Curcumin as an anti-inflammatory
One study looked at how curcumin affects anti-inflammatory markers of arthritic participants. This eight-month study looked at the effect of Meriva, a formula including curcumin, on 100 patients walking on a treadmill. Researchers concluded that Meriva could be a long-term management solution for arthritic patients, stating “Significant improvements of both the clinical and biochemical endpoints were observed for Meriva compared to the control group. This, coupled with excellent tolerability, suggests that Meriva is worth considering for the long-term complementary management of osteoarthritis.” (Belcaro, et. al.)
Curcumin for pain relief
A 2014 randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial of curcuminoids found that curcumin relieved knee pain in osteoarthritic patients. Forty patients were divided into a curcuminoid group or a placebo group and studied for six weeks.
Researchers concluded that the curcuminoid group showed “significant improvements in the pain and physical function scores,”, and that curcumin could be “an effective and safe alternative treatment for OA.” (Panahi, et. al.)
Other uses for curcumin
Curcumin may have additional benefits beyond pain relief and inflammation reduction.
A 2020 review of 11 studies on the effect of curcumin on physically active participants experiencing exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) found that curcumin reduces the perception of pain, among other benefits.
Researchers concluded, “The use of curcumin reduces the subjective perception of the intensity of muscle pain; reduces muscle damage through the decrease of creatine kinase (CK); increases muscle performance; has an anti-inflammatory effect by modulating the pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8; and may have a slight antioxidant effect.” (Fernandez-Lazaro, et. al.)
While more research is needed, curcumin may be an antioxidant and an antidepressant. (Fernandez-Lazaro, et. al.) (Lopresti, et. al.) (Kulkarni, et. al.)
One study even suggests curcumin can reduce symptoms of PMS and can even reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. (Khayat, et. al.) (Campbell MS, et. al.)