Meriva® Curcumin (Indena)
Can Meriva curcumin reduce joint pain and improve joint function?
Curcumin has shown excellent anti-inflammatory activity in preclinical investigations. However, it is notoriously difficult to absorb, due to: chemical instability in the gut, low water solubility, poor oral bioavailability, and quick conjugation and excretion. Meriva is a proprietary phytosome complex of curcumin and soy phosphatidylcholine designed to increase the stability and absorption of curcumin.
Human clinical intervention trial
Placebo-controlled. After taking Meriva for 3 months, patients were evaluated using three methods: 1. WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMasters University Arthritis Index) scores, to assess signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, 2. Treadmill performance, to gage mobility, and 3. C-reactive protein levels, to measure inflammation markers.
50 patients with osteoarthritis
1,000 mg Meriva, providing 200 mg curcumin per day, for 3 months
At the end of the treatment period, WOMAC scores decreased by 58%, walking distance on the treadmill increased from 76 m to 332 m — a four-fold gain — and CRP levels plummeted from 168 +/-18 to 11.3 +/- 4.1 mg/L in patients with elevated CRP. By contrast, the control group experienced only a 2% drop in WOMAC scores, and their CRP levels only decreased from 175 +/- 12.3 to 112 +/- 22.2 mg/L. (Normal levels of CRP in the blood are under 10 mg/L, 10-40 mg/L indicates mild inflammation, 40-200 mg/L signals active inflammation and over 200 mg/L shows severe inflammation.)
These results show that Meriva® is clinically effective in the management and treatment of osteoarthritis and suggest that the increased stability and better absorption of curcumin induced by complexation with phospholipids have clinical relevance, setting the stage for larger and more prolonged studies.
Alternative Medicine Review
Can Meriva reduce joint pain and improve joint function?
In a previous trial lasting 3 months (referenced above), Meriva reduced joint pain and increased joint function in 50 osteoarthritis patients. Because osteoarthritis is a chronic condition, necessitating ongoing treatment, a study of Meriva’s long-term efficacy and safety was initiated.
Human clinical intervention trial
Placebo-controlled. Patients took Meriva turmeric for 8 months and were evaluated using WOMAC scores, the Karnofsky Performance Scale Index (a scale from 0 to 100 evaluating functional status), and treadmill performance, as well as by several biochemical markers of inflammation.
100 patients with osteoarthritis
1,000 mg Meriva, providing 200 mg curcumin per day, for 8 months
Researchers found significant improvement using both clinical and biochemical methods of measurement. In the treatment group, WOMAC scores dropped by more than half from 80.6 to 33.3, scores on the Karnofsky Performance Index rose from 73.3 to 92.2 and distance traveled on the treadmill rose from an average of 77.3 meters to 344.4 meters, an increase of 345%. Meriva also induced statistically significant drops in six biochemical markers of inflammation. In the control group, on the other hand, WOMAC scores and Karnofsky Performance Index scores did not change significantly and there was an 89% increase in distance covered on the treadmill. Biochemical markers for inflammation did not change significantly. Meriva was also found to have excellent tolerability.
Meriva is worth considering for the long-term complimentary management of osteoarthritis.