Frequently Asked Questions
JOINT PAIN & WOBENZYM®
Is Wobenzym® a pain reliever?
Pain reduction has been well documented in various conditions, including rheumatic joint disease. These analgesic effects are based on the inhibition of inflammation as well as the direct influence on the nociceptors – the nerve cell endings that initiate the sensation of pain. This ability to address both the source of the pain – swelling and inflammation – and to actually relieve the pain by decreasing the noxious stimuli to pain receptors – so that the pain signal is diminished, makes Wobenzym® a very good choice for pain management, especially when it comes to joint pain.
How does this apply to joint pain, which is one of the most common causes of pain?
There are different reasons for joint pain – different types of arthritis. Wobenzym® has been shown to be effective in treating all forms of arthritis. A point to remember is the word “arthritis” literally means “joint inflammation”. Yes, pain is often involved, and we could use the term “arthralgia” which means “joint pain”, but the root cause of that pain is inflammation, so our goal is to address the inflammation, which will also relieve the pain. Systemic enzyme support is effective in treating joint pain because of its ability to control the destructive inflammatory processes involved in the various forms of arthritis.
The different forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as psoriatic arthritis, juvenile chronic arthritis and even gouty arthritis.
Considering patients with osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease: A 2006 six week phase III, randomized, double blind, parallel group study compared systemic enzyme support with diclofenac the generic name for a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is widely used to treat arthritis. Keep in mind that diclofenac can increase the risk of life-threatening heart or circulation problems, including heart attack or stroke – and the longer it is used, the greater the risk. Contrast that to those studies that conclude that Wobenzym® reduced the risk if myocardial infarction. Now, consider this: the 2006 study found systemic enzymes were as effective as diclofenac – and noted that the systemic enzymes were better tolerated.
A 2004 randomized, double-blind, parallel group trial by a different group of researchers came to the same conclusion. Within the six week observation period, they noted that that systemic enzyme support “can be considered as an effective and safe alternative to NSAIDs such as diclofenac in the treatment of painful episodes of OA of the knee.”
And before that, a 2001 randomized, controlled, single-blind study of seven weeks duration found that systemic enzyme support “is as efficacious and well tolerated as diclofenac” in the management of active osteoarthritis.
A number of studies conclude that Wobenzym® is an effective and safe alternative to NSAIDS in the treatment of painful episodes of osteoarthritis of the knee and hip.
So, we see that systemic enzyme support is as effective as – and in my opinion safer than - nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the management of osteoarthritis. We see similar results for rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis.
How is rheumatoid arthritis different that osteoarthritis?
As you may know, rheumatoid arthritis (often called RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disorder that primarily attacks the joints – although other tissues may be inflamed as well. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, so it is often treated with high dosages of steroid hormones or other powerful drugs like methotrexate, or gold salts, or high dosage NSAIDs.
Because rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease there are increased amounts antibodies, such as Rheumatoid Factor and IgG-RF. This can result in increased circulating immune complexes, which, as we mentioned earlier, are quite pro-inflammatory. We also see increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines such as TFN-alpha (tissue necrosis factor – which, as the name implies, promotes destruction of tissue).As you would expect, there are also increased levels of C-reactive protein.
In contrast to osteoarthritis – which is a degenerative process, rheumatoid arthritis is an actively destructive process.
How does Wobenzym® affect the destructive process in rheumatoid arthritis?
The studies show that systemic enzyme support is able to arrest the inflammatory process, and relieve the pain, swelling, and redness of affected joints. A 2001 study reported that in most patients that were “definite signs of rheumatoid arthritis remission appear at the end of the first month” in patients taking 30 Wobenzym tablets a day.
An earlier study revealed had patients taking 7 to 10 Wobenzym® tablets, 3 times a day for 2 to 4 weeks, and then lowered it to 5 tablets 3 times a day and monitored them for two years. Even at that lower dosage apparent clinical remission was achieved in 80% of patients by the 6th month of treatment.
I know we will want to talk more about dosing in another segment, but this is a good time to point out that in aggressive and destructive inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, we typically see results at the therapy dosage of about 30 tablets a day.
In addition to improvement of pain and other symptoms, we see changes in lab results that monitor systemic inflammation. Another study showed that from 15 to 30 tablets of Wobenzym a day resulted in greater reduction of C-reactive protein, circulating immune complexes and pro-inflammatory cytokines, including TNF-alpha.
In fact, in patients treated with Wobenzym, the TNF-alpha levels were 40% - less than half – of the levels seen in untreated patients.
Just as we saw in osteoarthritis, Wobenzym® protects and preserves joint cartilage significantly better than NSAIDs in rheumatoid arthritis50-60.
What other types of arthritis can benefit from using Wobenzym®?
Juvenile chronic arthritis is a group of systemic inflammatory disorders affecting children below the age of 16 years. Because of its inflammatory nature it is often compared to the rheumatoid arthritis seen in adults. It is a relatively rare condition (9 – 25 per 100, 000) which affects girls 2 to 3 times more often than boys. A small study including both boys and girls revealed therapeutic benefits with 4 to 5 months. No side effects were observed. Only two children experienced a relapse in the more than 2 years of follow-up exams. The addition of systemic enzyme support improved both articular signs and extra-articular manifestations in the majority of the children with juvenile chronic arthritis and was able to help limit the use of corticosteroids in some children.
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects about 10 to 30% of people who have psoriasis. A small study showed improvement at about 4 months as well. Now what is interesting, is they only used 9 to 15 tablets of Wobenzym® a day, and patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the same study also required 4 months to improve. So again, in aggressive and destructive inflammatory conditions, I always advise a therapeutic dosage of 30 tablets a day.
Gout is a form of arthritis that affects mostly middle-aged men and postmenopausal women. After 3 weeks of adding Wobenzym® to conventional gout therapy, they saw an improvement of 94.1% compared to only 47.3% with only conventional therapy.
So when you look at the research, you could say that Wobenzym is a good therapy for all forms of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as psoriatic arthritis, juvenile chronic arthritis and even gouty arthritis.
If someone is already taking some type of medication for their arthritis, can they still take Wobenzym®?
I would have to say yes. There have been Wobenzym studies with patients already taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as diclofenac sodium, movalis, phelden, or indomethacin. Some of the studies also included patients taking allopurinol or methotrexate in addition to the NSAID.
Learn more at: Rheumatoid Arthritis
These studies show that Wobenzym® N is actually able to improve the effectiveness of other mediations that are not working. This is important because when the routine medications for severe diseases failt to work, the patient more likely to be put at risk by trying to using stronger mediations with more severe side effects. While it is nice to know that Wobenzym® N can make other drugs work better, we should keep our eyes on the other studies that show Wobenzym® N actually working as good as the drugs.
How effective is Wobenzym® for treating tendonitis?
In treating tendonitis of the shoulder, Wobenzym® PS significantly decreases both shoulder pain and disability within the patients receiving the formulation.
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