Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Turmeric Prevents Experimental Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bone Loss

Date:
October 30, 2006
Source:
University of Arizona Health Sciences Center
Summary:
Turmeric, a spice long used in traditional Asian medicine, may hold promise for the prevention of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, according to a recently completed study at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. This work paves the way for the preclinical and clinical trials needed before turmeric supplements can be recommended for medicinal use in preventing or suppressing rheumatoid arthritis.

An ancient spice, long used in traditional Asian medicine, may hold promise for the prevention of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, according to a recently completed study at The University of Arizona College of Medicine.

Related Articles


Turmeric, the spice that flavors and gives its yellow color to many curries and other foods, has been used for centuries by practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine to treat inflammatory disorders. Turmeric extract containing the ingredient curcumin is marketed widely in the Western world as a dietary supplement for the treatment and prevention of a variety of disorders, including arthritis.

At the UA College of Medicine, Janet L. Funk, MD, working with Barbara N. Timmermann, PhD, then-director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Arizona Center for Phytomedicine Research at the UA, set out to determine whether (and how) turmeric works as an anti-arthritic. They began by preparing their own extracts from the rhizome, or root, of the plant, providing themselves with well-characterized materials to test and to compare with commercially available products. (Dr. Timmermann since has joined the faculty of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan.)

Dr. Funk and her colleagues then tested in animal models a whole extract of turmeric root, only the essential oils, and an oil-depleted extract containing the three major curcuminoids found in the rhizome. Of the three extracts, the one containing the major curcuminoids was most similar in chemical composition to commercially available turmeric dietary supplements. It also was the most effective, completely inhibiting the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Funk, an endocrinologist in the UA Department of Medicine, says this study provides several noteworthy "firsts." Completed with the researchers' own prepared, well-defined extracts, the study represents the first documentation of the chemical composition of a curcumin-containing extract tested in a living organism, in vivo, for anti-arthritic efficacy. It also provides the first evidence of anti-arthritic efficacy of a complex turmeric extract that is analogous in composition to turmeric dietary supplements.

The significance, she explains, is that translating the results of trials such as these to clinical use depends on accurate information about the chemical content and biological activity of the botanical supplements available for use. This work paves the way for the preclinical and clinical trials needed before turmeric supplements can be recommended for medicinal use in preventing or suppressing rheumatoid arthritis.

This study also provides the first in vivo documentation of a mechanism of action -- how curcumin-containing extracts protect against arthritis. The researchers found that the curcuminoid extract inhibits a transcription factor called NF-KB from being activated in the joint. A transcription factor is a protein that controls when genes are switched on or off. Once the transcription factor NF-KB is activated, or turned on, it binds to genes and enhances production of inflammatory proteins, destructive to the joint. The finding that curcuminoid extract inhibits activation of NF-KB suggests that turmeric dietary supplements share the same mechanism of action as anti-arthritic pharmaceuticals under development that target NF-KB. It also suggests that turmeric may have a use in other inflammatory disorders, such as asthma, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.

In addition to preventing joint inflammation, Dr. Funk's study shows that the curcuminoid extract blocked the pathway that affects bone resorption. Noting that bone loss associated with osteoporosis in women typically begins before the onset of menopause, she has begun work on another NIH-funded study to determine whether turmeric taken as a dietary supplement during perimenopause can prevent bone loss and osteoporosis. Both of the studies are supported by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), both of the NIH.

An initial publication of the rheumatoid arthritis study results in the Journal of Natural Products, which was among the most-accessed articles from April-June 2006 in this prestigious American Chemical Society journal, is being followed by more detailed study results, which will appear in the November 2006 issue of the American College of Rheumatology flagship journal, Arthritis and Rheumatism. The article, "Efficacy and Mechanism of Action of Turmeric Supplements in the Treatment of Experimental Arthritis," is scheduled to appear in the online issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism Monday, Oct. 30, 2006.

Contributors to the study include Janet L. Funk, MD; Jennifer B. Frye; Janice N. Oyarzo, MS; Nesrin Kuscuoglu, PhD; Jonathan Wilson; Gwen McCaffrey, PhD; Gregory Stafford; Guanjie Chen, MD; R. Clark Lantz, PhD; Shivanand D. Jolad, PhD; Aniko M. Soìlyom, PhD; Pawel R. Kiela, DVM, PhD; and Barbara N. Timmermann, PhD.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. "Turmeric Prevents Experimental Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bone Loss." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030071152.htm>.
University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. (2006, October 30). Turmeric Prevents Experimental Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bone Loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030071152.htm
University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. "Turmeric Prevents Experimental Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bone Loss." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030071152.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins