Turmeric and Bromelain for Joint Health and Inflammation

Chiropractic care consisting of treatment, advice and exercise is an excellent way of reducing or eliminating pain by restoring and maintaining joint, muscle and nerve function. In turn this reduces postural stress, improves the body’s ability to heal itself and promotes overall well-being.

Acupuncture is also an excellent way of reducing pain and discomfort from painful, inflamed and arthritic joints and muscles.

However, there are times when that little bit extra is required, so please read this third instalment of our joint health series.

Following on from part 1 covering inflammatory and degenerative arthritis, and Glucosamine Sulphate and part 2 about the beneficial effects of fish oils it is now time to cover a couple of other alternatives.

Turmeric extract (curcumin) has also been shown to be effective in arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. As with most natural remedies research funding is hard to come by. The latest study in April 2012, found curcumin as effective in knee arthritis as Diclofenac (Voltarol). In 2010 a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found it as effective as Ibuprofen in reducing pain and inflammation.

However, the most remarkable difference between the pharmaceutical drugs and Curcumin is the safety. Ibuprofen and Diclofenac are both associated with adverse health effects such as increased chance of digestive problems, heart problems, miscarriage and seizures. One way of measuring toxicity is to look at their respective Material Safety Data Sheets. The dose required to kill half of mice exposed is 95mg/kg for Diclofenac and >2000mg/kg for Curcumin. Scaling this up it would take only 6.5 grams per person of Diclofenac to kill half of all 11 stone humans. That is less than three 1-penny pieces! For Curcumin the figure is 140 grams equal to 56 pennies or the content of 4 typical supermarket spice jars. In addition non-steroidal anti-inflammatories have over 100 known adverse health effects attached to them compared with around 600 beneficial ones for Curcumin.

Bromelain, which is extracted from the fibrous core of pineapples, has also gained a reputation for being effective in treating arthritic pains. Either on its own or taken with Curcumin. Bromelain is believed to inhibit the body’s inflammatory prostaglandins and enhance the formation of the anti inflammatory ones. Therefore, it has slowly gained a reputation for speeding up the healing of ligament sprains and strains. To enter the blood stream and exert it action it must be taken on an empty stomach. Otherwise it enzymatic action will be used in digesting the food you have eaten. Hence it can also be used as a digestive aid breaking down dietary protein. It does have a blood thinning action so those on blood thinning medication should be careful.

As always, before exercising painful joints or taking supplements to alleviate symptoms it is wise to seek help and advice from your chosen health care professional. All of chiropractors, acupuncturists and our sports injury and massage therapist are here to help. Please call us on 01903 230066.

We have recently started stocking Turmeric and Bromelain from Lamberts Healthcare. As always we keep our prices well below the Recommend Retail Price.

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