There seems to be no end to the research for discovering the health benefits of turmeric. Whenever things look settled, a new research paper revealing the secrets of this amazing and sensational herb gets published.
The surprising benefits of turmeric are due to the presence of curcumin which is its active ingredient. With just 5% of the total composition, curcumin is highly effective in managing pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis. Although the exact mechanism of curcumin in osteoarthritis remains unknown, there are various probable mechanisms mentioned in literature.
Various inflammatory mediators such as lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase results in pain and inflammation. Curcumin potently inhibits the synthesis of these inflammatory mediators. Turmeric also prevents the inflammation in synovial fluid. A study in Thailand was conducted to compare the safety and efficacy of turmeric and Ibuprofen. This study inferred that turmeric was as effective as Ibuprofen in treating the pain of osteoarthritis with lesser gastrointestinal side effects.
Curcuminoids present in turmeric imparts its characteristic golden yellow color and possesses potent anti-arthritic property. Curcumin reduces joint swelling and delays the progression of arthritis. Curcumin also has a chondroprotective effect which delays the progression of arthritis by protecting chondrocytes. Chondrocytes are responsible for the synthesis of the cartilaginous matrix.
Increase in oxidative stress accelerates the progression of osteoarthritis. This is due to the reduced concentration of natural antioxidants in the body. Turmeric possesses a potent antioxidant property which was shown through a study. This study concluded that curcuminoids can lower oxidative stress in patients with osteoarthritis.
Turmeric slows the progression of osteoarthritis through various mechanisms. A study was conducted in the USA on the animal model which concluded that curcumin significantly slows the progression of osteoarthritis.
Turmeric has an excellent ability to manage the immune response. The hyperactive immune response is one of the primary reasons for pain, inflammation and tissue damage in arthritis. The immune system produces antibodies that damage the tissues. Curcumin inhibits the activation of various pathways of the immune system.
Turmeric also improves joint mobility and reduces stiffness in patients with osteoarthritis. Patients supplemented with turmeric have increased range of motion with improved flexibility.
The dose of turmeric depends upon the severity of disease and on the proportion of curcuminoids available in turmeric extract. Generally, the dose is 500-1000 mg of turmeric extract twice daily. Adequate absorption of turmeric, especially of its curcumin component, is essential for the maximum therapeutic effect. Various methods increase the absorption of turmeric. These methods are imbibed in various turmeric supplements currently available in the market. One such method is to add piperine to the turmeric products. Piperine increases the overall bioavailability of curcumin.
But before that, discuss with your healthcare physician before beginning with suggested remedies.
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