Turmeric Curcumin Dosage


David Tomen
David Tomen
15 minute read
Turmeric has been shown to increase Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, fight depression, improve cognition, focus and libido, and protect the brain from inflammation.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is one of the most studied herbs in Ayurvedic, Siddha, Unani and Chinese healing. Turmeric has remarkable nootropic properties. And stands far above many modern medicines used to treat neurodegenerative diseases like depression, Alzheimer’s and stroke.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Turmeric is a perennial shrub native to southern Asia. It is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). And the Chinese name, jianghuang, literally means “yellow ginger.”

Most of the turmeric we get is grown in India. But turmeric is also cultivated in China, Taiwan, Japan, Myanmar (Burma), Indonesia and throughout Africa.

The primary chemical component in turmeric are a group of compounds called curcuminoids, which include curcumin (diferuloylmethane), desmethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. The best studied is curcumin which I’ll make reference to throughout this post on turmeric.

Turmeric also contains other important volatile oils including a- and b-turmerone, ar-turmerone, a-curcumen, and zingiberene. Some of which will also be referenced in this post.

Turmeric works on a molecular level to enhance neurogenesis. It boosts the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. And is a powerful antioxidant helping to protect your brain from chronic, excess inflammation.

Turmeric is also used to treat digestive disorders, skin conditions, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, liver function, protect from damage to DNA, and treat chest and abdominal pain.

Here we’re going to explore how Turmeric benefits your brain.

Turmeric helps:

  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF): Research shows that the curcumin in turmeric boosts neurogenesis. The production of new neurons in your hippocampus is essential for learning, memory and mood. Low BDNF can lead to major depression, OCD, schizophrenia, and dementia.
  • Neurotransmitters: The curcumin in turmeric boosts the feel good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are critical for mood, cognition, libido and focus. Curcumin functions very much like antidepressant MAOI’s and SSRI’s used to treat depression and Alzheimer’s Disease. Curcumin can actually enhance the effect of antidepressants like Prozac and Effexor.
  • Neuroprotection: The curcumin in turmeric is a potent antioxidant and helps protect your brain from inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to depression and dementia. Curcumin also reduces the formation of plaques that are associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.


Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is one of the most powerful natural remedies in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.  This ancient herbal remedy has been used for at least 6,000 years.[i]

The major constituent of turmeric is curcumin (diferuloylmethane), which constitutes up to 90% of total curcuminoid content, with desmethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin comprising the remainder.

Turmeric Herb Yellow Powder And Fresh Turmeric.

Turmeric is used extensively in several countries as part of their system of national medicine. Turmeric is listed in the official Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India. In the Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China. In the Japanese Herbal Medicines Codex.

In Germany, turmeric is listed in the Drug Codex, approved in the Commission E monographs, and in the form of tea in the official German Standard License monographs.

Curcumin and turmeric have been extensively researched for their anti-tumor, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. In fact, a search of the U.S. PubMed database for research on turmeric returns 5,334 clinical trials on animals and humans.[ii]

And yet the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health which is part of the same U.S. National Institutes of Health has this to say about turmeric:

“There is little reliable evidence to support the use of turmeric for any health condition because few clinical trials have been conducted.”[iii]

That statement by an official medical resource in the USA tells you something about the American health care system. And its view of alternative medicines. And why sites like Nootropics Expert® is so important for our nootropics community. So we can make our own decisions on how to boost our cognitive health.

Turmeric, also known as “Indian Saffron”, has been used for thousands of years in traditional South Asian cuisine, and is the basic ingredient in curry.

One recent study with 1,010 elderly Asian subjects found that those who ate curry “often” or “very often” had significantly higher cognitive performance.[iv]

Turmeric has potent antidepressant qualities. And has been found to be more potent than the antidepressant Prozac. Researchers think Turmeric works by reducing the stress hormone cortisol while increasing levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Turmeric’s main active component curcumin provides protection against Alzheimer’s, major depression, epilepsy, and other neurodegenerative disorders. Scientists believe that much of this protective action comes from curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Curcumin modulates neurotransmitter levels in your brain. And on a molecular level is a potent inhibitor of reactive astrocyte expression which prevents apoptosis (cell death) in your brain.[v]


How does Turmeric Work in the Brain?

Turmeric boosts brain health and function in several ways. But two in particular stand out.

  1. Turmeric enhances neuroplasticity. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a growth hormone responsible for the creation of new neurons (neurogenesis) in your brain. Higher levels of BDNF can increase mood, intelligence, memory and productivity. And can reduce risks for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Using turmeric or its active compound curcumin can boost your intelligence and memory. And can elevate your mood especially if you’re prone to depression. Several studies have shown that turmeric or its active component curcumin significantly boosts BDNF.[vi]

Researchers found that curcumin activated extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) and p38 kinases, cellular signal transduction pathways known to be involved in the regulation of neuronal plasticity and stress responses.

