Turmeric is the third best-selling spice after flax and wheat-grass and its sales are constantly skyrocketing, especially in the last few years. Curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric is a very popular food additive which has a nice, mild aroma and potent yellow color. Most people consider it has no unwanted side-effects, but they’ll be surprised to learn that it’s not entirely true.
People usually think that if something is natural it can’t be toxic or dangerous for their health. Well, have you considered that strychnine and cyanide are both natural but extremely toxic and even deadly! Lead, mercury and plutonium are on the periodic table of elements, they are as natural as they can be, but they are highly toxic. Maybe you think just because it’s a plant it can’t be dangerous? To some point you are right, it can’t cause any significant side-effects but some people have complained to nausea, dizziness, diarrhea and stomach pains from turmeric consumption. Moreover, maybe you’ve heard that the bio-availability of curcumin can be increased by 2000% if it’s combined with black pepper and just one dose of turmeric can feel like 29 cups in no time. This will result in increased blood levels as well as changes in the DNA in-vitro.
That’s why there are certain groups of people who shouldn’t consume turmeric.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Pregnant or breastfeeding women shouldn’t consume turmeric or they should do it with extreme caution. It’s not safe for this group of people to consume it orally because it can put their pregnancy at risk by encouraging a menstrual cycle or stimulating the uterus. It’s also not recommended for men who are trying to be dads because it can lower the testosterone levels and sperm movement thus reducing their fertility.
- People with gallstones
If you’re suffering from gallstones you should avoid turmeric as much as you can. According to some recent studies it can cause severe problems and pain in the gallbladder so people with gallstones shouldn’t consume turmeric at all. However, if you’re not suffering from gallstones, curcumin can lower the risk of gallbladder stones and protects the liver by stimulating the gallbladder functions and stimulating bile flow.
- People with biliary tract obstruction
It’s been proven that people suffering from biliary tract obstructions should restrain from consuming turmeric or consume it very cautiously.
- People who have kidney stones
If you eat turmeric every day and in high amounts you are at risk of developing kidney stones. Turmeric contains high levels of soluble oxalate which can easily attach to calcium and create insoluble calcium oxalate. This insoluble calcium oxalate is the culprit for almost 75% of all kidney stone problems. If you are prone to kidney stones formation you should be very careful regarding turmeric. You need to limit you daily intake of total dietary oxalate to under 50 mg a day.
- People with diabetes
If you’re suffering from diabetes you need to monitor closely your turmeric intake because it has been linked to decreased blood sugar levels. You can consume turmeric but in controlled amounts in order to maintain your blood sugar levels balanced.
- People who should have a surgery
If you have a surgery scheduled you need eliminate turmeric from your diet for at least 3 weeks before the surgery. Why? Because turmeric can reduce the blood clotting and lead to excessive bleeding during surgery, which isn’t something you want to go through.