Despite its large disease burden, no approved disease-modifying drugs currently are available to treat osteoarthritis.
Common treatments, which include non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications, have only mild to moderate effects and are associated with adverse events.
As such, there is a need for safer and more effective options to treat this debilitating condition.
In response to this, a new Australian-led study has shown that turmeric extract may help to combat pain in people with osteoarthritis.
The small trial of 70 patients compared the extract to placebo and found it modestly but statistically significantly reduced knee pain over 12 weeks.
After 12 weeks, they found that patients taking the turmeric supplements reported less pain than those in the placebo group with no adverse events.
The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, also found that those in the turmeric group also took fewer pain killers than those in the placebo group.
However, the researchers note that due to the modest effect of the turmeric extracts on knee pain, small sample size of the study, short duration of follow-up and the single research centre, multi-centre trials with larger sample sizes and long duration of follow-up are needed to assess the clinical significance of their findings.
While more research is needed, turmeric may be a safe, viable option to ease the pain of those with osteoarthritis.
To read the research, visit: acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-0990