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Curcumin May Benefit Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis

In a randomized study involving 45 patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, supplementation with 500 mg/d curcumin (an active agent found in the yellow curry spice, turmeric) was found to be associated with significant improvement in symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Subjects were randomized to: a) curcumin (500 mg/d); diclofenac sodium (50 mg/d); combination of curcumin and diclofenac sodium. Subjects in the curcumin alone group showed the greatest improvements in Disease Activity Score and American College of Rheumatology criteria for reduction in tenderness and swelling of joint scores. Curcumin was found to be safe and no adverse effects were noted. The authors conclude, “Our study provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active RA, and highlights the need for future large-scale trials to validate these findings in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions.