What is Saicra®?
Arthritis is one of the most debilitating diseases of our time and has affected millions of people worldwide irrespective of age or gender. In most countries, pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs are used to reduce the pain and inflammation. These pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs at times can have serious adverse side effects.
Arthritis patients are constantly rising in India. In fact, 15% of the Indian population suffers from this crippling disease is alarming. In India, degenerative arthritis which affects the knee is more prevalent in the country with every third person above the age of 70 years suffering from it.
Saicra® contains anti-inflammatory agents, immune modulators and many essential building blocks like proteins, minerals and glycosaminoglycans and marine long chain fatty acids. These are naturally occurring, substantial therapeutic agents known to maintain joint health and mobility. They are needed to build collagen, proteoglycans and synovial fluids found in joints, ligaments and tendons.
The benefit of Saicra® comes as relief from pain and improvement in general mobility. Usually the improvements in these conditions is gradual and progressive, it is also usually long lasting and not temporary. Normally, the first thing to be noticed is a reduction in pain, which is followed by gradual improvement in grip strength, freedom of movement or other mobility.
What is Saicra® and what does it contain?
Saicra® contains Green Lipped Mussel Extract (GLME) from New Zealand which has now been subjected to over thirty years of quality scientific research. It has been shown in laboratory and clinical trials, to be effective in treating both the rheumatoid and osteo forms of arthritis.
Saicra® performs two distinct anti-inflammatory activities. The principal anti-inflammatory activity is due to a carbohydrate complex that has the ability to inhibit the emigration of neutrophils from the blood vessels. What this means, in everyday terms, is that soldier cells (neutrophils) are inhibited from attacking our own cells when an inflammatory stimulus is present. Preventing inflammation with its associated pain and reduced mobility symptoms is a primary requirement for an arthritis treatment.
The second anti-inflammatory activity is due to the effect of GLME's natural content of long chain fatty acids on cyclo-oxygenase activities. These cyclo-oxygenase (COX) compounds are enzymes which the body uses to biosynthesize chemicals called prostaglandins. There are two forms of these COX enzymes. COX 1 is constitutive and a natural component of normal tissue. It performs important functions in our body. The other form (COX 2) is induced when an inflammatory state such as arthritis is present and it produces pro-inflammatory prostaglandins. It is therefore desirable to selectively inhibit the COX-2 enzymic activity. Anti-inflammatory drugs tend to inhibit both COX 1 and COX 2 activity thus inhibiting the production of the prostaglandins, which are needed for the protection of the stomach lining, helping kidney function and also some blood characteristics. GLME has the very desirable, and most important benefit, of selectively inhibiting just the COX 2 activity.
Another valuable feature of the product is that it has been found to have natural gastro-protective properties. This means that, not only does it not damage the delicate stomach lining, it actually provides a protective function for it. Thus the product is able to relieve the inflammatory symptoms associated with arthritic diseases whilst protecting the stomach from the damaging effect of some pain-killers should a person need to be taking these at the same time.
Saicra® has a natural content of glycosaminoglycans. This is the name for a group of polysaccharides which includes chondroitin sulphate, dermatan sulphate, hyaluronic acid etc. These glycosaminoglycans are used by the body for the biosynthesis of compounds called proteoglycans. The proteoglycans have a very strong affinity for water molecules in the joints, to which they bind, and form very large, slippery, space filling molecules. The function of these large combination molecules is to act as shock absorbers and also lubricants in the joints. Thus, GLME has anti-inflammatory activity that is necessary to relieve the inflammatory component coupled with chondro-protective activity which relieves the physical component of osteo arthritis.
In young people and those not affected by arthritis, the rate of cartilage degeneration in the joints is equaled by that of regeneration. In the older person and in arthritic disease states this balance is upset leading to a reduction in the padding and lubrication of the joints. Certain cytokine induced enzyme activity is known to accelerate the breakdown of cartilage process and the inhibition of this enzymic activity is thus very desirable.
To summarize, Saicra® contains the components that the body requires to effectively relieve the symptoms of both rheumatoid and osteo arthritis without inducing the classical adverse side effects associated with many drug therapies.
New Zealand's Green Lipped Mussel Extract (GLME) has been studied in a number of clinical trials in patients with arthritis. The results of these studies have been very promising and demonstrated that GLME can significantly reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
A USA Pilot Study done on Gonarthrosis (2000)
Kendall R, Lawson J and Hurley LA. New research and a clinical report on the use of GLME in the management of arthritis. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, 2000; 204:98-111 This paper includes the results of a laboratory research into the mechanisms of action of the green-lipped mussel extract and also those from a 4-year clinical study involving 120 patients sufferingfrom osteo arthritis. The results, which originate from a university and also a clinical practice in the USA are once again excellent and fully support all the earlier positive data for the product.The research referenced above provides extensive evidence for the beneficial use of the Green-Lipped Mussel Extract (GLME) in the treatment of arthritic disorders in both human and animal subjects. The mechanisms of action involve anti-inflammatory, chondro-protective and gastro-protective functions and point to the product providing more than simply symptomatic relief.The paper also contains some valuable data confirming the potential for reducing cartilagedegradation by inhibition of catabolic cytokine activity and the value of the naturally presentglycosaminoglycans in the extract for joint health.
French Study involving Osteo Arthritis of the Knee (1986)
Audeval, B., Bouchacourt, P., Double blind, placebo-controlled study of the mussel (New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussel) in Gonarthrosis (arthritis of the knee). La Gazette Medicale, 93 (38), 1986 : 111-115 This double blind, placebo-controlled clinical study was conducted to the full European protocol asdetailed in The European Directive on Clinical Trials of New Drugs Against Rheumatism in 53 patients with arthritis of the knee showing that GLME was a very effective treatment for arthritis,when judged using both - objective (mobility measures) and subjective (patient perception of symptoms) means of assessment. The two most debilitating features of arthritis – pain and loss of function – both responded well to the treatment.