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NSAID Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory drug
WOMAC Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index
VAS Visual analogue scale
LPFI Lequesne Pain and Function Index
KOA Knee osteoarthritis
ROS Reactive oxygen species
ADL Activity of daily living
BMI Body mass index
Objective: To determine if curcumin supplementation compared to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), placebo, and rescue medications is an effective treatment of arthritic symptoms in males and females between the ages of 50 and 80 with a diagnosis of osteoarthritis.
Design: Systematic Literature Review
Methods: Searches were done in PubMed, Google Scholar, and Scopus utilizing the terms “turmeric”, “curcumin”, “osteoarthritis”, “NSAIDs”, “ibuprofen”, and “placebo.” The following limits were applied: excluded if compared greater than two remedies for treatment of osteoarthritis or if turmeric was used as an “add-on” for treatment. Articles were included if they only dealt with human subjects, were published in 2014 or later, and were full-text.
Results: A randomized control trial byKuptniratsaikul, V. et al concluded that curcumin was as efficacious as ibuprofen in reducing pain and improving function associated with Osteoarthritis (OA) with the benefit that curcumin resulted in less gastrointestinal complaints. Srivastave, S. et al concluded that curcumin can be used with diclofenac to provide relief in patients with knee OA. The results demonstrated that patients in the curcumin and diclofenac group had improvement in all three measures of the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) score when compared to patients in the placebo group. Panahi Y. et al study showed a statistical significant improvement in measures of the WOMAC score in the curcumin group while the placebo group showed no change in WOMAC parameters. The curcumin group also had significant reduction in Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Lequesne Pain and Function Index (LPFI) scores compared to placebo.
Conclusion: Curcumin may provide relief of osteoarthritic symptoms as demonstrated by subjective measures of pain and objective measures of inflammation. Additionally, curcumin has a strong safety profile, a low potential for toxicity, and few adverse side effects those of which include gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and flatulence. Further research is needed to investigate the relationship between curcumin and the impact on osteoarthritic symptoms independent of NSAIDs. Additionally, population based studies are needed to see if the results of a small sample size can be applied to the general population.
Schatzlein KM, Tietjen KR. Curcumin Supplementation for Relief of Pain Associated with Osteoarthritis. JMU Scholarly Commons Physician Assistant Capstones. https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/pacapstones/40/. Published December 12, 2018.