Turmeric tablets?

I'm not taking anything as yet for my PBC and wondered if anyone knew if there was any issue in me taking turmeric tablets.  I've read loads of places how good turmeric is for various issues including cholesterol (mine is now high I suspect from my current condition - always well within the norms previously and no change in dietary regime etc). I went on a tour of the Spice Gardens on Penang last year and the Chinese herbalist there who was extremely knowledgeable about the various benefits of the herbs and spices growing naturally also extolled the benefits in general of turmeric (amongst all the other fabulous natural plants like ginger etc).  Thanks.

12 Replies

  • Hi AdeleMalcolm

    I have taken the following from



    FDA considers that turmeric may be safely used for the coloring of foods generally, in amounts consistent with good GMP practice. [20] Further, turmeric has been used in food products for many years, standard doses of turmeric or curcumin should be safe to a healthy users. [1,4, 10] Turmeric side effects, if any, should be mild and limited.

    However, high doses of curcumin may increase the risk of ulcers. [5] People with liver disease should avoid turmeric, as turmeric may offer unpleasant side effect - toxicity to the liver. [32, 33]. Further, turmeric / curcumin may also offer adverse side effects to people suffered from gallbladder disease, as turmeric stimulates gallbladder.

    Personally I use turmeric on occasion in curry and soups.

    However I have read on here I think and on the PBCers.Org page where people discuss the use of turmeric.

    Hope this has been of some help.

    best wishes

  • Thanks butterfly. Extremely helpful. I do find myself referring to both UK and USA sights as a bit of cross checking and it's amazing sometimes the differences in guidance on different topics. Certainly doesn't make choices or decisions easy. I'll be speaking to my specialist first I reckon.

    Appreciate your help. Best wishes (or as we say in Scotland awrabest!). Adele

  • Glad I checked this out. Thank you.

  • Hello AdeleMalcolm.

    Personally, I don't think it may be good once diagnosed with PBC 'having a dabble' with various supplements, etc.  I did find out several years ago (I was diagnosed with PBC December 2010) that milk thistle was apparently good for liver dysfunction.  I am in the UK and when I bought  mine they were in a higher mgs than they are now due to UK legislation laws that came into being a couple years ago now.  I can't say in my case it made any difference to the blood work.  I thought it might have done the first time but when I stopped taking and had the next ones there was very little difference, nor when I took them up again awhile.  I couldn't see the point as also the capsules/tablets that we buy as herbal supplements often contain other filling ingredients that to me might be unnecessary.  I am not happy about urso containing fillers but there is nothing I can do about that.

    I do use turmeric when I am sometimes boiling rice, put some in the water to colour it.  This is the only time I use it but it is often present in certain foods I buy.  I did read that turmeric can have the opposite effect on the liver if consumed in quantity. I have read books on herbs in the past but none have stated there is adequate proof of their abilities just state that they 'may' which is different from a definite answer in my opinion.

  • Thanks peridot.  There seems to be a bit of conflicting advice out there and I guess it depends on which sites you hit on as to which side of the argument you get.  Having said that I've read more positive than negative and I do tend to use it a bit more often now as a result.  I'll check with my specialist in any case.  Appreciate the feedback.  Adele

  • Hi Adele, turmeric/Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and a good safety profile. Increasing numbers of doctors are recommending it for supplementation and you should be fine taking. Be discerning in what you buy, as lots of the turmeric supplements in stores are nothing more than a capsule full of the spice you can get at the grocery store. Look for reputable supplement brands and check the concentrations. You can also add the spice to your cooking - it's easy to add to scrambled eggs, and there's a delicious recipe for turmeric tea floating around the internet that's made with turmeric, fresh ginger, coconut milk, and a little honey. Here's an article from a respected medical journal - there are more if you search PubMed. 


  • Thanks Diane. I suspect you're right about them just being the spice but at least it's easy to take without overloading all and sundry dishes with it - which I have done on a couple of occasions!  Stay well. Adele

  • There are reputable brands that have higher concentrations - I just meant don't get ripped off by the ones that are nothing other than a little of the spice. Look for products with 95% curcuminoids and that contain piperine/black pepper to facilitate absorption. A typical dose for supplementation is 400-600 mg. 2-3 times per day. It is reported to take a couple of months to show effect. Let us know if you decide to try it, and how it works for you. 😊

  • Thanks Diane.  I'll keep you posted.

  • I appreciate all this knowledge as I've read only the advantages of turmeric.  Sounds like a spice to avoid.

  • While there seems to be some positives in using turmeric in cooking, I would be very careful in taking it in capsule/tablet form. 

    In the article I'm about to post a link to, it states " It also stops platelets from clumping together to form blood clots." This statement is a negative for those of us in the later stages whose platelet counts are dropping. 

    It also states that "In fact, there is some evidence that it may increase stomach acid" while this comment relates to stomach ulcers in the article, the mention of increased stomach acid for those of us suffering from Acid Reflux is also a 'negative'.

    In the "Precautions" part of the article there are two warnings that should be considered before starting the use of turmeric (in a supplement form) for those of us with PBC, they are: "People who have gallstones or obstruction of the bile passages should talk to their doctor before taking turmeric." and "Because turmeric may act like a blood thinner, you should stop taking it at least 2 weeks before surgery. Tell your doctor and surgeon that you have been taking turmeric."

    As always, check with your doctor before starting ANY supplements.


  • Thanks Diane.  I'll check with my Dr first. No point in creating more problems for myself...

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