Curcumin and Stomach Aches: Why They Happen and How to Avoid Them

Curcumin is considered a miracle compound for its many, many benefits. But for some, it can have a few mildly uncomfortable side effects. One of those is stomach aches. If you feel a little achy, queasy, or reflux-y after taking a curcumin supplement, you don’t have to worry. Curcumin is 100% natural and regarded as safe, even if you experience discomfort. Plus, these side effects are usually avoidable.

Below, you’ll learn why curcumin can sometimes cause a tummy ache, and how to prevent it so you can enjoy the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of this powerful supplement. 

Why can Curcumin and Turmeric Cause an Upset Stomach?

One of the effects of curcumin is that it increases bile production [1]. Bile is an acidic liquid found in your stomach that helps you digest food. If your body makes too much bile, its acidity can cause aches, diarrhea, and reflux.

If taken in recommended doses, curcumin’s effect on bile production is unnoticeable. However, a very small percentage of especially sensitive people may get an upset stomach from a normal dose of curcumin. 

Is Curcumin Bad for Your Stomach or Gut?

No. Even if you get an upset stomach after taking curcumin, it’s not unsafe to take. There’s no evidence that curcumin does any damage to the gut or stomach. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence stating the opposite. Curcumin has been found to benefit gut microbiota [2]. Research also suggests that curcumin may alleviate a number of digestive illnesses, including IBS and acid reflux (GERD) [3,4]. 

However, you should always consult a doctor before starting any new supplement. This is especially true of curcumin if you suffer from any biliary disorders (conditions relating to bile production). 

How to Avoid an Upset Stomach When Taking Curcumin

Most people who get an upset stomach after taking curcumin can avoid it. Try these tips to get the benefits of curcumin without the side effects. 

1. Take Curcumin with Food

It’s possible to get an upset stomach after taking nutritional supplements on an empty stomach, and curcumin is one of them. Taking curcumin with food helps you digest it more easily, and it helps curcumin break down and absorb into your body. It’s recommended to take curcumin with grains and carbs, such as rice or bread. Or, since curcumin is fat soluble, which means it breaks down and dissolves in fat or oil, you may want to take it with a meal that’s high in fat.

If you want to avoid fat in your diet, take a curcumin supplement that’s combined with a carrier oil, such as Manna Liposomal Curcumin w/ Resveratrol. Manna’s liquid curcumin is combined with sunflower oil for optimal absorption without having to add extra calories to your diet. 

2. Take Curcumin with Water—NOT Coffee

Taking curcumin in the morning may help you benefit from its digestion-enhancing effects all day. But this leads some to take curcumin with their coffee. Coffee is highly acidic by nature. If you take curcumin with coffee, you may be consuming a lot of acid all at once, resulting in a stomach ache or a trip to the bathroom. 

Even worse is taking curcumin with coffee and on an empty stomach. In this case, your stomach is filling up with acid without any food to digest. 

If you want to take curcumin in the morning, mix it with some room-temperature or cold water and enjoy a refreshing boost of curcumin! (Manna doesn’t recommend mixing its formula with anything hot as it may damage the liposomal structure.) If you need your coffee fix, save your curcumin dose for lunchtime. 

3. Reduce Your Dosage

If curcumin is making you uncomfortable, you might be taking too much. The recommended dosage is about 500-1000 mg per day [5]. But remember, with a liquid supplement, you don’t have to take it all at once. If you’re taking 500 mg in the morning and experiencing an upset stomach, try cutting your dosage in half and taking the rest later in the day.

If you still get a stomach ache, reduce your dose even more. Some people have a slight intolerance to turmeric or curcumin but this can be overcome by taking a very small daily dose (start with 50 mg) and working your way up. 

5. Take Curcumin in a Liquid Form 

Capsules and pills are harder on your digestion and take longer to work. That’s why it’s recommended to take curcumin in a liquid form. Many people mix curcumin with a glass of water or juice. Manna’s drinkable curcumin is easier to take than most other curcumin supplements. You can take a quick dose straight from the bottle to teaspoon, or add it to water or another refreshing beverage! It’s also up to 10x more potent than pills and powders thanks to Manna’s liposomal formula.

Curcumin tummy aches aren’t fun, but they are avoidable (in most cases). Try some of the tips above to keep your belly in balance and your body empowered by this extraordinary antioxidant.


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