Introduction: 5-Loxin® is a novel Boswellia serrata extract enriched with 30% 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA), which exhibits potential anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme. A 90-day, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 5-Loxin® in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Methods: Seventy-five OA patients were included in the study. The patients received either 100 mg (n = 25) or 250 mg (n = 25) of 5-Loxin® daily or a placebo (n = 25) for 90 days. Each patient was evaluated for pain and physical functions by using the standard tools (visual analog scale, Lequesne's Functional Index, and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index) at the baseline (day 0), and at days 7, 30, 60 and 90. Additionally, the cartilage degrading enzyme matrix metalloproteinase-3 was also evaluated in synovial fluid from OA patients. Measurement of a battery of biochemical parameters in serum and haematological parameters, and urine analysis were performed to evaluate the safety of 5-Loxin® in OA patients. Results: Seventy patients completed the study. At the end of the study, both doses of 5-Loxin® conferred clinically and statistically significant improvements in pain scores and physical function scores in OA patients. Interestingly, significant improvements in pain score and functional ability were recorded in the treatment group supplemented with 250 mg 5-Loxin® as early as 7 days after the start of treatment. Corroborating the improvements in pain scores in treatment groups, we also noted significant reduction in synovial fluid matrix metalloproteinase-3. In comparison with placebo, the safety parameters were almost unchanged in the treatment groups. Conclusion: 5-Loxin® reduces pain and improves physical functioning significantly in OA patients; and it is safe for human consumption. 5-Loxin® may exert its beneficial effects by controlling inflammatory responses through reducing proinflammatory modulators, and it may improve joint health by reducing the enzymatic degradation of cartilage in OA patients.
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