RESERVE PAPER: Synofit - a new powerful natural solution for osteoarthritis

06 May 2014
17:06 - 17:30
Chair person  Veronique Coxam
Speaker(s)  Rieneke Vlaanderen van Laar

Objectives - To introduce Synofit, the natural anti-inflammatory nutraceutical for osteoarthritis, to the global nutraceutical market. To substantiate the rationale behind the ingredients of this highly innovative product for human joint health. To present the preliminary research results of the first clinical pilot with Synofit.

Introduction - Osteoarthritis is a growing global problem. There is no satisfactory solution for people with osteoarthritis, and therefore, therapy is usually focussed on continuous pain management and on delaying joint replacement. Nutritional supplementation often lacks efficacy and evidence levels for curative capabilities are low. This is increasingly implemented in the official recommendations from institutes and in clinical practice. Synofit is a new liquid nutraceutical, mainly based on the natural anti-inflammatory agents Green-lipped mussel, Curcumin, and Blackcurrant leaf extract, that synergistically combat against the chronic inflammation in osteoarthritis and markedly improve clinical symptoms of osteoarthritis in ~60% of its users.

Mechanisms of action - The Green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) contains a great variety of Omega-3 fatty acids that can act as an alternative substrate for the conversion of arachidonic acid to pro-inflammatory prostaglandins by the enzyme COX-2. A similar competitive inhibition occurs at the enzyme 5-LOX. Furan fatty acids and specific proteins from the Green-lipped mussel also possess anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin (Curcuma longa) is famous for its specific anti-TNF-a activity and for the subsequent inactivation of the NF-?B transcription factor, leading to downregulation of COX-2, 5-LOX, cytokines, MMPs and caspase-3 synthesis in chondrocytes. Thus, in cartilage, Curcumin functions as anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic compound, which moreover prevents further cartilage breakdown by MMPs. Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) leaf extract contains Proanthocyanidins, which have been shown to inhibit COX-2 activity, cytokine production, and migration of immune cells to the site of inflammation. Together, Green-lipped mussel, Curcumin, and Blackcurrant leaf extract are believed to complement each other’s anti-inflammatory action in a synergistic way, because Synofit is already effective at relatively low dosages and since these nutraceutical ingredients inhibit COX-2 and 5-LOX activity, as well as several other central inflammation mediators, by distinct mechanisms. As soon as inflammation processes are inhibited to a considerable extent, the Glycosaminoglycans from the Green-lipped mussel could help to restore normal cartilage turnover by providing additional nutrients and building materials to the cartilage matrix and synovial fluid. The mechanisms of action of Synofit’s ingredients are summarised in schematic figures.

The Synofit study - Since Synofit is being used by a growing number of osteoarthritis patients, there is an increasing interest in scientific evidence of its efficacy and safety. Therefore, a double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over pilot was performed with 62 knee osteoarthritis patients in a clinic in the Netherlands. All subjects were allocated to receive Synofit during 6 weeks, as well as a placebo during 6 weeks. Participants, physicians and assistants were blinded: they did not know whether they first received Synofit or the placebo. The two supplementation periods were separated by a wash-out period of another 6 weeks. Subjects visited the clinic at 0, 6, 12, and 18 weeks to receive the study medication and to complete questionnaires about their experiences. As a primary study outcome, the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score questionnaire was used, as well as the Visual Analogue Scale for ‘general experienced pain’ and ‘worst experienced pain’ grading. Also, the use of other medication and eventual positive or negative side effects were accurately recorded.

This research was still ongoing on 13 December 2013, so it was not possible to highlight any results in this abstract yet. We will be able to show at least the preliminary study results at the Vitafoods Symposium in May 2014. Specifically for this Symposium, we will unblind the data from the patients who will have been finished on April 24th, so that their results could be presented already to the visitors of Vitafoods Europe 2014.


Who Should Attend and why:

Distributors of joint health products and individuals who are interested in joint health and osteoarthritis. Delegates who are interested in nutraceutical solutions for health issues. People who want to know more about Synofit’s mechanisms of action (i.e. the molecular anti-inflammatory effects of Green-lipped mussel, Curcumin, and Blackcurrant leaf extract). People who are interested in the latest research findings of Synofit.  This presentation will give its attendees: a brief update on the current osteoarthritis problem (also with regard to nutraceutical use); an overview of the mechanism of action of Green-lipped mussel, Curcumin, and Blackcurrant leaf extract in osteoarthritis; an in-depth review of the placebo-controlled 2014 study results with Synofit.

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What do you think?
Can better nutrition ever achieve its promise to reduce chronic disease and public health care costs?
Yes - but better clarity is needed on food labelling and marketing regulation
Only if legislation banning certain foods is introduced
No - you can't force people to change lifestyle patterns
No - food manufacturers are more concerned with profit than public health
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