Curcumin May Relieve Pain from Knee Osteoarthritis
The spice turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Several studies have examined whether curcumin supplements can provide pain relief for people with osteoarthritis. A study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine (December 2021) reviewed 11 of these studies that included a total of 1,258 participants with knee osteoarthritis. When they combined results from the studies, the researchers found that both low-dose (less than 1,000 milligrams [mg] a day) and high-dose (1,000 mg or more a day) curcumin supplements were more effective than placebo (a dummy pill) for pain relief. They also found no difference between the low and high doses. The prevalence of side effects, which included stomach upset, nausea and vomiting, was the same between the doses. Three of the studies in the review compared curcumin with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and found similar pain-relieving effects.