Curcumin to Reduce Fatigue and Inflammation
Curcumin has a long history of use in Ayruvedic medicine for maintaining a healthy inflammatory response via its effects on cytokine metabolism, such as the cyclooxygenases, prostaglandins and leukotrienes. It also appears to provide important antioxidant defenses. Finally, it has influence over the protein complex nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-kB), an important factor in cell survival. Curcumin is the primarily component of the bright yellow, culinary spice turmeric.
Several clinical trials have been conducted on various uses of supplemental curcumin. These include studies on rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, post-operative recovery, and gastrointestinal illnesses. In one eight-week pilot study of patients with irritable bowel (IBS), either 72 mg or 144 mg of a standardized curcumin was administered to a group of 105 subjects. After one month, those in the lower dose group experienced a 53% reduction in IBS prevalence, while the higher dose group experienced a 60% decrease (1).
Pharmokinetic research has indicated that curcumin is poorly absorbed and its actions short-lived (1). To improve bioavailablity and usefulness of this potent spice, curcumin supplements are complexed with other ingredients that promote absorption. Commonly added is Bioperine, a black pepper extract that contains the alkaloid piperine. Research shows that it can enhance the bioavailability of curcumin, promoting absorption by as much as 20-fold (1).
For even more research on uses of Curcumin as a supplement, read HERE.
Curcumin 500 with Bioperine provides powerful support for maintaining a healthy inflammatory response, promoting cellular health, and supporting healthy liver, colon, and musculoskeletal function.
Curcumin Reduces Fatigue in ME/CFS
A 2018, of 43 patients with ME/CFS supplemented with 500mg of curcumin twice per day for 8 weeks. After the study, the subjects experienced significant reduction in fatigue scores. The authors suspected the outcome was due to the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin—suggesting supplementation reduces oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. This study was small, and lacked a placebo group so repetition is necessary. However, the results are still promising (2). The study also failed to use the best form of Curcumin and elected for a version that was complexed with the lipid phosphoditlycholine. The authors noted poor absorption with this form and suggested future studies trial curcumin in liposomal form or with bioperine.
Curcumin relieves Fibromyalgia and Gout Pain
In Belgian, a purified form of Curcumin, Flexofytol, is commonly used and touts 7500x greater absorption than standard curcumin. In a 2013 study, 116 patients with fibromyalgia or gout were retrospectively evaluated regarding pain relief with the compound. Surprisingly, those with gout responded the best with pain relief reported within 24-48 hours of starting the supplement. Those with Fibromyalgia experienced global pain reduction but also reported a modest benefit in fatigue and dizziness (3).
Clinical trials have established that curcumin is extremely safe even at doses up to 8 g per day. Curcumin supplementation appears to play a crucial role in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia through its anti-inflammatory properties. Both conditions are marked by increased oxidative stress, inflammatory cytokines, and poor regulation of NF-kB. Regular curcumin supplementation may relieve many of the inflammatory symptoms of these conditions such as brain fog, pain, allodynia, and fatigue.
1 Jurenka, JS (2009) Anti-inflammatory Properties of Curcumin, a Major Constituent of Curcuma longa: A Review of Preclinical and Clinical Research. Alternative Medicine Review. 14(2).
2 CMC van Campen, et al. (2018) The Effect of Curcumin on Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: An Open Label Study. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9:356-366.
3 Appelboom & MsciBiost (2013) Flexofytol, a Purified Curcumin Extract, in Fibromyalgia and Gout: A Retrospective Study. Open Journal of Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases, 3:104-107.