Gooseberry, a natural NF-kB inhibitor, may be useful for rheumatoid arthritis

Indian gooseberry recommended for bone disease – because it is an inhibitor of NF-kB

The publication:

August, 2009

Apoptosis of human primary osteoclasts treated with molecules targeting nuclear factor-kappaB

Summary of the abstract

Osteoclasts (OCs) are involved in several pathologies associated with bone loss, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, bone metastasis of myeloma, osteosarcoma, and breast cancer.

In this review we determined the effects of natural compounds, including extracts from medicinal plants, on differentiation and survival of human primary osteoclasts.

With respect to effects of medicinal plants, we found that crude extracts of Emblica officinalis (Indian gooseberry) are able to induce specifically programmed cell death of mature osteoclasts.

Experiments demonstrate that E. officinalis extracts specifically compete with the binding of a transcription factor involved in osteoclastogenesis NF-kappaB to its specific target DNA sequences. This might explain the observed effects of E. officinalis on the expression levels of IL-6, an NF-kappaB-specific target gene.

We suggest the application of natural products as an alternative tool for therapy applied to bone diseases.


Extracts of Indian gooseberry inhibit function of NF-kB by competing at the binding site on the gene

Indian gooseberry has a long history of use as a medicinal plant. See the Wikipedia article on Indian gooseberry for more information.

When researched, plants with a long history of medicinal use are generally found to contain active agents. Not infrequently they are found to be mild inhibitors of NF-kB. In fact, when the plant has a history of use in the treatment of inflammation, it is most often found to act, at least in part, through inhibition of NF-kB.

Indeed, a great number of plant compounds are found to inhibit NF-kB.

These researchers investigated one specific effect – on osteoclasts (the cells responsible for breaking down bone) and found that a particular plant inhibits this bone destruction by inhibiting the activity of NF-kB.

They are right, I believe, to recommend the use of natural agents in the treatment of bone disease. Whether Indian gooseberry is the best option is uncertain.

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