Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee normally occurs in people beginning at about age 40. It can have considerable restrictive impact on physical activity, and is the fourth leading cause of disability. After age 60, an estimated 10% to 15% of all adults have some degree of OA. The increasing prevalence of OA has been attributed to an ageing population and rising cases of obesity. Pain is commonly noted as the key symptom driving individuals to seek medical care.
The randomized, open-label, parallel-arm study was led by Dhaneshwar Shep, PhD, et. al., at the City Care Accident Hospital, Parli Vaijnath, Maharashtra, India, and was published in the journal Trials last March. The study involved 139 participants suffering from knee osteoarthritis They given either 500mg BCM-95 three times daily, or 50 mg Volteran (diclofenac), twice daily for 28 days.
Within two weeks of treatment, BCM-95 (Curcugreen) demonstrated an ability to reduce pain and relieve joint stiffness with a secondary capacity to effect improvements in the daily functions of living, recreational sporting activity, and overall quality of life, all at a level similar to that achieved through the NSAID control. Curcumin’s therapeutic functions are essentially credited to its well-documented ability to suppress several pro-inflammatory cytokines and their release mediators.
“BCM-95 curcumin could be a favorable alternative for people seeking relief from OA symptoms, especially those who are intolerant to the side effects of standard OTC drugs,” said Benny Antony, PhD, joint managing director of Arjuna and a recent recipient of the National Intellectual Property Award in India for the year 2019 in the category of Top Individual for Patents and Commercialization.
In the same study, the BCM-95 group reported a significant reduction in episodes of flatulence (an unpleasant side effect common to some NSAIDs), and an anti-ulcerative effect of BCM-95 also was observed. None of the participants required heartburn drugs, such as the H2 blockers often prescribed alongside NSAIDs. Preclinical studies conducted on rats have previously demonstrated the gastroprotective properties of this anti-inflammatory polyphenolic compound used extensively in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
This is the first study in which curcumin therapy has elicited a significant positive link to osteoarthritic care. “The beneficial results obtained in the study are highly likely due to the combination of curcuminoids and essential oil of turmeric present in our proprietary curcumin formulation with increased curcumin bioavailability,” explained Antony. “The permeability of curcumin is increased by the turmerone-rich essential oil complex, incurring a sevenfold enhancement of plasma curcumin levels, proven to yield statistically significant clinical benefits.”