What You Should Know Before Taking Turmeric
The supplement industry is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration . That means you have no way of knowing what is actually in the bottle of turmeric/curcumin pills or powders youre buying. It might not have the potency it claims to have, and there could be additional ingredients you dont know about. In recent years there have been cases of imported turmeric with levels of lead high enough to cause lead poisoning in children and the FDA has not yet created limits on how much lead can be allowed in any spices at all.
If you are experiencing joint pain, your best bet is to talk to a doctor about whether turmeric/curcumin supplements could help and, if so, what brands are considered safe. If you decide to take turmeric supplements, try combining them with black pepper and a healthy fat, such as olive oil to help your body absorb the compounds. And dont neglect the power of a healthy lifestyle: An overall healthy diet and exercise routine can improve your joint health regardless of which supplements you take.
If arthritis pain interferes with your daily life, request an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon.
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Use As A Pain Preventive
Low doses, usually one 500 mg capsule of turmeric daily, can have many benefits for those without diagnosed health conditions. In addition to offering antioxidant properties toward overall health, one of its most significant properties is use as an anti-inflammatory agent. A small amount introduced to the diet has been shown to be beneficial to anyone who wants to be proactive in preventing discomfort, such as muscle soreness after exercise.
Curcumin, found in turmeric, may be useful in preventing and relieving inflammatory and other types of pain.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disabling disease that causes you pain and could result in irreversible damage to cartilage and bone. People suffering from RA endure debilitating pain caused by chronically inflamed joints. To manage this disease, the sufferer must understand what he is battling against.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of autoimmune arthritis that affects more than 1.3 million Americans where about 75% of RA patients are women and about 1 3% of these women may get rheumatoid arthritis in their lifetime . This disease may begin between the ages of 30 and 50 but can possibly start at any age. RA is a chronic disease that causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling and decreased movement of the joints . Small joints in the hands and feet are most commonly affected and so are the organs, such as eyes, skin or lungs . RA is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints affecting the hands, feet and wrists . The joint stiffness in active RA is often the worst in the morning that could last for two hours or more. There may be periods where symptoms become worse, known as flare-ups or flares. A flare can be difficult to predict, but with treatment its possible to decrease the number of flares and minimize long-term damage to the joints. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis also experience problems in other parts of the body, or more general symptoms such as tiredness and weight loss .
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Mayo Clinic Q And A: Turmerics Anti
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My friend says that her arthritis pain improved after she started taking turmeric. Can you tell me more about this supplement?
ANSWER: Although turmeric is a common spice in many home pantries, many people are not familiar with its purported health effects. Relieving arthritis pain is one of many such purported health effects.
Turmeric, a plant related to ginger, is grown in many Asian countries, as well as other tropical areas. Its a major ingredient in curry powders common in many Indian and Asian dishes and is used as a coloring for foods, fabrics and cosmetics. The underground portions of the plant can be dried and made into capsules, tablets, extracts, powders or teas. Or they may be made into a paste to apply to the skin.
Turmerics main active component curcumin is what gives the spice its yellow color. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a potential treatment for a number of health conditions, including reduced pain and increased ease of movement in people with osteoarthritis. One study found that taking turmeric extract three times daily was comparable to taking a 1,200-milligram dose of ibuprofen daily. However, more research is necessary to confirm these effects.
Turmeric And Arthritis: The Medical Evidence
- Both treatments relieved arthritis symptoms, with 94 per cent of those taking curcumin to report at least 50 per cent improvement.
- Participants reported fewer side effects when taking curcumin.
- No participants taking curcumin required treatment for stomach-related trouble, compared to 28 per cent of those taking diclofenac.
- Curcumin participants lost an average of two per cent of their body weight in four weeks.
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Study : Curcumin Boosts The Action Of Steroids In Arthritis
Many a time we have received queries: whether it is safe to take turmeric with steroids and indeed it is safe to take turmeric in the diet when taking steroids as it helps in attenuating inflammation and pain.
And some individuals have benefited from this and discontinued steroid use.
This animal study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, January 2014 shows that curcumin administered with steroid potentiates its anti-arthritic activity.
What happened in the study?
An animal model of arthritis was developed. Curcumin was administered along with low, moderate and high doses of steroid- prednisolone.
The efficacy and toxicity of the steroid were studied.
What were the results?
Induction of arthritis was marked by increased levels of inflammatory agents in the body such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukins etc.
Combination of curcumin and prednisolone had a beneficial effect on joint swelling, immune cell count and other biochemical parameters in arthritis.
Out of the different doses tested, low dose of prednisolone and curcumin worked the best.
This was demonstrated by increased inhibition of inflammatory enzymes, increase in antioxidant enzymes, body weight gain and reduced toxicity to organs.
How did this occur?
How To Take Turmeric Or Curcumin
To get turmeric, you take the stem, or the rhizome, of the plant, and boil, dry, and ground it into powder. There are many ways you can introduce turmeric or curcumin into your diet. Research has shown that curcumin is safe in high doses. This is great news because curcumin also has poor bioavailability, which means its poorly absorbed. It would need to be taken at large doses for an active effect.
