Q. Can vitamin D and turmeric in combination have an impact on allergy and asthma? I suffer from both allergies and asthma, and I am usually miserable in the spring.

I started taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily several months ago. I am also taking turmeric capsules.

This spring I have had no allergies, no sinus infections and no asthma problems at all. Perhaps these supplements are keeping my immune system from overreacting to pollen.

A. Your experience is fascinating. In animal studies, turmeric prevents the release of histamine from mast cells (Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, Sept. 2008). If it works similarly in humans, this would prevent allergy symptoms from developing.

Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory effects on smooth muscle cells in the airways (British Journal of Pharmacology, Sept. 2008). This might help counteract asthma.

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  1. Mary

    Curcumin seemed to help aches and pains (arthritis, tendonitis, CFS), but I had to stop it because it made me bruise easily. I think it did thin my blood and I already had a tendency in that direction. But my husband doesn’t have the issue of easy bruising, so he takes it. He has a bad family history of heart disease. I wonder if it’s ever been studied to see if it lowers heart attack the way aspirin does.
    People’s Pharmacy response: It does look promising from the molecular perspective. It lowers inflammation *(C-reactive protein) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23922235
    Whether or not that translates into fewer heart attacks, we still do not know.

  2. MK

    Would turmeric also pose a risk with blood thinners, or is the cur cumin just more potent?

  3. ebm

    If curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, why don’t we just take curcumin instead of having to worry about the % in turmeric? People’s Pharmacy–any idea??
    Some people do take curcumin in capsule form. There is not a lot of clinical research in humans so we don’t know about the benefits and risk of long-term self medication with curcumin. We suspect it might pose a serious risk for anyone taking blood thinners, esp. Coumadin (warfarin).

  4. wbt

    I take turmeric in a 1:1 liquid form. It is very, very potent.

  5. BMc

    I read your article in the Clarion Ledger {Jackson,MS} recommending 50,000units of vitamin D weekly. I am taking D-3 2000 IU ,what is your recommended daily dose ?

  6. HLR

    It will help if the people that take turmeric states what they mean by “higher%concentration”. The active ingredient of turmeric is the curcuminoids and a standardized product at 95%curcuminoids is considered good quality. Do you agree?.

  7. sheila H.

    I take the turmeric in a high quality concentration % of extract, with some root, in capsules; there are a few good brands out there; I order from a really good healthfood store; I have bought the weaker concentration capsules at walmart or walgreens; lots of places; when they are not as high a concentration, I take three capsules, in the morning all at once, with breakfast; it works well between meals, also; but I take all at once.
    The higher % concentration, I take one capsule; when I got flu I took 4 of the high%. IT works with some of the cheaper brands, like Rexal (walmart) but I stick to good brands. PS: I would recommend turmeric for anybody with fibromyalgia; turmeric seems to reduce inflammation.

  8. wanda j

    the lady who takes the vitamin d and turmeric…..how do you take the turmeric?????

  9. Minerva

    I read the above mentioned article on allergies, asthma and was fascinated as I also suffer terribly from Allergies, mostly food allergies & sinus infections. I do take vitamin D but only 400mg and I’d like to know how much of Turmeric is recommended? Thanks for your wonderful column on the Palm Beach Post.

  10. sheila H.

    re:Turmeric and vitamin D; I am your most vocal fan of turmeric. I take a quality brand and it not only reduces inflammation but last year (Nov. 08) I caught the flu; I was facing an inhaler for bronchitis; instead, I took a little extra turmeric; my lungs and bronchitis cleared up. I adore the stuff.
    I have been on 2000 to 4000 IU daily of vitamin D3 since the flu last Nov of 08.
    Vitamin D3 is supposed to also help with inflammation and immunity and I am a true believer of those two supplements.

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