While opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), paracetamol and other pharmaceutical medications provide varying degrees of relief, they can be associated with severe side-effects and high abuse potential and there is a significant demand for safer alternatives. One such alternative is curcumin, isolated from Curcuma longa (turmeric).
Turmeric has been used for centuries in traditional systems of medicine and curcumin has shown, in both animal models and clinical trials, to exert potent analgesic and anti- inflammatory effects while maintaining a favourable safety profile.2 However, not all modern studies have reported beneficial outcomes from turmeric and curcumin supplementation. A likely explanation for this is that curcumin has a very low bioavailability, which appears to be due to poor systemic absorption, as well as rapid metabolism and elimination.3 To overcome this issue and maximise clinical results, Theracurmin was formulated.
Utilising a patented manufacturing process that reduces the particle size of curcumin and suspends it in a unique natural matrix, Theracurmin offers a highly advanced delivery system that significantly increases the systemic absorption and bioavailability of curcumin. Clinically, Theracurmin has at least 27 times higher bioavailability than ordinary curcumin powder.4
Numerous studies suggest that the analgesic properties of curcumin can be attributed to its ability to inhibit several pro-inflammatory mediators, such as the transcription factor NF-kB, cytokines, and enzymes, including lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase, thereby exerting an anti-inflammatory action.2,3
A recent meta-analysis reported that 8-12 weeks of curcumin supplementation (typically in doses of 1000mg per day) resulted in improvements in the pain and inflammation related symptoms of osteoarthritis comparable to ibuprofen and diclofenac sodium.3
Theracurmin, dosed at 700mg three times daily, has been found to be effective in reducing pain and enhancing muscular and balancing function in patients with knee osteoarthritis.5 Theracurmin has also been shown to reduce celecoxib dependence in patients with osteoarthritis.6
A pilot study showed that 400mg of bio-enhanced curcumin had an analgesic effect in subjects with different types of acute pain associated with a range of conditions including osteoarthritis, neuropathy, neuralgia, lower back pain, recurrent headaches and muscular and dental pain. In this study, the curcumin supplement was found to be as effective as acetaminophen in relieving pain.7
1. Pain: A national epidemic. Painaustralia annual review 2017. Available at: https://www.painaustralia.org.au/static/uploads/files/painaustralia-2017-annual-review-report-degital-wfdhajewxsxi.pdf. Viewed 3rd. June 2019.
2. Eke-Okoro UJ, Raffa RB, Pergolizzi JV Jr, et al. Curcumin in turmeric: Basic and clinical evidence for a potential role in analgesia. J Clin Pharm Ther 2018 Aug;43(4):460-6.
3. Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS. Curcumin: A review of its’ effects on human health. Foods 2017 Oct;6(1):92.
4. Sasaki H, Sunagawa Y, Takahashi K, et al. Innovative preparation of curcumin for improved oral bioavailability. Biol Pharm Bull 2011;34(5):660-5.
5. Shin YA, Suk MH, Jang HS. Short-term effects of Theracurmin dose and exercise type on pain, walking ability, and muscle function in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
J Exerc Rehabil 2017 Dec;13(6):684-692.
6. Nakagawa Y, Mukai S, Yamada S, et al. Short-term effects of highly-bioavailable curcumin for treating knee osteoarthritis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled prospective study. J Orthop Sci 2014;19(6):933-9.
Francesco DP, Giuliana R, Eleonora ADM, et al. Comparative evalutation of the pain-relieving properties of a lecithinized formulation of curcumin (Mervia®), nimesulide, and acetaminophen. J Pain Res 2013;6:201-5.