What if you could take a natural supplement for arthritis with virtually no side effects, have the same of better relief than some prescription medications, and have other promising health benefits?
A recent study in San Diego presented at The World Congress on osteoarthritis demonstrated a combination of Curcumin and Boswellia extracts relieved knee pain better than Celecoxib (generic brand name Celebrex®). Turmeric is a member of the Ginger family and contains Curcumin; the principal curcuminoid found in turmeric, is generally considered its most active constituent. When combined with Boswellia extract the two products complemented well. 1,2,3
Subjects in the study were classified with moderate osteoarthritis and joint swelling between the ages of 18 to 65 of both sexes. One group was given Celecoxib, 100 mg, two times daily for 12 weeks, the other group was given 500 mg Curcumin and Boswellia two times daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the study 93% of the group treated with the herbal combination reported improvement or elimination of pain vs. 79 percent of the drug group and there were no serious adverse effects. Blood and Liver function was monitored throughout the study. Also 93% of the subjects taking the curcumin-boswellia supplement could walk more than 1,000 meters, versus 86% in the Celecoxib group. The herbal group also experienced improved joint movement with less crepitus.
Other comparative studies have demonstrated similar results and other health benefits such as cancer prevention and for co-treatment in Cystic Fibrosis, and other inflammatory diseases. It is believed curcumin regulated Cytokine reactions involved in immune and inflammatory responses. 2
Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis in people over 55 years of age. It is estimated that 27 million Americans have osteoarthritis. To relieve osteoarthritic pain most people turn to Non Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen or Celebrex. NSAID’s relieve pain but when taken long term, are associated with gastrointestinal, kidney and heart risks and other possible damage. So the Curcumin / Boswellia extract combination could offer a safer alternative to NSAID’s.
Caution should be used if you are pregnant or lactating. You should always check with your doctor before starting a new therapy and to verify possible drug interactions. I recommend a similar standardized Turmeric and Boswellia supplement for my patients that fit the definition of moderate osteoarthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
2 (2005: Jane Higdon, Ph.D. Linus Pauling Institute Oregon State
3 Clinical Evaluation of an Herbal Formulation in the Management of Knee Osteoarthritis. Poster presentation at the Osteoarthritis Research Symposium International (OARSI) Annual World Congress on Osteoarthritis, September 15-18, 2011. San Diego, CA. B. Antony, R. Kizhakkedath, M. Benny, B. Kuruvilla. University)
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