Administration of curcumin to mice in this study increased the number of newly generated cells in the hippocampus. Showing that curcumin enhances hippocampus neurogenesis. And that curcumin activity in the brain enhances neuroplasticity and repair of brain cells.[vii]

Another study using the turmeric volatile oil Ar-turmerone showed this compound also supported regeneration of brain cells. Scientists discovered that when neural stem cells were bathed in Ar-turmerone, up to 80% more stem cells grew into neurons or other cells.

Scientists then injected this turmeric extract into a part of rat’s brains where these cells are located. And witnessed a similar increase in growth of stem cells into neurons.[viii]

  1. Turmeric boosts dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. These are the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters in your brain. Turmeric and its active compound curcumin has been studied, and used effectively as an anti-depressant for centuries.

Researchers in India set out to establish how curcumin worked in the brain to provide this antidepressant action. In this study they investigated both curcumin and its ability to boost mood as well as the effect of Piperine as a bioavailability enhancer.

The scientists found that curcumin increased serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. And inhibited monoamine oxidase enzymes (both MAO-A and MAO-B) just like popular prescription antidepressant MAOI’s. Curcumin even enhanced the effectiveness of popular SSRI antidepressants Prozac, Effexor, and Zyban.

The team found no increase in norepinephrine when using curcumin to boost neurotransmitters. Avoiding the irritability and other symptoms of an over-amped fight-or-flight response.

And the scientists found that stacking curcumin with Piperine significantly boosted bioavailability. They concluded that curcumin combined with Piperine was a “potent natural antidepressant approach to managing depression”.[ix]

How things go bad

Chronic stress, anxiety and free radicals (oxidation) damage your brain. This damage can manifest in several ways including memory loss, brain fog, anxiety, depression, and even neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.Turmeric-relieves-Depression

Chronic stress reduces memory

Toxins kill brain cells

Free radicals destroy neurons and synapses

↓ Serotonin and dopamine decline

↓ Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor declines

Under conditions of chronic stress or depression your brain loses the capacity to transmit signals between neurons efficiently. Memory, cognition and decision-making all suffer as a result.

Turmeric benefits

A member of the ginger family of herbs, turmeric is the seasoning that gives curry powder its yellow color. It’s long been known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. And is actively studied today for applications as a nootropic.

Turmeric or anyone of its several active compounds including curcumin and Ar-turmerone undoes damage to your brain caused by depression or chronic stress.

Turmeric and curcumin boosts neuron regrowth (neurogenesis), increases dendrites, repairs DNA, reduces inflammation, counters free radical damage, and boosts neurotransmitters.

Turmeric inhibits monoamine oxidase enzymes (both MAO-A and MAO-B) just like popular prescription antidepressant SSRI’s and MAOI’s. Research shows that curcumin or turmeric can boost the effects of some popular antidepressants.

Boosting the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine can alleviate depression, improve mood, boost alertness, cognition, decision-making, memory and even libido.

Curcumin, the most active component of turmeric, activates genes to produce a huge array of antioxidants that serve to protect your mitochondria.

Curcumin also improves glucose metabolism, which is great for maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria. This critical microbiome in your gut directly influences how well your brain functions.


How does Turmeric feel?

Curcumin is the main active component of turmeric. So most of the positive reviews and studies have been conducted using curcumin.

Curcumin is known to possess antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-tumor, anti-cancer, anti-phlogistic, anti-diabetic, anti-psoriasis, anti-thrombotic, anti-hepatotoxic and a host of other useful properties.

If you are in perfect physical and mental health you may not feel the effects of supplementing with turmeric or curcumin. Turmeric’s neuroprotective qualities may not be felt if your brain is in perfect working order. But the effects of long-term supplementation will help you ward off diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The most frequent comment from supplementing with turmeric comes from those dealing with chronic pain. Turmeric relieves the pain of osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.

Chronic pain usually results in insomnia or poor sleep quality, loss of memory, depression, and other stress-related symptoms. Adding curcumin or turmeric to your nootropic stack can help relieve chronic pain. You’ll sleep better and feel more alert the next day.

Supplementing with turmeric or curcumin improves attention, working memory, and mood. And is reported to relieve the symptoms of migraine headaches.

Turmeric Clinical Research

Eat Your Curry

Curcumin, from the curry spice turmeric, has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And can reduce beta-amyloid plaques that are associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. But scientists were not satisfied with the evidence of turmeric’s benefits in real life.Turmeric curry improves cognition

So in 2003, a research team in Singapore recruited 1,010 non-demented elderly Asian people aged 60 – 93 years. The authors of the study compared Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores for three categories and regular curry consumption.

