Curcumin eases joint pain the pure and simple way.

Did you see Leonardo DiCaprio during that infamous staircase scene in Wolf of Wall Street? The actor hurt his back when filming a scene where he falls down a stone staircase while on Quaaludes. He had to abandon his exercise regime and it took him months to recover.

That may seem an extreme case, but many people live with joint pain every day. As I sit writing, my neck is stiff from working at a desk. Like many people. I spend a lot of time sitting. Then when I try something physical outside of work, it is all too easy to take a beating.

Every athlete knows joint pain and muscle soreness all too well, with some of us even having permanent back and joint injuries to deal with. For the most part though, these injuries do heal with time—but every now and again joint pain has you feeling like Leo.

Now, can you imagine that debilitating joint pain every day of your life? And we’re not talking just a few joints either, but all over.  Those suffering from arthritis know this physical and emotional strain all too well.

Luckily, there are some great natural therapies and joint pain remedies, some of which you already might be using unknowingly!

Hint: If your house currently smells like Deepak Chopra’s kitchen, then you’re on the right track to easing joint pain.

Curcumin: The miracle spice
Responsible for the yellow pigmentation of curry, curcumin has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for its health and detoxification properties.

Hundreds of clinical studies have shown that curcumin is a powerful agent for reducing joint pain throughout the body. An antioxidant, curcumin consists of flavonoids and bioactive compounds that reduce the damage of free radicals to skin, tissues, organs and most importantly—your joints!

Whether you have gout, rheumatoid arthritis or joint pain from physical activity, curcumin acts as a potent anti-inflammatory agent through the antioxidant properties of curcuminoids.

Curcumin acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX-2), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), all of which are responsible for inflammation throughout the body.

The result?

  • Significantly less joint pain.
  • Better joint mobility and ease of movement for daily activities.
  • Less inflammation around joints, and less damage to cartilage for better joint cushioning.

Although curries are a source of turmeric, the parent compound for curcumin, keep in mind that there is a finite amount of curry that you can consume. That being said, curcumin as a supplement is the smart choice in terms of effective joint pain relief, for a number of reasons:

  1. Bioavailability: Easier absorption and utilization by the body due to its form as an extract.
  2. Convenience: You can take curcumin capsules just about anywhere. Curry? People at the office might object.
  3. Dental health: Your teeth can only take so much yellow.

Turmeric, the parent compound of curcumin found in curry, contains only about 2% or 3% of active curcuminoids, which isn’t enough to stop that jarring joint pain in your neck and knees.

At that level, you would have to eat an insurmountable amount of curry in a hurry to achieve the level of curcumin found in supplements; it also has a short half-life in the blood.

As a supplement, curcumin is not only more potent for maximum effect, but has a much higher bioavailability. With foods containing curcumin, you are often absorbing other saturated fats, polyphenols and minerals that can hinder the absorption of curcumin into the blood stream and joints.

For best results, look for a supplement with approximately 250-500 mg of curcumin per capsule, standardized to 95% in a sustained release capsule so it doesn’t degrade early in the stomach.

In an ideal world, the supplement would also be accompanied by piperine (black pepper extract), lecithin, and citric acid or ginger, which help improve the absorption of curcumin in the small intestine.

If you are looking to protect against arthritis, help your joints recover from athletic pursuits or to simply ensure they stay healthy for years to come try a supplement without binders, fillers and preservatives. This is the pure, simple and natural way of getting joint pain relief.

For further joint protection, also include more water, healthy fats like omega-3’s, vitamin D and calcium in your diet.

More Inspiration: You might also find this article on the healing power of spices interesting!

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