January 11, 2011
MILANA proprietary formulation of curcumin with soy phospholipids relieved pain and increased mobility in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) as well as reduce a series of inflammatory markers in a new study from Italian researchers (Altern Med Rev 2010;15(4):337-344). Because Meriva® (from Indena) was also well tolerated, the researchers said it is should be considered for the long-term complementary management of OA.
The eight-month study involving 100 OA patients was the most ambitious attempt, to date, to evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of curcumin as an anti-inflammatory agent, according to the researchers who were led by Gianni Belcaro from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Chieti-Pescara University, Italy.
The patients were divided in two groups: the first one was managed using the best available treatment," and the second group used the best available treatment plus Meriva®, at a dosage corresponding to 200 mg curcumin/day.
The results showed that the Meriva®-treated group had a statistically significant reduction in all primary clinical end-points, the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) score, the Karnofsky Performance Scale and the treadmill walking performance test. These results were complemented by the evaluation of a series of inflammatory markers (interleukin [IL]-1 beta, IL-6, soluble CD40 ligand [sCD40L], soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM)-1 and erythrocyte sedimentation rate [ESR]) that also showed a marked reduction in the Meriva® treated group, while no significant variation was observed in the best available treatment" group.
Commenting on the results of the study Giovanni Appendino, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Eastern Piedmont and Indena Scientific Advisor, said, Although no direct comparison study of Meriva® versus NSAIDs has been conducted, the decreased use of these drugs observed in the treatment group provides a rationale for evaluating whether the biochemical improvement in the inflammatory status associated with Meriva® could eventually translate to a phase out of NSAIDs use, at least for mild-to-moderate OA."
Curcumin is the yellow pigment of turmeric (Curcuma longa L.), an Indian spice and a major ingredient of curry powders. In Asian Medicine, turmeric is used for the treatment of inflammation and joint pain. In Western countries, it is mainly employed as a food additive to color dairy products (cheese and yogurts), margarine and canned food. Studies have demonstrated its action as a master switch of inflammation. Nevertheless, just like most dietary phenolics, curcumin shows a poor oral absorption. Indena combined curcumin with soy phospholipids using its Phytosome® strategy to improve the bioavailability.
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