How Turmeric Supplementation Benefits Your RA and Your Overall Health

How Turmeric Supplementation Benefits Your RA

Turmeric Supplementation Benefits Your RA

How Turmeric Supplementation Benefits Your RA

There are many ways turmeric supplementation benefits your RA and your overall health.

In 2016 NIH conducted a extensive review of many of the studies that evaluated the efficacy of the use of turmeric for the treatment of arthritis. (10) They concluded that  “the studies used in this meta-analysis do not have a sufficient number of subjects to permit a definitive recommendation for the use of curcumin as a treatment for arthritis, they do provide a compelling justification for its use as a dietary adjunct to conventional therapy. Furthermore, they also provide sufficient evidence to support larger clinical trials that could eventually lead to its acceptance as a standard therapy for many forms of arthritis and possibly other inflammatory conditions.”(10)

Small studies have found that the curcumin in turmeric is as effective as the arthritis drug Diclofenac sodium. (3)

However, waiting for larger studies to be funded and concluded could take years. In the mean time, if you are in pain and are missing the opportunity to try a supplement with very few side effects that could possibly relieve your pain it may be worth finding out how turmeric supplementation benefits your RA.

From personal experience, I can attest to the effectiveness of turmeric as a treatment for my RA pain. I take a turmeric supplement that is standardized to 95% curcumin. It is as effective as Aleve in alleviating my RA pain. I was taking gabapentin for my pain and it made me dizzy. I was  able to give up gabapentin. As I have researched for this post, I have discovered additional information about ways to enhance the absorption of the curcumin in Turmeric and plan to pursue a way to add peperin to my current turmeric dosage. Piperin enhances the adsorption of the curcumin in turmeric.See more below.

Turmeric has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It blocks your pro-inflammatory response by reducing the levels of cytokines in your body.  The curcumin in turmeric targets many steps in the inflammatory pathway in your body at the molecular level. It blocks NF-kB in your cells. NFkB is a molecule in your cells that turns on genes related to inflammation.

Curcumin is also an antioxidant. It can neutralize free radicals. A study published  in Phytotherapy Research in 2012 found that rheumatoid arthritis treated with curcumin showed the highest Disease Activity Score improvement of the the three groups tested. (11)

This is how turmeric supplementation benefits your RA.

Other Relevant Health Benefits of Turmeric Supplementation

Those of us who have RA are at risk for many other diseases. We are at higher risk for heart disease, cancer, depression and other autoimmune diseases than people who do not have RA. Turmeric contains compounds that have powerful medicinal properties. The most powerful medicinal compound in turmeric is curcumin.The curcumin in turmeric is a very powerful anti-inflammatory and it increases the antioxidant capacity in the body. Below are three ways turmeric supplementation helps your body fight diseases you are at increased rick for if you have RA.

  • Heart Disease: The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory bioactive substances in turmeric are one of the main reasons turmeric fights heart disease. The curcumin in turmeric also improves the function of  the lining of your blood vessels (the endothelium). The endothelium helps regulate blood pressure and reduces blood clotting. In 2016 a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Metabolism found that healthy young adults who were given 200 MG daily of curcumin  had a significant improvement in endometrial function over the control group in the study. (7) Heart disease is a major concern for many people with RA.
  • Depression: Many small studies have proven that Curcumin is an effective antidepressant. Curcumin appears to boost BNDF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) levels in the brain.  A literature review published in a pharmaceutical journal in India concluded that “Curcumin can be a future drug of therapy for the treatment of various neurological disorders” such as depression. (3)
  • Cancer: Recent studies suggest that curcumin may protect against and/or fight certain cancers. It has been shown to treat breast, esophageal and colon cancers. It can also enhance chemotherapy. Curcumin can inhibit new blood vessel growth in cancer tumors, reduce metastasis and kill cancerous cells. More studies need to be done on human subjects to determine curcumin’s ability to protect from or fight cancer. (9)

Turmeric supplementation benefits your RA by improving your ability to fight common diseases that RA put you at risk for getting.

The Best Ways to Optimize the Absorption of the Curcumin in Turmeric

Curcumin is extremely difficult to absorb. Dr. Mercola states that only about “1% of Curcumin is absorbed by your body”. (5)

Curcumin is available in many formulations including turmeric powder capsules, essential oils and powder preparations in combination with pepper or piperine.

  • Turmeric Essential Oil
    • The essential oil preparation of Turmeric is more concentrated than the powder because it is derived from the underground root of the plant. It is extracted from the root of the plant by steam distillation.
    • Many Essential Oil professionals treat arthritis with a combination of turmeric and frankincense.
    • The advantage to turmeric essential oil is that it can be mixed with other oils to enhance its bioavailability.
    • If you choose to use an essential oil please remember the safety precautions detailed in my previous post .
  • Powder Preparations of Turmeric
    • There are many powder preparations of Turmeric on the market. Be sure and purchase Turmeric from a reliable source.

 BUT

    • New research has found that the curcumin in turmeric is difficult for the human body to absorb.
    • You should do three things to increase the bioavailability of the curcumin in turmeric:
      • Purchase the powder that is standardized to 95% curcumin
      • Purchase a powder that contains piperine or black pepper.
      • Use a supplement that is certified organic and has no additives is best.
    • Amazon sells a capsule that meets these criteria Here:

Affiliate Disclosure: If you click the link above and make a purchase, it will not increase your cost, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for helping to support RA Junction.

Please remember that, especially with supplements like turmeric, that have medicinal properties, you need to consult your health care professional before taking turmeric. You should also discuss dosage with your health care professional as well. Turmeric supplementation can benefit your RA. you just need to purchase it cautiously.

To Your Improved Health and Happiness,

Saundra

 

References

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric#section5
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4307740/
  3. https://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/
  4. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-662-turmeric.aspx?activeingredientid=662
  5. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/02/08/curcumin-supplementation-cognitive-benefits.aspx
  6. https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5005531/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929771/
  9. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/turmeric
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5003001/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22407780

 

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