Research: FUNK and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 133

Abstract

FUNK and colleagues, Arizona Center for Phytomedicine Research, Department of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Arizona, Tucson, 85724, USA, have found that turmeric extracts prevent rheumatoid arthritis in animals.

Background

Turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for inflammatory disorders including arthritis. On the basis of this traditional usage, dietary supplements containing turmeric rhizome and turmeric extracts are also being used in the western world for arthritis treatment and prevention. The aim of this study was to determine the in vivo efficacy of well-characterized curcuminoid-containing turmeric extracts in the prevention or treatment of arthritis in an animal model.

Methodology

Streptococcal cell wall-induced arthritis, a well-described animal model of rheumatoid arthritis, was used. Arthritic index, a clinical measure of joint swelling, was used as the primary endpoint for assessing the effect of extracts on joint inflammation.

Results

An essential oil-depleted turmeric fraction containing 41% of the three major curcuminoids was efficacious in preventing joint inflammation when treatment was started before, but not after, the onset of joint inflammation. A commercial sample containing 94% of the three major curcuminoids was more potent in preventing arthritis than the essential oil-depleted turmeric fraction when compared by total curcuminoid dose per body weight.

Conclusion

These data document the antiarthritic efficacy of an essential oil-depleted turmeric fraction and suggest that the three major curcuminoids are responsible for this antiarthritic effect, while the remaining compounds in the crude turmeric extract may inhibit this protective effect.

References

Funk JL, Oyarzo JN, Frye JB, Chen G, Lantz RC, Jolad SD, Solyom AM, Timmermann BN. Turmeric extracts containing curcuminoids prevent experimental rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Natural Products 69 (3): 351-355, Mar 2006.

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