Are There Any Side Effects of Turmeric?
Both turmeric and curcumin appear to be well tolerated among most healthy individuals.
The most common side effects are gastrointestinal issues including constipation, dyspepsia, diarrhea, nausea, and stomachache.
These side effects are often reported when taking high doses of turmeric, so to avoid any potential issues, it may be a good idea to start with a lower dose to gauge your personal tolerance and work up until you find an effective dose.
How Long Does Turmeric Stay in Your System?
So, taking into account the benefits, dosage, and side effects of turmeric, is there any evidence that shows how long it stays in your system? Is it problematic if it does linger? Let’s explore!
Generally, as with any supplement, the time it stays in your system is dependent on many factors, such as:
- Type of supplement
- Potency of the extract
- Health status
- Any other ingredients contained in the supplement
Though, it has been shown that turmeric may have a half-life (the time it takes the body to eliminate half of a drug) of 6-7 hours.1
Additionally, another study suggested that intestinal absorption of curcumin was relatively higher when administered with piperine, and it stayed significantly longer in the body tissue3 - which is why any other ingredients in a turmeric supplement may affect the time it stays in your system.
The effect of any supplement is highly individual, so it’s important to take general guidelines with a pinch of salt and gauge your personal tolerance and response.
Read more about “How Long Does Turmeric Take to Work?” In our linked guide!
The Best Turmeric Supplement for Joint Health
The best turmeric supplement for overall joint health is Performance Lab Flex, which combines turmeric with 5 other effective ingredients:
- Boswellia serrata
- Glucosamine sulfate
Flex works to lubricate joints, absorb shock, support ligaments and tendons, and ease daily movement!
- Jäger, R., Lowery, R.P., Calvanese, A.V. et al. Comparative absorption of curcumin formulations. Nutr J 13, 11 (2014).
- Patel. K. Curcumin. Examine.com. 2021
- Suresh D, Srinivasan K. Tissue distribution & elimination of capsaicin, piperine & curcumin following oral intake in rats. Indian J Med Res. 2010 May;131:682-91.