Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis

R. D. Altman, K. C. Marcussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

306 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a standardized and highly concentrated extract of 2 ginger species, Zingiber officinale and Alpinia galanga (EV.EXT 77), in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Methods. Two hundred sixty-one patients with OA of the knee and moderate-to-severe pain were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebocontrolled, multicenter, parallel-group, 6-week study. After washout, patients received ginger extract or placebo twice daily, with acetaminophen allowed as rescue medication. The primary efficacy variable was the proportion of responders experiencing a reduction in "knee pain on standing," using an intent-to-treat analysis. A responder was defined by a reduction in pain of ≥15 mm on a visual analog scale. Results. In the 247 evaluable patients, the percentage of responders experiencing a reduction in knee pain on standing was superior in the ginger extract group compared with the control group (63% versus 50%; P = 0.048). Analysis of the secondary efficacy variables revealed a consistently greater response in the ginger extract group compared with the control group, when analyzing mean values: reduction in knee pain on standing (24.5 mm versus 16.4 mm; P = 0.005), reduction in knee pain after walking 50 feet (15.1 mm versus 8.7 mm; P = 0.016), and reduction in the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis composite index (12.9 mm versus 9.0 mm; P = 0.087). Change in global status and reduction in intake of rescue medication were numerically greater in the ginger extract group. Change in quality of life was equal in the 2 groups. Patients receiving ginger extract experienced more gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events than did the placebo group (59 patients versus 21 patients). GI adverse events were mostly mild. Conclusion. A highly purified and standardized ginger extract had a statistically significant effect on reducing symptoms of OA of the knee. This effect was moderate. There was a good safety profile, with mostly mild GI adverse events in the ginger extract group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2531-2538
Number of pages8
JournalArthritis and Rheumatism
Volume44
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 21 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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