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Lead in Turmeric & Curcumin

Question:
There are many reports of lead contamination in turmeric spice. How can I make sure I'm not getting lead in my turmeric supplement or spice?

Answer:
It is true that high concentrations of lead have been found and reported in some turmeric spices — including several reported in 2016 (See Recalls and Warnings).  ConsumerLab.com has found lead in some turmeric supplements, although mainly those containing turmeric herb powder rather than turmeric extract (typically sold as "curcumin"). The situation in supplements has been improving over the years.

ConsumerLab.com has also tested popular brands of turmeric spice. Although some have contained high amounts of filth (bug parts), lead contamination has not been a problem in the selected products.

You can check ConsumerLab.com's latest product tests (including levels of beneficial curcuminoid compounds in supplements) in the Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements and Spices Review >> 


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Learn More About Turmeric & Curcumin



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Comments
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Doug16331   January 2, 2018
Can you explain why "Tests for lead, cadmium, and arseni contamination performed only on products containing whole herb and/or at least 250mg of minerals per daily serving"? Since curcumin are all obtained from India, I think there is high risk for contamination. Thanks.

ConsumerLab.com   January 3, 2018
Hi Doug - There are many potential contaminants, but to be most efficient, we focus on areas in which contamination is most likely. Heavy metal contamination is most common with whole herbs (which includes herb powders), as opposed extracts, since the extraction process typically removes metals. In addition, a significant amount of metal contamination would be unlikely in a serving of less that 1/4 of a gram (250 mg) of whole herb -- which is about 1/4 of a typical capsule.

Dennis 13880   March 31, 2017
I saw a Dr. Oz segment regarding undercover purchases of different items. The proprietors were unaware of the source of the product. I wonder if Consumer Labs could test some of the off brand products of turmeric because those are the most affordable. Is that possible? Is Consumer Labs doing that now?

ConsumerLab.com   March 31, 2017
Hi Dennis - Yes, we purchase both name brand and store-brand (if that's what you mean by off-brand) products, and we purchase these just as a consumer would, from health food stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, healthcare provider offices, directing marketing channels, etc. We will soon be posting our latest tests and reviews of turmeric/curcumin supplements. When available it will be announced in our newsletter and posted on our homepage.

This CL Answer initially posted on 8/13/2016. Last updated 8/1/2017.

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