Researchers have established that the turmeric root extract curcumin reduces pain, tenderness and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis more than the arthritis prescription drug diclofenac sodium.
The research tested 45 randomized patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The patients took either 500 milligrams of curcumin twice per day, 50 milligrams of diclofenac sodium twice per day, or both.
After eight weeks, the patients in the curcumin-alone group scored higher on Disease Activity Scores, and had the same or higher reductions in joint tenderness and swelling scores than the other groups. Joint tenderness and swelling symptoms were qualified under the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) standards.
The curcumin patients also reported no adverse side effects during the treatment period. Meanwhile, 14% of the diclofenac sodium patients had to withdraw from the study due to adverse side effects.
“Our study provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis,” the researchers concluded.
Arthritis now affects about 21 million people in the United States according to the Centers of Disease Control. This number is expected to triple within the next two decades, despite numerous arthritis drugs. Arthritis is a leading cause of disability.
Written by Case Adams.
Chandran B, Goel A. A Randomized, Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis. Phytother Res. 2012 Mar 9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639.
Adams C. Arthritis – The Botanical Solution: Nature’s Answer to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout and Other Forms of Arthritis. Logical Books, 2010.