Curcumin plus piperine: pay attention to supplements, you risk exceeding the maximum recommended dose

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Piperine increases bioavailability of curcumin but German BrF warns of risks of exceeding maximum dose with supplements

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It is now known that adding piperine to turmeric is a simple and effective way to increase the bioavailability of curcumin, the most interesting active ingredient contained in this spice. A mix that is often found ready-made in some food supplements. However, the German Bfr warns that there is a real risk of exceeding the daily safety limits for curcumin.





Piperine is able to increase the bioavailability of curcumin, which means that this active ingredient is better absorbed by our body. But there is a problem with the acceptable daily dose, as highlighted by a recent document from the'German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

EFSA has long established that the maximum daily amount of curcumin to be taken is 3 mg / kg of body weight per day, but the BfR stresses that there is a real risk that this can be exceeded. How? Taking supplements that add piperine daily to increase the bioavailability of curcumin.

Often the composition of these supplements is very variable and it is difficult to evaluate them in a general way, according to the BfR it would therefore be necessary to examine on a case-by-case basis whether the limit established by EFSA can guarantee the safety of the product or if it should be reduced in cases where bioavailability has greatly increased.

The document issued by the German Institute reads:

The BfR evaluated the health risks that could be associated with the consumption of food supplements containing curcumin to which piperine was added to increase the bioavailability of curcumin. However, as the exact composition of these products can vary widely, a general assessment is not possible from the BfR point of view. An evaluation should always be made on the basis of a specific product with a known composition. In this context, there is also a fundamental need for research into the toxicity of curcumin-containing preparations with improved bioavailability. One aspect is the question of a possible liver-damaging effect of these products, which still cannot be adequately answered. Potentially damaging effects to the liver have already been observed with curcumin-containing products with improved bioavailability, often through the addition of piperine. In some cases, however, these products also contained other components which may also be (partly) responsible for this.



In practice, by regularly taking supplements based on curcumin and piperine, there is a risk that the concentration of active ingredient is higher than the estimated one. And if the limit values ​​are exceeded for a long time, we can find ourselves struggling with adverse health effects, especially in the most sensitive people.

This underestimated aspect could be attributed to what happened in 2019, when several cases of hepatitis were associated with the consumption of curcumin-based supplements.

Read also: Turmeric-based supplements: ascertained cases of hepatitis rise to 15. New brands and lots reported

The BfR therefore deems it necessary to investigate and research the real toxicity of curcumin supplements with improved bioavailability.

A situation that is not easy to unravel. In the meantime, remember to take supplements only when strictly necessary and always on medical advice.

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Source: BFR

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