The scientist found that those who consumed curry “occasionally” and “often or very often” had much higher MMSE scores than those who “never or rarely” consumed curry.

The study authors reported that regular curry consumption was evidence of better cognitive performance. The bottom-line → eat your curry.[x]

Turmeric as an anti-depressant

A study conducted in India looked at the efficacy and safety of using curcumin, one of the active ingredients found in turmeric, for treating major depression.

60 patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder were chosen to receive either 20 mg of fluoxetine (Prozac®), 1000 mg of curcumin, or a combination of both daily for 6 weeks.

The study found that the best response (77.8%) was with the group of patients treated with a combination of curcumin and Prozac. The Prozac only group experienced a 64.7% improvement in depression symptoms. And the curcumin only group came in at 62.5%.

The researchers concluded that curcumin could be used as an effective and safe treatment for patients with major depression.[xi]

Curcumin Reduces Stress

Turmeric has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to manage stress and depression-related disorders. Scientists had already figured out turmeric’s antidepressant effects in animal and human studies. So they imagined that curcumin may also alleviate stress caused by HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) dysfunction.

For this study the scientists used rats. They subjected the animals to stress for 20 days by putting them through several tasks known to stress a rat.

Putting rats through this unfortunate (for the rats) series of events produced the kind of symptoms you would see in humans subjected to ongoing, chronic stress.

The rats had abnormal adrenal gland weight, increased thickness in the adrenal cortex, elevated cortisol levels, and reduced glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression. These changes were reversed by giving the rats curcumin in their food.

The research team also found that chronic stress down-regulated BDNF levels, and reduced the ratio of cAMP to CREB levels in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of the rats. Giving the rats curcumin blocked all these stress-induced physical responses in their brains.

The scientists concluded that these results provided compelling evidence that the behavioral effects of curcumin in chronically stressed animals, and by extension humans, could be related to the modulating effects of curcumin on the HPA axis and neurotrophin expressions.[xii]

Turmeric Dosage

You cannot get the immediate therapeutic and nootropic benefits of turmeric by simply eating more curry. Or adding turmeric to your food. Turmeric root contains only about 3% curcumin.Turmeric Curcumin Dosage

The most convenient way to start experiencing the benefits of turmeric is to get a high quality, 100% organic turmeric extract that contains at least 95% curcuminoids.

But curcumin and turmeric on their own are poorly absorbed by your gut. You must boost the bioavailability and absorption of this potent nootropic.

And the most efficient way to boost bioavailability is to combine turmeric or curcumin with Piperine. One study showed combining curcumin with 20 mg of Piperine increased bioavailability by 2000%![xiii]

Turmeric is fat-soluble so you must take it with a high quality fat for maximum absorption. You can use organic, cold-pressed coconut or olive oil.

Standardized turmeric or curcumin extract (95% curcuminoids) 750 mg 3-times per day.

Turmeric liquid extract (1:1) 30 – 90 drops per day.

Tincture (1:2) 15 – 30 drops 4-times per day.

Dried turmeric root powder 2.5 – 4 grams per day.

Turmeric Side Effects

Turmeric is natural and considered non-toxic and safe when taken at recommended doses.

Taking large amounts of turmeric for extended periods can cause stomach upset, and possibly ulcers.

If you have gallstones or obstruction to your bile passages you should not supplement with turmeric.

Turmeric may lower blood sugar levels which could be a problem for diabetics.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not supplement with turmeric.

And because turmeric can act as a blood thinner, stop supplementing with turmeric 2 weeks before surgery. Turmeric can also strengthen the effects of blood thinning medications.

Types of Turmeric to Buy

Turmeric is available as a powder, tablets, capsules, tincture and tea. And is preferred over curcumin if you’re using it for inflammatory conditions like arthritis, tendonitis, or an autoimmune condition.

Curcumin is a natural chemical found in, and extracted from turmeric. Several companies have developed their own version of this powerful nootropic.

Sabinsa’s Curcumin C3 Complex® boasts the most clinical studies of any of the patented forms of curcumin. This curcumin product is standardized to 95% Curcuminoids. Sabinsa also produces the standardized Piperine extract called BioPerine®. And supplement makers who feature Curcumin C3 Complex® from Sabinsa also typically include BioPerine® in their formula.

