Osteoarthritis (OA) is a rheumatic disease. It is the second largest cause of physical disability in the world after ischemic heart disease. In 2005 alone, one third of the U.S. population aged 65 years and older suffered from it.
OA of the knee is especially prevalent. Should you use pharmaceutical drugs to treat it or rely on a remedy used for thousands of years provided by nature? Here are the facts…
Turmeric Treats Arthritis Knee Pain Better Than Ibuprofen
According to many studies, the healing powers of turmeric are immpressive because this spice can help with weight loss, fight fatty liver disease and even cancer.
One report in the journal Health Services Research stated that even the nurses and the doctors are more and more interested in trying alternative or complementary medicines, since it has been proved that turmeric can help heal diseases better than pharmaceutical drugs such as prozac, in many cases.
The director of integrative medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York, Dr. Minerva Santos says: “ I use a lot of turmeric in my practice”; “It’s an amazing spice”.
Ibuprofen Is Toxic to Your Heart
According to Lancet review, ibuprofen is as toxic to the heart as the banned anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx
As reported by Reuters,
“Long-term high-dose use of painkillers such as ibuprofen or diclofenac is ‘equally hazardous’ in terms of heart attack risk as use of the drug Vioxx, which was withdrawn due to its potential dangers, researchers said.”
Natural Alternative To Ibuprofen
Osteoarthritis, mainly caused by inflammation, is a pain which can be reduced by taking tumeric extracts, alone or in combination with other herbal ingredients. One study showed that for reducing oseteoarthritis pain in the knee, tumeric worked as well as ibuprofen.
The journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, published a study in which 107 patients with primary knee osteoarthritis were examined. 2g of curcumin extract per day were given to one half of the patients, and the other half recieved 800mg of ibuprofen daily. At the end of the study, it has been shown that both groups experienced equal pain relief.
There was another study with higher number of participants that showed similar results. The interesting thing that the researchers found is that not a single patient in the turmeric group reported being unsatisfied unlike those in ibuprofen group.
Ibuprofen Vs. Turmeric
As we all know, all drugs can have side- effects, so ibuprofen is not an exception. This drug can have devastating effects on the liver and can also cause side-effects including vomiting, constipation, upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, headache, drowsiness and dizziness. It can also lead to mood changes, bleeding, impaired vision, easy bruising and drug dependence.
On the other hand, turmeric is generally safe to consume. Tumeric powder contains approximately 2-4% curcumin by weight. Add tumeric to your meals or drink it as a tea.
Sick of Synthetic Drugs? Turmeric Extract May Be Your Best Bet For Healing Knee Osteoarthritis
There are millions of people taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on a daily basis for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, but the controversy surrounding them continues to climb, with claims backed by research that they may alleviate symptoms, but are not safe for our overall wellbeing.
So what’s the alternativere are many natural resources that act as anti-inflammatory agents, and turmeric just so happens to be one of them. Where’s the research? It’s sparse in large part because the capital available to fund expensive clinical trials is difficult. But what is available will certainly open anyone’s eyes looking to steer clear of pills and use their surroundings, including what’s in their kitchen, to cure their pains.
Decades of investigation have been done to confirm that turmeric ought to be a lead drug compound, but despite the thousands of preclinical studies, it remains in the kitchen as a spice for savoury dishes. But let’s look at the latest human study on its medicinal benefits:
Published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine in April, 2012, the study, titled Ability of Curcuminoid Compared to Diclofenac Sodium in Reducing the Secretion of Cycloxygenase-2 Enzyme by Synovial Fluid’s Monocytes of Patients with Osteoarthritis, discusses how the curcuminoid extract of turmeric reduced inflammation in patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a rheumatic disease. According to the published study, it is the second largest cause of physical disability in the world after ischemic heart disease. In 2005 alone, one third of the U.S. population aged 65 years and older suffered from it. The typical treatments for it include:
- Analgesics: Pain relievers that include acetaminophen, opioids (narcotics), and an atypical opioid called tramadol
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and celecoxib
- Corticosteroids: These are extremely powerful and can be taken by mouth or injected directly into a joint at a doctor’s office
- Hyaluronic acid: This acid occurs naturally in joint fluid to protect the infected area, but injections are also done in a doctor’s office
What happens during OA of the knee is that the synovial fluid, which exists within the cavities of the synovial joints to reduce friction between articular cartilage during movement, is hindered with overbearing inflammatory COX-2 enzyme activity by way of the immune cells called monocytes.
For this specific study, researchers matched up the effects the NSAID drug diclofenac sodium and curcuminoid extract had on lowering cycloxygenase -2 (COX-2) secretion by synovial fluid’s monocytes. To do this, they used two, randomly divided groups, both of which suffered from knee osteoarthritis. This is what they concluded:
Curcuminoid from Curcuma domestica Val.rhizome extract significantly suppresses the secretion of COX-2 enzyme by synovial fluid’s monocytes of patients with knee osteoarthritis. The ability of curcuminoid from Curcuma domestica Val. rhizome extract was not significantly different compared to diclofenac sodium in suppressing the secretion of cycloxygenase-2enzyme by synovial fluid’s monocytes.
Simply put, both curcuminoid and diclofenac sodium decreased the secretion of the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme nearly the exact same.
You may still be asking: But why does it matter which one is used then? The answer is simple, however: When you compare the effects of both a common kitchen spice like turmeric, and a drug like diclofenac sodium, while they may both be able to provide the same treatment for OA suffers, the latter has a much higher chance of causing other health conditions.
For instance, let’s compare the toxicities of the two: the primary polyphenol in turmeric, curcumin, and the diclofenac sodium. When you glance at their Material Safety Date Sheets (1, 2), you’ll find a significant difference.
LD50, or Lethal Dose, 50%, or median lethal dose, is the amount of a substance it would take, typically per body weight, to kill 50 percent of the test population.
- For diclofenac sodium, the LD50 for mice is 95 mg/kg. This means that it would only take 95 mg/kg of mouse to acutely kill 50% of the test population.
- For curcumin, the LD50 for mice is >2,000 mg/kg. This means that it would take more than 2,000 mg/kg of mouse to acutely kill 50% of the test population.
It seems like a no-brainer that people would toss out their pills and pick up turmeric and other natural healing alternatives, or at least give it a try, but the truth of the matter is that people are skeptical to try something with not enough research backing it. While we have covered why this research is lacking, you now undoubtedly have a justified reason to make a change: the natural alternatives won’t harm you.
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