A groundbreaking, new study found that men and women who suffer from osteoarthritis respond better to a natural approach. And not just any natural approach–but the one I’ve been recommending to you for some time now. In fact, patients who took two specific herbal supplements felt significantly less pain than those who took a potent drug. In just 12 weeks!
For the study, researchers compared a combination of the herbs turmeric and boswellia to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug Celebrex (celecoxib).
For the study, researchers divided 30 patients with knee osteoarthritis into two groups. One group received 500 mg daily of a combined turmeric and boswellia supplement. The other group received 100 mg of Celebrex twice daily.
After 12 weeks, the researchers found that the turmeric/boswellia combo reduced pain significantly better than Celebrex. In fact, the men and women who took the herbs experienced dramatic improvements in pain and joint tenderness. Both groups increased their range of motion. And both groups increased the distance they could walk.
Overall, the researchers concluded that the herbal combo is as effective as the drug in treating osteoarthritis. But with fewer adverse effects.
This is a great study in many ways.
First, it shows that natural remedies work to relieve osteoarthritis pain better than a drug. While causing fewer side effects.
Second, it shows that natural remedies work better when combined.
When you eat an orange, you don’t just take in vitamin C. You take in a complex combination of active ingredients. And they work together to keep you healthy. This is always the way with foods. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to apply the same principle to supplements. The most effective supplements often use powerful combinations of ingredients that work together. They aren’t single, isolated ingredients.
Unfortunately, modern, biomedical research doesn’t apply this common sense approach. Instead, it takes a blind approach to test one ingredient at a time.
Of course, the FDA aids and abets this mindset. For example, it says manufacturers can’t combine two “approved” ingredients into a single treatment, without getting special permission.
(But, of course, it’s perfectly okay to give up to a dozen different single-ingredient drugs to a patient. This results in potentially thousands of different toxic poly-drug interactions.)
So, most biomedical research methods plod along, testing only one thing at a time.
Especially when it comes to cancer research.
As I describe in my report, “Classified Answers to Cancer,” in 1980, Jonathan Rhoads, then Chairman of the National Cancer Advisory Board, set nutrition and cancer research behind by decades. He insisted that we test nutrients one at a time. Of course, foods that prevent cancer have hundreds of nutrients in them!
But never mind that, in the world of government research.
In the late 1980s, I worked with David Byar, a colleague at the National Cancer Institute. We developed a new statistical method for testing the effects of different nutrients within the same study. This “factorial design” helps researchers study nutrition more accurately. We published our results to share them with the research community. But three decades later, most researchers still plod along the single-ingredient road.
So, when a new, hard-core study comes along that looks at the synergy between two nutrients, it’s somewhat of a surprise. But in other ways, it’s no surprise at all. Because it shows exactly what I recommended all along.
I have only one problem with the study. I found that it was little conservative in selecting the optimal doses. This often happens in clinical research studies.
The study used a daily dose of 300 mg of boswellia. I recommend 450 mg (50 percent more). And it used 150 mg of turmeric. I recommend 200 mg (33 percent more). Yet even with these sub-optimal doses, the study clearly showed something that I’ve been telling you for some time: Boswellia and turmeric work great together to help alleviate joint pain. And this combination is a more effective and safer alternative to common drugs.
1. “Turmeric and Boswellia Combination Reduces Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms More Effectively than Celecoxib,” Mol Med Rep. November 2013;8(5):1542-1548.