Arthritis is a class of disease associated with the inflammation of one or more of your joints, including rheumatoid arthritis.
Most common symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness.
According to the statistics provided by the Arthritis Foundation, in the US, approximately, 54 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis accompanied by 300,000 babies and children.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis which affects over 30 million Americans. Believe it or not, by 2040, the number of people with arthritis will be increased to more than 78 million.
Epidemiologically, certain factors such as family history with some types of arthritis, age, gender, a previous joint injury that was not treated properly can contribute to the risk of the disease.
However, some researchers suggested the widespread obesity in the US may be one of the important features that increase the prevalence of arthritis.
Dr. Lauren K. King wrote, "Obesity is associated with the incidence and progression of OA of both weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing joints, to rate of joint replacements as well as operative complications".
And, "Weight loss in OA can impart clinically significant improvements in pain and delay progression of joint structural damage. Further work is required to determine the relative contributions of mechanical and metabolic factors in the pathogenesis of OA.
Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme found in pineapples (Ananas comosus) has been used in traditional medicine as inflammatory agent and to treat pains, strains, and muscle aches and pains and ease back pain and chronic joint pain, skin diseases, etc.
With an aim to find a natural compound for diseases associated with inflammation, researchers investigated the efficacy of long-term prophylactic enzyme therapy and combination therapy with cyclosporin in an animal model.
Selected rats with collagen-induced arthritis were divided into administration of the following drugs: cyclosporin A (5 mg/kg/day and 10 mg/kg/day orally); a mixture of enzymes containing pure substances (bromelain, trypsin, rutin) in the same ratio as in Phlogenzym (PHL, 150 mg/kg, twice daily intrarectally); and a combination of 5 mg/kg/day cyclosporin A plus 300 mg/kg/day PHL for a period of 50 days from the immunization.
According to the tested assays, a mixture of enzymes containing pure substances (bromelain, trypsin, rutin showed a similar effect in significant inhibition of both inflammation and destructive arthritis-associated changes compared to the treatment with 10 mg/kg cyclosporin A, and combination therapy with half dosages of cyclosporin A (5 mg/kg) plus PHL.
However, PHL alone reduced the disease markers to a lesser extent compared to the enzyme therapy which exerts a similar effect but at a later stage of arthritis development.
Based on the findings, researchers at the Research Institute of Rheumatic Diseases said, "Our results show the inhibitory effect of enzyme therapy on collagen-induced arthritis in rats, as well as the efficacy of cyclosporin A given in low doses in combination with enzyme therapy, which may be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis".
In order to find more information about bromelain anti-arthritis activity, researchers at the same institute examined the results in rats with adjuvant-induced arthritis administered either cyclosporin A (2.5 or 5.0 mg/kg/day per os), a mixture of enzymes (Phlogenzym (PHL); 45 mg/kg twice daily intrarectally), or a combination of 2.5 mg cyclosporin A and 90 mg PHL for a period of 40 days from the adjuvant application.
Combination therapy with cyclosporin A plus PH significantly inhibited both the inflammation and destructive arthritis-associated changes similar to that of 5 mg of cyclosporin A.
PHL administrated alone also inhibited all arthritic markers in a lesser extent and at a later stage of arthritis development similar to the treatment of 2.5 mg of cyclosporin A.
Dr. Rovenská E, after taking into account of co and confounder wrote, "The results show the inhibitory effect of enzyme therapy on rat adjuvant arthritis, as well as the efficacy of a low dose of cyclosporin A given in combination with enzyme therapy, which may be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis".
Taken altogether, bromelain used alone or combined with other herbal medicines may be considered supplements for the treatment of arthritis, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.
Intake of bromelain in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) Inhibitory effect of enzyme therapy and combination therapy with cyclosporin A on collagen-induced arthritis by Rovenská E1, Svík K, Stancíková M, Rovenský J. (PubMed)
(2) Enzyme and combination therapy with cyclosporin A in the rat developing adjuvant arthritis by Rovenská E1, Svík K, Stancíková M, Rovenský J. (PubMed)
(3) Obesity & osteoarthritis by Lauren K. King,* Lyn March,** and Ananthila Anandacoomarasamy. (PMC)
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