Can Turmeric Prevent Arthritis?
A year ago
Many people have used turmeric or curcuminoid-containing supplements for their potent inflammation-fighting powers. Reducing inflammation can reduce pain and damage from many common conditions. But can better managing chronic inflammation actually help prevent conditions such as arthritis?
As always, we turn to the research for guidance. This 2006 study found that rats dosed with standardized turmeric extract showed "significantly inhibited joint inflammation in both the acute inflammatory and chronic destructive phases of arthritis". So, compared to non-supplemented rats, rats receiving turmeric were significantly less likely to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
Here's some things we love about this study: 1) the authors avoid many of the pitfalls of others who study turmeric efficacy (such as not standardizing or recording their potency/% curcuminoids), they measure efficacy of mutiple concentrations of curcuminoids (41% and 94%), they show results in vivo (in live animals, instead of cell models), and they also show results with and without the handicap of curcuminoid digestibility.
While this study was performed in rats and only examined prevention of RA, the researchers express optimism that the protective benefits of curcuminoids extend to other inflammatory joint conditions (such as osteoarthritis) and other species.
Unfortunately, we haven't been able to find any additional studies on turmeric (or curcuminoids) as an arthritis preventative. So, we'll have to file the answer to the question of "Can turmeric prevent arthritis" in the "maybe" folder. Until more studies are done, we can still use it to manage inflammation (and damage caused by inflammation) and help extend our pets' healthy lives!