Standardized curcumin extract may offer relief from osteoarthritis knee pain, says recent study


A recent study found that supplementation with a standardized curcumin extract (Curcugen from Dolcas Biotech) had positive outcomes in subjects with osteoarthritis knee pain.

Photo © Kaulitzki

Photo © Kaulitzki

A recent study, published in Nutrients1, found that supplementation with a standardized curcumin extract (Curcugen from Dolcas Biotech; Landing, NJ) had positive outcomes in subjects with osteoarthritis knee pain. In the eight week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 101 adults with knee osteoarthritis were given either 500 mg of the curcumin extract, twice daily, or placebo. Researchers measured a number of outcomes, including the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), knee pain ratings, Japanese Orthopaedic Association Score for Osteoarthritic Knees (JOA), PROMIS–29, and performance-based testing comprising the 40-m fast-paced walk test, 6-min walk test, timed up-and-go test, and 30-s chair stand test.

Results showed that the curcumin group saw significant reductions in KOOS knee pain scores and numeric knee pain ratings, as well as greater improvements compared to placebo of timed up-and-go test, 6-minute walk test, and the JOA total score. Additionally, pain-relieving medication was reduced in 37% of participants in the curcumin group, compared to 13% in the placebo group.

“The results of this trial identified a standard level of translatability to larger audiences, which compares very well with other studies in the area of knee joint pain,” said principal investigator Adrian L. Lopresti, PhD, in a press release. “The data that has been obtained for Curcugen identify it as a promising, well-tolerated and naturally derived joint-support option.”

“In contrast to certain generic curcumin products, Curcugen’s unique formulation preserves the original complex of curcuminoids, essential oils and polar resins within a natural matrix,” notes Shavon Jackson-Michel, ND, director of medical and scientific affairs for DolCas Biotech. “These naturally occurring constituents synergistically increase curcumin bioavailability and, as supported by this trial, its efficacy in the treatment of OA of the knee.

“The point I find most interesting in this study is its evaluation of the Minimal Clinical Important Difference (MCID),” she adds. “It’s an outcome that’s considered to be meaningful for the subjects themselves and, as such, is both clinically important and elevates the results above simple statistical significance.”


  1. Lopresti A et al. “An investigation into the effects of a curcumin extract (Curcugen) on osteoarthritis pain of the knee: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Nutrients, vol. 14, no. 1 (2022): 41
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