A new human study shows that marine oil-derived SPM precursors combined with bioavailable curcumin resolve and reduce inflammatory discomforts.
Some nutrients can reduce existing inflammation, while others may help resolve inflammation 1. Winding down the flow of inflammation at its source is vital to maintain healthy, functional tissues. Compounds that actively promote the resolution of inflammation are known as specialized pro-resolving mediators or SPMs.2
A clinical study published in 2022 demonstrates that taking SPM precursors along with bioavailable curcumin deliver significant relief of pain and discomfort.3
In just 30 days, the combination significantly reduced:
After 60 days, a remarkable 79 percent of participants had an improvement in total pain.
Curcumin, a compound found in the turmeric plant, is well-established as a particularly powerful anti-inflammatory and an important nutrient to reduce inflammation.4,5
Specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) are compounds produced in the body that resolve inflammation, helping return inflamed tissues back to their healthy state.2
Scientists wondered whether combining SPM precursors with curcumin might more thoroughly reduce inflammation and thus have an impact on pain.
A 2022 open-label clinical pilot study recruited healthy male and female adults with mild to moderate pain.3
Every day for 60 days, 29 participants were asked to take:
The results of the study were published in Translational Medicine Communications, a peer- reviewed medical journal.
The SF-MPQ (Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire) responses showed significant improvements in all aspects of the questionnaire within 30 days, especially in:3
The SF-36 (Short-Form 36 Health Survey) questionnaire showed significant improvements in:3
The MSQ (Medical Symptoms Questionnaire) results showed:3
An impressive 62 percent of participants had an improved total pain score at 30 days, and 79 percent of participants showed improvement in total pain at 60 days.
No adverse events were reported.3
This strongly suggests that taking SPM precursors with a bioavailable form of curcumin delivers significant relief of pain and discomfort associated with inflammation.
Curcumin and SPM precursors target inflammation in completely different ways.
Curcumin and other anti-inflammatories work to reduce body inflammation levels.
This is helpful but not enough to completely restore health, since inadequate resolution can lead to chronic inflammation, excessive tissue damage, and dysregulation of tissue healing, and may also lead to fibrosis.6
Hence, inflammation needs to be resolved, to get tissues back to their healthy, functional state.
Resolution of inflammation is a complex, active process guided by specific signaling compounds produced in the body.7,8 Among these compounds are specialized pro-resolving mediators.
SPM precursors are predominantly derived from EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil.
The precursors needed to produce SPMs in the body include:9
The marine-blend softgels used in the 2022 study provided a total of 300 mcg of these three SPM precursors.3
These precursors are converted in the body into three different types of SPMs: resolvins, protectins, and maresins.3,10
These make up the bulk of the SPMs that target inflammation. They do so through three mechanisms:10-12
Before researchers tested the combined effects of SPM precursors and curcumin, many studies had shown that each had benefits alone.
Animal data showed promising results from the use of SPMs, including improvements in obesity-related osteoarthritis13 and in inflammation-induced neuropathic pain.14
A clinical trial found that oral intake of omega-3s increased SPM levels in the body by 229% and significantly lowered levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein.15
Another clinical study showed that taking marine oil enriched with a combination of SPM precursors (including 18-HEPE, 17-HDHA, and 14-HDHA) increased SPM levels and helped resolve inflammation.16
Curcumin is known for the curcuminoids and polyphenols found in the turmeric plant.17
A meta-analysis of eight human trials involving 606 patients found that curcuminoids significantly reduced pain severity from a variety of causes, including arthritis and muscle soreness.18
Another review paper concluded that curcumin was safe and has significant anti-inflammatory activity.5
Combining SPM precursors with a powerful anti-inflammatory like curcumin targets inflammation in multiple ways and results in clear pain reduction.
Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory that reduces existing inflammation.
Specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) help resolve inflammation, guiding tissues back to their healthy state.
A new human study shows that combining marine oil enriched with SPM precursors with a highly bioavailable curcumin improves subjective measures of pain and discomfort associated with inflammation.
Due to poor bioavailability, a large portion of curcumin taken orally never gets into the bloodstream or reaches tissues.
In a major advance, scientists combined curcumin with a fiber called galactomannan that protects curcumin in the gut.
Clinical research demonstrates that taking the curcumin-galactomannan combination results in blood levels of free curcuminoids that are over 45-times greater than in those who take pure curcumin alone.19