Just because your knee hurts does not mean you have to stop doing the activities you love. Whether you love to do the jive, pound down the trail or hang out in a downward dog, let’s find a way to keep moving!
Ouch! Knee pain is linked to inflammation. Curcumin is one of many nutrients that may help with inflammation in the knee. According to a multicenter study, reported in 2014 in the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging, curcumin is as effective as ibuprofen in osteoarthritis of the knee. The trial involved 367 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, and they were given 1500mg of turmeric per day for 4 weeks, which resulted in the improvement. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common problem for folks who have been pounding the pavement and other activities that aren’t nice on knees. It isn’t just old people who have OA – it can start as early as your thirties!
Curcumin is an amazing fighter of inflammation according to a heaping pile of scientific studies. In fact, Health Canada has deemed the evidence of curcumin supplements sufficient to approve the health claim, “Curcumin is used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve joint inflammation”.
Lucky you! You may have eaten curcumin recently. Curcumin is what gives curry it’s brilliant yellow colour. While you’re enjoying your next plate of curry, you may want to pair it with red wine. According to a study published in Arthritis Research Therapy, curcumin and resveratrol (found in red wine and supplements) work together to protect chondrocytes (cells in the knee) from inflammation. Oh, and there is a cherry to top of this delicious news! Tart cherry extract was found in a human trial conducted by the Baylor Research Institute to reduce osteoarthritis pain by more than 20 percent. Sounds like the beginning of a great menu for tonight!
You can find therapeutic dosages of curcumin in supplements. There isn’t enough in our curry dinner to match what was used in the clinical trials. Also worth nothing, our body’s ability to absorb curcumin isn’t fantastic. Luckily, researchers have found curcumin is better absorbed when it is in a complex form called curcumin-phosphatidylcholine (branded as Meriva® on product labels). In a randomized, double blind human crossover study, the absorption of Meriva®, was 29-fold higher than curcumin alone. Are your knees bending with excitement? You can find Meriva® in Health First’s Curcumin Supreme and Curcumin Supreme Extra Strength.
Italian researchers conducted a human clinical trial that looked at the effect of Meriva® on seniors with osteoarthritis. After three months of supplementation, patients taking 1000 mg a day of Meriva® curcumin reported a 58% reduction in joint pain and stiffness. Further, those patients supplementing with Meriva® demonstrated a dramatic increase in mobility – they were able to go four times further on treadmill tests.
Oh, you’re very welcome knees. Enjoy. Now, run along!
By Allison Tannis, MSc, RHM
Meriva, Review of Curcumin
Arthritis Therapy – Resveratrol and Curcumin
Clin Interv Aging – Ibuprofen and Curumin in Arthritis