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Fighting Arthritis Naturally With Acupuncture, Turmeric

A pair of studies in the very same journal (Arthritis and Rheumatism) underscore the growing interest conventional medicine has in complementary alternative medicine, this time treating arthritis patients with acupuncture and a turmeric extract.

Although this six-month acupuncture trial wasn't a blind one, researchers found this form of natural treatment was more effective than solely using conventional treatments for osteoarthritis, and with only minor side effects seen in just 5 percent of some 3,500 patients monitored.

In the latter report, scientists analyzed various turmeric supplements, then isolated an extract composed of curcuminoids, compounds believed to protect the body the most against inflammation. They later tracked the effectiveness of curcuminoids in female rats before and after the beginning of rheumatoid arthritis. The extract blocked the inflammatory pathways connected to rheumatoid arthritis -- preventing the launch of a protein that triggers swelling and pain -- very early in the process.

If you've been reading my eHealthy News You Can Use newsletter for a while, however, you already know how acupuncture eases the pain associated with tension headaches and curcumin, the yellow spice in turmeric, blocks the development of cancer.

Arthritis and Rheumatism, Vol. 54, No. 11, November 2006: 3452-3464 (turmeric)

Arthritis and Rheumatism, Vol. 54, No. 11, November 2006: 3485-3493 (acupuncture)

iVillage October 30, 2006

Medical News Today November 3, 2006