Curry spice 'help for arthritis' BBC website
Extract of a spice used in curry could help prevent rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, US research suggests.Turmeric has been used for centuries in Asian medicine to treat inflammatory disorders and its extract can be found in western dietary supplements.
Now lab work by University of Arizona researchers, in Arthritis & Rheumatism, shows just how the spice's curcuminoid extracts have a therapeutic effect.
In their latest study, they set out to find exactly what ingredient in turmeric was having the anti-inflammatory effect.
They prepared extracts from the rhizome, or root of the turmeric plant, and compared them against the commercially available products that contain turmeric extracts.
A version of turmeric extract that was free of essential oils was found to most closely match the composition of the commercial supplements.
The extract appears to work by preventing a protein that controls when genes are switched on or off from being activated in the joint.
Once the protein known as NF-KB is activated, it binds to genes and increases the production of inflammatory proteins, which attack the joints.