Meriva®: The Indena’s turmeric phytosome® for an effective, total wellbeing
Curcuma longa and the low-level inflammation challenge
Curcuma longa L. (a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae) is a perennial herb plant widespread in South East Asia and extensively cultivated in China, India, Indonesia and Thailand.
The golden-orange rhizome from which an intense yellow ingredient is obtained is used for food and for the production of supplements. Turmeric root has been known since ancient times for its beneficial properties and is one of the most widely studied botanical ingredients.
The turmeric plant, and in particular its rhizome, first appeared in India as a spice, as a food and for use in Ayurvedic medicine before 600 BC. Turmeric is part of the ginger family and, like ginger, grows easily in tropical climates. It probably reached China in 700 AD, West Africa from 800 AD and the Americas around 1700 AD.
Turmeric has many different names in different countries, but is known in many languages simply as “yellow root”. This iconic colour derives from three chemically distinct compounds, which are the active components of the plant: curcumin, monodemetoxicurcumin and bi deme-thoxyurcumin.
All three of these curcuminoids are often collectively referred to as curcumin, both on the market and also in scientific literature. However, it is important to remember that each curcuminoid compound has its specific chemical structure and its specific functional profile. Depending on its source and growth conditions, the rhizome contains from 2% to 9% of curcuminoids and a volatile oil composed mainly of sesquiterpenes such as zingiberene, curcumol and α and β turmerone.
The three forms of “curcumin” have different chemical personalities and, working together or individually, have been reported in literature to produce important effects: antioxidant, anti- inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, anti-infectious, up to an alleged anti-cancer effect.
As of 2019, not less than 100 human studies have been carried out on curcumin, involving thousands of subjects.
In humans, the main action of curcumin is to modulate healthy inflammatory response; as such, it has a beneficial effect on gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, osteoarticular and hepatic health.
Low chronic inflammation is the cause of many ailments, and may also be defined today as the silent killer of human health. According to the World Health Organization, over a third of the 57 million deaths worldwide each year are caused by chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, respiratory disease and Alzheimer’s disease) and 90% of these diseases have an inflammatory origin. Chronic inflammation is mainly the result of a typical western lifestyle: understanding its mechanisms and coping with inflammation has become a crucial goal of modern clinical research and has in fact recently been defined a priority by the National Institutes of Health in the US.
Meriva®, follow the Life Guardian
Considering the relevance of low chronic inflammation for so many people, it is important to find a lifelong counterbalance strategy of such a condition, more compatible with human body’s functioning than the systematic and continuous use of medicines, not devoid of side effects, especially on the medium/ long term.
An effective solution is Meriva®, Indena’s turmeric formulated with Phytosome® delivery system, which is able to help people in maintaining an active lifestyle and high quality of life. Overall, Meriva® offers lifelong support so that human body’s natural inflammatory response does not turn into low-level chronic inflammation.
The health support of Meriva® is demonstrated by over 35 scientific studies in humans, of which at least a third were conducted with the randomized controlled scheme. Its tolerability and effectiveness in maintaining an overall wellbeing thus keeping low-level chronic inflammation far away, grants Meriva® the role of The Life Guardian™ as it can be taken for a long-term life-maintenance strategy.
Like many botanicals, turmeric has poor solubility in water and is difficult to be absorbed by the intestine, with consequent limitation of its bioavailability. To face the challenge of a real efficacy of curcumin, Meriva® is formulated with Phytosome® delivery system, Indena’s proprietary technology to optimize oral bioavailability of natural ingredients. Phytosome® is a solid dispersion of botanicals or natural products into a 100% food-grade matrix based on lecithin. Lecithins are natural surfactants which, together with bile salts, take part in the physiological process of absorption of lipophilic compounds and constitute the lipid double layer of cell membranes, making products, not readily soluble in water, more easily absorbable for example by the intestine.