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Prevents Cartilage Degradation And Protects Cartilage
Another big benefit of turmeric? The curcumin in it has a protective effect on the bodys cartilage. The wearing down of the cartilage is central to the progression of osteoarthritis. By preventing joint cartilage degeneration, curcumin can help ease symptoms and may even slow down the worsening of your condition.
Curcumin is also said to reduce cartilage inflammation a problem experienced in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and boost the activity of chondrocytes that are responsible for creating and maintaining the cartilage matrix.8 Treatment with curcumin may, therefore, help regenerate cartilage by creating the right environment.9
It Prevents The Progression Of Arthritis
Just as in cancer, there are some cells in rheumatoid arthritis that are immune to cell death and destruction. These are called fibroblast like synoviocytes.
They are found on the lining of the joints which ensure smooth movement and flexibility.
Under the inflammatory conditions of rheumatoid arthritis, these cells begin to grow and resist cell death and thereby contribute to inflammation and joint destruction.
Targeting these cells would be a stronger approach towards treating arthritis.
Curcumin increases the activity of proteins that causes apoptosis and simultaneously reduces the level of survival proteins.
What does this mean?Research suggests that curcumin can destroy the indestructible fibroblast like synoviocytes in rheumatoid arthritis and thereby prevent progression of the disease.
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Turmeric Can Target Various Arthritic And Related Conditions
Turmeric as well as curcumin have a number of medicinal properties which can benefit in almost every arthritic condition the most important ones being anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Turmerics analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties benefit in conditions like arthritis of knee and ankle, ankylosing spondylitis, bursitis etc.
Turmerics autoimmune, analgesic and anti-depressant properties provide relief in conditions like lupus and fibromyalgia.
Turmeric is safe for children and can be used as a complementary aid in treating juvenile arthritis.
What does this mean?Turmeric and curcumins multifaceted activity can help in treatment of almost any kind of arthritis.
Study : Turmeric Extracts Are As Effective As Ibuprofen In Arthritis
Knee osteoarthritis occurs as a result of the breakdown of cartilage and bone in the knee joint. Arthritis is treated generally with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
This study reports that turmeric extracts are just as good as ibuprofen in treating arthritis with lesser side effects.
What happened in this study?
367 individuals suffering from knee osteoarthritis and having a pain score 5 or higher were recruited for this study.
Some received ibuprofen 1200mg/day while some received turmeric extracts 1500mg/day.
The study lasted for 4 weeks and level of pain, stiffness and other related symptoms were assessed on the basis of predefined score ratings.
What were the results?
Based on the scores collected over 4 weeks, a non-inferiority test was conducted. These are generally done to show that a novel treatment is not worse than conventional treatment for a particular outcome.
Results showed that turmeric extracts were as good as ibuprofen, especially the stiffness improved in the turmeric group.
Side effects occurred in both groups but abdominal pain and discomfort were higher in the ibuprofen group.
96-97% of the individuals were satisfied with the treatment and 2/3 rd reported overall improvement.
How did this happen?
Turmeric contains bioactive compounds known as curcuminoids. Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid which has powerful anti-inflammatory property.
This combats both inflammation and pain occurring in arthritis.
What does this mean?
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Cautions For Some Users
Most people can safely take curcumin supplements without any serious side effects. But like nearly every medication or supplement, there are some people it may not be right for.
Those who should avoid curcumin supplements because of potential negative effects include:
- Women who are pregnant or nursing
- Those with iron deficiencies
- Those who take medications that may interact with curcumin, including:
- Blood thinners
Faqs Regarding Turmeric & Arthritis
Here are a couple of questions that are asked in relation to turmerics therapeutic efficacy in arthritis. These should help you with taking turmeric to treat arthritis.
1. Will turmeric ease pain in arthritis?
Turmeric is a natural painkiller and also has anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties that help relieve pain in arthritis. Check Benefit no 11 mentioned above for more details.
2. Does turmeric only reduce symptoms or does it heal arthritis?
Turmeric reduces symptoms of arthritis such as pain and inflammation. It also acts at genetic levels, prevents bone loss and works as a chemopreventive agent in arthritis. Turmeric can help reduce symptoms as well as halt progression of arthritis.
3. Can turmeric reduce bone loss in arthritis?
Yes, turmeric can prevent bone turnover and cartilage loss in conditions like osteoarthritis. Read Benefit no. 4
4. Can turmeric be used to treat arthritis in pets?
Yes, turmeric or Golden Paste can be given to pets to treat arthritis. Please refer to Pets tab right on top of the page for more details.
5. What dose of turmeric should I take for arthritis?
This depends on the form of turmeric you take. We recommend taking Golden Paste and the details have been highlighted in the Dosage section below.
