The herbal supplement combating knee osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a serious concern for ageing Australians.
According to latest figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, approximately one in 11 Australians had the condition affecting 2.2 million people from 2017-2018. It also reports there was a 38 per cent rise in the rate of total knee replacements for osteoarthritis from 2005 to 2018.
However, one key study into alleviating symptoms of knee osteoarthritis through supplementation, conducted on behalf of Melbourne-based natural healthcare products company Max Biocare, has delivered positive results for sufferers.
A group of older adults experiencing mild knee osteoarthritis pain took Max Biocare’s supplement Tregocel® for 36 weeks. Each Tregocel® tablet contains 500mg of a proprietary curcuminoid complex, along with extracts of devil’s claw, frankincense, ginger and celery. The botanical formulation has been specially designed to relieve joint soreness and provide anti-inflammatory properties.
Dr George Thouas, Head of Research and Development at Max Biocare says the research, which was the first clinical trial of Trecogel® , was very promising considering some 300 million people worldwide are afflicted with osteoarthritis, particularly in the knee and hip area.
“Basically, the subjects took two tablets daily alongside standard pain killers. By the end of the trial, the subjects showed significantly reduced knee pain, were able to walk longer distances, and halved their use of pain killers”, he said.
“Aside from assisting joint health due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the herbs in Tregocel® are also known for their antioxidant properties and ability to help maintain health of the immune, liver, digestive and cardiovascular systems.”
Curcumin is the key active ingredient in the spice turmeric which has long been used in countries such as India for its health benefits and anti-inflammatory properties, plus its assistance in arthritis symptoms of inflammation and pain. It is used in traditional medicine to eliminate blood stasis, promote flow of qi and relieve pain and inflammation as well as a restorative tonic to aid recovery and support the healing process.
The use of a phospholipid complex of curcuminoids (including curcumin) allows them to be taken up by cell membranes and carried into the blood stream more efficiently. It enhances the absorption of curcumin by 29 times. Specifically, it features Meriva® , a bioactive form of curcumin that is clinically effective for pain relief and improving joint mobility.
Participants had a history of knee osteoarthritis
In the study, 107 participants from Poland took part who had suffered from mild knee osteoarthritis for an average of 1.8 years. The longest sufferer had been living with the condition for 17.7 years. They reported knee pain at least half of the days in the preceding month and from the start of the trial took a daily dose of two tablets a day for 36 weeks.
Results – improved walking distance and less pain
The results of the trial displayed the following key positives:
- There was an increase in average distance covered after a 6-minute walking challenge, from 383m at baseline, to 408m by the study’s end, which was an improvement of 25m.
- There was a significant decrease in the use of regular knee osteo medications, from a baseline level of 99.1 per cent of patients regularly too anti-inflammatory/analgesic drugs, to 55.1 per cent by the end of the study.
- Supplementation also lessened pain, improved knee flexibility and arthritis indicators for joint function and mobility at 12, 24 and 36 weeks.
An evidence-based company
“Natural products need solid research to prove effectiveness to consumers. Our company invests heavily in clinical research to support the safety and efficacy of our products.” Said Dr Thouas.
“To date we have had research trials performed for 13 of our complementary medicines, both locally and internationally, with seven publications in peer-reviewed journals.”
Max Biocare also prefer to use patended ingredients that have been clinically trialed for use in many of their products, including the herbal ingredients.
“While we are always inspired by natural ingredients and their potential, we try to use scientific evidence as much as possible, at all stages of our product development.”