Thursday, May 12, 2016
The golden spice turmeric, commonly found in many tasty Indian dishes, contains an interesting and potentially valuable therapeutic component. Curcumin, found in turmeric, modulates several cellular pathways and has been used as a nutraceutical supplement to combat inflammation. Importantly, turmeric has been found to have a high safety profile. This is consistent with its use for thousands of years in India and China.
Research studies have shown turmeric can modify tendon inflammatory pathways. (Ref) One study found "curcumin can improve the quality of tendon rupture healing, and thus represents a promising strategy in the management of injured tendon tissue." (Ref)
Tumeric / Curcumin may also be of value in the treatment of osteoarthritis by decreasing inflammatory pathways. "Short-term supplementation with curcuminoids attenuates the systemic oxidative stress in patients with osteoarthritis. These antioxidant effects may account for the reported therapuetic effects of curcuminoids in relieving osteoarthritis symptoms. (Ref) Some clinical studies suggest using Tumeric / Curcumin may result in better improvements in pain and walking when compared to using chondroitin and glucosamine supplements alone. (Ref) Finally, some formulations of curcumin have been specifically found to reduce the pain associated with knee arthritis. (Ref) (See chart below)
Recently, curcumin has also been studied as a cancer treatment. It has been shown to inhibit a variety of pathways connected to cancer cell growth. It may also enhance the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapy thereby enhancing its efficacy. Much more work needs to be done but these early cancer studies have confirmed cucurmin's excellent safety profile. I started to wonder if we should consider taking curcumin to prevent cancer.
Bloodcure's take home message for turmeric is to consider it for tendonitis and arthritis symptoms. The data suggest the supplement is safe and it may be a natural way to treat these very common disorders. Consider a dose of 500 mg to 1500 mg per day that contains black pepper extract. The black pepper helps with absorption of the turmeric.
As always, check with your personal physician prior to initiating any new supplement as each of us is unique.