CurQfen®: The specialized curcumin for joint health

In anatomy, a joint refers to the union of bones.  Cartilages, ligaments, tendons & synovial membranes are in harness with the bones to form a joint.  There are mobile and immobile joints, in which mobile joints (synovial) make us to move.  Wear and tear is quite common among moving joints; the probability of degenerative changes are high irrespective of the chronological age.  These changes may lead to osteoarthritis (OA); the patients usually suffer from pain and functional restrictions.  As the disease progresses, the affected joints are presented with palpable or sometimes audible coarse crepitus and bony swellings (osteophytes) around the joint margins. Deformity, muscle weakness, wasting around the joint and mild synovitis may also be seen.  Osteoarthritis (OA) is a highly prevalent rheumatic musculoskeletal disorder that has affected almost 300 million people globally. The prevalence of OA is rising due, in part, to the increasing prevalence of OA risk factors, including obesity, physical inactivity, and joint injury. 

Paracetamol, NSAIDs and corticosteroid injections are very often prescribed to alleviate OA symptoms along with guidelines for life style changes.  However, recent network meta-analyses indicated that its efficacy is rather limited; except a short time benefits due to analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of these drugs.  In addition, the side effects associated with these medications is comparatively high.  Here comes the significance of traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda…!  In Ayurveda, osteoarthritis is correlated with sandhigatavata. Acharya Charaka, Susrutha and Vagbhatta have described that the vitiated vata may get lodged in different sites of the body and produces pathological manifestations.  It is mentioned that the sandhi (meaning ‘joint’ in Sanskrit) is such an important site and when vitiated vata is located in sandhi, it is termed as sandhigatavata.  Common clinical features of this disease are odema (sotha) and pain with restricted movements.  This condition is described in Ayurveda as “prasarana akunjanayor apravarthi savedana”.  The condition can further be progressed to a state of complete disorganization of joints ( hanti sandhi –destruction of jointsin Sanskrit), leading to severe disabilities.

Ayurveda has elaborately described the practices that can manage various diseases affecting the joints.  A number of herbal drugs have prescribed in the classical texts of Ayurveda.  Haridra (turmeric) is one of such important herbal agent mentioned in classical texts.  In Bhavaprakashasamhitha, it is mentioned as the best sophaharadravya (meaning, ‘relieves inflammation’).  In Ayurveda, specific turmeric preparations; combinations with other herbals have been described to avoid the issues of poor oral bioavailability and hence better efficacy.  The modern medicinal and phytochemical research could unravel ‘curcuminoids’ as the principal component responsible for the bioactivity of turmeric. But, when isolated as pure molecules, it struggled to account its bioactivity/efficacy due to ‘poor oral bioavailability’. Despite large number of bioavailable formulations based on modern science, the formulations capable of delivering the bioactive forms of curcumin are limited.

In this context, CurQfen® exist as unique, because it is a 100% natural formulation based on Ayurvedic principles, but adopted into a modern drug delivery format using the concept of self-emulsifying drug delivery.  Patented technology of FENUMATTM combined curcuminoids with the soluble dietary fiber of fenugreek (galactomannans) to form the hydrogels suitable for the controlled delivery of colloidal particles of curcuminoids which enables its easy absorption.  It enhances the systematic bioavailability of bioactive FREE curcuminoids more than 45.5-fold compared to unformulated curcumin and 270-fold better absorption of total curcuminoids (conjugated + free). 

In a recent RCT on 84 subjects, 400 mg of CurQfen for six weeks have been found to offer significant benefits as compared to the standard drug glucosamine (500 mg) + chondrotin sulfate (415 mg) combination twice a day.  The benefits were visible from day 14 onwards and produced significance by Day 28.  CurQfen treated group showed great improvement in the pain management and physical activities compared to the standard drug. It effectively balanced the abnormal activation of cytokine cascade and overproduction of inflammatory mediators, which is the characteristic feature of OA.  In yet another study, CurQfen (400 mg) combination with glucosamine (500 mg) twice a day was found to outperform glucosamine (500 mg) +chondrotin sulfate (415 mg) combination twice a day, in a long time 84 day study.  The excellent curative effect of CurQfen combined with glucosamine on arthritic subjects points towards a reliable supplement for joint health and musculoskeltal disorders, in general. It has been shown to be effective in reducing the knee stiffness and hence to improve the physical function, indicating the better chondroprotective effect of the combination. Another fascinating finding from the study is that BMI index of obese subjects were reduced in an engrossing manner.  Body weight management is considered to be highly advantageous for the reduction of pain and other symptoms in obese arthritic subjects. Detailed mechanism of CurQfen on arthritis has been worked out with animal models also (Manuscript Under Review). The authors have attributed the efficacy of CurQfen to its enhanced bioavailability of the bioactive free forms and also its positive effect on gut microbiota, since the Fenugreek galactomannans used for FENUMAT technology is a very good prebiotic fiber, which has shown its potential in performance even at just 300 mg/day dosage…!

Thanks to FENUMATTM technology…a GREEN APPROACH in the curcuminoids delivery; which turned curcumin to a highly efficient 100% Natural, food-grade and safe form with proven efficacy.  FENUMATTM technology has also mastered in the combination of Ayurvedic herbals along with curcuminoids as a single powder form with higher efficacy.  For example, CurQfen has been successfully combined with herbal extracts like boswellia, capsaicin, guggul, celery phthalides, etc to create single powders in a standardised and bioavailable fashion, with established pharmacokinetics.   It offers potential and safe therapeutic effects such as alleviating pain, boosting joint stability and augmenting the movement and function, thereby improving the quality of life.

CurQfen® – key features

  • A blend of two popularly known GRAS spices
  • Patented FENUMATTM technology assuring CLEAN LABEL
  • No synthetic excipients; 100% Natural
  • More than 20 peer-reviewed publications with clinical studies on Brain, Liver, Heart & Joint health
  • Established for improved membrane permeability, cellular uptake and BBB-permeability

References

  1. Kloppenburg,M & Berenbaum, F., Osteoarthritis year in review 2019: epidemiology and therapy, 2020, 28(3), 242-48.
  2. Thomas JV et al., Influence of a low-dose supplementation of curcumagalactomannoside complex (CurQfen) in knee osteoarthritis: A randomized, open-labeled, active-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2020, 1-13.
  3. Khanna et al., Curcumagalactomannoside/Glucosamine Combination Improved Joint Health Among Osteoarthritic Subjects as Compared to Chondroitin Sulfate/Glucosamine: Double-Blinded, Randomized Controlled Study. J Altern Complement Med. 2020, 26(10), 945-55
  4. Sebbag E et al., The world-wide burden of musculoskeletal diseases: a systematic analysis of the World Health Organization Burden of Diseases Database. Ann Rheum Dis. 2019, 78(6), 844-48.
  5. Hawker GA. ClinExpRheumatol. 2019, 120(5), 3-6.
  6. Dinesh Kumar et al., Journal of Functional Foods, 2016, 22, 578-87.