Is turmeric bad for kidneys? This is a dilemma that has troubled many wellness aficionados and folks who are looking for the best ways to stay healthy. And this is not surprising in any way considering that turmeric has been used for eons in both folk and modern medicine thanks to its numerous health benefits. Apparently, curcumin - which is the chief bioactive compound in turmeric - is a potent antioxidant that packs hefty anti-inflammatory properties that could come in handy for anyone looking to turn around their health. But is turmeric good for kidneys? And what's the exact connection between turmeric and kidneys? Here's a comprehensive review of that.
Turmeric and Kidneys - What's the Connection?
In case you are troubled with questions such as; is turmeric bad for your kidneys? Then you must also wonder about the association between turmeric and kidneys in both the short run and in the long term. For starters, it is important to emphasize that as much as curcumin and turmeric are considered to be generally safe for human consumption (and even beneficial to some extent, too much of anything can have a devastating impact on your overall well-being). Turmeric, in particular when taken in massive doses, can increase your levels of urinary oxalate significantly. In other words, this means that your propensity to develop kidney stones increases dramatically, which underlines the interaction between turmeric and kidney disease, as we shall see shortly.
The Nexus Between Turmeric and Kidney Stones
It is estimated that around 14% of American adults struggle with one form of chronic kidney disease or another, and most of them are turning to dietary methods of reining in such and related complications. Wellabs Turmeric Curcumin Extract with Ginger, being a supplemental form of this ancient spice, falls squarely in the limelight of this new discovery of improving one’s eating and nutrition habits.
Which, as you might imagine, begs the question; does turmeric affect the kidneys? And if yes, how exactly does it?
For starters, it's imperative to bear in mind that curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) is typically a phenolic compound. And according to a January 2013 study, it exhibits pretty strong antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties that prove to aid in the proper function of your kidneys, which could go a long way in keeping kidney stones at bay.
Can Turmeric Help Kidney Disease?
The link between turmeric and kidney disease is as lopsided as it is difficult to grasp. Nonetheless, scientists reckon that the nexus stems from curcumin (which is the main active ingredient in turmeric), and the development of chronic kidney disease. Here's the thing, you probably already know that cytokines leakage plus other pro-inflammatory compounds in your gut typically increases your intestinal permeability. If not checked in time, this can precipitate plaque buildup in your arterial walls, which then translates to diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Curcumin, being a potent anti-inflammatory agent, can help tone down inflammation, which actually shields you from such and related disorders.
That being said, curcumin is also thought to delay the progression of chronic and long-term kidney disease, apart from lowering the likelihood of initial development. And even though studies revolving around this hypothesis are relatively small, a majority of them bear promising results. A small clinical trial, for instance, illustrates how 24 patients who were suffering from lupus nephritis found curcumin helpful in reducing systolic blood pressure, hematuria, and excess proteins in one's urine. The best part was that it only took less than three months of treatment for the patients in question to experience a notable improvement in their symptoms.
As such, it is not really surprising to find out that more and more people are turning to turmeric and related herbs to rein in kidney failure. The Journal of Renal Endocrinology, for example, has listed this supplement as a promising approach to decreasing certain inflammatory markers in patients undergoing hemodialysis as it improves blood lipids and tones down the chances of developing kidney disease. The researchers even attributed these health benefits to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that bode well with the organ's main function which is filtration of potentially harmful toxins from your system.
How Much Turmeric is Safe?
So, is turmeric hard on kidneys? And most importantly, just how much turmeric is safe for day-to-day use? For starters, the safety threshold of turmeric is largely dependent on your intake channel and length of use. Turmeric products, for instance, that deliver 8 grams of the active ingredient curcumin per day, are often safe to use for up to 60 days. On the other hand, taking 3 grams per day of turmeric appears to be safe for 90 days. That being said, experts seem to agree that the ideal dosage of turmeric is a dosage of 1.5 grams per day taken for at least 9 months.
How Much Turmeric is Bad for Kidneys?
Ideal dosage aside, one may not help but wonder; how much turmeric is too much? As much as turmeric is generally regarded as safe to consume for the average individual, people who are susceptible to kidney stones might want to exercise a bit of caution in this department. Eating or taking too much turmeric can seriously predispose such individuals to kidney stones thanks to the unusually high amount of oxalates that are typically present in curcumin. You see, these oxalates are soluble enough in the water to bind with calcium, something that then results in the formation of calcium oxalate.
That aside, can you take too much turmeric? Absolutely not! You see, other than the increase in developing kidney stones, consumption of unhealthily large amounts of turmeric can trigger diarrhea, headache, nausea, and bloating.
When to Take Turmeric?
A lot of people who are new to this supplement will often ask what time of day should you take turmeric? First of all, if you are relying on turmeric capsules, drops, or tablets to access the beneficial health properties of this incredible supplement, then you may want to stick strictly to the usage instructions provided by the manufacturer. Having made that clear, it is imperative to note that the ideal time to take such supplements varies from one person to another. While some people could find it helpful supplementing with turmeric early in the morning before starting off their day, others might find success from taking it just before hitting the hay to neutralize inflammation overload accrued from the day's hectic activities.
What Medications Should not be Taken with Turmeric?
At this stage, it is possible that you could be wondering; what medications should not be taken with turmeric? Especially now that we have clarified the best time to take the supplements. Medical experts have illustrated how blood-thinning medications can interact with turmeric, considering that the spice is also a blood thinner, albeit a mild one. In other words, taking turmeric alongside standard blood thinners can amplify their effect to unintended levels which increases one's risk of suffering from internal bleeding.
Blood thinners, in this case, include the likes of;
Additionally, turmeric is also a natural reducer of blood sugar levels. As such, it should not be taken alongside drugs that are intended for diabetes. Doing this can lead to extremely low levels of your blood sugar, something that opens the lid to a number of side effects such as anxiety, delirium, blurred vision, and impaired cognitive function.
You should also avoid taking turmeric with antacids as the supplement is also known to be capable of normalizing the stomach's acid which could lead to undesirable and unwanted reactions such as stomach pain, bloating, nausea, and esophageal damage.
There's no doubt that turmeric is by far one of the most researched and studied dietary supplements of our time. The powder has even carved an important niche for itself in Ayurvedic medicine over thousands of years as a holistic and dependable way of arresting many common ailments. Nevertheless, that does not mean that we should gloss over its few side effects, particularly if you are already taking another standard medication.