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Meriva for Osteoarthritis
By Jennifer Morganti, ND, Director of Education for NEEDS

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the top causes for disability and increased healthcare expenditure in the United States. Doctors are seeing an escalation in OA cases due to the increased prevalence of obesity amidst an aging population.

Curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that supports the liver, heart, and nervous system. Large doses are necessary due to poor bioavailability and stability in the gastrointestinal environment. Meriva is an enhanced form of curcumin that has been stabilized with a proprietary curcumin-phosphatidylcholine phytosome complex. In this state, curcumin can pass through tissue membranes and has improved bioavailability, thus requiring lower doses.


A small, three-month study on Meriva published previously showed its effectiveness in reducing pain and improving joint function in patients with OA. To further investigate this ingredient, this current study involved 100 patients with OA in one or both knees and lasted for eight months in order to examine safety of long-term use. The patients were divided into two groups, a control group who used only their current medical treatments, and the test group, who added Meriva to their current treatment plan.

Participants were evaluated by several different parameters at the end of the trial. Lab tests measured inflammatory markers, such as interleukin-1, -6, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Functional changes were measured with a treadmill test, evaluation of pain, stiffness and physical ability, and changes in drug treatments, hospitalization rates, and social and emotional changes.

Positive results were obtained for all end-points in this study in the Meriva group. The Meriva group saw a significant increase in treadmill distance, significant improvement in inflammatory markers, a 63% decrease in NSAID and painkiller medication usage, and significant improvement in functional, social, and emotional parameters. Researchers concluded that Meriva was found to be a safe and effective adjunctive treatment at just two capsules (1,000 mg) per day.

Reference; Altern Med Rev, December 2010;15(4):337-44.


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