Here We Go Again… Every time a celebrity doctor mentions some “new” supplement or product that supposedly gets rid of back pain and headaches I get flooded with questions from my physical therapy patients about them.
Sometimes the recommendations are valid. Some of the products and supplements really can help with pain and other problems.
Sometimes they are… well let’s just say sometimes they aren’t such a good idea.
Apparently last week on the Dr. Oz Show he (and some guests) did just that.
For a summary of the show’s content you can CLICK THIS LINK
So in preparation for the questions I expect to get from my patients I did some research on the two supplements mentioned.
What Is Corydalis and What Does It Do?
The first one is Corydalis which is an herb used in Chinese medicine.
One study (see the references below) was done with mice and rats. Findings showed that, at least in the test subjects (remember – mice and rats) an extract of the herb did show anti-inflammatory effects. As in all animal studies this may or may not be true for humans.
Another study showed that the libanoridin coumarin isolated from corydalis “can be considered as a potential anti-inflammatory agent.” (2) I couldn’t find libanoridin for sale as a supplement online.
The next study I found was another one that used rats as the subjects. This study used protopine extracted from corydalis at a dose of 500-100 mg/kg and found results that were “suggestive that protopine acts as a potent inhibitor of thromboxane synthesis and PAF with anti-inflammatory properties.”(3) In other words – the results suggest that this extract may act as an anti-inflammatory. However consider that for a 150 lb (68 kg) this would require a dose of 3400 to 6400 mg (or 3.4 to 6.4 grams). And I was, incidentally, unable to find protopine for sale from any supplement company.
Finally – the last article I came across was a human trial. “Results from this study suggest that C. yanhusuo and A. dahuricae may have a potential clinical value for treating mild to moderate pain.”(4) This, in my opinion, must have been the article that was used by the producers to validate the segment on the show.
The test used in this last study is the cold pressor test. I did not have access to the full pdf version of the study (only the abstract) so I’m not sure how the test was done nor am I certain about what conclusions the authors came to regarding the use of those supplements / substances for other types of pain.
What Is Magnesium Citrate and What Does It Do?