BCM95® by DolCas Biotech is a standardized extract of turmeric containing curcumin-essential oil complex of 86% curcuminoids and 7-9% essential oils. As far as I can tell this is the only extract that includes turmeric volatile oils which is important to cognitive health. Recall from earlier in this article that turmeric volatile oil Ar-turmerone supported regeneration of brain cells

Longvida® is a standardized curcumin extract that the company claims is at least 67-285 times more bioavailable than standard 95% curcumin. But does not contain any of the volatile oils found in natural turmeric. One study showed that this extract increases synapses in mice.[xiv] Another study in humans showed Longvida® significantly improved attention, working memory, and mood compared to placebo.[xv]

Meriva® is another patented form of curcumin combined with soy lecithin. The two compounds are a 1:2 ratio with microcrystalline cellulose added. The company claims that the addition of soy lecithin improves bioavailability of curcumin. Total curcumin in each capsule is 20%. Much higher doses of this curcumin extract are needed for optimizing cognition. And is primarily targeted at bone, joint, eye and skin health.

Active ingredients of Turmeric include curcuminoids and volatile oils. Look for the percentage of active ingredients listed on the bottle or package. Your best option is choosing a standardized extract of at least 95% curcuminoids.

Unless the supplement contains a patented compound from the companies listed above, you can assume that the extract has been processed using toxic solvents to extract curcumin from turmeric (not good).

And avoid supplements that list “other ingredients” on the label. Look for Certified Organic to ensure the root used to make your Turmeric supplement is free of heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides.

Nootropics Expert Recommendation

Turmeric Extract (95% curcuminoids) 750 mg 3-times per day

Nootropics Expert Tested and ApprovedI recommend using Turmeric or Curcumin as a nootropic supplement.

Your body does not make Turmeric on its own. So to get its benefits you must take it as a supplement.

Turmeric is the anti-Alzheimer’s spice. Studies show that in parts of India where curries are eaten most often, Alzheimer’s disease is extremely rare.

Turmeric is especially helpful for those suffering from depression or chronic pain.

Turmeric has a combination of curcuminoids, volatile oils and proteins that make it anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-septic.

Some neurohackers maintain that turmeric or curcumin is the best nootropic. You can increase the bioavailability of turmeric by combining it with Piperine (black pepper extract) and a healthy fat like olive or coconut oil.

You can safely take up to 3,000 mg of Turmeric extract daily if needed. Most get all the benefit they need with 750 mg. Dosed 3-times per day.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may also contain other affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

[i] Slominski A., Zmijewski M., Pawelek J. “L-tyrosine and L-DOPA as hormone-like regulators of melanocytes functions” Pigment Cell Melanoma Research. 2012 Jan; 25(1): 14–27. (source)

[ii] Woods S.K., Meyer J.S. “Exogenous tyrosine potentiates the methylphenidate-induced increase in extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens: a microdialysis study.” Brain Research. 1991 Sep 27;560(1-2):97-105. (source)

[iii] Hase A., Jung S.E., aan het Rot M. “Behavioral and cognitive effects of tyrosine intake in healthy human adults.” Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 2015 Jun;133:1-6. (source)

[iv] Magnusson I., Ekman L., Wångdahl M., Wahren J. “N-acetyl-L-tyrosine and N-acetyl-L-cysteine as tyrosine and cysteine precursors during intravenous infusion in humans.” Metabolism. 1989 Oct;38(10):957-61. (source)

[v] Coull N.A., Watkins S.L., Aldous J.W., Warren L.K., Chrismas B.C., Dascombe B., Mauger A.R., Abt G., Taylor L. “Effect of tyrosine ingestion on cognitive and physical performance utilising an intermittent soccer performance test (iSPT) in a warm environment.”European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2015 Feb;115(2):373-86. (source)

[vi] Colzato L.S., Jongkees B.J., Sellaro R., Hommel B. “Working memory reloaded: tyrosine repletes updating in the N-back task.”Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2013 Dec 16;7:200. (source)

[vii] Hinz M., Stein A., Neff R., Weinberg R., Uncini T. “Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with monoamine amino acid precursors and organic cation transporter assay interpretation”Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2011; 7: 31–38. (source)

[viii] Deijen J.B., Orlebeke J.F. “Effect of tyrosine on cognitive function and blood pressure under stress.” Brain Research Bulletin. 1994;33(3):319-23. (source)

[ix] Steenbergen L., Sellaro R., Hommel B., Colzato L.S. “Tyrosine promotes cognitive flexibility: evidence from proactive vs. reactive control during task switching performance.” Neuropsychologia. 2015 Mar;69:50-5 (source)

Subscribe to the Nootropics Expert newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest developments in the nootropics space.

Head First 2nd Editon

The Award Winning Guide to Healing & Optimizing Your Brain with Nootropic Supplements.

