What is The Best time to take Turmeric Supplement?

Turmeric, the healing herb has been used for generations in Ayurvedic medicine and as a spice in many Asian cuisines.

It is now garnering attention all around the globe as scientists discover its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer properties and numerous other health benefits.

People not used to taking turmeric in the diet are opting for turmeric or curcumin supplements.

In this article, we get to know about the optimum time for taking turmeric supplements to avail its benefits to the fullest.

What is the Best Time to take Turmeric Supplements?

Scientists investigating the effects of turmeric have in their studies, given supplemental dosages to subjects at various times of the day.

From these studies, it was found that the supplements could be given with breakfast, lunch or dinner. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

Thus, the best time to take turmeric supplements is during or after meals.

Why Should Turmeric Supplements be taken with Meals?

As we know, the most prominent challenge with turmeric is its bioavailability.

Turmeric has numerous health benefits, but one cannot benefit from them even after taking it in substantial amounts if the body cannot utilise it properly.

The main reasons behind this, as stated in one of the studies published in the Journal of Molecular Pharmaceutics, is its poor absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid systemic elimination.[7]

This means that most of the turmeric is eliminated from the body without getting utilised.

Surprisingly, taking turmeric with meals could rectify most of these issues. It could not only increase turmeric’s absorption, but also make it more tolerable.

  • It has been found that turmeric is poorly soluble in water and readily soluble in fats. [8] As meals usually comprise of fats or oils in some form or other, supplemental turmeric could get absorbed along with these nutrients in a better way.
  • Food could also slow down turmeric metabolism and its elimination from the body. Presence of other food materials in the gut lowers the transit time of turmeric, compared to when taken on an empty stomach. This enables turmeric to remain in the gut and be available for absorption for a longer duration.
  • It has also been noted that gastrointestinal fluids which include digestive enzymes and acids, affect the stability of turmeric and curcumin. [9] When taken with meals, the gastrointestinal fluids are utilised in digesting the food instead of acting solely on turmeric, which preserves the stability of turmeric.

In view of these effects, we once again say that it is best to take turmeric in diet and one should opt for supplements only when one is unable to add turmeric in their foods or when a higher dose is required.

What time should one Avoid Turmeric Supplements?

There are times when taking turmeric supplements should be best avoided.

  • On an Empty Stomach

Supplements should not be taken on an empty stomach as this could lead to gastrointestinal problems in some individuals, especially those who are not used to taking turmeric.

People with low tolerability to spices like turmeric could experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea and thus, should avoid taking turmeric/curcumin supplements on an empty stomach.

  • Together with Some Medicines

Turmeric supplements should not be taken concomitantly with certain medications and a gap of 3-4 hours must be maintained.

This is because curcumin in turmeric has been found to inhibit certain drug metabolizing enzymes like Cytochrome P450 and P-glycoprotein.

As many of the commonly used drugs are metabolized by these enzymes, taking then turmeric could alter the therapeutic effects and increase side effects. Thus, the supplements must not be taken along with drugs.[10]

On the other hand, some over the counter drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen could alter the chemical stability of curcumin, thereby affecting its therapeutic effect. [11]

So, what Time Should you take Turmeric Supplements?

Turmeric supplements are best taken with meals.

However, there is no hard and fast rule for the dosage time of turmeric/curcumin supplements. Turmeric and curcumin are natural products and do not usually have severe adverse health effects.

However, this varies from person to person and depends on one’s tolerability and health condition.

If such is the case, then it is better to consult a medical professional, before taking turmeric supplements and formulate appropriate dosage amount and time.

How to take the Supplements?

The supplements could be taken during or after any meals throughout the day. It is better to divide the dosages between meals to ensure better absorption as the body can absorb only so much at a particular time.

Though curcumin is safe and tolerable in high doses of up to 8g per day [12], dividing the dosages to take two or three times a day with breakfast, lunch or dinner is preferred.

 Best Supplements

All curcumin / turmeric supplements are not created equal.

Before making a purchase, Check out our detailed guide on types of supplements and when they should be used.  Read here>

About the Author

Fazila (B.Sc Biotech. & Bioinformatics)

Turmeric for Health's writer team consists of passionate writers from the fields of biotechnology, pharmacy, nutrition, Ayurveda & microbiology.Our writers are highly qualified with many having Ph.D., M.Tech & MSc degrees while others having B.Tech, BSc, B.Pharm. Our differentiation lies in researching and presenting ONLY FACTUAL SCIENTIFIC information. We spend 10s of hours to write a single article. Info of our articles is sourced from reliable scientific sources which are also provided as a link alongside for readers to refer if they want. You can read more about our team in the " About us" section.

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    1. Hi. The best way to take turmeric powder is Golden Paste. Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose gradually to 1 tsp 2-3 times a day over a few weeks. Best taken with food to avoid acid reflux. Avoid taking it at the same time when you take meds.