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Turmeric and tacolimus levels

I'm taking prograf immunosuppressants, since my kidney transplant two years ago. I suffer from diabetes and have athritis of the knees. As one of the effects of Prograf is to raise blood sugar levels, research has shown that turmeric (ginger type root powder) reduces this. It is also an anti-inflamatory and therefore would help with my knees. It increases levels of tacrolimus in the blood. Therefore, it could mean a reduction in the dose of Prograf and therefore less side effects. I've heard that I should not take more than a teaspoon of turmeric on a daily basis. Before I embark on this, has anyone had any experience of using turmeric? Has it worked out well?

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  • I had a feeling that Tumeric was high in B vitamins because no matter how much water I drink, my urine is yellow in color where before it was very clear. I have normal kidney function so I am not worried. Just looked up what i thought was true and I am correct.

    The only thing for me was i had EXTREMELY high levels of all B vitamins off the chart high and these blood tests were taken prior to starting tumeric but I was taking camu powder which is naturally high in B vitamins.  I do not take B vitamins but I did take them for many years and was told to stop taking them. This was last year.  I do not even take a multivitamin because of this.  So that is what happens when you eat healthy, you can also save money and you will not need too many vitamins. Between the Camu powder that I take several times per week and Tumeric I think I might be overdoing the B vitamins. What am I going to do?  I am going to take less of the Tumeric because I absolutely still love what the Camu powder does for me.  The Tumeric is helping my CF because I am able to cut down on the amount of enzymes I am taking.  I will have a prograf test next week and hopefully, the number is a bit higher and if not, I hope it holds to the same. What I feel is that the serum level is probably identical.  My PFT's are holding their own. There was an improvement at my clinic but that could be because I was standing up. 

    • Thanks for the feedback Rise. Are high levels of vitamin B harmful for kidneys? Also, what is Camu and what are it's beneficial effects? Your prograf results would be interesting as they should have risen with the turmeric.

      • Hi Simian

        I have a feeling that my Prograf level might be the same but will know in a week because I am probably going this week for labs. Camu powder is crushed camu berry from Brazil.  I buy it from Navitias it has antiviral properties and because I have had EBV for a few years, I decided to give it a try. I love it! I told my doctor I was taking it and she said she never heard of it. Oh well, I cannot take acyclovir and the IV of Acyclovir made me worse. The Camu powder improved my EBV to a level of 400 then when they increased my Prograf a few months ago, it went back to 2000. Now I believe it is very low again. I will find outsoon.  I am very happy with taking Tumeric. I can actually feel a sense of calm after ingesting Tumeric with my food.  I love this soy free mayonaise. It is really not mayo but taste like it. I add Tumeric and a few other spices and I am in love with it. Because I believe in muscle testing and believe I can do this well, at first I could only take three servings of Tumeric per day and now I can take in more.  My urine is now clear. I must have thought I was drinking a lot but apparently, I wasn't.

        I do think that the Tumeric is helping to lower my glucose but then again since I am taking less prograf it could be that too.  

        I have no idea if B vitamins are harmful to the kidneys but I certainly will not be taking them again as I certainly do not need them. There is nothing that I can do to lower the B vitamins. I only take Camu powder when I feel I need it and since the tumeric helps with Cystic Fibrosis I am going to stick with it.  I am not worried that my B vitamins levels are high. 

        I change my mind often so I will be posting my updates. My PFT's are stable at home but have increased at the clinic.  

        What have you decided?

        • Hello Rise,

          I'm going to take curcumin - the active ingredient of turmeric. I already have high levels of potassium and turmeric also has high potassium levels. Too much potassium is not good for the heart. I've found that curcumin has less potassium and is less likely raise my risk of kidney stones. I'm trying to get the go ahead from my doctor but as he has no clinical experience with turmeric/curcumin he is not giving me a clear decision. I might just take it and see how it shows in my results.

          • Simian, It's been 2 years since your post on " turmeric / curcumin ".  Can you give me an update ?... still taking it....have you stopped ?,... lab results ?



          • I wish you the best! If the only reason why you want to try this is for blood sugar. Aren't there other things you can do to lower your blood sugar levels? I would think so.

            Sounds risky for you. 

            • Thanks. Not the only reason: help to treat my athritis, lower cholesterol levels, reduce risk of cancer and help fight off potential infections. I'm getting side effects from Prograf - trying to get the dose lowered as much as possible.

              • What is the difference between cucurmin and tumeric? I am feeling so much better.

                • Hello Rise,

                  Curcumin is the part of turmeric that has all the benefits. It's what gives turmeric the yellow colour.

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