Published on August 12, 2011 at 2:13 AM
By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
A new study shows that turmeric – a common culinary spice could help in the treatment of painful tendinitis which includes the conditions known as tennis or golfer's elbow.
The University of Nottingham and Ludwig Maximilians University have conducted research showing that curcumin, a derivative of the curry spice turmeric, can suppress biological mechanisms that spark inflammation in tendon diseases. Further research into the chemical could be used as the basis for new treatments that could replace non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the only current therapy option for these conditions.
Dr Ali Mobasheri, of the University of Nottingham's school of veterinary medicine and science, stressed that this does not mean that turmeric or curries should be considered a “cure” for tendinitis or arthritis. He added, “We believe that it could offer scientists an important new lead in the treatment of these painful conditions through nutrition.”
For their study, the researchers at the University of Nottingham in London and Ludwig Maximilians University in Germany have described laboratory experiments that show the ingredient can switch off inflammatory cell cycle involved. In the laboratory, researchers used a culture model of human tendon inflammation to study the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin on tendon cells. Results showed that curcumin inhibits NFkB and prevents it from switching on and promoting inflammation.
Turmeric is the spice that gives curries their yellow coloring and Indian medicine has long used it as a way of relieving arthritis pain. According to the NHS, tendinitis is a common condition that can often be caused by overusing a tendon or injuring it during physical exercise.