1993 U.S. Toxicology Program Report

Mouse in doctor glove

According to the NTP report, most of the adverse effects from turmeric extracts were seen at the highest dosages only. These effects were reviewed later by the European authorities on food safety and found to be benign. (i.596469)

How Do the Dosages Used in the NTP Safety Report Compare to Human Doses?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends certain formulas to convert animal doses to human doses. According to these formulas, the dosages used on the mice and rats in the 2-year NTP study equates to 780-40,860 mg/day of turmeric extract for a 132-lb adult human: (i.596469)

Figure I.3: Equivalent Human Dosage to Lowest Dosage Turmeric Extract
Given in NTP Safety Studies
(80 mg/kg per day) x 6 (Km factor for rats)
37 (Km factor for adult humans)
=
kg per day
x 60 kg = 780 mg/day
Figure I.4: Equivalent Human Dosage to Highest Dosage Turmeric Extract
Given in NTP Safety Studies
(8,400 mg/kg per day) x 3 (Km factor for mice)
37 (Km factor for adult humans)
=
kg per day
x 60 kg = 40,860 mg/day

In the NTP study, curcumin was reported to be 79-85% of the turmeric oleoresin extract used. At this concentration, this would calculate to 663 to 34,731 mg/day of curcumin in equivalent human dosages. The approximately 200 mg/kg of curcumin cited by the "dark side" researchers was actually a dosage tested in mice, not humans. Still, this dose was far lower than the highest dose administered to any of the rats or mice used in the NTP study. (i.23596469)

Carcinogenic Activity Reported and Effect on Survival

There was no evidence that curcumin caused carcinogenic activity in any male rats. There were only statistically insignificant, marginal increases in cancer-causing activity in the male mice and female rats and mice. (i.64)

The NTP scientists considered the evidence of this marginal increase of occurrence equivocal in nature. Equivocal is a term used by the NTP to mean that the turmeric extracts might or might not have caused this marginal increase in carcinogenic activity. (i.64)

In addition, survival rates in all the turmeric treatment groups were virtually the same as in the untreated control groups, including the animals that were given doses of curcumin equivalent to almost 41 grams of turmeric oleoresin a day for a 132-lb person. This evidence was not reported by the researchers concerned with curcumin's safety. (i.23596469)

The FAO /WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) consider curcumin non-carcinogenic. These authorities on food safety relied upon the NTP report and over 35 years of research to make that decision. JECFA scientists also noted that all of the statistically significant increases of growths found by the NTP were of benign tumors(i.596466)

Lowest dosage given in NTP tests; this was given to rats. (i.64)
Rounded.
Equivalent to 132 lb. person.
Highest dosage given in NTP tests; this was given to mice. (i.64)
Rounded.
Equivalent to 132 lb. person.
Or almost 35 grams of curcumin. (i.236469)
Acronym for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Acronym for the World Health Organization.
Called adenomas(i.76)

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