"And that we don't know about because there were no x-rays in this study."
The study was conducted in China and included 207 total patients pocketknowledge.tc.columbia.edu/home.php/browse/125121 with active rheumatoid arthritis who were observed for 24 weeks.
. "I think it is something that deserves further evaluation, without a doubt."
More than half of the patients taking nothing but Triptergium wilfordii (TwHF) in the study experienced a 50% or greater improvement in their symptoms, as measured by the American College of Rheumatology's standardized assessment criteria.
By contrast, 46% of patients taking the standard drug treatment methotrexate experienced the same improvement in symptoms.
Patients taking both TwHF and methotrexate showed the greatest improvement of all, with nearly 77% of them experiencing a 50% or greater improvement in symptoms.
One major limitation of the study, however, is that both patients and clinicians knew who was receiving which treatments. A traditional herbal remedy may treat rheumatoid arthritis as effectively as an FDA-approved drug treatment, according to a preliminary study published this week in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Triptergium wilfordii Hook F, also known as the "Thunder God Vine," has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat joint pain and inflammation, though no U.S. Eric Matteson, rheumatology chair at Mayo Clinic, who was not involved with the study. A "blinded" clinical trial to rule out a placebo effect would be necessary to earn FDA-approval in the United States.
And while current drug treatments also slow the progression of arthritis over time, the study authors only measured symptom improvement with TwHF.
"Using drugs like methotrexate is intended to make people feel better and reduce the symptoms of their arthritis, but it's also intended pocketknowledge.tc.columbia.edu/home.php/browse/125121 to reduce the damage that people have from the arthritis," said Matteson. manufacturer currently sells the root extract, according to the NIH.
"It actually does show a clinical benefit," said Dr