Does Turmeric Interact With Antacids? [A Fact Based Investigation]

Antacids provide symptomatic relief in indigestion and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

They help in neutralising stomach acids, which otherwise could cause damage to mucous linings of the oesophagus and the gastrointestinal tract.

Turmeric and curcumin are considered excellent natural gastroprotective agents which can be used for reducing acidity and improving digestion.

Taking turmeric with antacids may enhance the therapeutic effect, but individuals with reduced tolerability to spices should limit turmeric intake.

Also, a gap of 3-4 hours is recommended while taking turmeric and antacids. Let us know more about these effects.

Potential Benefits of taking Turmeric with Antacids

Here we discuss points indicating benefits of turmeric and antacids –

1. Turmeric reduces secretion of stomach acids

Traditionally, turmeric has been known to improve digestion and prevent gastrointestinal disorders.

Several studies show that turmeric and its active ingredients, particularly curcumin, have a considerable antacid potential and can help in reducing stomach acidity.

It decreases the secretion of gastric acids by inhibiting the H2 Histamine receptors, which regulate gastrointestinal secretions.

It also decreases the activity of the hormone gastrin, which stimulates acid secretion.

Additionally, it could decrease the acidity of gastric juices, increase gastric pH, inhibit the activity of pepsin, block gastric lesions, decrease gastric volume and promote healing of gastric ulcers.

2. Turmeric protects from harmful effects of stomach acids

Excessive secretion of digestive acids in the stomach may cause harm to the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract. Acid reflux may also damage the linings of the oesophagus.

Turmeric, due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, exerts a gastroprotective action.

It prevents gastric acid-induced damages to mucous linings, which can prevent disorders like gastritis, the formation of lesions and ulcers and gastric cancer.

It has also been found to be useful in cases of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and for treating acidity induced by use of certain drugs.

3. Turmeric may be a safer alternative to antacids

A clinical trial conducted by Kositchaiwat et al. showed turmeric to be less effective than antacids for treating indigestion and gastric ulcers.

Antacids, though more effective than turmeric, may have some side effects, especially if used for a long time.

Turmeric, on the other hand, is relatively safe and well-tolerated even at high doses of 8000 mg per day.

Moreover, antacids provide only symptomatic relief from acidity, but turmeric due to its different mechanism of action may help in treating the underlying gastrointestinal condition and its complications.

Thus, regular dietary intake of turmeric may not just aid in preventing acidity, but also help in reducing the required doses of antacids and their potential side effects, if any.

This makes turmeric a more favourable agent for long-term use in acidity.

Does turmeric interact with antacids

Potential concerns of Turmeric intake with Antacids

There are a few things to consider too while taking both together –

1. Turmeric may cause gastrointestinal problems in some people initially

The tolerability of spices differs from individual to individual. Some people might be able to tolerate relatively high amounts of spices in their diet.

However, others, particularly with a lower regular spice intake, may experience mild gastrointestinal problems initially. This is because the body is getting used to digesting the spices and its functional ingredients.

For such individuals, it is advised to start taking turmeric in the diet in low doses (¼ to ½ tsp a day) and avoid supplemental doses. Also, avoid taking turmeric on an empty stomach to avoid acid reflux.

2. Turmeric may not interact with antacids

There is insufficient evidence to confirm any interaction of turmeric or curcumin with an antacid.

Studies reporting possible herb-drug interactions haven’t included antacids in the list of drugs that might have either a synergistic or an inhibitory effect with turmeric.

Thus, including turmeric in diet and taking antacids after that, is unlikely to have any adverse health effects.

However, more research is required on humans to reach a definite conclusion in this regard.

3. Turmeric affects drug metabolism

Both turmeric and antacids are known to alter the metabolism of certain drugs in the body, and thus their concomitant use with each other or with other medications is not recommended.

This is because if the metabolism of a drug is altered or reduced, it may be present in the body for longer durations, without getting utilised properly. This may decrease the therapeutic activity and increase side effects.

Therefore, while taking turmeric/curcumin supplements, it is advised to take them 3-4 hours apart from the intake of antacids. Also, consult a healthcare professional before starting to take herbal supplements, particularly if on medications.

Bottomline

Dietary intake of turmeric with antacids is safe and may help in reducing acidity and improving digestive health.

Available research does not provide insight into any adverse interaction between turmeric/ curcumin and antacids.

However, to be on the safer side, maintain a gap of 3-4 hours while taking turmeric supplements with antacids and do consult with a medical practitioner.

How to Take Turmeric?

There are three ways you can take turmeric –

Raw turmeric

This is an excellent choice if you can get hold of it or grow it. You can make Golden Paste (recipe here) and then use it with other foods or have it just like that.

Turmeric powder

This is the most popular way in which turmeric is taken across the world. Two great ways to take turmeric powder are – Turmeric Powder Golden Paste (recipe here) and Turmeric Milk (recipe here).

If you are confused which turmeric brand to buy, here are some recommended brands of turmeric powder – List of Recommended Brands

Turmeric supplements / Curcumin supplements

In case of aggressive disorders or if you dislike the taste of turmeric powder / raw turmeric, you can take turmeric supplements too. There are several types of supplements on the market. Read our comprehensive article on types of supplements and list of some popular brands – Turmeric Supplements and Popular Brands

If you have been using turmeric, please share your feedback by commenting. If you have any queries, please feel free to ask us!

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4 Comments

  1. Thank you for posting on ‘Taking turmeric with antacids’. The post was very informative and put me at ease in continuing to take turmeric with my antacid medication. The aim for me is to discontinue the medication completely and I will keep you informed if I am able to achieve this goal.

    Many thank again.
    Kay

  2. I have had Acid Reflux for the last 20 years, Lansoprazole full dosage, started with Turmeric ..own capsules for 2 years, medication slowly reduced after starting Turmeric and now on 1.. 15mg medication first thing and 20 mins before breakfast. Do not take at the same time as Turmeric as you will get awful wind and stomach cramps..wait some 4 hours before and leave 4 hours after. But Turmeric has helped me but it has been slow. Arthritis and Migraines were my original benifits of Turmeric, again having suffered for some twenty years, those cleared up within a month of starting. Remember to take Turmeric with your meal, not on an empty stomach.