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Safe and Effective Alternative to Drugs in Knee Osteoarthritis

Tumeric just as effective as ibuprofen.

Tumeric has been used for centuries as a spice in foods all over the world. It has just recently undergone a randomized controlled trail comparing it with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis(OA). Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, have long been the first line of treatment in OA. Unfortunately NSAIDs are also among the top causes of liver and kidney problems in North America.

The study examined safety and efficacy of Curcuma domestica extracts in pain reduction and functional improvement in knee OA. Ibuprofen 800mg/day was give to one group while 2g/day of tumeric was given to the other for 6 weeks. The main outcomes for both groups were improvement in pain on level walking and climbing stairs, and functions of the knee during walking and climbing stairs. There was no significant difference in outcomes between the two groups, thus showing turmeric to be just as efficacious as ibuprofen. This is good news, especially with the potential risks to the liver and kidneys when taking ibuprofen over a sustained period of time.

My conclusion is that taking tumeric is the preferred, oral, first-line treatment choice in knee OA treatment.

Study is referenced from (J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):891-7.)