Combinations of curcumin and other nutrients reduce pain and inflammation.
Combinations of curcumin and other nutrients optimized to reduce pain and inflammation.
A steady stream of published research supports the health benefits of curcumin. Rheumatoid arthritis, carviovascular health, neurodegenerative disease, athterosclerosis, pulmonary disease, immunity, depression, joint health, metabolic syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, cancer--these are just some of the health conditions associated with recent studies on curcumin.
Curcumin is the principal medicinal component of the herb turmeric. Turmeris is a tropical plant native to south and south east Asia. The curcuminoids in turmeric are deep yellow in color, and are what contribute to the yellow color of foods and spices such as mustard and curry.
Curcumin and turmeric extracts have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action.
Supplements of curcumin are available from many of the reputable nutritional supplement companies. As a spice, curcumin (turmeric) is poorly absorbed, so it is difficult to get the full benefit. But various measures are taken in preparing supplemental forms of curcumin that greatly enhance the bioavailability.
In addition to enhanced bioavailability, some companies formulate synergistic blends of curcumin and other complimentary herbs and vitamins to enhance the health benefits. The following article, written by Terry Lemerond, describes one such effective combination of nutrients.
Fight Pain the Smart Way – Naturally
by Terry Lemerond
Let’s say you’re in pain after going for a 5-mile run, or working in the yard, or even just pulling a muscle reaching for a book on the tallest shelf. If you’re like most people, you’ll probably take an aspirin, or an ibuprofen, or some other over-the-counter painkiller. Even if you’ve heard that they can be bad for your stomach lining, and possibly cause serious damage to your heart or liver, you might wonder, “What else am I supposed to do?”
There is a smarter, natural way of relieving pain. It is a combination of ingredients that fight pain quickly, effectively, and doesn’t put your health at risk.
One of the best natural compounds you can use is curcumin from turmeric (Curcuma longa). If you grew up with curry as a big part of your diet, you probably got plenty of curcumin in your system. Over time, it protected your brain cells, prevented free-radical damage, and reduced inflammation. But that curcumin was not very concentrated, and it is very difficult for the body to absorb. Nonetheless, curcumin has always attracted natural practitioners as a potential therapeutic nutrient. And over the years, there have been many attempts to make this component of turmeric easier for the body to use.1
Many manufacturers standardize their extracts to 95% curcumin, but unfortunately, that alone isn’t very effective. Additionally, some products blend the extract with piperine, but piperine interacts poorly with most medications and can have very negative effects on the liver. The best plan is to find a micronized curcumin extract that is re-blended with the essential oil of turmeric for up to 10 times the absorption of standard 95% curcumin extracts.2
Then, combine this high-absorption curcumin with a boswellia (Boswellia serrata) extract that screens out much of the beta-boswellic acid, which can potentially promote, rather than block, inflammatory compounds. Plus, make sure this boswellia includes acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA)—to really boost the effectiveness of the extract.3-5
In fact, a unique combination of bioavailable curcumin and boswellia was judged to be superior to the prescription arthritis drug, celecoxib (the generic of the brand name Celebrex®) in a clinical study of osteoarthritis.5
The curcumin and boswellia combination was better than celecoxib in relieving pain, walking distance and joint line tenderness scores. Not surprisingly, efficacy and tolerability of the herbal combination used in the current study was shown to be superior to those of celecoxib for treating active osteoarthritis. When it came to relieving pain, 64% of those taking the herbal ingredients versus 29% in the drug group improved to such a high degree that they were able to move from having “moderate to severe arthritis” to “mild to moderate arthritis.”5
Don’t just reduce pain—feel better, too!
Along with those botanical powerhouses, a smart plan for effective pain relief requires an amino acid combination called DL-phenylalanine, also known as DLPA.
The “D” form of phenylalanine inhibits the breakdown of enkephalins which are related to endorphins and are associated with positive mood. It also relieves muscle pain in its own right. The “L” form improves mood-elevating chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.6-8
Last, but certainly not least, include nattokinase in the mix. This enzyme extract from soy helps promote blood flow so that other compounds that are carried in the bloodstream (such as curcumin, boswellia, and feel-good endorphins) can reach the areas where they are needed the most. It supports balanced fibrinogen too, a compound associated with muscle damage and muscle fiber stiffness.9,10
You don’t have to keep reaching for the same old over-the-counter remedy that may give you more than you bargained for. Instead, you can get relief naturally, safely, and effectively – without the risks. It’s the smartest way to deal with pain!
About Terry Lemerond:
Terry Lemerond is a natural health expert with over 40 years of experience. He has owned health food stores, founded dietary supplement companies, and formulated over 400 products. Terry is a published author and appears on radio, television, and is a frequent guest speaker. This energy and zeal are simply part of Terry’s mission – as it has been since the beginning of his career – to improve health with the very best that nature and science have to offer.
1. Hatcher H, Planalp R, Cho J, et al. Curcumin: from ancient medicine to current clinical trials. Cell Mol Life Sci 2008;65:1631-1652.)
2. Antony B, Merina B, Iyer VS, Judy N, Lennertz K, Joyal S. A pilot cross-over study to evaluate human oral bioavailability of BCM-95 CG (Biocurcumax™) a novel bioenhanced preparation of curcumin. Ind J Pharm Sci. 2008:445-449.
3. Ammon HP. Boswellic acids in chronic inflammatory diseases. Planta Med. 2006 Oct;72(12):1100-16.
4. Poeckel D, Tausch L, Altmann A, et al. Induction of central signaling pathways and select functional effects in human platelets by beta-boswellic acid. Br J Pharmacol. 2005 Oct;146(4):514-24.
5. Antony B, Kizhakkedath R, Benny M, Kuruvilla B. Clinical Evaluation of an Herbal Formulation in the Management of Knee Osteoarthritis. Poster presentation. Presented at the Osteoarthritis Research Symposium Internationale (OARSI) Annual World Congress on Osteoarthritis, September 15-18, 2011. San Diego, CA.
6. Ehrenpreis S. Analgesic properties of enkephalinase inhibitors: animal and human studies. Prog Clin Biol Res. 1985;192:363-70.
7. Ehrenpreis S. D-phenylalanine and other enkephalinase inhibitors as pharmacological agents: implications for some important therapeutic application. cAupunct Electrother Res. 1982;7(2-3):157-72.
8. DLPA. In: Hendler SS, ed. PDR for Nutritional Supplements. 2nd ed. Montvale, NJ: Physician’s Desk Reference; 2008:189
9. Hsia CH, Shen MC, Lin JS, et al. Nattokinase decreases plasma levels of fibrinogen, factor VII, and factor VIII in human subjects. Nutr Res. 2009 ;29(3):190-6.
10. Fujita M, Hong K, Ito Y, Fujii R, Kariya K, Nishimuro S. Thrombolytic effect of nattokinase on a chemically induced thrombosis model in rat. Biol Pharm Bull. 1995;18(10):1387-91.