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Devil's Claw

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Devil's claw can reduce pain in osteoarthritis


Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury and infection, but although some inflammation is necessary to defend the body, chronic inflammation can harm health, being associated with heart disease, diabetes and brain disorders. There are also conditions characterized directly by inflammation, such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and gout.


Devil's claw has been proposed as a potential remedy for inflammatory conditions because it contains plant compounds called iridoid glycosides, specifically harpagosides. In test tube and animal studies, harpagoside limited inflammatory responses.


For example, one study showed that harpagoside significantly suppressed the action of cytokines, those molecules that support inflammation.


Thus, this supplement could be useful in osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis worldwide. More high-quality studies are needed, but current research suggests that devil's claw may be effective in reducing the pain associated with this disease.


For example, a clinical trial involving 122 people with osteoarthritis of the knee and hip suggested that 2,610 mg of devil's claw per day may be as effective in reducing pain as diacerein, a drug used in usual way to treat this condition. Likewise, a 2-month study of 42 people with chronic osteoarthritis found that daily supplementation with devil's claw in combination with turmeric and bromelain, which are thought to have anti-inflammatory effects, reduced pain on average with 46%.

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