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Older woman with osteoarthritis holding knee in pain

Curcumin and Boswellia: Better Together?

Question:
Does taking curcumin and boswellia together increase their individual anti-inflammatory effects?

Answer:
Research shows that curcumin (from turmeric) has anti-inflammatory effects, and may be helpful for conditions such as ulcerative colitis, muscle soreness after exercise, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis of the knee.

Boswellia extract contains compounds, such as the boswellic acid AKBA, which also appear to have anti-inflammatory properties. Like curcumin, research suggests Boswellia may be helpful for conditions such as ulcerative colitis and osteoarthritis, and can be found as an ingredient in certain supplements for joint health.

One small study in men and women with knee osteoarthritis found that taking a combination of boswellia extract and curcumin was slightly more effective in improving physical function than curcumin alone. For more details about the study, including the product used and dosage, see the "What It Does" section of the Curcumin Supplements Review. (Information about this study is also found in the Joint Health Supplements Review).

While ConsumerLab has not tested the specific combination product in the study, it has tested curcumin supplements and boswellia supplements that provide the same or similar ingredients, including curcumin and boswellia combinations.

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This CL Answer initially posted on 12/18/2018.
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