Tumeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis
Although the exact biochemical cause of osteoarthritis remains unknown, it is associated with inflammation in articular cartilage, which can cause joint pain, especially in the knee and hip joints. Some of the most common treatments are analgesic and anti-inflammatory medicines. However, these drugs can have serious adverse events, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system.
Tumeric has long been used as an anti-inflammatory treatment in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.
An article in the Journal of Medicinal Food[i], reviewing the available clinical trials, reported that these clinical trials provide scientific evidence that supports the efficacy of Tumeric extract in the treatment of arthritis. However, the authors stated that further studies are needed to clearly establish the therapeutic efficacy of Tumeric for arthritis.
This systematic review and meta-analysis provided scientific evidence that 8-12 weeks of standardised Tumeric extracts (typically 1000 mg/day of curcumin) treatment can reduce arthritis symptoms and result in similar improvement as some anti-inflammatory medicines e.g. Nurofen and Voltaren. Therefore, Tumeric extracts and curcumin can be cautiously recommended for alleviating the symptoms of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis.
Tumeric is likely safe and usually does not cause significant side-effects. However, some people can experience stomach upset, nausea, dizziness or diarrhoea.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, currently taking any prescribed medications, particularly anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs, or have any of the following conditions – Diabetes, Gastro-oesophageal reflux, Bleeding disorders, Iron deficiency -you should seek the advice of a medical practitioner or pharmacist before using Tumeric or Curcumin supplements.
If you are looking for help with managing your osteoarthritis, your osteopath at Blackburn Osteopathy can assist you set up a treatment program which may include hands-on massage/stretching, exercise prescription and advice on what are appropriate supplements.
[i] Daily JW, Yang M and Park S. 2016. Efficacy of Tumeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. J Med Food 19 (8) 717-729.