Turmeric extract eases knee pain in trial
An extract made from turmeric recently performed better than a sham pill for the treatment of osteoarthritis-related knee pain, experts from Australia report.
“The current pharmacological options for the treatment of [osteoarthritis] are only moderately effective and are contraindicated in patients with comorbidities and are often associated with adverse events,” highlights Dr Benny Antony, one of the research team.
Previous studies have shown that various types of curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) effectively and safely treat osteoarthritis. But the new work is the first to ascertain how well curcumin reduces symptoms and standard measures of osteoarthritis.
A total of 70 people aged over 39 years old with osteoarthritis knee pain were split into groups. Half received two capsules of curcumin every day and the other half were given a sham treatment.
People taking curcumin had reduced levels of knee pain; over 10% of the group stopped or reduced the number of painkillers they were taking.
Whilst the results are encouraging, the difference in other measures – effusion-synovitis or cartilage composition – did not differ between the groups.
There is a need for more research in the area says Dr Anthony, who comments:
“We are aiming to conduct a larger multicenter clinical trial with a longer duration of follow-up to demonstrate the potential of Curcuma longa extract as a disease-modifying treatment for knee osteoarthritis.”
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