Turmeric for Arthritis

A US study asserts that turmeric helps in preventing arthritis. Explore why turmeric is not just a flavor that adds color or taste to curries but can also help in healing your joint aches.

Statistics show that about 2 million people are suffering from acute conditions of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Arthritis symptoms include severe swelling at joints accompanied with pain, stiffness and immovability. Dr Janet Funk and a study conducted by the University of Arizona confirmed that turmeric helps in reducing the uneasiness at joints.

The study was conducted on rats to identify the symptoms of arthritis. Theses rats were fed with turmeric extracts in different dosages to determine the effects. Some of them were treated before developing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and some after. The result of the study proved that turmeric extracts contained the curcuminoid chemicals which was effective in reducing arthritis symptoms.

In addition to this discovery, it was established that turmeric in less quantities was a much safer option. Researchers also pointed out that it worked better to reduce the symptoms rather than to treat inflammatory conditions of arthritis.

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is also known as Curcuma Longa or Curcumin. It is an ancient spice used in most curries today. It is used otherwise to add color to mustards, in chicken broth, or as a dye for fabrics, etc.

Why is turmeric effective for arthritis?

Researchers claim that the curcumin extract of turmeric contains anti inflammatory properties that helps in curing swollen and ailing joints. It has also been observed that the western world has been relentlessly relying upon the use of turmeric supplements for preventing or treating their arthritis conditions.

The above trend is supported by the study carried out by Dr Funk. As per the study, the oil extracts contracted from the rhizome or the root of the plant contained three major compounds of curcuminoids or chemical compounds. Out of the three there was one which had the highest concentration of curcumin, one kind of curcuminoid. The contents were similar to the dietary supplements sold commercially at most stores. The extract was also found to completely kill the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.

The study examines in detail about how curcumin or the curcuminoid extracts retards the ‘NF-KB’, a transcription factor, from being activated further in and around the joints. The transcription factor is a ‘protein’ that regulates or controls functions when genes get switched on or off.

The NF-KB protein functions in a way to bind the genes which increases the production of inflammatory proteins that are harmful for the joints. The findings by Dr Funk clearly show how curcumin found in the roots of the turmeric plant helps in obstructing the NF-KB protein to destroy the joints by inducing inflammatory proteins.

The study also went onto prove that the curcuminoid extracts from the turmeric roots hinders the process and disintegration of bone mineral density or osteoporosis, a condition predominantly suffered by women.

Researchers suggested that turmeric can be used for other inflammatory diseases as well. For example, enjoy the benefits of the turmeric extract or curcumin for curing asthma, multiple sclerosis or an inflammatory bowel disorder.


Consult a rheumatologist before purchasing turmeric supplements to treat your arthritis symptoms.