The Next Cocktail Component: Curcumin

Well, actually, I’m using a version of turmeric curcumin that also includes ginger and bioperine black pepper. Why?

Turmeric has been used in Asian and Indian medicine to treat arthritis since ancient times. It is not only a tasty part of most curry mixes, but the curcumin is believed to be the active ingredient in the fight against arthritis.

Turmeric has also been evaluated in treating a number of other health issues. Care is needed in dosage, as the turmeric/curcumin can act as a blood thinner.

The data, however, on the effectiveness of turmeric/curcumin is mixed. While some studies have shown strong effects, other studies don’t support those initial findings. While the data is mixed, one study showed the interesting result that it was more effective at preventing joint inflammation than prevention. Another study showed that it could help prevent cartilage inflammation.

While mixed, there is at least some data showing it could help. More than that, it could help prevent joint/cartilage inflammation — essential if I want to strengthen or rebuild irritated/damaged cartilage.

Now, why ginger? After all, ginger is a relative of turmeric and also shows anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, the studies on ginger show stronger results than those on turmeric.

Finally, there is peperine. This extract of black pepper is often sold under the trade name BioPerine. Peperine has its own anti-inflammatory properties, as well as some data that it can help with the absorption of other nutrients. The theory is that by including it with the ginger and curcumin, it aids both by helping absorb the compounds as well as adding it’s own punch to the mix.

Which makes sense. After all, for the body to absorb calcium, it takes vitamin D — which is why many calcium supplements contain some vitamin D. It is the same theory behind putting together glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid into a single joint supplement.

So, I chose a curcumin supplement that also included ginger and peperine. If it works, it should help with some of the cartilage issues as well as acting to block different types of inflammation (and different from the joint supplement).