The Turmeric Craze
Ashwagandha is now what turmeric was ten years ago. The craze is over but the popularity stayed and there are a myriad of easy-to-consume products on the market in the form of liquid extracts, tablets, fermented turmeric, turmeric for dogs, chai, latte and more. And you can buy the old-fashioned spice powder.
What's Wrong With Buying Turmeric or Turmeric Products?
There are numerous reports on turmeric containing lead. It appears to be mainly turmeric grown in Bangladesh where lead chromate is added while processing the tubers to give them a brighter colour. Lead chromate contains lead and chromium, both are toxic heavy metals. Lead is a potent neurotoxin,it increases the risk of heart and brain disease in adults and interferes with children’s brain development. PubMed published a study of Ground Turmeric as a Source of Lead Exposure in the United States.
Whether Australian turmeric or turmeric products are contaminated with lead chromate is not entirely clear and I would like to know if you have any further information. The CMA (Complimentary Medicines Australia) states that there is no problem in Australia. This is because of the oversight of the TGA, that the manufacturers are following Good Manufacturing Practices, tests are done and there are vendor qualification processes in place.
However, Choice finds lead and heavy metals in various supermarket spices, not only turmeric.
What to do?
If you must buy a supplement, buy one which shares the lab results. Otherwise, save the expense and grow your own turmeric, it is so easy and costs next to nothing. Turmeric plants can be grown from turmeric you find at the grocery store or if your grocer doesn’t sell turmeric you can purchase a plant and you will never buy expensive supplements again!