Boswellia, or Indian frankincense, is a tree native to India whose gum resin has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Recent research has found that boswellia may be an effective treatment for arthritis, providing relief from inflammation and pain. This essay will discuss the health benefits of Boswellia and how it can help with arthritis relief.
Primary Active Compound
The primary active compound in Boswellia is known as AKBA (acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid). AKBA has anti-inflammatory properties and works by blocking pro-inflammatory enzymes called lipoxygenases. By blocking these enzymes, AKBA reduces inflammation and helps alleviate the pain associated with arthritis. Additionally, boswellia contains compounds that increase blood flow to the joints, which can improve mobility and reduce stiffness.
In clinical trials on patients suffering from osteoarthritis, boswellia extract was found to be effective at reducing joint tenderness and swelling as well as improving overall mobility and quality of life. In one study of 180 people with osteoarthritis of the knee, those taking boswellia extract had significant reductions in joint stiffness compared to those receiving placebo treatment.
Another study tested the effects of boswellia on rheumatoid arthritis (RA). After two weeks of treatment with boswellia extract supplementation, there was a decrease in inflammation markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6 levels and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) compared to the placebo group. Additionally, there was a decrease in morning stiffness duration compared to baseline measurements in those taking boswellia supplements.
Finally, Boswellia may also have protective effects on cartilage tissue affected by RA by inhibiting collagen degradation enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). In one study where mice were given indomethacin (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) for 28 days followed by Boswellian supplementation for another 28 days showed decreased MMPs activity which helped protect damage caused by indomethacin leading researchers to conclude that long term supplementation with Boswellian could provide protection against cartilage destruction due to inflammatory conditions like RA.
Overall, research shows that Boswellia can provide relief from pain and inflammation associated with arthritis conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Its anti-inflammatory action is attributed to its active compound AKBA while its ability to reduce cartilage destruction suggests potential protective effects on joint tissues over time. For this reason, it is believed that Boswellia supplementation can be beneficial for those suffering from arthritic conditions when taken appropriately over a long period of time.
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