“Tummy troubles” are among the top reasons that people take neem. Interestingly enough, a reduction in discomfort is often a side effect when people take neem for more commonly experienced problems such as joint pain.
A recent study in Phytotherapy Research looks at how a compound in neem affects mice bred to develop colitis. Often known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or Crohn’s disease, colitis is characterized by diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss. In some cases, it can lead to life-threatening complications.
THIS REPORT IS PROVIDED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. NEEM TREE FARMS DOES NOT SELL PRODUCTS THAT ARE INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT OR CURE ANY DISEASE.
The report looks at the effect of nimbolide, a compound extracted from neem leaves that displays a variety of biological activities. It was first separated from neem leaf in the mid-1980s. There were just a handful of studies over the next 20 years, then suddenly in 2005, interest in nimbolide came to life. There have been about 50 studies in this past decade including several looking at its ability to induce apoptosis in cancer cells.
This study focused on nimbolide’s anti-inflammatory properties in the context of mice specifically bred to develop colitis. Some of these mice developed acute disease, and some of them developed chronic colitis. Nimbolide treatment quieted the inflammatory pathways involved in developing and maintaining colitis. It also suppressed the body’s production of the inflammatory biochemicals that lead to symptoms. It reduced weight loss, colon shortening, and disease activity index scores in these mice.
“These results suggest nimbolide could be a potential new treatment for inflammatory bowel disease,” the investigators said.