Powder made from a wild variety of rosehip – known as Rosa canina – may be more effective at reducing joint pain in osteoarthritis (OA) than paracetamol, according to the latest findings from an international research team .
Although several independent studies have identified substantial benefits of rosehip powder on joint pain and stiffness in OA, this latest study – which combined the results from all good quality clinical trials conducted since the 1950s – provides the most compelling evidence yet that rosehip powder has an important role to play as a natural pain reliever in this difficult-to-treat condition.
This landmark study, which was published recently in the medical journal, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, took the results from three large, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials of rosehip powder (known as Litozin in the UK), in patients with OA and combined them into a single ‘effect size’ score. This careful combined analysis (known as a meta-analysis) showed how much more effective rosehip powder was than placebo as a pain reliever across all the studies, giving a robust and statistically significant effect size score of 0.37 (the higher the score the better the effect). This, according to the researchers, compares extremely favourably with the effect size scores already determined for paracetamol (0.13) and glucosamine (0.27) when used for pain relief in OA. Importantly, the study also found that people taking Litozin were able to reduce their consumption of ‘rescue medications’ such as paracetamol and synthetic opioids.
Currently, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which sets out guidelines for the treatment of chronic illnesses, recommends paracetamol as the first-line oral medication for pain relief in OA. The results from this latest research clearly suggest that rosehip powder – which is not associated with the potentially serious side effects of other pain relieving medications – has an important role to play in the future management of OA. Scientists believe that the symptomatic improvements reported after just a few weeks of rosehip treatment are due to its unique anti-inflammatory properties – resulting from the presence of a specific galactolipid substance (called GOPO) which is preserved in Litozin by a patented manufacturing process.
Dr Kaj Winther, an inflammation specialist at the Frederiksberg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, believes this study provides conclusive evidence of the power of rosehips as a symptomatic treatment for OA and that rosehip powder should be used increasingly for pain relief in many conditions, including arthritis.
‘This is very exciting news for arthritis sufferers, especially for those who rely heavily on strong, potentially dangerous, pain relieving medications,’ he said. ‘Some of the main advantages of taking an alternative medication such as rosehip to reduce pain are that, firstly, it is readily available over-the-counter and, secondly, unlike traditional painkillers, it does not produce unpleasant side effects.’ GOPO is only available in the UK under the brand name Litozin Joint Health. One month´s supply of the supplement, available at most high-street chemists, is priced at £19.99.
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Litozin is available to buy online at: www.litozin.co.uk . It is also available at Boots, Holland and Barrett and independent pharmacies and health food shops. RRP £19.99 for 120 capsules
Notes to editors:
All references and claims contained in this release refer directly to Christensen R et al., Does the hip powder of Rosa canina (rosehip) reduce pain in osteoarthritis patients? – a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, Osteoarthritis Cartilage (2008), doi:10.1016/joca.2008.03.001
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