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Curcumin and Joint Inflammation management

The standard of care for the arthritic patient is prescription drugs with a long list of side effects and unfortunately these drugs do little prevent the bone and joint destruction caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.Patients are left to learn to live with their crippling pain and limited mobility.

However, good news maybe on the forefront, there have been a number  impressive clinical trials and studies that suggest curcumin nay provide helpful significant improvements  rheumatoid arthritis patients who suffer from high levels of inflammation

Curcumin appears to be free of any of the side effects that so often accompany drug therapy.

The studies are also showing promising indications that curcumin may help by directly attacking and reducing the the source of the problem—inflammation— rather than simply masking pain and other symptoms.

Curcumin is derived from the bright yellow Indian spice turmeric and has been used by traditional medicine for almost four thousand years.Curcumin is well-established in the medical literature as a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient. Unlike pharmaceuticals, curcumin acts through multiple pathways and on numerous targets to limit the inflammatory response that underlies both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Curcumin is one of the most studied supplements on the market.

Curcumin is also a potent antioxidant, and also boosts natural antioxidant systems inside your cells.  Where curcumin appears to excel is its potential ability to suppress the inflammation that underlies not only rheumatoid arthritis, but also most of the chronic diseases of aging that afflict all of us sooner or later. If you or a loved one suffers from inflammation it is worth researching this potentially powerful supplement.

Aurora Nutrascience manufactures advanced technology Liposomal Curcumin that insures the highest bioavailability or absorption on the market.

 Curcumin’s Effectiveness Against Rheumatoid Arthritis

The researchers enrolled 45 people with active rheumatoid arthritis during a flare-up of the disease.5 That strategy allowed the researchers to test curcumin’s effects at the peak of the inflammatory response. Each of the 45 patients was randomly assigned to one of three study groups. Group 1 was the curcumin-only group. Each patient in this group received 500 mg/day of the superior-absorbing curcumin .5,14,15 Group 2received the curcumin formulation in addition to 50 mg/day of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac sodium. Group 3 received only diclofenac. All patients took their assigned drug regimen for 8 weeks.

Throughout the study, the patients were evaluated using a standard rheumatoid arthritis disease activity score.5 In addition, blood tests were done at the beginning and the end of the treatment period, to determine the patients’ overall degree of inflammatory responses. Patients also assessed their own pain levels on a 0-10 scale. Finally, the researchers tracked the number of patients who achieved improvements of 20%50%, or 70% in tenderness or swollen joints by the end of the study.

The results were compelling, and demonstrated the practical advantages of curcumin over the standard drug treatment.

Curcumin-treated patients hurt less. All patients in the study experienced significant improvements in their disease activity scores by the end of the study.5Patients in the curcumin-only group showed improvement of 44.5%; improvement was 44.4% in the curcumin plus diclofenac group, and 42.1% in the diclofenac-only group. (Patients’ self-measured pain scores showed a greater difference in favor of the curcumin-only group, which had a mean 60% reduction in pain scores; the curcumin-plus-diclofenac group’s mean reduction was 56%; and that of the diclofenac-only group was 50%.)

Curcumin-treated patients’ joints were less swollen and tender. The curcumin-only group had the largest number of patients experiencing 20%50%, or 70%reductions in overall joint swelling and tenderness (93%73%, and 33%, respectively).5 Curcumin-induced measurable changes on blood tests of inflammation. These impressive improvements in joint pain and swelling were matched by changes in blood markers of inflammation. For scientists, these improvements in the patients’ blood markers of inflammation are exciting proof that curcumin is hitting its multiple targets and quelling the inflammatory process.

For example, the curcumin-only and curcumin-plus-diclofenac groups saw reductions of 11.2 and 13.3% in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate test, a measure of inflammation; the diclofenac-only group had just an 8.3% reduction. Still more dramatic results were seen on the more sensitive C-reactive-protein (CRP) measurement that is capable of detecting systemic inflammation; the curcumin-only group had a 52% reduction in CRP, the curcumin-plus-diclofenac group had a 26.9%CRP reduction, and the diclofenac-only group had a 1.5% increase in CRP.5Curcumin-treated patients had no side effects. While patients in the groups receiving diclofenac experienced drug-related adverse events, those in the curcumin-only group had none at all.

In summary, this study was the first to demonstrate that curcumin is superior to a standard anti-inflammatory drug for use in rheumatoid arthritis. It also showed that adding the standard drug did little to enhance the effect of curcumin acting alone; indeed, on many of the study’s measures, curcumin alone outperformed the drug/curcumin combination.5 Let’s now look at the special characteristics of the curcumin formulation that was used in this study. Those characteristics not only explain this study’s success, but they also open the door to similar improvements in other inflammatory diseases for which curcumin holds promise.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, a highly inflammatory condition, is the second most-common form of arthritis.
  • Standard treatments for rheumatoid arthritis do little to change the underlying inflammatory causes of the disease; instead, they simply mask the symptoms while joint destruction continues.
  • The more effective “biological agents” available today are not only costly but potentially dangerous in their wide array of side effects.
  • Curcumin, a natural spice-derived nutraceutical, has shown promise in reducing inflammation in a host of conditions, but its usefulness has been limited by its low bioavailability in humans.
  • A new form of curcumin, BCM-95®, has been developed with nearly 7 times the bioavailability of standard curcumin; it also remains at active levels in the blood for nearly twice as long.
  • A clinical trial of BCM-95® in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis demonstrated superiority on most measures to a standard anti-inflammatory drug.
  • Curcumin, and BCM-95® in particular, may hold hope for sufferers of osteoarthritis as well and may also be active in preventing other inflammatory conditions such as cancer and the consequences of obesity.