Short Read: The “kind-of-hidden” connection between neem and arthritis

 In Neem Research

Gum disease has been linked to a long list of serious illnesses including dementia, heart disease, (particularly first heart attacks), stroke, diabetes, lung and esophageal cancer, low birth rates and preeclampsia, fatal brain aneurysms, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

It’s also strongly linked to both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in that the same pathogens are present and causing similar symptoms – disintegrating bones, pain and inflammation.

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 WHICH ARE INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT OR CURE ANY DISEASE.

For a longer, more explanatory article on this topic, click here.

Multiple studies over the past 15 years show that neem is highly effective at controlling the pathogens that cause gum disease.

  • A comprehensive article published in Pharmacognosy Reviews looked at nearly 40 scientific papers published through 2014 and called neem “an herbal panacea in dentistry.”
  • One of the first studies, published in the Journal of Dental Research, showed neem’s ability to reduce the bacteria that causes plaque and biofilm formation. In a six-week trial, neem extract was shown to be significantly more effective in reducing bleeding gums than chlorhexidine gluconate, a harsh chemical rinse with several side effects including stained teeth.
  • Another study, published in the Journal of Advanced Scientific Research, looked at antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria growing in oral cavities and concluded that neem extracts completely inhibited the growth of those bacteria.
  • Reports published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research and BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine look specifically at neem and the pathogen most likely implicated in both gum disease and arthritis. Neem was not as effective as two commonly used topical antibiotics but had a significant impact without the potential side effects.
  • Multiple other pathogens can be involved in both gum disease and arthritis, including) Enterococcus faecalis, formerly known as Streptococcus faecalis, which causes up to 80% of infections in humans and is considered to be one of the most antibiotic-resistant bacteria, particularly in hospital settings. A report published in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice compares neem with the commonly used 2% chlorhexidine and sodium hypochlorite. against S. faecalis. Again, the antibiotics were more effective but all three showed well-defined and comparable zones of inhibition.

We’re not aware of any report that specifically looks at gum disease, neem and arthritis, but multiple studies over the past 20 years document its impact on inflammation and a separate study shows significant impact on rheumatoid arthritis.

Based on anecdotal reports from customers with lupus, we’re still concerned about recommending internal neem to people with auto-immune disease, but we are far more comfortable with topical neem used to supplement good oral hygiene.

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