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Editorial

Molecular targets of natural health products in arthritis

Sarah Khalifé and Muhammad Zafarullah*

Author Affiliations

Department of Medicine, University of Montreal and CRCHUM, Hôpital Notre-Dame, K-5255 Mailloux, 1560 Sherbrooke est, Montréal, Québec, Canada H2L 4M1

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011, 13:102  doi:10.1186/ar3222


See related research by Rasheed et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/12/5/R195

Published: 3 February 2011

Abstract

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) consume 'natural health products' (NHPs) whose therapeutic efficacy, toxicity and mechanisms of action are poorly understood. In a previous issue of Arthritis Research and Therapy, Haqqi and colleagues characterized IL-1-activated mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 3 (MKK3) and p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) isoforms in human OA chondrocytes. The cartilageprotective mechanisms of pomegranate extract involve diminishing MKK3-activated p38α, JNK, NF-κB and Runx2 pathways, which regulate inflammatory proteins and cartilage-destroying proteases. Epigallocatechin- 3-gallate, resveratrol, curcumin and other NHP active ingredients suppress multiple inflammatory and catabolic molecular mediators of arthritis. Non-toxicity, reduced severity and incidence of arthritis in animal models warrant testing NHP active ingredients for preventing human OA and RA.