Meriva® has many fields of application, for an actual total wellbeing
Numerous human studies support the evidence of Meriva® effectiveness in several conditions: joint and bone health, eyes health, sports nutrition, cardiovascular health, liver health, neuropathies, gut health, skin health, healthy aging, respiratory health and prostate health. Let’s go deep in some of the mentioned areas.
Joint and bone health
- Three human studies in joints function had as primary subjective endpoints results: 58% decrease of WOMAC score (discomfort), >3fold improvement of SEI (Social and Emotional Index) score, 26% improvement of Karnofsky Scale (function); and as primary objective endpoints results: >4fold increase (p <0.05) of functional score (treadmill test), 16 fold decrease (p <0.05) of CRP and reduction of cytokines (IL-1b, IL-6).
- One human study in bone health has been held to verify the effects in healthy subjects with borderline bone density. The 24-week supplement study showed that the bone density of the heel measured by densitometer remarkably improved in the Meriva®-supplemented group, with a significant decrease of ultrasounds transmission values at week 12 (-18.4%) and at week 24 (-21.0%), compared with baseline values. The bone densities of small finger and upper jaw also significantly increased in supplemented subjects, reaching +7.1% and +4.8%, respectively, at week 24, with respect to values at inclusion. Noteworthy, no significant changes of heel, small finger and upper jaw densities were observed in the control group.
Eye health is another field where Meriva® support is explored, as showed in the last decade by some human studies:
- one in eye microcirculation where Meriva® optimised retinal flow after 4 weeks of supplementation;
- one in eye membranes health: the evaluation of eye wellbeing during 1 year of supplementation with Meriva® and during the follow up compared with the previous period of 1 year before the study enrollment, showed a prolonged period of eye healthy function in the total number of subjects with relapses and in the total number of relapses overall;
- one in meibomian gland health: supplementation with Meriva® helped to maintain quality of life after 3 months, as for ocular comfort, visual discomfort, blurring and burning sensation control.
Other human studies have been done with Meriva® in the eye health area, focusing on maintenance of healthy vision levels, related to serum production and macula wellbeing.
- One study to verify the reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness. Results: subjective (reduction of discomfort) p< 0.05 (right & left anterior thighs) vs placebo; biochemical (plasma markers of oxidation, inflammation and lipid state) p< 0.05 for IL-8 vs placebo; instrumental (MRI visualization of muscle injury) p< 0.05 (posterior-medial compartment of right thigh) vs placebo; histological (bioptic study of muscle degradation);
- one human study in endurance. Results: positive effect of curcumin on IL-6 levels regulation; DALDA results indicate that participants in the Meriva® group felt better on the day of the exercise vs placebo. Moreover, the study independently confirmed the bioavailability of curcuminoids with Meriva® supplementation: HPLC analysis showed the presence of curcumin in plasma of all participants when taking Meriva®. No curcumin was detected in plasma samples of control and placebo groups. Mean ± SD (range) curcumin concentration obtained was 79.7 ¬± 26.3 ng/ml (50.7 ng/ml to 125.5 ng/ml).
As for cardiovascular health, a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study involving «healthy» subjects with fasting plasma total cholesterol > 5.5 mmol/L showed a synergy with phytosterols on lipids and glucose control.
Two randomized, double blind, placebo controlled human studies in liver function had the following results:
- liver enzymes amelioration (p < 0.001): -30% AST, -25% ALT;
- liver function support (ultrasonography): +24% hepatic vein flow;
- serum lipids and uric acid reduction (p< 0.001): -21% total cholesterol, -17% triglycerides, -8% uric acid;
- BMI reduction (- 3%);
- waist circumference reduction (-2%).
As shown, Meriva® may actually be called The Life Guardian™. It is a great honour that Meriva® is the only turmeric formulation endorsed by the prestigious Cleveland Clinic in the USA.
With more than 35 human studies in more than 10 different health conditions involving over 2000 subjects in more than 20 research centers, Meriva® is the most studied curcumin bioavailable formulation on the market. Human investigations will continue to spread the health support to help more and more people feeling better.