Head First 2nd Edition

NEW! Eliminate Brain Fog, Low Energy, Moodiness, Difficulty Sleeping, Memory Loss or Anxiety. Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Walmart and more...

Where to Buy Nootropics

Wondering where to buy the best nootropic supplements? Well, you’re in the right place. Because here you will find the nootropic supplements that I personally use and recommend. Each supplement has a link to the company store and product that I use. I also include a link to my full review for each supplement here […]

The Definitive Guide to Nootropics

Nootropics can help increase your memory, boost learning ability, improve your mood and assist overall brain function. If you’re new to nootropics, or wonder about the difference between a nootropic and a smart drug, then this page is for you. Here you’ll find the definition of a nootropic, how to pronounce the word “nootropic”, the […]

The Most Comprehensive Nootropics List

This is our big list of the most popular Nootropics in use today. Here you’ll learn what each nootropic is, what it does and suggested dosages. What is this List of Nootropics About? Nootropic supplements are cognitive enhancers aiming to improve brain function. Whether you are looking to treat mild cognitive impairment, improve mental focus, or biohack […]

Free Secrets of the Brain 3rd Edition

Get “Secrets of the Optimized Brain,” 92 nootropics to help you plan your Nootropic Stack when you sign up for my newsletter:

Join The Discussion - 235 comments

Mike Kaminski
September 13, 2020

Hello David, is it true Curcumin inhibit both Testosterone and DHT? I am a bodybuilder and it’s important to me. Do you think Boswelia is a good alternative?

    David Tomen
    September 14, 2020

    Mike, first I heard of Curcumin affecting testosterone. So I looked it up! I think this is the study you are referring to: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20346654/.

    So far it appears to be speculation based on studies in the lab. It’s not proven in humans. And the comments by the study author (if you look at the full study) is it would take 8 grams of curcumin with bioavailability boosted off the charts before you noticed any effect on testosterone in human males. And even that is speculation.

    I haven’t done any research on Boswellia so can’t comment on it.

September 10, 2020

Dear Mr. Tomen,

since tumeric is thought to be an MAO-Inhibitor wouldn’t it be dangerous to combine it with certain drugs/nootropics, like L-Tryptophan, SSRIs, Methylphenidate or other Amphetamines, possibly Kratom?

Or is there no risk, unless one would take excessive dosages of tumeric and/or other medication/nootropics?

Thanks in advance

    David Tomen
    September 10, 2020

    Matze, good question. With Turmeric that would mostly depend on dosage. Because I’m not aware of any contraindications. But it’s worth double checking each med with a drug interaction checker like this one: https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html

    You should not have any problems combining it with most natural nootropics.

September 5, 2020

Hello David
How many mg of turmeric to consume per day to control the prolactin levels?

    David Tomen
    September 6, 2020

    Serge, I don’t think anyone has the answer to that one yet. There are ongoing human clinical trials to find out. And I’m also not sure if its Turmeric or Curcumin that works best for lowering prolactin. Try doing a Google search and see if you can find something I missed. Try searching for “Turmeric AND prolactin”, and then search for “Curcumin AND prolactin”.

July 30, 2020

Hi David,

I have been experiencing brain fog (i.e. not able to concentrate, no fluid thoughts, no mental clarity which makes it difficult to read, understand and remember pages of textbooks etc.) for a couple of years now, and I think the cause of this brain fog has been either a long period of chronic stress, which might have hard-wired pathways in my brain, or my use of Efexor.

To combat my brain fog I tried several things. First I tried to reduce the amount of Efexor, and I went down from 75mg to now approximately 20 mg. Reducing my Efexor intake has lifted my brain fog a tiny bit but not significantly. To compensate for a lower dose of Efexor, I took Rhodiola Rosea, which is known for its anti-anxiety qualities. I took this herb for about two years and experienced more energy and stamina, but it didn’t alleviate my brain fog.

I stopped using Rhodiola and since about two months I use Bacopa Monnieri (1x 400 mg, 24% bacosides). It looks like this herb has improved my memory. Until now its effect on my brain fog has been small, but I will continue to use it to see what its long-term effects are.

Today I started with oxiracetam (2x 500mg) and alpha-gpc (2x 300mg), and I must say it gives my brain an energy boost, it seems my focus has increased and my brain fog has lifted somewhat, so I will keep taking these two supplements the coming weeks to see how my brain fog develops.

Further I want to completely taper off of efexor but I’m a little bit worried about an increase in anxiety. Currently with 20mg efexor anxiety levels are quite low, but I’ve read in a comment of yours that aniracetam works great for you. So I’m considering to replace the oxiracetam by aniracetam in a couple of weeks from now and then start tapering off of efexor, do you think this is a good idea?

