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Meriva Bioavailble Curcumin Shows Benefit in the Management of Arthritis

Turmeric has a long history of medicinal use, especially to treat inflammation, and many of its traditional uses have been validated in thousands of clinical investigations, demonstrating curcumin as a potent anti-inflammatory agent.

Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of physical disability and impairment in life quality for millions of elderly people, both in industrialized and in developing countries, and its dramatic influence on healthcare costs is likely worsened because of the aging population and current epidemic of obesity.

Previously researchers in Italy found that three-month supplementation with Meriva Curcumin, a patented curcumin-soy lethicin phytosome complex, decreased joint pain and improved joint function in osteoarthritis (OA) patients. Since OA is a chronic condition requiring prolonged treatment, the long-term efficacy and safety of Meriva were investigated in a longer eight months study involving 100 OA patients.

In this study, 100 OA patients were treated with either 200mg/day Meriva Curcumin (treatment
Group, n=50), or a placebo (control group, n=50).  After eight month, Meriva curcumin treatment group showed significant improvement in comparison to the control group:

  • The Karnofsky Performance Scale Index was improved from 73.3 at inclusion to 92.2 at the completion of the study;
  • WOMAC scores for pain dropped significantly (p<0.05) from 16.6 to 7.3; The scores for stiffness were reduced significantly from 7.4 to 3.2 (p<0.05);  The global WOMAC score decreased significantly from 80.6 to 33.3; while in the control group the decrease from 77.8 to 68.8 was statistically insignificant;
  • The results of the exercise (treadmill) tests (at a speed of 3 km/ hour, with a 10% inclination) indicate a 3.87-times greater improvement in physical performance;
  • Meriva induced a statistically significant reduction of all markers of inflammation;
  • 63% of the OA patients in the treatment group decreased use of NSAIDs and other painkillers compared to 12 percent in the control group (p<0.05);
  • These results was accompanied by a decrease in gastrointestinal complaints by 38% of patients in the treatment group compared to 15 percent in controls (p<0.05) (presumably, due to decreased use of NSAIDs and the reported GI-protective effect of curcumin).

In summary, the study authors observed significant improvements of both the clinical and biochemical end points for the treatment group compared to the control group.  The authors further suggest that, with its excellent tolerability, Meriva Curcumin is an effective and safe agent for the complementary management of osteoarthritis, leading to better disease control, a decreased use of NSAIDs, and an overall improvement in quality of life.

Gianni Belcaro et al; Altern Med Rev 2010;15(4):337-344

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