Clusters of Responders and Predictive Factors for Response to Supplementation with Boswellia, Turmeric, and Red Algae Extracts in Painful Knee Osteoarthritis: A Prospective Observational Study Using an Arsenal of Patient-Centered Measures.
Open Access Rheumatol. 2021 ;13:1-13. Epub 2021 Jan 8. PMID: 33447100
Samira Ait Abdellah
Purpose: This observational study evaluated a combination of boswellia, turmeric, and red algae extracts in patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA). Given the growing interest in patient-centered care in osteoarthritis, effects were assessed by an arsenal of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs): Patient Acceptable Symptom Scale (PASS), Minimal Clinically Important Improvement (MCII), Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC), and Lequesne algofunctional index (LAFI). Patients also completed a list of 17 items on pain quality.
Patients and Methods: Patients with painful unilateral or bilateral KOA had to take 1-4 capsules per day of a dietary supplement containing boswellia, turmeric, and red algae extracts for 90 days. Patients completed PROMs on Days 0 (baseline), 10, 20, 30, 60, and/or 90.
Results: A total of 118 patients [female: 69.5%; age: 62.9 (9.5) years, mean (SD)] were included in the study and took at least one capsule. Mean (SD) follow-up duration was 100.7 (54.9) days. Pain relief was maximal on Day 90: 64.5% of patients were responders (positive PASS); 68.8% and 58.4% had MCII and PGIC scores indicating positive effect (score≥3) or global improvement (score ≥5); 73.3% (versus 47.5% at baseline) were mildly/moderately disabled (LAFI score<8); 55.2% had meaningful decrease (-30%) in pain intensity (VAS), 35.1% (versus 59.2% at baseline) took analgesics as supplementary treatment. Median time to the first PASS change was 34 days. Pain intensity (VAS), as well as two pain characteristics (ie,"Stabbing pain"and"Widespread pain"), were independent factors associated with non-response on Day 30. Four clusters of responders were isolated according to pain characteristics, with one cluster exhibiting a higher responder rate.
Conclusion: The results of this preliminary study suggest that the combination of boswellia, turmeric, and red algae extracts tested could improve KOA patients. Beyond these results, this study showed the importance of PROMs and specific pain qualitative descriptors for the accurate evaluation of dietary supplement approaches in painful conditions.