The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Boswellia treatment of osteoarthritis

    5-Loxin is a product made from Boswellia serrata (aka Salai guggal in Ayurvedic medicine).

    It has anti-inflammatory action, and was used in this study to treat osteoarthritis of the knee.

    First, the details.

    • 75 patients were treated with 100 mg or 250 mg of 5-Loxin daily or placebo.
    • Treatment lasted 90 days.
    • Patients were evaluated for pain and physical function.
    • Additionally, metalloproteinase-3 (a marker for joint inflammation and destruction) was evaluated in synovial (joint) fluid.

    And, the results.

    • Both doses of 5-Loxin were associated with clinically and statistically significant improvements in pain and physical function scores.
    • Improvements with 5-Loxin 250 mg were observed 7 days after starting treatment.
    • There was also a significant reduction in synovial fluid matrix metalloproteinase-3.
    • 5-Loxin was well tolerated.

    The bottom line?
    It’s reported that 5-Loxin is not a COX-2 inhibitor — a form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that targets COX-2, an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain. Rather, it’s described as a selective, non-redox inhibitor of the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase.

    The authors concluded, “5-Loxin reduces pain and improves physical functioning significantly in osteoarthritis patients; and it is safe for human consumption.”

    Yes, the results are encouraging, but any conclusion regarding it’s safety will require more than a 90-day study of 75 patients. I was unable to find published long-term safety data on 5-Loxin, just a rat study.

    More background on Boswellia can be found here.

    8/1/08 15:09 JR

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