Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant (Curcumalonga) of the ginger family. The medicinal properties of turmeric, the source of curcumin, have been known for thousands of years; however, the ability to determine the exact mechanism(s) of action and to determine the bioactive components have only recently been investigated. Curcumin (1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione), also called diferuloylmethane, is the main natural polyphenol found in the rhizome of Curcuma longa. 2014 “Foods” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/

The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin are believed to come from its inhibitory effect on the Cyclooxygenase – 2 (COX-2) and 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LOX)enzymes. While traditional NSAID’s (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac, etc)inhibit the COX enzymes (COX1 more than COX2) to produce their anti-inflammatory effects, COX1 inhibition leads to more GI upset which is why NSAID’s like Celebrex were developed (they inhibit COX2 more than COX1). They still have anti-inflammatory properties, but more GI tolerance. 2007“Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17569207/

In a 2014 Multi-center, Randomized Controlled Trial published in the Journal “Clinical Interventions in Aging,” the authors sought to determine the efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts, compared to ibuprofen, for pain reduction and functional improvement. They concluded that Curcuma domestica extracts were as effective as ibuprofen for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA). Additionally, there were fewer GI adverse events in the C. domestica group. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24672232/

More recently, a 2018 randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group study published in “BioMed Research International” was done to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Curene (a more bioavailable form of Curcuma Longa, using expensive, Aquasomal technology) versus placebo in reducing symptoms of knee OA. The authors concluded that Curene use resulted in statistically significant and clinically meaningful reduction in pain and stiffness, and improved physical functioning in subjects suffering from knee OA. Arthro-Ease uses Bioperine (an extract of black pepper fruits) to increase the bodies absorption (bioavailability) of Curcumin, in lieu of the expensive Aquasomal technology). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30498758/

Most recently, in May 2021, a well-done, specific study was published in the Journal “Clinical Pharmacology”. The study was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial assessing the efficacy of a Turmeric extract in healthy adults with chronic knee pain. In this powerful study, the authors were able to conclude that their low – dose turmeric formulation (250 mg) alleviated knee pain, improved joint function in healthy subjects with chronic knee pain, and was well tolerated and safe. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34045905/