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Turmeric and its main phytonutrient curcumin have gained recent interest in the medical world for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The global turmeric supplement market size was valued at USD 58,000 in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.1% by 2028. (1)
Curcumin as a phenolic compound has poor bioavailability and gets absorbed slowly in the body. To gain its benefits, it is necessary to use supplementation, which enhances its bioavailability by 2,000%. (2)
This supplementation makes people concerned aboutturmeric kidney side effects.
1. How Are Healthy Kidneys Vital For Your Wellbeing?
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Kidneys have millions of nephrons, each made up of filtration units called glomerulus and tubules that filter half a cup of blood per minute. And that is why it becomes necessary to understand how to avoid kidney problems.
Though blood filtration and waste expulsion is the major function of the kidneys, they play a much larger life-sustaining role including:
- Turmeric benefits kidney functioning of regulating the body’s fluid requirements and balancing sodium and potassium levels.
- Preventing pumping pressure on the heart by producing blood pressure-regulating hormones. This reduces the risk of heart diseases.
- Maintaining optimum levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood for healthy bones.
- Production of immunity-boosting erythropoietin hormone, helping create the body’s first line of defense against diseases and infections.
2. Can Turmeric Cause Kidney Problems?
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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects more than one in seven US adults and is associated with mortality and poor life quality. (3)
This is a condition that signifies a gradual loss in the function of the kidneys. It reduces their ability to filter wastes from your blood and may lead to:
- Nerve damage
- Poor immunity
- Weak bones and the risk of fracture or osteoporosis
- High blood pressure and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Chronic kidney diseases are mainly caused due to diabetes and high blood pressure.Chronic inflammation also has a major role to play in progressing chronic kidney diseases.
It leads to inflammatory conditions like Glomerulonephriti and Intestinal nephritis.
Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties have has a close relation to chronic kidney diseases:
- Turmeric benefits kidney health by inhibiting the very markers of these inflammatory responses including enzymes, growth factors, cytokines, and adhesion molecules. (4)
- It acts as a therapeutic agent for people suffering from renal failure.
- Curcumin increases the levels of gut beneficial microbes and eases chronic kidney disease.
3. What is The Appropriate Dosage of Turmeric For Kidney Health?
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One of the most common questions asked is ‘does turmeric cause kidney problems?’
The short answer is like any other phenolic compound, there areturmeric kidney side effects only when it is consumed excessively for long periods.
Only about 60-100 mg of curcumin is available from food each day. This increases to almost 1,900-2375 mg when taken in the extract form. (5)
The World Health Organization recommends consuming 1.4 mg per pound of body weight as the ideal daily intake of curcumin. (6)
The dosage is adjusted considering:
- General health
- Any specific medical conditions
- Stage of kidney disease
4. What Are Some Turmeric Side Effects - Can Turmeric Cause Kidney Problems?
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Though turmeric is deemed to be generally safe for most individuals, some adverse reactions related to kidney functioning have been reported. Let’s take a look at them:
- Does turmeric cause kidney damage?
Turmeric is known to interact with Tacrolimus, an immunosuppressant agent. (7) Patients who have been advised this medication must avoid consuming turmeric in high dosages.
- Can turmeric cause kidney pain?
One of the major causes of kidney pain is kidney stones. Turmeric contains two percent oxalate that may contribute to kidney stones in susceptible individuals.
5. What Are SomeTurmeric Benefits for Kidneys?
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Numerous studies have shown the potential benefits of turmeric in keeping the kidneys healthier for a longer time, especially by reducing inflammation as discussed earlier in the article.
It also has promising benefits on other co-related conditions that impact kidney health.
- Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited disease that eventually leads to renal failure. Curcumin has been found to significantly curtail cyst development when taken in maximum dosage. (8)
- One of the most importantturmeric kidney benefits is that its antioxidant properties help in eliminating free radicals from the body. This helps in preventing renal damage.
- Uncontrolled or untreated diabetes may lead to kidney damage, also known as diabetic nephropathy.Turmeric benefits kidney by decreasing oxidative stress, which helps treat this condition.
- Known for its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, curcumin keeps the body’s immune function optimal.
- It reduces lipoproteins and bad cholesterol, preventing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Turmeric can reduce oxidative stress. This helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which helps in better management of diabetes.
Have more queries about kidney cleanse? Use our guides to the following topics for support:
Though someturmeric side effects on kidney health have been reported, they can easily be managed.
Choosing a good quality FDA- approved supplement and letting one’s physician decide the appropriate dosage can make a huge difference.
People diagnosed with any kidney-related disorders must meet their nephrologist regularly to prevent further damage.