HealthDay News — Curcuminoids seem beneficial for knee osteoarthritis (OA), although they are less effective for pain relief than ibuprofen, according to a review and meta-analysis published online May 4 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Igho J. Onakpoya, MD, from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues reviewed data from randomized controlled trials that examined the effectiveness of orally-administered curcuminoids in OA in adults. Data were included from 7 studies conducted in Asia, with 797 participants with primarily knee OA.

The overall risk of bias in the studies was moderate. The researchers found that curcuminoids correlated with significantly reduced knee pain (standardized mean difference, -3.45) and improved quality of life (mean difference, -2.69) compared with placebo. Compared with ibuprofen, curcuminoids had significantly fewer effects on pain relief, knee stiffness, and physical function. Curcuminoids also correlated with significant improvements in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index total scores and with significant reductions in rescue medication use. There were no serious adverse events.

“Curcuminoids may have some beneficial effects on knee pain and quality of life in patients with knee OA,” the authors wrote. “However, they are less effective at relieving pain compared with ibuprofen.”

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Reference

Onakpoya IJ, Spencer EA, Perera R, Heneghan CJ. Effectiveness of curcuminoids in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials [May 4, 2017]. Int J Rheum Dis. doi:10.1111/1756-185X.13069