Lastly, to combat my brain fog I have also started taking a combo of resveratrol and pterostilbene (250 mg vs 50mg 1x) three weeks ago. I had the feeling that I was experiencing vivid dreams because of this supplement, so I reduced the intake to 1/3 of a capsule. I haven’t felt any noticeable effects on my brain fog yet but I might need to take this supplement a little bit longer to experience its full potential.

My second question is whether Turmeric (in combination with Piperine) would be a good addition to my current stack to battle brain fog? You write that Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and is a potent antioxidant which might make it a suitable supplement to eliminate brain fog as inflammation and oxidative stress are causes of brain fog (as discussed in your article about brain fog). My only concern is whether I can use Turmeric (BCM95) in combination with efexor because both affect serotonin levels.

My final question is: do you know any other nootropics that I could add to my stack to combat the brain fog I’m experiencing? Are there for example nootropics that could undo the hard-wiring that takes place after chronic stress? Or other nootropics that should be tried in my combat against brain fog? Thank you so much for your highly informative articles and your time to answer people’s questions.

    David Tomen
    July 30, 2020

    Adrian, Effexor is a serotonin norepinephrine dopamine reuptake inhibitor. That covers most of the major neurotransmitters. So it sounds like you need to at least boost dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin in your brain. To even come close to replacing Effexor. Please see this new post for how to do that: https://nootropicsexpert.com/best-nootropics-for-anxiety/

    Aniracetam works with acetylcholine and dopamine. So may be better for you than Oxiracetam

    Turmeric is not contraindicated with Effexor as far as I know.

    But you have not mentioned any of the other categories (i.e. hormones, nutrients, sleep and BDNF) I covered in my brain fog post: https://nootropicsexpert.com/best-supplements-for-brain-fog/. I recommend that you seriously consider the other categories as well. Especially nutrients deficiencies and BDNF.

    Nutrient deficiencies can be helped with this: https://nootropicsexpert.com/performance-lab-whole-food-multi-review/. And BDNF can be helped with this: https://nootropicsexpert.com/13-nootropics-to-boost-bdnf/

    Considering the negative effects Effexor has on our brain I’d seriously look at the BDNF section.

      July 31, 2020

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your reply. I again took a look at your BDNF article and its comments, and I came across your comment about lion’s mane which says that LM is one of the most powerful ways to boost NGF and BDNF. Instead of Turmeric I think I first start adding LM to my stack. The chronic stress I experienced in my life might have damaged my brain resulting in the brain fog I’m experiencing. Chronic stress kills neurons and results in excess myelin around the axons. Increasing NGF and BDNF via LM might repair damaged neurons, regrow lost neurons, and might even prune the excess myelin (idk whether pruning myelin is possible?).

      Im not completely sure whether I can use LM together with efexor? I found the following literature study about LM https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6982118/, and in section 5.2 you can read that LM can increase the level of serotonin and might act as a MAO inhibitor. Can I start with a low dose of LM and see how my body reacts?

        David Tomen
        August 1, 2020

        Adrian, according to that study they haven’t figured out yet if Lion’s Mane is a true MAOI or how it works with these neurotransmitters. A low dose would be the safest way to test this.

shahzad mohiuddin
July 22, 2020

Hi David Tomen,

I was just wondering, I get headaches and I believe its due to the moderate interaction with luvox (SSRI) at 300 mg and caffiene.

I was wondering is it safe to take up to 3000 mg turmeric (95% circuminoids)?

I take it before my cup of green tea in the morning. I take green tea because it has a very low amount of caffeine so I can reduce the headache and nausea I get from the interaction b/w luvox and caffiene. But I am still getting headaches….

But as far as turmeric, is it safe to take 3000 mg all at once just before my caffiene?


    David Tomen
    July 23, 2020

    Shahzad, Luvox is moderately contraindicated with caffeine according the the drug interaction checker that I use: https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/caffeine-with-fluvoxamine-450-0-1128-0.html. One clinical study showed that using Luvox with caffeine increased the effects of caffeine 5-fold. The only way to reduce headaches from this combo is to NOT use caffeine of any kind when using Luvox.

    Turmeric and curcumin functions very much like antidepressant MAOI’s and SSRI’s. So will enhance the effects of Luvox. So be careful with this combo as well.

    I suggest you become very familiar with the mechanism of action of caffeine ( https://nootropicsexpert.com/caffeine/), and the mechanism of action (also called “pharmacology”) for any drug or nootropic you are using. This is the only way to stay safe when using nootropics and any prescription med.

    Use Nootropics Expert for the mechanism of action for any nootropic. And Wikipedia for the Pharmacology (mechanism of action) for any drug.

