‘Target the site’: Novel tech speeds up turmeric-frankincense acute pain relief effect

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Arjuna Natural has developed a novel delivery technology that is able to speed up the pain relief effect of a turmeric and frankincense nutraceutical blend. ©Getty Images
Arjuna Natural has developed a novel delivery technology that is able to speed up the pain relief effect of a turmeric and frankincense nutraceutical blend. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Turmeric, Curcumin, India

A novel delivery technology developed by Arjuna Natural is able to speed up the pain relief effect of a combination of turmeric and frankincense.

Known as SPEED, the Kerala-based spice and botanical extract supplier spent three years developing the delivery technology, which is now used in its newly released botanical blend Rhuleave-K.

Rhuleave-K is a combination of turmeric and frankincense, with black sesame oil used as the product base.

The duo is known for relieving acute musculoskeletal pain, including lower back pain, sprains, tendonitis, and joint pain. However, it takes about one to two weeks for the pain-relieving effect to take place.

With SPEED, the effect can be experienced within two to three hours, the company told NutraIngredients-Asia.

Instead of increasing the bioavailability or absorption of the bioactives, the company said that the technology worked by delivering the ingredients to the inflamed sites.

“The synergism of turmeric and frankincense combined is well-known, but the technology is the key differentiating factor as it delivers the ingredients to the inflamed site,”​ Dr Benny Antony, joint MD at Arjuna said.

“It works not by increasing the bioavailability or absorption of the actives but allows for selective entry of the actives to the inflamed areas,” ​he explained.

The delivery technology has been filed for international patent under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and results are pending.

Antony said the company was also in discussion with nutraceutical companies to promote the use of the delivery technology for use in nutra products.  

Comparable to paracetamol

In a clinical study published in July, the company showed that Rhuleave-K’s pain-relieving effect is comparable to that of paracetamol.

Published in the scientific journal Medicine, ​the randomised, controlled, and open-label trial recruited 88 healthy subjects.

In the study, the subjects were randomised to take either 1,000mg of Rhuleave-K or 1,000 of acetaminophen (paracetamol) for a week.

The change in pain intensity and pain relief at the first six hours, three days, and seven days were measured.

Results showed that 66% of the subjects in the Rhuleave-K group reported positive response in pain relief, only a few percentage points lower than the acetaminophen group (73%), after the first six hours of the experiment.

The average time taken for the Rhuleave-K group to experience analgesia was one hour, slightly longer than that of the acetaminophen group (0.83 hour).

Toxicity studies also showed that Rhuleave-K is safe, even in doses 11 times higher than the recommended daily dosage.

Antony said that the company was planning for another trial which aims to recruit 240 subjects.

Also taking place in India, the purpose of the trial is to find out the effects of the blend in alleviating sports injury pain during exercise.

Synergistic effects

The Rhuleave-K blend works by blocking two pathways responsible for producing inflammation and pain. They are namely the cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and lipoxygenase pathways.

Turmeric, like diclofenac and paracetamol, is an inhibitor of the COX-2 pathway, whereas frankincense – the resinous extract of the plant Boswellia serrata – works by inhibiting the lipoxygenase pathway, Antony explained.

“Currently, there are not many drugs inhibiting the lipoxygenase pathway, and boswellic acid is an inhibitor of that pathway.

“When you block these pathways, the production of pro-inflammatory agents such as leukotrienes and lipoxygenase is reduced significantly. That's the way we reduce inflammation and pain,”​ he said.

The liquid, fat-soluble blend could be integrated into soft gels, liquid capsules and syrups. Antony added that the company was in talks with firms from Europe in incorporating the new ingredient blend into sports nutrition products.


Source: Medicine

Efficacy of high-dissolution turmeric-sesame formulation for pain relief in adult subjects with acute musculoskeletal pain compared to acetaminophen: A randomized controlled study

DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000020373

Authors: Rudrappa GH, Chakravarthi PT, Benny IR

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