Tumeric/Curcumin

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We recommend taking supplemental Curcumin to many of our patients post treatment.

The Indian traditional health care system (Ayurveda) has utilized a lot of medicinal plants and herbal preparations. One group, Rasayana is of particular interest due to it’s antioxidant properties and free-radical scavenging abilities. Turmeric/ Curcumin is within this group. 1 Free Radicals are highly reactive and can be damaging to cells, proteins, and plants.

History of Curcumin

Curcumin was first discovered in 1815 when Vogal and Pierre Joseph Pelletier reported a “yellow colloring-matter” from the rhizomes of turmeric and named it curcumin. 2 Turmeric is of the same family as ginger and is used as a spice and dietary supplement.
Curcumin has diverse pharmacologic effects including anti-inflammation, antioxidant, antiproliferative, and antiangiogenic activities. Phase 1 clinical trials have demonstrated safety up to 12g/day in humans. However, bioavailability appears to be lacking due to poor absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid systemic elimination. 3

Ancient medicinal use

Curcumin has been used for a long time in medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric has at least 53 different names in Sanskrit, each one referring to specific properties, including jawarantika, which destroys fever, mehagni, killer of fat, or rabhangavasa, which dissolves fat. 4
A search on clinicaltrials.gov for turmeric yields 199 results categorically ranging from abdominal aortic aneurysm to wounds and injury. Five trials have been conducted for osteoarthritis, four for osteoarthritis of the knee, and nine for rheumatic disease. 5

Anti-inflammatory properties

Curcumin blocks inflammatory cytokines that are involved in joint destruction (IL1-beta, PGE2, NO, IL-6 and IL-8). In fact in one study it showed up NSAID drugs by also blocking the joint destructive compound known as NO (Nitric Oxide). Curcumin has been shown to help mesenchymal stem cells to produce more cartilage. 6 Because the potential benefits outweigh any risk of ingesting any reasonable amount of supplemental curcumin, it might be a good fit for you and the worst known side effect is you might smell like curry.

  1. Dey, Samiran, and Pallavi Saxena. “Review On Different Methods To Assess The Antioxidant Activity Of Some Common Plants Of Indian Traditional Medicine.” Journal of Drug Delivery and Therapeutics, vol. 1, no. 1, 2011, doi:10.22270./jddt.v1i1.27.
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curcumin#History
  3. Anand, Preetha, et al. “Bioavailability of Curcumin: Problems and Promises.” Molecular Pharmaceutics, vol. 4, no. 6, 2007, pp. 807–818., doi:10.1021/mp700113r.
  4. Henrotin, Yves, Fabian Priem, and Ali Mobasheri. “Curcumin: A New Paradigm and Therapeutic Opportunity for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis: Curcumin for Osteoarthritis Management.” SpringerPlus 2 (2013): 56. PMC. Web.
  5. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results/browse?term=tumeric&brwse=cond_alpha_all
  6. Buhrmann, Constanze et al. “Curcumin Mediated Suppression of Nuclear Factor-κB Promotes Chondrogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a High-Density Co-Culture Microenvironment.” Arthritis Research & Therapy 12.4 (2010): R127. PMC.

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