      Shahzad Mohiuddin
      July 24, 2020

      Thank you so much for the advice. So, are you saying that even a cup of green tea is too much. Theres about 30 mg of caffeine in green tea, so 30X5 is 150. Thats not too bad is it?

      Also, I struggle with sleep issues as well. I take about 2.5 mg melatonin before bed time and 400 mg L-Theanine. Idk about L-theanine but there is also a moderate interaction with melatonin and luvox. But I have trouble going to sleep without it. can I still take melatonin? Theres a brand called remfresh lite which is recommended by sleep doctor and contains 0.5 mg continuous release melatonin. I was thinking that dose shouldnt be too bad.

      And I know how great a good night sleep is for optimum cognitive health.

      Hence why I love l theanine caffeine and melatonin so much.

      What are your suggestions? Should I go down on luvox maybe from 300 mg to 200 mg?


      I also exercise vigorously regularly and eat healthy.

        David Tomen
        July 24, 2020

        Shahzad, when the drug interaction checker says that it’s a “moderate” interaction it’s serious. Because one step up has the potential to kill you. A moderate interaction will only make you feel really sick or cause nasty side effects. Just like you are experiencing.

        It looks like Luvox is going to amplify the effects of anything taken with it. Which can be really bad news. Because the difference for example between 0.5 mg Melatonin and 2.5 mg Melatonin could mean a really bad day the next day. I know that it certainly does for me. I can’t use any Melatonin as a result.

        The problem with Melatonin supplements is you can’t trust the label. A study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine found that synthetic melatonin content ranged from -83% to + 478%. Contrary to what was claimed on sleep supplement labels. And 8 of the 31 supplements tested contained undisclosed serotonin. Which is illegal because serotonin can NOT be sold as a supplement.

        Better to use 6 ounces of Tart Cherry Juice from concentrate which is nature’s best source of natural melatonin and much safer. Please see my post on Best Supplements for Sleep for more: https://nootropicsexpert.com/best-nootropics-for-sleep/

        I am not qualified to recommend whether you should be using Luvox or not. But I am suggesting that mixing prescription drugs with natural nootropics can cause real problems. Some of them are life threatening. So please be careful.

July 19, 2020

Hi David! I found your website last week via youtube and I’m really impressed with the volume and quality of information you have here. Thanks for this valuable library of knowledge! It helps alleviate some of the many doubts one has when looking to expand their supplement regimen and improve their health. Having so much good info in one place is beyond useful.

My question is regarding ginger rhizome in relation to Turmeric. I have been taking ginger for years in capsule and raw form and have benefited greatly from its extreme anti-inflammatory powers. I’ve had auto-immune issues and poor digestion for as long as I can remember, and ginger is a real god-send.

Once, years ago, I dipped my toes into the turmeric pool, but didnt seem to derive much success. I will admit I didnt try very hard though (experimenting with various suppliers and such).

The kind I’m using now I got is from “Feel Good Organic Superfoods” and has a proprietary blend of organic turmeric powder, extract and organic black pepper(fruit) (95% piperine).

If I start a serious turmeric regimen, should I cut back a bit on my ginger regime? I usually take ginger 1-2 times a day for 5-6 days every week.

    David Tomen
    July 20, 2020

    Aaron, it’s tough to answer your question because it all depends on how your system reacts to both supplements. There’s certainly no contraindication that I know of. And each provide their unique benefits.

    But Turmeric and Curcumin have a reputation for not being very bioavailable. Which is why we use piperine which increases its bioavailability by up to 2000% according to some studies. And some of these supplements take a while before you begin to realize their full benefit.

    Seems to me that if you can tolerate them it would be wise to use both supplements. And if there’s any synergy between the two you may be able to cut back some on dosages for each. Only way to find out is by trial and error.

      July 20, 2020


      I am shopping for turmeric and piperine as we speak. It seems its far easier to shop for both separately than for them in a combined form. I want to get bulk turmeric so I can use it for a prolonged period of time.

      My plan is to use lion’s mane and turmeric+piperine to bring my brain back to a more normal state before I launch into other brain enhancing supplements and nootropics. Meanwhile I will continue taking niacin and other b-vitamins.

      I plan to experiment with both dopamine and serotonin increasing nootropic stacks to see which one works better for me.

      Do you have any suggestions on the length of time I should engage in all of these pursuits? How many weeks/months should I attempt to heal my brain before trying other things? How long should I take serotonin or dopamine enhancing stacks before I try something else for my issues with depression, insomnia, auto-immune issues and allergies?

        David Tomen
        July 21, 2020

        Aaron, you should start noticing a difference fairly quickly. When experimenting with L-Tyrosine for dopamine and L-Tryptophan for serotonin you’ll know within a day or two which one works better if dopamine or serotonin is an issue for you.

