Popular in many curries and now even lattes, people are turning to turmeric for not only its robust taste and vivid color, but also potential effects on health issues. Some people think that turmeric might help them with joint pain. But what does the science say about it?
A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food reviewed randomized clinical trials of turmeric extracts and curcumin for treating arthritis symptoms. It noted that turmeric has a long history of safe use as food and it has long been used as in anti-inflammatory treatment in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.
The study found that 8–12 weeks of standardized turmeric extracts (typically 1000 mg/day of curcumin) treatment can reduce arthritis symptoms (mainly pain and inflammation-related symptoms) and result in similar improvements of the symptoms as ibuprofen and diclofenac sodium.
While there was not enough data to provide a definitive recommendation for the use of curcumin as an arthritis treatment in this study, it concluded that it could be used as a dietary adjunct to conventional therapy.
Want to give turmeric a try? The science says it might help, but it is always important to speak with a medical professional for a personalized recommendation.
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