Curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most people are familiar with turmeric as a powdered spice used to flavour and colour dishes; it gives Asian cuisine its deep golden colour. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) comes from a ginger plant and includes a natural chemical component called curcumin. Several researchers say curcumin may help people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory arthritic disorders because it is a chemical with anti-inflammatory properties. It is beneficial in cardiovascular health, arthritis, and other illnesses. It inhibits NF-kB, a protein penetrating the cell nucleus and activates inflammation-related genes. NF-B influences many chronic disorders. In the end, curcumin is a bioactive molecule that inhibits inflammation at the cellular level.
Types of arthritis:
Arthritis is of two types. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
Arthritis is the most prevalent joint ailment, affecting the knees first. According to a study conducted in the United States, at least 10% of men and 13% of women over the age of 60 exhibit symptoms of arthritis in their knees. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects the joints of the body and results in the progressive destruction of articular tissues, mainly cartilage and bone.
On the other hand, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is a degenerative joint condition. It usually affects persons in their later years. However, it can start in middle age or even earlier. While there are therapies available, such as exercise, braces or canes, weight loss, various pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory medications, none are effective. It’s also possible to experiment with injected steroids or synthetic lubricants. Doctors generally urge people with osteoarthritis to eat a balanced diet with anti-inflammatory foods, antioxidants, low-gluten diets, and many other things. Also, most of these dietary approaches are effective.
Role of curcumin in curing arthritis
Most painful arthritis inflammation occurs due to the free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that occur naturally in the body, but too many of these can cause oxidative damage. This is directly linked to body inflammation. It is always essential to intake antioxidant food such as olive oil, turmeric, leafy green vegetables, and seafood high in omega 3 to neutralize free radicals. Studies prove that curcumin has antioxidant properties and can be included in the diet to reduce the risk of inflammation and its effects on the body.
The Spice or The Supplement – Which works better?
Though we might like the taste of turmeric in our curries and smoothies, it doesn’t give many benefits for treating arthritis conditions. Because turmeric contains only 2 to 9% of curcuminoids, a family of active chemicals includes curcumin. And also, curcumin is hard for the body to absorb. Curcumin supplements are more effective than spices because they are free of pesticides and in the form of capsules for easy consumption. People with arthritis should look out for curcumin tablets containing piperine or black pepper extract. When combined in a complex with piperine, curcumin has demonstrated an improved absorption level in the body.
For dosage, it’s always advised to seek help from your health professionals before using these supplements. Getting the proper dosage is crucial to remaining healthy. While turmeric has been shown to aid with joint discomfort, more is not necessarily better. Large doses of turmeric might have negative consequences. Turmeric is also high in oxalate, a substance that, when combined with calcium in sufficient amounts, can cause kidney stones.
According to a recent systematic review and meta-analysis, curcumin helps in osteoarthritis in different way. Turmeric extracts and curcumin work for treating arthritis symptoms, particularly osteoarthritis. “Curcumin, the key element in turmeric, is “generally recognized as safe” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On the other hand, the FDA had previously cautioned that turmeric from Bangladesh contained dangerously high levels of lead, which could harm people’s health.
Studies have proved that turmeric have potent anticoagulant properties, which may impact how blood-thinning medications work in the body.
Most people can take curcumin supplements without experiencing any negative side effects. But you should avoid it in following situations:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- Those who are iron deficient
- Those who are taking drugs that could interact with curcumin, such as:
- Sulfasalazine medication
- Medications for diabetes
Studies are critical in determining whether dietary changes might help people with arthritis. Curcumin may be helpful in osteoarthritis of the knee, but further long-term studies in osteoarthritis and other types of joint illness require fully comprehending its efficacy in the human body.