Olympic an­swer to joint prob­lems

Daily Mail - - News -

L AST year’s Olympic and Par­a­lympic Games showed us just how far you can push the hu­man body.

Now Olympic phys­io­ther­a­pists and Pre­mier League foot­ball coaches are rec­om­mend­ing turmeric as the best way to keep joints in life­long work­ing or­der.

A turmeric sup­ple­ment is be­ing used to re­duce the risk of in­flam­ma­tion caused by in­ten­sive train­ing, and to treat dam­aged joints with­out ex­pos­ing ath­letes to the prob­lems caused by over-the-counter painkillers.

It has al­ready been used by stars from FC Barcelona and Ath­letic Bil­bao, and is be­ing tried out at Barcelona’s Olympic Train­ing Cen­tre as well as in other cen­tres in Bri­tain and France. ‘We are al­ways look­ing for some­thing that’s bet­ter than parac­eta­mol or as­pirin, which don’t work very well and cause side-ef­fects,’ says Francek Drob­nic, head of re­search at the Barcelona cen­tre.

The pow­er­ful ef­fect of the plant ex­tract on joint health has also been wel­comed by doc­tors, who are con­cerned about the side-ef­fects of long-term painkiller use.

The rise of turmeric came about be­cause many sci­en­tists no­ticed that pop­u­la­tions with high in­takes of turmeric as a curry spice have lower rates of arthri­tis and joint dam­age.

The key el­e­ment of turmeric, called cur­cumin, comes from the un­der­ground stems of the turmeric plant.

Sci­en­tific stud­ies found that turmeric works by in­ter­rupt­ing mech­a­nisms in­volved in joint in­flam­ma­tion and arthri­tis. Un­til now it has been dif­fi­cult to boost the body’s ab­sorp­tion of nat­u­ral turmeric suf­fi­ciently for it to have a re­ally rapid ef­fect on aches and pains.

That has all changed with the launch of a for­mu­la­tion, sup­ported by Cam­bridge sci­en­tists, that com­bines turmeric with soy lecithin.

This com­bi­na­tion, which now has 22 pub­lished clin­i­cal re­search pa­pers to con­firm its ef­fect, is 30 times more ‘bioavail­able,’ or bet­ter ab­sorbed, than nat­u­ral turmeric alone.

Longer-term stud­ies are ex­pected to show that the turmeric for­mu­la­tion is the most ef­fec­tive treat­ment for joint health cur­rently avail­able.

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