Boswellia's Effectiveness in the Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Boswellia's Effectiveness in
the Treatment of Osteoarthritis

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   NHI-On-Demand ~ 8-04-2008

The most common joint disease in humans and all vertebrate animals, osteoarthritis is a universal affliction: virtually everyone who lives past age 75 has it to some degree. Nearly 50 percent of the population suffers from osteoarthritis by age 65. Osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive, degenerative changes in cartilage structure. The proteoglycans break down, losing their ability to form tight clusters. The water content of cartilage increases. Chondroitin sulfate shortens in length. Cartilage loses the ability to repair itself and develops clefts and crevices that eventually extend down to the underlying bone. The end result is weak, stiff and deformed joints.

Boswellia, or olibanum, is a close relative of the Biblical incense frankincense and has been used historically in the Ayurvedic medical system of India for arthritis, dysentery, liver diseases, obesity, neurological disorders, ringworm, boils, and other afflictions. Boswellin is a gum-resin extract from the stem bark of the Boswellia serrata tree. It is a dietary supplement claimed to be useful in the management of symptoms of arthritis.

A recent study published in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy found that patients taking an extract of the herb Boswellia serrata showed significant reductions in symptoms of osteoarthritis. Seventy patients completed this 90 day, double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study. The patients received either 100 mg or 250 mg of 5-Loxin (a novel Boswellia serrata extract enriched with 30% 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid) or a placebo. Results revealed that the patients receiving treatment with the herbal remedy showed significant improvements in their osteoarthritis symptoms in as little as seven days. There were no adverse effects experienced by the study participants while taking the Boswellia formula and it has been found safe for human consumption and long-term use. These results are particularly important since many current treatment medications are associated with a high incidence of adverse effects. [1]

SOURCE: A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study of the efficacy and safety of 5-Loxin(R) for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008 (Jul 30); 10 (4): R85 ~ FULL TEXT

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