Curcumin Relieves Pain and Inflammation for Osteoarthritis Patients

Posted on Oct 12, 2011 in Health & Wellness

Curcumin can relieve pain and increase mobility in patients with osteoarthritis.  It can also reduce a series of inflammatory markers.  100 patients with osteoarthritis were divided in two groups — the first group was given the “best available treatment” and the second group was given the same treatment plus 200 mg of the curcumin formulation each day.

Curcumin is also the active ingredient in turmeric, which is a very popular supplement. curcumin is known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. The compound has been shown to influence more than 700 genes, and it can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes joint stiffness, pain, inflammation and swelling that can become debilitating. Many patients turn to non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and analgesics, like Tylenol, for pain relief, but the regular, chronic use of these types of medications is associated with significant, and very serious, side effects such as cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal harm and kidney and/or liver damage.

Osteoarthritis, the deterioration of cartilage that cushions your joints, is the most common form of arthritis among the elderly. It’s normally associated with “wear and tear” on your joints, but can also be caused by repetitive stress or acute trauma.

In addition to an anti-inflammatory like curcumin, I’ve long promoted omega-3 fats for arthritis because omega-3s are also well known to help reduce inflammation. Look for a high-quality, animal-based source such as krill oil.

If you have osteoarthritis, the cartilage within your joint is progressively being damaged, and the synovial fluid that keeps your joints lubricated and cushioned is typically reduced as well. The pain is a result of your bones starting to come into contact with each other as cartilage and synovial fluid is reduced.

Your body is fully capable of rebuilding cartilage and synovial fluid, but in order to effectively do so it needs the proper building blocks. In this case, it needs glucosamine to rebuild both cartilage and synovial fluid, so correcting this deficiency by using a high-quality supplement may be helpful.

How to Use Curcumin

There are not any very good formulations of curcumin available to use in cancer. Relatively high doses are required and curcumin is not absorbed that well. Typical anticancer doses are up to three grams of good bioavailable curcmin extract, three to four times daily.

One work around for this is to use the curcumin powder and make a microemulsion of it by combining a tablespoon of the powder and mixing it into 1-2 egg yolks and a teaspoon or two of melted coconut oil.  Then using a high speed hand blender to emulsify the powder.

Another strategy you can use to increase absorption is to put one tablespoon of the curcumin powder into a quart of boiling water. It must be boiling when you add the powder as it will not work as well if you put it in room temperature water and heat the water and curcumin. After boiling it for ten minutes you will have created a 12% solution and you can drink this once it has cooled down.  The curcumin will gradually fall out of solution over time and in about six hours it will be a 6% solution so it is best to drink the water within four hours.  It does have a woody taste.

One caution to know is that you want to avoid the “yellow kitchen” syndrome.  Curcumin is a very potent yellow pigment and can permanently discolor surfaces if you aren’t careful. So you can perform the mixing under the hood of your stove with the blower on to make sure no powder gets into your kitchen.

Source:  Alternative