Estimation of curcumin intake in Korea based on the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2008-2012)

  • Kwon, Youngjoo (Department of Food Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans University)
  • Received : 2014.04.02
  • Accepted : 2014.06.04
  • Published : 2014.10.01


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Turmeric and its active component curcumin have received considerable attention due to their many recognized biological activities. Turmeric has been commonly used in food preparation and herbal remedies in South Asia, leading to a high consumption rate of curcumin in this region. However, the amount of curcumin in the Korean diet has not yet been estimated, where turmeric is not a common ingredient. SUBJECTS/METHODS: This study utilized the combined data sets obtained from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted from 2008 to 2012 in order to estimate the curcumin intake in the Korean diet. The mean intake of curcumin was estimated from the amount of curcumin-containing foods (curry powder and ready-made curry) consumed using reported curcumin content in commercial turmeric and curry powders. RESULTS: Only 0.06% of Koreans responded that they consumed foods containing curcumin in a given day, and 40% of them were younger than 20 years of age. Curcumin-containing foods were largely prepared at home (72.9%) and a significant proportion (20.4%, nearly twice that of all other foods) was consumed as school and workplace meals. The estimated mean turmeric intake was about 0.47 g/day corresponding to 2.7-14.8 mg curcumin, while the average curry powder consumption was about 16.4 g, which gave rise to curcumin intake in the range of 8.2-95.0 mg among individuals who consumed curcumin. The difference in estimated curcumin intake by using the curcumin content in curry powder and turmeric may reflect that curry powder manufactured in Korea might contain higher amounts of other ingredients such as flour, and an estimation based on the curcumin content in the turmeric might be more acceptable. CONCLUSIONS: Thus, the amount of curcumin that can be obtained from the Korean diet in a day is 2.7-14.8 mg, corresponding to nearly one fourth of the daily curcumin intake in South Asia, although curcumin is rarely consumed in Korea.


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