6. Should I take whole turmeric or curcumin for arthritis?
7. Is it safe to take turmeric/Golden Paste with turmeric supplements in arthritis?
8. What herbs can I take with turmeric for arthritis?
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How Turmeric Can Treat Arthritis Pain And Inflammation
To get turmeric in your diet, you can add the powder to veggies, soups, smoothies, or tea. Or you can take curcumin supplements. Read more:Turmeric and Curcumin for Arthritis
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can be especially helpful for those with arthritis. This includes both degenerative arthritis and inflammatory arthritis .
How To Choose Your Turmeric Supplement
Supplements arent regulated like medications. Do your research on the company and brand you choose.
Turmeric extracts are the most potent type of supplement. Concentrated extracts are 95% curcumin. Powders and spices contain a lot less of the potent ingredient.
Extracts also have less chance of contamination from other substances.
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Changing Your Diet May Also Help Relieve Knee Pain
Theres strong evidence that eating the Mediterranean diet may provide significant knee pain relief in people with OA.
Researchers reviewing three different studies found that people with symptoms of arthritis had an improved quality of life after starting the Mediterranean diet.
According to the study, the Mediterranean diet may benefit OA because of its anti-inflammatory properties, tendency to reverse metabolic syndrome , and reduce obesity.
Researchers say the diet is also rich in polyphenols , which can prevent inflammation and cartilage destruction, and this could also be why it shows benefit.
While there is no specific diet that works as a cure for arthritis, various studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet can help fight the inflammation associated with arthritis and slow the disease progression, said Gupta.
As always, getting the right dosage is key to staying healthy. While turmeric may help joint pain, more is not always better.
Consuming large amounts of turmeric can have side effects.
Subjects in a 2006 small dose-response study reported a range of adverse reactions from using 500 mg to 12,000 mg of curcumin daily, although the researchers found overall participants tolerated the high levels of the spice.
Of 24 participants, seven reported side effects that included headache, diarrhea, and skin rash. All but one of the people with side effects were taking over 4,000 mg of turmeric.
Turmeric And Arthritis In Human Studies
Curcumin has been shown to have a beneficial effect for both RA and osteoarthritis . Two small studies of people with RA showed that curcumin was as effective as NSAIDs or more so, showed no adverse effects, and reduced C-reactive protein levels. Its important to note that larger studies with a double-blind design are needed.
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How To Use It
Turmeric is widely available as a powder as well as in whole root form. The powder or sliced root can make a good addition to a variety of meals, including curries, soups, and rice dishes.
Many people use ground or grated turmeric to brew herbal tea. A variety of prepackaged turmeric tea bags are also available.
Although people can add turmeric to their diet in these ways, much of the research around the anti-arthritic effect of the spice focuses specifically on curcumin, which is available in dietary supplement form.
There are many curcumin supplements on the market, which tend to come in the form of capsules or tablets. Manufacturers may also add other ingredients, such as black pepper, to make the compound easier for the body to use.
The recommended dosage for curcumin supplements can vary. The authors of a 2016 systematic review recommend taking 1,000 mg of curcumin each day to treat the symptoms of arthritis. Highly bioavailable forms of curcumin may be effective at lower dosages.
However, it is important to purchase dietary supplements from reputable manufacturers and to follow their guidance on what constitutes a safe and appropriate dosage.
It is also advisable for people to speak with their doctor before taking turmeric or curcumin to relieve some of the symptoms of arthritis. It is vital not to stop or replace any other treatments without consulting a doctor first.
Sequence Generation Allocation Concealment And Implementation
Participants were randomly divided into two groups using a computer-generated randomization schedule with permuted blocks of random size prepared by the study biometrician. The study medication was packaged according to the randomization schedule. Allocation was concealed by using serially numbered, identical, opaque, and sealed containers. Neither the pharmacist nor the biometrician has direct contact with the participants, nor do they have influence in treatment allocation. The study investigators, the research staff dispensing the medication, and the participants will remain blind to the treatment allocation. Study medication was issued by the research staff sequentially to the participants. In the study, patients and physician could not be blinded once randomization and allocation of investigational products has occurred due to the fact that turmeric extract and paracetamol were very different in shape. Patients fulfilling eligibility criteria receive either turmeric extract 1000mg or paracetamol 650mg thrice a day for 6weeks.
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Turmeric Can Reduce Side Effects Of Anti
An experimental study was conducted wherein ginger and turmeric aqueous extracts were administered. The extract was found to be better than indomethacin in reducing inflammation.
This suggests that turmeric is effective in preventing complications associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Methotrexate is a drug that is prescribed commonly at low doses in treating arthritis but one of the major side effects associated with this liver toxicity.
Curcumin when administered with this drug overcomes this side effect. It protects the liver by reducing the oxidative stress caused by this drug and also adds to the drugs anti-arthritic effect.
What does this mean?Not only does turmeric reduce joint pain and swelling, it also helps overcome side effects of anti-arthritic drugs and reduces the possibility of developing complications linked with it.