European researchers in Germany and England have determined that a spice used in Indian curries may be promising to people experiencing tendonitis.

Dr. Ali Mobasheri of the University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and colleagues at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, say curcumin, the chemical that gives the spice turmeric its trademark bright yellow coloring in curry and mustard, can be used to suppress the chemicals that trigger inflammation in tendon diseases.

“Our research is not suggesting that curry, turmeric or curcumin are cures for inflammatory conditions such as tendinitis and arthritis.  But we believe it could offer scientists an important lead in treating these painful conditions via nutrition,” Mobasheri says in a statement.

“However, we believe that it could offer scientists an important new lead in the treatment of these painful conditions through nutrition. Further research into curcumin, and chemically-modified versions of it, should be the subject of future investigations and complementary therapies aimed at reducing the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the only drugs currently available for the treatment of tendinitis and various forms of arthritis.”

Tendons play an important role as the cords of tough connective tissue that connect muscles to bones.  They are essential for movement because they transfer the force of muscle contraction to bones, but they are prone to injury, particularly in athletes who may overstretch themselves and overuse their joints.

Source: Journal of Biological Chemistry