curcumin better than NSAID diclofenac Voltaren for osteoarthritis

90% of people over 40 have some degree of osteoarthritis. For some, it can be quite debilitating. But pharmaceutical solutions like aspirin and other NSAIDs actually erode the substances around the joints. Wouldn’t it be great to have a natural solution that eased the pain safely?

Tons of studies, including a 2016 review of 15 studies, have proven that curcumin really works for osteoarthritis.

Now, a new study adds weight to the pile of evidence. This randomized, unblinded study gave either 500mg of curcumin three times a day or 50mg of diclofenac two times a day to 139 people with osteoarthritis in their knees. Diclofenac is a NSAID commonly sold under several names, including Voltaren. It is associated with an increased risk of heart failure (BMJ 2016;354:i4857) and potentially fatal gastrointestinal bleeding. Diclofenac can increase your risk of heart attack by 50%! So, if curcumin worked just as well, that would be a significant finding.

So, get ready for a significant finding! Because curcumin was just as effective at relieving pain and at improving the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS). Both the patients and the doctors rated curcumin’s effectiveness to be equal to the drug.

And, even in this relatively short 28 day study, curcumin was safer. It caused significantly less flatulence and had a significantly better effect on ulceration. 28% of people on diclofenac needed to take H2 acid blockers compared to 0% in the curcumin group. Compared to diclofenac, curcumin also had a significantly greater weight lowering effect: which is important in treating osteoarthritis. The curcumin also had a significantly better safety profile when counting adverse events, beating the drug by a score of only 13% versus 38%.


Trials 2019;11;20(1):214


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For much more on treating and preventing osteoarthritis, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

For comprehensive help with osteoarthritismake an appointment to see Linda Woolven now.


The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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