Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis
Article first published online: 7 NOV 2001
Copyright © 2001 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis & Rheumatism
Volume 44, Issue 11, pages 2531–2538, November 2001
How to Cite
Altman, R. D. and Marcussen, K. C. (2001), Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 44: 2531–2538. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(200111)44:11<2531::AID-ART433>3.0.CO;2-J
- Issue published online: 7 NOV 2001
- Article first published online: 7 NOV 2001
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 APR 2001
- Manuscript Received: 23 AUG 2000
- GrängeMatic Ltd, Dublin, Ireland
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.
Two hundred sixty-one patients with OA of the knee and moderate-to-severe pain were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 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.
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.
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.