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Clinical Trial at Kyoto Medical Center Proves Efficacy of Curcumin in Knee Osteoarthritis

2014年10月17日 AM12:00
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KYOTO, Japan

The Orthopedics Division at National Hospital Organization, Kyoto Medical Center, announced that it has confirmed the efficacy of Theracrumin®, absorption enhanced curcumin*1 on knee osteoarthritis, based on the clinical trial conducted by the group of researchers.

Knee osteoarthritis is a disease that provokes pains in knee junctions and cartilage, and is mainly caused by ageing. It is said that there are twenty million patients in Japan. The prevailing treatments for this disease today include the prescription of analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, knee joint Hyaluronic acid injection, and surgical operation.

While not proved scientifically, Glucosamine, an oral drug, is generally believed to be effective in treating knee osteoarthritis symptoms. This efficacy is not approved in the medical treatment guidelines of the Japan Orthopaedics Association.

The researchers in the Orthopedics Department at Kyoto Medical Center conducted an eight-week clinical study*2 to measure the efficacy of curcumin, which has an anti-inflammatory effect, on fifty patients over 40 years old who suffer from primary medial knee osteoarthritis, and who are categorized as Kellgren-Lawrence grades of II or III with radiographic classification. Results showed the efficacy of curcumin as statistically evident; the patients who took Theracurmin®, absorption enhanced curcumin, for eight weeks felt improvement in their knees and could decrease their dependence on the NSAIDs (Celecoxib®) without any side effects, while those who took the placebo did not experience any changes.

With population aging around the world becoming a common challenge, many advanced counties including Japan are expected to experience an increase in the number of people who suffer from knee osteoarthritis. Theracurmin® has the potential to be one of the most novel and effective medical treatments for this disease.

The result of the study, “Short-term effects of highly-bioavailable curcumin for treating knee osteoarthritis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled prospective study”, has been published on the “Journal of Orthopaedic Science” website and will be included in Vol. 19 No.6 of the Journal later this year.

1. About Theracurmin®, absorption enhanced curcumin
Curcumin, from which Theracurmin® is made, is a natural ingredient of turmeric. It is broadly used in curry in India and as herbal medicine in China. Curcumin is known for its anti-inflammatory and cartilages protection functions. However, because of its poor bioavailability, it has been difficult to realize beneficial health effects, since only a small amount of curcumin is absorbed with oral administration. Theravalues Corporation, the joint clinical trial partner, has developed an innovative way to enhance its absorption by humans by 27 times greater than normal oral intake, enabling us to conduct clinical trial this time.

2. The Study
From April 2011 to December 2012, Kyoto Medical Center conducted a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled prospective clinical study on fifty patients over 40 years old with knee osteoarthritis of Kellgren-Lawrence grade II or III. Placebo or Theracurmin® containing 180 mg/day of curcumin was administered orally every day for 8 weeks. After the trial period, we confirmed statistically significant improvements in knee pain visual analog scale (VAS) and a decrease in dependence on Celecoxib® among the Theracurmin® takers. No major side effects were observed with Theracurmin® treatment.

CONTACT

The Orthopedics Division at National Hospital Organization, Kyoto
Medical Center
Yasuaki Nakagawa, MD, PhD, +81 (0) 75-641-9161
yanakaga@kyotolan.hosp.go.jp

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