Posted on Jan 25, 2011, 6 a.m.
Curcumin, the Indian spice that gives turmeric its bright color, mixed with soy phospholipids, helps to relieve pain and increase mobility in people with osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of work disability among older men, and the condition is often associated with a variety of long-term health problems. While pharmaceutical solutions -- most notably non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – help to alleviate the pain encountered in osteoarthritis, these options are linked to gastrointestinal toxicity, increased blood pressure, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Gianni Belcaro, from Chieti-Pescara University (Italy), and colleagues assessed the effects of a mixture containing 20% natural curcuminoids, 40% soy phosphatidylcholine, and 40% microcrystalline cellulose, against an NSAID. Subjects in the active group received a daily dose of 1,000 mg of the curcumin mixture, providing a daily curcumin dose of 200 mg. After eight months , scores on a standardized osteoarthritis assessment decreased by 9.3 points among those receiving the curcumin mixture, while no change was observed in the control group. Furthermore, scores for stiffness decreased from 7.4 to 3.2 in the curcumin-supplemented group, with again no significant changes in the control group. Writing that the data: “Evaluate(s) the clinical efficacy and safety of curcumin as an anti-inflammatory agent,” the team concludes that: “Significant improvements of both the clinical and biochemical end points were observed … coupled with an excellent tolerability, [this] suggests that [a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine mixture] is worth considering for the long-term complementary management of osteoarthritis.”
Gianni Belcaro; Maria Rosaria Cesarone; Mark Dugall; Luciano Pellegrini; Andrea Ledda; Maria Giovanna Grossi; Stefano Togni; Giovanni Appendino. “Efficacy and Safety of a Curcumin-phosphatidylcholine Complex, during Extended Administration in Osteoarthritis Patients.” Alternative MedicineReview, Dec. 21, 2010; Issue: 15.4.