Animal Research Shows the Effectiveness of Curcumin in Preventing Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as “wear and tear” arthritis, is usually caused by degenerations in the connective tissue within a joint. The affected joint often shows swelling and stiffness, which result from inflammatory response following the degeneration. A recently published research study in animals showed that Curcumin, a known joint protective substance, could inhibit a key process that causes inflammation. Curcumin has shown to be an effective treatment to reduce osteoarthritic pain. However, the exact molecular mechanism remained elusive. In this study, researchers administered a procedure that would destabilize the medial meniscus, causing cartilage damage. The results showed that much higher expression of molecules related to inflammatory response was detected using immunohistological staining techniques. In a group of mice that receive curcumin injection, surprisingly, the expression of inflammatory molecules decreased significantly. This study shows the promising future in osteoarthritis research. As researchers keep untangling the genetic, biochemical, and immunological pathways underlying joint degeneration, many more therapeutics are waiting to be discovered.

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