Composite of turmeric and mulberry may aid arthritis, rat study

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Anti-inflammatory

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock
An independent study conducted by botanical supplements manufacturer Unigen found that pain and inflammation in rats with paw edema were alleviated with a turmeric and mulberry composite supplement.

The composite UP1304 is made out of ethanol extracts of Curcuma longa​ (turmeric) root and Morus alba​ (white mulberry) root bark, one of Unigen’s proprietary combinations patented as Romatol.

Unigen’s researchers, based in Seattle and Chungnam, South Korea, tested the composite on rats with carrageenan-induced paw edema using oral dose ranges of 100-400mg/kg and found “statistically significant improvements in pain resistance and paw edema suppression” ​compared to the control group mice supplemented with 200mg/kg of ibuprofen.

Relief for arthritis caused by various factors

“Regardless of the initial causes or types of arthritis, during the course of the disease, phospholipids from damaged cell membranes are converted, within joints, to arachidonic acid, creating the initial step in the inflammation cascade,”​ the report said.

Popular solutions for arthritis are over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or a prescription for substance that inhibits COX-mediated formation of prostaglandins, which the researchers contend increases sensitivity.

“Nevertheless, this approach which focuses mainly on diminishing pain will only mask the actual etiology,”​ the researchers contend, “leading to irreversible damage to the join structure, and rendering the management unsuccessful.”

The botanical composite was tested with the assumption that the prenylated flavonoids, stilbenoids, and curcumin found in the original plants may possess analgesics and anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate arthritis-related pain.

Mimicking arthritis

To test the composite’s efficacy in pain alleviation, the researchers used 75 Lewis rats and sedated them with 2.5% isoflurane, and injected them with 100 microliters of 1% w/v carrageenan into the plantar surface of the right hind paw of each rat to induce inflammation and pain sensitivity.

The rats were divided into 15 groups (five in each). Members of the control group were orally given 200mg/kg of ibuprofen, while the remaining groups were given UP1304 at doses of 100, 200, 300, or 400mg/kg.

Slower response means effective supplementation

To test the rat’s sensitivity an “allodynia evaluation” was performed, which involved the tip of a Randall-Selitto applied perpendicularly to the central plantar surface of the right hind paw. Reaction speed was the data used to measure the composite’s efficacy.

“A positive response to the applied pressure [is] noted by sharp withdrawal of the paw,”​ the report said. “When rats were given UP1304 at a dose of 300 mg/kg, the observed reductions in inflammation and pain sensitivity were greater than the theoretically calculated values at all experimental time points.”

“Joint health is a category that continues to be dominated by a few ingredients, and we would like to see that offering expanded, adding value to Unigen’s clients,”​ Grant Bergstrom, VP of Sales & Marketing, said in a press release.

“The clinical use of UP1304 could be rationalized by the fact that the primary biomarkers frequently isolated with patients experiencing chronic arthritis were modulated by UP1304 and its constituents,”​ the researchers said. “Therefore, UP1304 could potentially be considered as a dietary supplement product for the management of arthritis.”

Source: The Journal of Integrative Medicine

Published online first, doi:10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60231-5

Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of UP1304, a botanical composite containing standardized extracts of Curcuma longa and Morus alba

Authors: M. Yimam, et al.

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