Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory effects that can benefit joint pain patients.
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Turmeric is a spice whose active compound may provide relief from arthritis pain. Turmeric is a staple of traditional Chinese and Indian (Ayurvedic) medicine. A golden spice that has been consumed as a condiment and also for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, it is also often called the “saffron of India”.
In addition to spicing and coloring various dishes such as curry, it is used as a remedy for different purposes, such as preventing and treating migraines, improving mood, promoting memory, preventing heart disease, as an antioxidant and also to improve arthritis symptoms.
The Arthritis Foundation notes that arthritis is a way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. One of the most common diseases of the joints is osteoarthritis. Common symptoms of arthritis include swelling, pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion; It can also cause permanent joint changes.
How can turmeric help relieve arthritis pain?
Research suggests that curcumin, which is the main active ingredient in turmeric, may have beneficial properties for rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a strong antioxidant.
Studies indicate that curcumin blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, including 5-LOX and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), the target of some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as celecoxib.
A 2016 review found that 1,000 mg a day of curcumin reduced the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritisas well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac and ibuprofen.
A study published in 2019 on the safety and efficacy of curcumin versus diclofenac in knee osteoarthritis by researchers from the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (India) also points out that the Curcumin may work for patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Participants with symptoms of osteoarthritis they received diclofenac (50 mg, twice a day) or curcumin (500 mg, three times a day). Both treatments relieved symptoms to a similar degree: 94% of those taking curcumin and 97% of those taking diclofenac reported at least 50% improvement. Which suggests that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug could be an alternative treatment option for those people.
How to take curcumin?
Since the percentage of curcumin in turmeric is not that high, the consumption of curcumin to treat arthritis symptoms requires to be done through supplements. Curcumin is not as well absorbed in the body so supplements often include piperine, a natural substance in black pepper that enhances the absorption of curcumin.
The Arthritis Foundation suggests 500 mg capsules twice daily and choose brands that use phospholipids (Meriva, BCM-95), antioxidants (CircuWin), or nanoparticles (Theracurmin) for better absorption.
Important information to keep in mind about curcumin consumption
The foundation warns that high doses of turmeric can act as blood thinners and cause an upset stomach. Curcumin should be avoided if taking blood thinners, you will have surgery, in pregnancy or when you have gallbladder disease.
Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, a rheumatologist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School notes that we don’t know how well curcumin would work or if it would be safe for people with significant kidney or stomach disease.
Dr. Shmerling suggests that different types of joint diseases are required in the longer term and more comprehensive tests of its safety. It also indicates that over-the-counter supplements are not tested or regulated like prescription drugs. So the information on the purity, strength and possible interaction with other drugs or diseases of the product is usually limited.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.