One-hundred and seven patients with primary osteoarthritis of the knee were studied and included those with knee pain on a scale of at least a 5-10 in intensity, radiographic osteophytes and at least one of the following features: > age 50, morning stiffness < 30 minutes in duration and crepitus on motion. The majority of the individuals were overweight women with a BMI > 25. Study individuals were asked to discontinue their knee pain medications and were randomized to either ibuprofen 400 mg twice daily or Curcuma domestica extract, 500 mg four times daily for 6 weeks.
Fifty-two patients received C. domestica extracts and 55 patients received ibuprofen with 45 patients in the curcuma and 46 patients in the ibuprofen group completing the study. The mean scores of pain on level walking, pain on stairs, and functions of the knee were significantly improved when compared with the baseline values in both groups. There were no significant differences in those measurements between the patients receiving ibuprofen and C. domestica extracts, except pain on stairs was more favorable with curcumin and a greater degree of moderate to high degree of satisfaction with treatment in the curcumin group (90.1%) vs. 82.8% in the ibuprofen group. There was a bit better compliance with the ibuprofen at twice daily than the curcumin four times daily, but there were no patients who reported dissatisfaction in the curcumin group.
Kuptniratsaikul V, Thanakhumtorn S, Chinswangwatanakul P, et al. Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts in patients with knee osteoarthritis. J alternative and Complementary Medicine 2009;15(8): 891-897