Spice things up! A diet with more turmeric in it might help your osteoarthritis, new research shows

Turmeric is a favourite in a lot of the Indian curry dishes that Britons love so much, but the yellow spice has long been said to have plus-points far beyond a satisfied palate. Now, a new study published in the journal Drug Design, Development and Therapy has found the regular intake of curcumin (a key compound in turmeric), can reduce the painful symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. How?

Well, osteoarthritis has an underlying inflammatory cause, which serves to diminish healthy cartilage cells – which in turn leads to the cartilage layers in your affected joints becoming worn away. As the scientist behind the study puts it: ‘Compounds with anti-inflammatory properties are potential treatment agents for osteoarthritis. Curcumin derived from Curcuma species is an anti-inflammatory compound.’1

The author of the study combed through the many and varied studies of curcumin to help clarify the potential benefits of the compound, concluding by asserting curcumin’s ‘efficacy in reducing pain, (and improving) physical function and quality of life among osteoarthritic patients.’2 But he also warned that as it stands, curcumin does not absorb into the body all that well, which limits its ability to work its magic – therefore more research is needed into how this (what scientists call ‘bioavailability’) can be improved.

Curcumin only makes up a small percentage of turmeric, so if you are interested, a supplement might be better than simply cooking with the powder. Even so, more meals with this tasty spice may not be a bad idea. For inspiration, you can check out this list of 19 Turmeric Recipes To Spice Up Your Life http://www.thekitchn.com/19-delicious-turmeric-recipes-to-spice-up-your-life-223795.

Rather than filling up on side-effect riddled opioids that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls ‘risky’3, or turning quickly to painful surgery, many informed patients are choosing viscosupplementation to combat joint pain and osteoarthritis. Viscosupplementation consists of an injection of a naturally-occurring fluid which mimics the function of your very own young, healthy joint fluid of the past.

To find out more, call 020 7118 1771 for a consultation with a pain specialist.

References

1 Osteoarthritis ‘has an underlying inflammatory cause, which contributes to the loss of chondrocytes, leading to diminished cartilage layer at the affected joints. Compounds with anti-inflammatory properties are potential treatment agents for osteoarthritis. Curcumin derived from Curcuma species is an anti-inflammatory compound as such’ from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5036591/ retrieved on 19/01/17

2 From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5036591/ retrieved on 19/01/17

3 http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2585990