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Anti-inflammatory Effects of Turmeric Are Unproven

Posted Oct 10 2008 2:12pm

I am not one who has tried a lot of alternative food or supplement therapies to ease my rheumatoid arthritis pain or symptoms. I enjoy hearing about what works for some and what doesn’t work for others, but rarely do I feel motivated to investigate anything beyond that. I think this is partially due to the fact that it seems like an overwhelming task to determine which foods or supplements have a a positive impact on my disease. Plus, the prescription meds that I take do a pretty good job of keeping my disease in check.

Outside of my medication, I manage my disease by trying to stay active, eating healthy, and getting proper rest. I don’t always do any or all of those things well, but I feel like I can easily control those factors. Besides, those three things, plus taking my medication is enough for me to worry about. ;-)

From time to time I hear about foods/supplements or foods that “do an arthritic-body good.” Turmeric is one that often gets a lot of attention. The LA Times has an interesting article about how there really isn’t enough hard evidence at this time to make the claim that Turmeric is useful in helping fight various diseases.

For the most part, the tantalizing possibilities are still unproven, says Greg Cole, a UCLA professor-in-residence of neurology and associate director of the university’s Alzheimer Disease Center who has been studying curcumin for several years. “It does a whole lot of things in a test tube,” he says. “For people, the data are pretty weak.”

Cole agrees that there’s little downside to trying curcumin. Because the compound is so poorly absorbed, he sees little potential for harm. Studies have found that people can take 7 grams a day without side effects, although it’s possible that larger doses, or use over longer periods of time, can upset the stomach and perhaps increase the risk of bleeding.

Have you tried Turmeric or other supplements? Have you notice an improvement in your disease? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Read the full article here.

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