Turmeric is one of the few natural remedies experts agree can help with many health concerns, particularly those associated with inflammation like arthritis.
In fact, the Arthritis Foundation website states that Turmeric supplements are “backed by science” and “help relieve arthritis.” (1). Clinical trials using Turmeric supplements have shown long-term mobility improvements for people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Regular readers of this blog already know that we are huge fans of Turmeric – the golden spice practically revered in Asian cultures for its therapeutic ability. For this reason, we get many questions regarding Turmeric and how it may relieve arthritic pain and joint discomfort.
Keep reading to discover the most common forms of arthritis that Turmeric may help, how Turmeric affects the inflammation response, and the easiest way for you to get the right kind of Turmeric.
Understanding the basics: Arthritis 101
A new CDC analysis found that the number of people diagnosed with arthritis now stands at 59 million, or 1 in 4 adults – representing an increase of more than 4 million since 2015. Arthritis is now the leading cause of disability in America. (2)
There are over 100 types of arthritis conditions, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most common.
Osteoarthritis occurs most commonly in our aging population. It can begin sooner if there’s been a lot of wear and tear through injury or athletic activity. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage – the tissue covering the bones where they meet and form the joint – to break down. When in motion, the absence of cushioning between the bones forces them to rub against each other, leading to stiffness, swelling, and pain.
Inflammation is a reaction to illness, injury, or when we need to heal a bone fracture or tendon rupture. However, there are situations where the person’s immune system will attack itself. We call this condition an auto-immune disease.
With rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign ones and tries to fight them off, targeting the joints with excessive inflammation. When the inflammation spreads to the synovial fluid – the fluid that lubricates the joints – a condition called synovitis develops causing joint stiffness, especially in the morning.
How Turmeric Helps
First and foremost, Turmeric fights inflammation. It contains phytochemicals with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities. (3)
Inflammation is the reason arthritis symptoms arise. With osteoarthritis, the wear and tear of the joints ignite the inflammatory cascade, leading to the production of pro-inflammatory agents. With rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation attacks the joints and spreads to the fluid lubricating the joints.
Turmeric’s most studied and proven phytochemical is Curcumin. Curcumin not only gives Turmeric its rich coloring but it’s also been shown to inhibit interleukin-6 and c-reactive proteins. These two proteins are sensitive physiological markers of systematic inflammation and are used as generalized measures of inflammation. (4)
Animal studies also show that curcumin “profoundly inhibits joint inflammation and periarticular joint destruction” by preventing activation of NF-kappaB – another protein that plays a pivotal role in inflammation. NF-kappaB turns on the genes that generate pro-inflammatory cytokines and other molecules. (5) A recent study also suggests that Curcumin helps reduce pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in synovial fluid. (6)
Studies typically use doses of 500 mg to 2,000 mg of Turmeric per day, often in highly concentrated curcumin extract, which are much higher than the naturally occurring in food.
What Does This Mean?
Curcumin works as an excellent anti-inflammatory agent, and studies strongly suggest that it may help control inflammation in arthritis and limit it from spreading. Curcumin also seems to help protect joints and synovial fluid from inflammation. Curcumin, however, does not cause gastric erosion, a common side effect of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.) (7)
Getting an Effective Dose of Turmeric Curcumin
The spice turmeric contains around 3% curcumin, compared to 95% curcumin in extracts found in supplements. When looking for a turmeric supplement, make sure it has high levels of Curcumin like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Turmeric™, a powerful blend of 1,650 milligrams of organic turmeric curcumin complex.
With Dynamic Turmeric™, you’ll find one of the highest levels of Curcumin in one daily dose. BioPerine® has also been added to improve bioavailability, ensuring your body absorbs the maximum benefits possible. (8)
If you have arthritis or are taking prescription drugs for joint issues, ask your doctor if adding Dynamic Turmeric™ to your daily health and wellness routine could be right for you. And please confirm with your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medications or if you are taking blood thinners such as Warfarin or Coumadin.
While we suggest you take Dynamic Turmeric™ 20-30 minutes before eating or with a meal if you have a sensitive stomach, the instructions are slightly different if you are taking Turmeric to help with arthritis symptoms. For arthritis, one capsule three times throughout the day has been used in research for promising results. One study found that taking Turmeric three times daily effectively reduced arthritis discomfort comparable to taking a 1,200-milligram dose of ibuprofen. (9)
Thousands of people have used Dynamic Turmeric™. It could be just what your body needs to help reduce inflammation, get you out and about, and do the things you love.
1. Arthritis Foundation, (2022). Retrieved 22 June 2022, from arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/complementary-therapies/supplements-and-vitamins/supplements-for-arthritis
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arthritis Related Disabilities and Limitations | cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/disabilities-limitations.htm
3. Anti-inflammatory Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) Extract on Acute and Chronic Inflammation Models -Journal of the Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition | Korea Science | koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO201417048539318.page
4. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Curcumin on Insulin Resistance Index, Levels of Interleukin-6, C-Reactive Protein, and Liver Histology in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome-Induced Rats – PMC | ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5570407/
5. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents differ in their ability to suppress NF-kappaB activation, inhibition of expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and cyclin D1, and abrogation of tumor cell proliferation – PubMed | pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15489888/
6. Potential therapeutic effect of Curcumin loaded hyalurosomes against inflammatory and oxidative processes involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis: The use of fibroblast-like synovial cells cultured in synovial fluid – ScienceDirect | sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0939641118314516
7. IJMS: International Joural of Molecular Sciences | Curcumin: A Potent Protectant against Esophageal and Gastric Disorders | mdpi.com/1422-0067/20/6/1477
8. Efficacy and safety of Meriva®, a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex, during extended administration in osteoarthritis patients – PubMed | pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21194249/
9. Mayo Clinic Q and A: Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties may relieve arthritis pain – Mayo Clinic News Network | newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-turmerics-anti-inflammatory-properties-may-relieve-arthritis-pain/