Clinical Evidence

Curcuminoid Treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial
Phytother Res. 2014; 28(11):1625-31
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common disease of joints in adults which leads to stiffness of joints, pain and limitation in joint movement. Treatment of OA is challenging due to inefficacy and long-term adverse effect of currently available medication such as analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

To evaluate the efficacy of dietary supplementation with a bioavailability-boosted preparation of Curcuminoids in the alleviation of symptoms in patients suffering from knee OA.

Study Design:

A pilot randomized double-blind placebo-controlled parallel-group trial was designed and assessed with 40 patients suffering from knee OA. Patients were selected with inclusion criteria; degenerative primary knee OA with mild-to-moderate severity, bilateral OA and age<80 years. Patients were administered Curcumin C3 Complex® (1500 mg/day in 3 divided doses; n=19) or matched placebo capsules (containing inert starch; n=21) for 6 weeks. Each Curcuminoid capsule contained 5-mg of BioPerine® to enhance oral bioavailability of Curcuminoids, whereas placebo capsules contained inert starch. Randomization was carried out alternatively with a 1:1 ratio scheme. The efficacy measures for the study were: Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Lequesne’s Pain Functional Index (LPFI).

  • In the Curcuminoids group there was a significant decrease in global (P<0.001) and subscale (P<0.001 for pain and physical function, and P=0.043 for stiffness) WOMAC scores by the end of the trial. Which indicates greater effect of Curcumin C3 Complex® in reducing WOMAC score
  • In reference to LPFI and VAS scores, significant reduction (P<0.001 for both measures) was observed in the Curcuminoids group at the end of the trial
  • There was also significant reduction in proportion of subjects using of Naproxen in Curcuminoids group (84%) as compared to placebo group (19%)
  • No serious adverse events were reported in the trial and no drop out was due to the adverse event of Curcuminoids therapy

This study indicates that Curcuminoids are well tolerated at the dose level of 1500 mg/d in patients with knee OA. The results of this study showed marked improvement in all the assessed efficacy measures therefore it clearly favored the efficacy of Curcuminoids in alleviating the symptoms and improving the care of patients with OA. Thus it can be said that Curcuminoids represent an effective and safe alternative treatment for OA.

The positive result in this trial provide a base for future larger-scale phase III trials to explore if Curcuminoids can be used in the therapeutic regimen of patients suffering from knee OA