Last week, I told you about a new study that found you can significantly improve your joint pain—in just seven days—by supplementing with a potent plant compound found in an ancient spice from the far East. And now, researchers have compared that same plant compound directly to a new, prescription arthritis drug. It turns out, the natural compound was just as effective as the drug—but without the harmful side effects!
I’ll tell you all about that natural pain-buster in a moment. But first, let’s back up to talk a bit about mainstream’s checkered history of treating arthritis pain…
Mainstream’s many failed attempts to manage arthritis pain
Until the 1970s, it was difficult to find a safe and effective anti-inflammatory agent, let alone one that could alleviate the chronic, nagging pain of degenerative osteoarthritis (OA).
Doctors used to routinely recommend their patients take 20 regular strength aspirin tablets (325 mg each) to cut away at the pain.
But we now know that higher doses of aspirin can cause bleeding problems in some people. Especially in those who also take certain other botanical medications or prescription drugs that cause greater bleeding tendencies. Regular aspirin use can also pose a serious hazard if you have to undergo an emergency medical procedure…and haven’t had time to “wean” off the aspirin to avoid a bleeding issue.
So—doctors remained on the hunt for a good pain reliever for their patients with arthritis…
Drugs, drugs, and more drugs
After aspirin came indomethacin in the 1970s and ibuprofen in the 1980s. Both of which are more potent than aspirin, particularly for joint pain. But here again—neither come without side effects.
Then, in the 1990s, big pharma came out with a new generation of disastrous anti-inflammatory drugs called COX-2 inhibitors. They’re supposed to work by blocking an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain. But they have a long history of serious side effects. In fact, many of them were taken off the market almost immediately and/or were subject to massive, “class action” lawsuits. Plus, the one COX-2 inhibitor left on the market can still increase your risk of suffering a deadly stroke or heart attack!
And then, we have diclofenac from Europe.
Doctors have hailed it as safe and effective for alleviating the joint pain associated with degenerative OA.
But—surprise, surprise—it also has a long list of possible side effects. Including severe stomach pain, nausea, and increased bleeding time. In fact, someone I know took diclofenac as a replacement for indomethacin. And she was completely debilitated until the diclofenac wore off.
So, the hunt for a good OA solution continues. But rather than look to big pharma for answers, some innovative researchers have finally looked to the far East…at a plant compound called curcumin, which is found in the ancient, golden spice turmeric…
New study compares diclofenac to compound found in turmeric
For this new clinical trial, researchers randomly divided 139 patients with knee OA into two groups:
- The first group took 500 mg of curcumin three times a day for 28 days
- The second group took 50 mg of diclofenac twice a day for 28 days
Then, researchers assessed the severity of the participants’ pain on days seven, 14, and 28. They also assessed the patients’ gastrointestinal (GI) function, weight loss, and overall well-being.
By 28 days, both groups showed significant improvement in symptoms, including an improvement in pain, stiffness, daily functioning, and quality of life.
Plus, the curcumin group received some added benefits…
By day seven, they had better GI function. And by day 28, they also had significant weight reduction and dramatic anti-ulcer effects.
Not to mention, no one in the curcumin group required an H2 blocker, which is a type of medicine that reduces the amount of acid produced by the stomach. By comparison, 19 people in the diclofenac group required these dangerous drugs.
Plus, 38 percent of the diclofenac group experienced harmful side effects. On the contrary, just 13 percent of the curcumin group experienced side effects. But they were mild and transient.
Interestingly, curcumin works in the same way in the body as those disastrous COX-2 inhibitor drugs, which were taken off the market in the 1990s. The difference is that the plant compound suppresses the inflammatory COX-2 enzymes without causing serious side effects.
In addition, curcumin suppresses many other pro-inflammatory proteins and mediators of their release, such as nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukins 1 and 8.
Researchers back away from their own impressive results
Clearly, when you consider all these factors, curcumin is far superior to diclofenac…across the board.
So I was really disappointed that the researchers backed away from their own impressive results. In fact, they issued a tepid conclusion that curcumin may be a treatment option in patients who can’t stand the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.
How backwards is that?!
As always, you should START with the safe, less-costly, natural approach that works. And stay away from the harmful drugs altogether.
Keep in mind, to combat knee OA, which afflicts up to 15 percent of people over 60, you need to take 500 mg of curcumin three times a day. That’s a daily dose of 1,500 mg (or 1.5 grams)—which is essentially like a food quantity.
Indeed, adding turmeric to your diet is always a good idea! Curry is a traditional dish made with turmeric. But you can also simply sprinkle some ground turmeric into your applesauce, oatmeal, salad dressings, smoothies, soups, stews, and teas. Or make a hot infusion with other ingredients for a cold or flu, as I always recommend.
Plus, as I explained last week, curcumin works best when combined with other potent herbs, such as ashwagandha and boswellia. In fact, these three herbs make up my ABCs for joint health/pain!
You can learn more about all the natural approaches shown to combat the pain and swelling from OA in my Arthritis Relief and Reversal Protocol. This innovative, online learning tool discusses a drug-free plan for easing and eliminating arthritis pain. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here!
“Safety and efficacy of curcumin versus diclofenac in knee osteoarthritis: a randomized open-label parallel-arm study.” Trials, 2019. 20:214. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-019-3327-2