For years, anti-inflammatory medications offered the best relief. Of course, these come with potential and unwanted side effects. Today however, research into anti-inflammatory botanicals and their active ingredients suggests all-natural, side effect free relief has arrived.
Curcumin captured the attention of researchers years ago as one of nature’s most potent anti-inflammatory substances. Despite its promise, measurable effects proved difficult to identify in tests with live subjects.
More recently, researchers have found it works as well as over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen. Plus, a new proprietary formula called Longvida® Curcumin by Verdure Sciences® designed to deliver 65 times more active curcumin into the blood stream has been tested in human trials and produced significant, measurable results, including the reduction of several key causes of inflammation linked to achy, painful joints.
Causes of Joint Inflammation
Inflamed joints cause pain in addition to making movement difficult. Here are some of the potential causes of joint inflammation.
Injury: Injury to the cartilage or lubricating layer, called the synovium, can occur as a result of trauma, physical exertion or simply repeated wear and tear. Damage to the tissue starts a response from the innate immune system, the body’s natural response to physical injury. Cells around the injury flood the area with inflammatory molecules like Interleukin-6, Interleukin-8 and TNF-alpha, a protein that helps break down damaged tissue and dead cells. This immune response leads to the swelling that causes pain and stiffness.
Autoimmune Condition: While the exact causes of autoimmune response continue to be researched, this condition features the innate immune system attacking healthy tissue, leading to inflammation, swelling and pain.
NSAIDs: Some research suggests certain anti-inflammatory medications taken to relieve aches and pains may actually contribute to long-term erosion of tissue in the joint and may be contraindicated for older patients and those with osteoarthritis.
Additional Complications: Reduced blood flow to joints compared to other tissue complicates recovery. In cases of injury to joints from any cause, the inflammation that results limits oxygen and nutrients from reaching the area quickly. This means inflammation lasts longer. It also causes recovery to take longer too.
That’s one of the reasons anti-inflammatory drugs worked so well and have been the go-to for so many years. They reduced inflammation. Lower levels of inflammation meant less pain. They also meant faster healing as oxygen, nutrients, and other vital immune system molecules could reach the injury easier.
Of course, beyond the research that suggests anti-inflammatory drugs may actually damage joints, they also have potential side effects like upset stomach, gas, headache, and a mild rash.
3 Benefits of Curcumin
Research indicates curcumin has big advantages. It lowers inflammation. It’s safe. And it helps improve blood flow.
- A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food reviewed clinical trials studying the effectiveness of turmeric and curcumin. The authors concluded the trials “provide scientific evidence that supports the efficacy of turmeric extract” and recommended larger studies.
- Another 2014 study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging looked at a curcumin supplement compared to ibuprofen. The study involved 367 knee osteoarthritis patients where 185 took the curcumin versus the others who took ibuprofen. Researchers found the curcumin performed as well as the ibuprofen without side effects.
- A further review of eight additional clinical trials evaluated curcumin’s performance against anti-inflammatory medicines. The study authors reported curcumin performed as well in each of the eight trials.
- Finally, researchers report curcumin increased nitric oxide levels in middle-aged and older adults. Nitric oxide plays an integral role in the flexibility of blood vessels and maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
Each of these supports curcumin as an excellent alternative to common anti-inflammatory medicines. The only problem has been that to enjoy these results requires taking very large doses of curcumin.