Science in brief

Boswellia plus bromelain may boost quality of life for osteoarthritis sufferers: Study

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / stockdevil
© Getty Images / stockdevil

Related tags: boswellia, Joint health

A gastroresistant supplement formulation containing a combination of Boswellia serrata and bromelain may improve the quality of life (QoL) in people with QoL of patients suffering from osteoarthritis (OA), says a new pilot study.

Italian scientists report in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine​ that the combination significantly improved knee, hip, and generalized OA.

The study included 49 people with an average age of 63 receiving the supplement for between one and three months. The results indicated that after a mean follow-up time of three months, the combination supplement was associated with “a significant improvement was observed for 7 of 10 QoL questions and, overall, for the total QoL score”​.

“From this pilot study, it emerges that the use of the gastroresistant formulation containing the combination of Boswellia and bromelain supplements can represent a valuable nonpharmacological tool for improving the QoL of patients suffering from different forms of OA. Further studies should be conducted to confirm this first evidence,” ​concluded the researchers.

Boswellia for joint health

The small study adds to a body of science supporting the potential joint health benefits of Boswellia serrata. ​The herb grows in dry mountainous regions of India, Northern Africa and Middle East. The oleo gum-resin contains four boswellic acids, one of which, acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid is a potent inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase, an enzyme responsible for inflammation.

These 5-LOX inhibitors work via a distinctly different pathway than COX-2 inhibitors, and while both are involved in the breakdown of arachidonic acid, 5-LOX inhibitors do not exhibit the potentially negative effects that have been associated with COX-2 inhibitors. Safety for 5-Loxin is supported by historic usage, published human studies, and extensive safety and toxicity studies.

Source: The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Published online ahead of Print, doi: https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2019.0258
“Benefits of a Food Supplement Containing Boswellia serrata and Bromelain for Improving the Quality of Life in Patients with Osteoarthritis: A Pilot Study”
Authors: G. Italiano, et al.