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Have Pesky Pain In Your Knees? Research Finds This Spice Can Help

Overhead of Immune Boosting Foods Like Oranges, Lemon, Ginger, and Turmeric
Image by Micky Weswedel / Stocksy
November 6, 2022

Joint pain is no walk in the park when it's impacting your knees—literally. And for people with knee osteoarthritis, the desire for relief is strong, with no known "cure." There are, however, things you can do to help support your joints, and according to research published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, taking a turmeric supplement is one of them. Here's what researchers found.

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Studying the effects of turmeric on knee pain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control1, chronic pain caused by arthritis affects millions of people in the United States every year, with a quarter of adults with arthritis (15 million people) reporting experiencing severe joint pain and half of them reporting persistent pain.

For this study, researchers out of Australia looked at 70 participants with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, giving half of them a placebo supplement for two weeks, and the other half a supplement of Curcuma longa extract, also known as turmeric.

The participants followed their supplement regimen for 12 weeks, while changes in pain and knee swelling were measured by questionnaires and MRIs.

What they found.

At the end of the 12-week study, turmeric appeared to beat out the placebo when it came to reducing knee pain. It didn't, however, impact things like swelling or cartilage composition.

But the participants who were supplementing with turmeric did report less pain than those in the placebo group—as well as reported taking fewer pain meds than the placebo group. (And for what it's worth, evidence shows pain medications like ibuprofen can disrupt your gut health.)

And while the sample size for this research was relatively small, it's one of many different studies2 to support the benefits of supplementing turmeric for joint pain of any kind.

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The takeaway.

The bottom line is, knee pain can put a serious damper on your day-to-day life. So if you're looking for joint pain relief, and want a natural option with added benefits, turmeric might just be the thing to try. Here are our favorite turmeric supplements and recipes.

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