        Just keep in mind that the damage to our brain took decades. But it won’t take decades to fix. Consistent daily use of a good nootropic stack will begin showing the most benefit within the next month or two. And it just gets better the longer you use nootropics. Find what works and then stick with it.

        July 21, 2020

        Thanks again.

        I accidently bought the non-NALT version of tyrosine. Any tips for enhancing absorption (will bioperine help?)?

        I also was curious about the turmeric regimen I will be starting soon. I settled on capsule form for now but found a seemingly excellent brand “Doctor Danielle”. She has a “B” rating on fakespot for amazon reviews, which is incredibly rare for supplement manufacturers.

        I also wanted your opinion on a supposedly advanced, patented form of Turmeric that is water soluble and very high in curcuminoids. It also claims it does not require piperine to be highly bio-available, which I found mildly shocking. It’s from an extremely trusted company I’ve been using for over a decade now. Sadly, the founder passed away somewhat recently. He used to do local radio spots here for a long time.

        wellnessresources [dot] com/—/turmeric-gold

        This is not an ad. It’s me giving back to you for the resources you offer here for free. I hope to give back more in the future. I’ll be coming back here often, and also spreading the word. 🙂

        David Tomen
        July 22, 2020

        Aaron, you may get what you need from just plain L-Tyrosine. There’s some debate on which one is more bioavailable. I’ve used both and get the same results with either L-Tyrosine or NALT.

        When anyone makes a claim that a supplement is a more “advanced” version that the original or when compared to other forms I need to see the proof. And the only real proof are peer-reviewed clinical studies that back up those claims.

        If I personally ordered and used the Turmeric supplement from this company I’d still use 5 – 10 mg BioPerine everytime I used it. But if you’ve been using it and it works for you, bonus! That’s all we can ask of a quality supplement. That it works and helps us feel better.

        July 21, 2020

        I meant to include this in my last comment-

        Regarding a Turmeric regimen, how many days on and off do you recommend and do you recommend taking a week off every month or two? I know many things work better in the body when you dont have a tolerance for them.

        David Tomen
        July 22, 2020

        Aaron, when you look at the mechanism of action for Turmeric I don’t see how anyone could develop a tolerance to it. I wouldn’t recommend cycling it.

June 19, 2020

Hello David
Can turmeric lower prolactin levels?

March 29, 2020

Dear David. I take aprox. 800-1200mg of curcumin which comes from turmeric powder. I noticed a common side effect of this herb, the drop of libido and energy. As we know turmeric and mushrooms are powerful anti-androgenic. This cause a drop of dht, which triggers a drop in libido, streght in the gym and even focus.
Have you experienced such side-effects? Do you recommend taking tongkat-ali or tribulus in order to increase dht?
I was wondering if berberine is also anti-androgenic ,just to replace my turmeric as an aid for digestion and nootropic benefit. Do you know some other herb as good as turmeric in killing bad bacteria in the intestine and favor proper digestion? Have you tried black-pepper oil for that purpose?
Best regards

    David Tomen
    March 29, 2020

    Daka, I specialize in the brain so can’t advise on tongkat-ali or tribulus. If you’re specifically looking for an anti-bacterial consider Lemon Balm, Coconut Oil and/or Berberine. None of which affect male hormones in a negative way.

    Black pepper not such a good idea because of the side effects are higher doses. But please pay attention to the Side Effects section for each of the above before you try them.

    July 21, 2020

    Oh dear. This is concerning. One of my primary impairments for the last few years has been chronic fatigue combined with depression. I don’t want my testosterone levels to be altered. I may have to reconsider how deeply I dive into turmeric, and for how long.

      David Tomen
      July 22, 2020

      Did I miss something here? Turmeric has no effect on testosterone levels that I’m aware of.

        July 23, 2020

        Daka said above “As we know turmeric and mushrooms are powerful anti-androgenic”.

        I suppose I should be researching this a bit myself. To see if there’s anything to it.

        David Tomen
        July 23, 2020

        Aaron, curcumin inhibits androgen receptor (AR) through modulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in LNCaP cells. And has been found to effective in treating prostate cancer as a result: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4565901/

        And the inhibitory effects of methanol extracts of 19 edible and medicinal mushrooms on 5alpha-reductase activity were examined. The extract of Reishi Mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum) showed the strongest 5alpha-reductase inhibitory activity: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16029938/

        July 23, 2020

        Thanks for the info. Always good to peruse those studies on NCBI.

        My replies on dakas comment definitely reflects my ignorance on what exactly anti-androgens are and how “testosterone-blocker” doesnt necessarily mean lowering testosterone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.