Flavocoxid (Limbrel) is a new arthritis medicine that is considered both a drug as well as a food. It contains a blend of natural ingredients featuring flavonoids - anti-inflammatory compounds that are more commonly found in foods such as green, leafy vegetables, brightly colored fruits, soy, peanuts, cocoa and green tea. In clinical trials and in the real world so far, Limbrel has improved patients’ arthritis symptoms including discomfort, stiffness and loss of mobility. It has been tested in osteoarthritis only and its benefits in other types of arthritis are unknown.
Patients may want to consider taking Limbrel to replace or reduce the amount of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) they take. This class of drugs includes pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen, which ease arthritis symptoms but are associated with possible side effects such as stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver toxicity, and kidney damage.
Degenerative diseases are accelerated by abnormally low levels of chemical compounds such as flavonoids and antioxidants. The result is chronic inflammation - which is not just a symptom, but a contributing factor to arthritis progression through the elevated production of inflammatory metabolites in the body.
Limbrel is designed to correct nutritional deficiencies, delivering arthritis-fighting antioxidants in a more concentrated and compact form than is usually possible with diet alone. Limbrel is loaded with the anti-inflammatory flavonoids baicalin and catechin, derived from the natural botanical sources Scutellaria baicalensis, Baikal scullcap and Acacia catechu. These have potent antioxidant action that may prevent the oxidation of free radicals that leads to some forms of inflammation. Taking Limbrel may help restore and maintain the balance of fatty acids in osteoarthritis, which in turn has the potential of reducing inflammation in two different pathways (cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase) associated with arthritis. In contrast to the dual pathway effect of Limbrel, NSAIDs target only the cyclooxygenase pathway.
According to Primus Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Limbrel, the ingredients in Limbrel are “GRAS" or “Generally Recognized as Safe, " meaning that they meet FDA standards for safe use in humans. Other GRAS ingredients include well-known nutrients such as folic acid, vitamin C and calcium, which likewise have therapeutic benefits. In clinical studies, Limbrel's side effects were comparable to a placebo.
Long-term risks of Limbrel are unknown at this point.
Limbrel should not be taken with other NSAIDS. Limbrel can be taken with or without food, although some research suggests that taking it one hour before or after meals may increase absorption. If you are allergic to flavonoid-containing foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, cocoa, red wine or tea, tell your doctor before taking Limbrel.
Dr. Wei (pronounced “way”) is a board-certified rheumatologist and Clinical Director of the nationally respected Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Maryland. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and has served as a consultant to the Arthritis Branch of the National Institutes of Health. He is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and the American College of Physicians. For more information, go to: Arthritis Treatment