Turmeric Curcuminoids Aiding in Arthritis Pain

Turmeric Root Against Arthritis Pain

October 14th, 2009 – Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a plant and member of the ginger family, and among its most important functions is its anti-inflammatory effects in the treatment of arthritis. The main component of turmeric that contributes to these medicinal properties is a family of polyphenols known as curcuminoids. Of the curcuminoids, Curcumin (diferuloylmethane – Fig. 1) is the most notable, followed by demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. These constituents are found primarily in the rhizome (root) of the plant and are responsible for its anti-arthritic properties. (1)

Curcumin functions by inhibiting the transcription factors of a cell that turn on the genes coding for inflammatory proteins including cytokines and chemokines. (2) With the expression of these genes turned off, pain from rheumatoid arthritis can be greatly reduced or eliminated. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of joints and of the tissue around joints. (3)

In an experiment designed to discover the mechanism of turmeric’s medicinal effects in the treatment of RA, doctors at the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine conducted experiments with female rats after inducing arthritis. (4) The results showed that turmeric extract containing a high percentage of the curcuminoids have a dramatic effect on the prevention of joint inflammation and destruction. Specifically, inflammatory cell influx, joint levels of prostaglandin E2, and periarticular osteoclast formation were all significantly reduced when turmeric extract was injected intraperitoneally (into the abdomen). (4) Curcumin is well known as a molecule that can treat a plethora of health issues without the risk of any negative side effects. (5)

-Dylan Udy

References

1. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research.
Altern Med Rev. 2009 Jun;14(2):141-53

2. Turmeric Extracts Containing Curcuminoids Prevent Experimental Rheumatoid Arthritis.
JL Funk, et al.
J. Nat. Prod. 2006, 69, 351-355

3. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
William C. et al
medicinenet.com/rheumatoid_arthritis/article.htm

4. Turmeric Extracts Containing Curcuminoids Prevent Experimental Rheumatoid Arthritis.
JL Funk, et al.
J. Nat. Prod. 2006, 69, 351-355

5. Role of curcumin in health and disease
Leelavinothan Pari; et al.
Archives Of Physiology And Biochemistry, 114, no. 2 (2008): 127-149

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