The report, published in 'Journal of Pain Research', points out many consumers are on the search for safer alternatives to pain relief medications, which can often have unpleasant side effects.
Supplements can help reduce joint discomfort by reducing inflammation or protecting the cartilage in the joints but their onset of action is often slow.
Vitex negundo (aka Chinese chastetree) has been widely used as a medicinal plant and food in South Asian countries. The presence of several bioactives like phenolic glycosides, lignans, diterpenoids, and triterpenoids gives it anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties.
However, to date, no human trial has been conducted to evaluate the pain-relieving effect of V. negundo in a diseased or healthy population.
Zingiber officinale (Ginger) rhizome, is also a well-known Asian spice with centuries of history of culinary use. Several clinical studies have been conducted to investigate the effect of Ginger extract or whole powder on exercise-induced joint pain, muscle soreness, and inflammation and a recent review of clinical trials of Ginger concluded that its use for pain-lowering effect is safe and promising.
Enovate Biolife sells the ingredient E-PR-01, branded 'Muvz', a proprietary blend containing extracts of V. negundo leaf and Z. officinale rhizome.
This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study was conducted with the aim to determine the effect of a single dose of the ingredient on the time taken to achieve meaningful pain relief (MPR) in exercise-induced joint discomfort.
The secondary objectives were post-exertion pain intensity difference (PID) at 2-, 3- and 4-hours, the time-weighted sum of pain intensity difference (SPID) and physical efficiency, compared to the placebo.
The study results indicate that the single 200 mg dose of E-PR-01 effectively reduced exercise-induced joint pain within 4 hours of its administration.
The ingredient was administered to 40 physically active men & women aged 20–60 years with no or minimal pain at rest (Visual Analog Scale (VAS) score ≤ 30 mm). However, they had history of knee pain on physical stress (walking, running, cycling, etc.)
Participants received 200 mg twice daily, or placebo, for 5 days, and researchers investigated time taken to achieve meaningful pain relief (MPR) (≥40% reduction in post-exertion pain score from baseline) post-first dose of intervention on day 1 compared to placebo, along with secondary parameters such as post-exertion pain intensity difference (PID), time-weighted sum of pain intensity difference (SPID) over 4 hours post first dose on day 1.
The participants continued to take 200mg twice daily of the interventions and the post-exertion pain VAS score at 4 hours was again measured on day 5.
Resulting data indicate the average time to achieve MPR was 3.38 hours - 32.5% participants achieved this in the intervention group post first-dose on day one, as opposed to the placebo where no participant achieved MPR.
There were also significant intergroup differences in PID (−23.58 vs 2.45 mm) and SPID (−67.48 vs −0.08 mm) at 4 hours after intervention of Muvz V/s placebo on day 1.
Also, 95% of participants in the Muvz group experienced some degree of pain relief within 2 hours compared to 37.5% in placebo group.
The authors conclude: "A single dose of this Vitex negundo & Ginger proprietary extract provided a statistically significant as well as clinically meaningful reduction in exercise-induced knee joint discomfort within 4 hours of administration.
"Overall, the ingredient significantly improved the exercise-induced acute knee joint pain at 2 hours which continued till 4 hours after a single dose of 200 mg. This pain relief was considered meaningful by 32.5% participants. Muvz was found to be safe in this study with no adverse events reported and the vitals of blood pressure & pulse rate were stable for all participants."
Source: Journal of Pain Research
"Effect of E-PR-01 on Activity-Induced Acute Knee Joint Discomfort in Healthy Individuals: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Cross-Over Study"
Shalini Srivastava and Robert N Girandola