New data to help Ayurvedic combo widen unique niche in joint category, developer says

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - ipopba
©Getty Images - ipopba

Related tags Tamarind seed Turmeric turmeric extract mangosteen Joint health Ayurveda

A new study on TamaFlex, an ingredient arising out of the Ayurvedic tradition, has shown benefits in a population with knee osteoarthritis, bolstering the scientific backing for the ingredient.

TamaFlex is combination of a tamarind seed extract with a turmeric extract.  The ingredient has previously been studied to provide joint comfort, flexibility, and function in healthy participants.  This new study puts the ingredient on a competitive footing with many other joint health ingredients, said Eric Anderson, managing director of NXT USA, the multinational group that developed the ingredient.

“The first study we did was with a healthy population.  But the vast majority of joint health supplements today are based on studies done with patients that have some amount of osteoarthritis,”​ Anderson said.

Osteoarthritis is the catchall term for the progressive wearing of joints, especially the knee joint, and the body’s inflammatory response to that situation.  It is distinct from rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune condition. OA is to some extent a natural symptom of aging for many people.

Comparing apples to apples in joint space

“With our new study we were looking at a population that may already be experiencing joint discomfort and are exhibiting mild knee OA,”​ Anderson said. “It is not a diseased population per se, but one that is showing signs of aging.”

In this latest study 90 participants were randomized and equally assigned into one of three groups to receive either placebo, 250 mg of TamaFlex or 300 mg of TamaFlex Plus for 56 days. TamaFlex Plus is a more recent product development that adds a mangosteen extract to the mix.

The primary outcome of the study was the change in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) score, a common measuring stick in joint health studies.  Improvements in the functional scores, such as range of motion measurements, serum pro-inflammatory modulators, and a cartilage degradation product in urine samples were secondary efficacy measures. 

The authors reported that participants began to experience relief after just five days with both doses of TamaFlex. “The present study demonstrates that both TamaFlex dosages reduced knee pain and improved the musculoskeletal function of KOA subjects,”​ study researchers explained. “Also, this herbal composition helped to reduce inflammation and inflammation-induced cartilage degeneration in the participants. Furthermore, TamaFlex was shown to be tolerable and safe for the study participants.”

Filling a new niche

Anderson said the new data adds to the backing for the ingredient, which in his view occupies a new niche in the joint health market​.

“Our ingredient fills an unmet need in the joint health market that products like glucosamine and chondroitin just can’t address, namely consumer demands like clean label, vegan, non-GMO, and sustainably sourced,”​ Anderson said.

Source: Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2022 |Article ID 2226139 |
Tamarindus indica Seed Extract-Based Botanical Compositions Alleviate Knee Pain and Improve Joint Function in Mild-to-Moderate Osteoarthritis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study
Authors: Kare SK, et al.

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