Turmeric is the most popular spice in Indian cuisine and a major ingredient of curry powders. Turmeric has a long history of medicinal use, especially to treat inflammation. Curcumin is the yellow pigment in turmeric. Curcumin is one of the best investigated botanical constituents in the biomedical literature; it has been shown to act as a master switch by turning off the inflammatory cascade at the inflammatory enzyme level.
A study published in Alternative Medicine Review, used 100 participants divided into 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.
In this trial, positive results were obtained for all end-points evaluated. Thus, after eight months of continuous use of 1 g/day Meriva, the WOMAC score for OA symptoms decreased by more than 50 percent, while the treadmill test showed an overall three-fold increase in walking distance compared to the control group. The objective and subjective clinical outcomes were substantiated by interesting findings in the biochemical evaluation of inflammatory status and oxidative stress in patients in the treatment group. The significant decrease of all inflammatory markers measured suggests that the clinical improvements observed have a clear mechanistic basis that validates previous in vitro observations of curcumin on joint cells.
The evidence is starting to suggest a that curcumin could be a possible replacement for NSAIDS, which can have serious side effects in the long term.