Curcumin Improves Bone Health, Prevent and Treat Osteoporosis

Aging and hormone disruptions may lead to an imbalance between bone resorption and formation, causing bone mass to decrease. This will eventually leads to osteoporosis that increases susceptibility to fracture. About 8 million women and 2 million men in the United States have osteoporosis. The steady increase in life expectancy has propelled osteoporosis to the forefront of public health concerns in developed nations.

Primary and Secondary Osteoporosis

There are two main types of osteoporosis. Primary osteoporosis occurs spontaneously while secondary osteoporosis is caused by another disease which occurs in less than 5% of people who have osteoporosis. Among the diseases that may cause secondary osteoporosis are chronic kidney failure and hormonal disorders. Meanwhile, according to Merck Manual of Medical Information, drugs such as Corticosteroids, Barbiturates and Anticonvulsants may also cause secondary osteoporosis.

Researches Found Curcumin Improves Bone Health

Turmeric or Curcuma Longa has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for inflammatory conditions. Turmeric major components consist of the three curcuminoids; curcumin or scientifically  known as diferuloylmethane (distinct yellow color), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin,. It also contains volatile oils, sugars, proteins, and resins. Curcumin has been attributed with numerous pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammation, antiseptic, chemo-preventive, anti-viral and antimicrobial properties, among others.

There are a number of researches conducted to determine the effects of curcumin on the overall bone health specifically the regulation of bone remodelling. It was found that curcumin not only promotes apoptosis or programmed cancer cell death but also inhibits bone resorptions. In a 2008 study by French, Muir and Webber, the long-term effects of curcumin administration in aging ovariectomized (surgical removal of ovary) rats were examined. Interestingly, curcumin produced beneficial changes in bone turnover and increases the bone strength in the ovariectomized mature rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Recently, Yang et al. (2011) found that curcumin can prevent further deterioration of the bone structure and produce beneficial changes in bone turnover thus improving the overall bone health. A synergistic bone sparing effect of curcumin and alendronate in ovariectomized rat study conducted by Cho et al. (2012) showed that a treatment combination  of high dose of curcumin and a standard dose of alendronate (antiresorptive agents widely used as the mainstay of treatment for osteoporosis) has therapeutic advantages in terms of the synergistic anti-resorptive effect on bone remodelling and improving bone mechanical strength.

Curcumin Inhibits Bone Resorptions and Improves Bone Health to Prevent Osteoporosis

Although the researches sighted on the subject of curcumin ability to inhibit bone resorptions and improves overall bone health are still in the initial stages, we can conclude that curcumin has the potential in osteoporosis prevention and treatment. This article further strengthened the suggestion that we can rely on natural product or natural remedies in its purest form to help us prevent and treat diseases that are affecting our modern.

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