Novel cucumber iminosugar supports joint function and mobility: Study

By Asia Sherman

- Last updated on GMT

© StockSeller_ukr / Getty Images
© StockSeller_ukr / Getty Images

Related tags Osteoarthritis Joint health mobility Anti-inflammatory phytochemicals

A novel bioactive carbohydrate and dietary supplement ingredient marketed as Q-actin improved joint function and mobility in adults with moderate joint health issues, according to a recent study.

“The results clearly show study participants were able to significantly improve their joint function and health by taking as little as 20 milligrams of Q-actin daily,” said Robert Nash, Ph.D., a phytochemistry researcher and iminosugar expert who led the study. “The health benefits were evident from the early days of the study and at every evaluation point.”

The research, published in Current Rheumatology Reviews​, was carried out by UK-based natural product discovery company PhytoQuest, which has isolated nearly 200 iminosugars under the direction of Dr. Nash. Nevada-based iminosugar developer IminoTech funded the study in support of its flagship product Q-actin.

Q-actin: A novel cucumber iminosugar

The Q-actin cucumber (Cucumis sativus L​.) extract contains anti-inflammatory iminosugar ido-BR1 standardized to over 1%. Iminosugars, which the study noted appear to be very rare in nature, are an emerging class of biologically active carbohydrates, which are being investigated for their potential to modulate processes in the body in support of multiple health benefits.

“Due to the specialty required for analytical detection, idoBR1 was only recently discovered in certain cucumbers in a study on the anecdotal anti-inflammatory claims on cucumbers and it was shown by isolation and synthesis​ to reduce LPS-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) in both ex vivo human serum and THP-1 cells,” the researchers wrote, noting that TNFα can drive degenerative changes in joints when chronically elevated.  

A previous clinical study carried out in 122 adults reported that 20 mg of Q-actin daily over six months significantly improved joint health in comparison with 2,700 mg of glucosamine-chondroitin (an established treatment used in the management of osteoarthritis).

Study details

The study assigned 91 subjects with moderate knee osteoarthritis to one of three groups and administered either a 20 mg or 100 mg dose of Q-actin daily for six months or a cellulose placebo.  

Following a baseline evaluation, subjects were evaluated at 30-day intervals using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Lequesne's Functional Index (LFI).

The researchers reported that Q-actin groups experienced significant reductions in pain and improvements in other joint function parameters at all evaluation intervals, finding that health benefits were dose dependent.  Subjects taking 20 mgs daily of Q-actin experienced a 32% improvement in WOMAC scores over six months, compared with a 5% improvement for the placebo group. The WOMAC score of the 100 mg group increased 39% over the test period.

“It is remarkable that a daily serving of only 20 mgs of Q-actin produced significant improvements in joint function, including the ability to complete daily activities such as using stairs, shopping and working at home,” said Shil Kothari, chief executive officer at IminoTech. “Q-actin’s daily serving size is a small fraction of leading joint health dietary supplement ingredients. It opens the door to many new joint health product formats and applications.”

IminoTech is also working to unlock the potential of other iminosugars for blood sugar regulation, weight management and healthy immune function.

Source: Current Rheumatology Reviews
“Standardised ido-BR1 Cucumber Extract Improved Parameters Linked to Moderate Osteoarthritis in a Placebo-controlled Study.”
doi: 10.2174/1573397119666230206105703
Authors: Robert J. Nash et al.

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