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The preparation helps to enhance immunity and strengthen the organism’s health. Because of its powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, it is often used in the treatment of rheumatic diseases and musculoskeletal system problems. It can also support the therapy of more serious conditions, such as cancer.
Cat’s claw, or vilcacora (Uncaria tomentosa) is a vine found in tropical Amazon rainforests. Its bark is a valued medicinal material – it contains more than 50 different biologically active substances that have a positive effect on the human organism. Those considered to be the most active are oxindole alkaloids (such as mitraphylline, rhynchophylline, isopteropodine, uncarines C, D and E, and hirsuteine); other substances of great importance are triterpenes, procyanidins, plant steroids (such as highly anti-inflammatory β-sitosterol), and quinic acid glycosides (powerful antiviral properties).
Support for the immune system
Cat’s claw is a powerful modulator of the immune system. It affects a multitude of immune system elements that determine the cell-mediated and non-specific immunity of the organism.
Oxindole alkaloids present in the plant’s bark increase the level of the crucial cells of the immune system (mainly B and T lymphocytes) and stimulate the activity of granulocytes. Moreover, they increase the efficiency phagocytosis, thanks to which pathogenic microorganisms and improperly structured cells are devoured by specialised phagocytes. They also stimulate macrophages to produce two cytokines, IL-1 and IL-2, which are two of the key components of the immune system.
Scientific research has demonstrated that cat’s claw extracts reduce inflammation as efficiently as popular pharmaceuticals of the NSAID group (like ibuprofen, naproxen). However, their superiority lies in the fact that they cause no side effects, such as stomach irritation or cartilage damage.
The main mechanism responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of cat’s claw is its great ability to inhibit the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α and the synthesis of NF-kB. Its another ability of relevance is that to reduce the release of eicosanoids, including the most active one, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).
Because of its powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, the cat’s claw bark extract are often used to alleviate problems with the musculoskeletal system. The plant can support the treatment of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and bone and joint inflammations. Tests on people with highly developed degenerative lesions within their knees demonstrated that even 4 weeks of cat’s claw bark extract supplementation are enough to alleviate pain, increase joint mobility, and reduce morning stiffness. Importantly, throughout the supplementation period, no negative changes were observed in terms of haematology and liver function tests.
Combat against free radicals and oxidative stress
Cat’s claw bark contains a multitude of compounds with antioxidant properties. Alkaloids, proanthocyanidins and catechins easily sweep free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Additionally, they can protect vitamin C from oxidation, that way increasing its antioxidant abilities.
Cat’s claw extracts are used in the prevention and treatment of serious autoimmune conditions and neoplastic diseases. Tests on patients whose breast cancer was treated with chemotherapy demonstrated that aiding the therapy with cat’s claw extract supplementation helped to reduce some of the negative symptoms. Many patients managed to avoid neutropenia, which is a very common consequence of chemotherapy.
Moreover, clinical tests have shown that cat’s claw extracts directly inhibit the growth of cancerous cell lines in breast, prostate, cervical, and non-small-cell lung cancer. Moreover, they induce the apoptosis (programmed death) of pathological cells.
Oxindole alkaloids found in cat’s claw bark exhibit powerful antiviral properties. In vitro tests have shown that they inhibit the replication of the influenza virus type A and combat the herpes virus. They prevent it from infecting cells, that way significantly reducing its ability to spread in the organism.
A test has demonstrated that people with oral herpes who took cat’s claw extracts experienced significantly reduced symptoms of the condition (swelling, red skin, pain) than the group treated with a popular antiviral drug (acyclovir).
To sum up, Cat’s claw is a supplement that efficiently supports the organism’s immunity and can reduce the risk of many serious conditions. It will prove fantastic for people with a weakened immune systems or chronic inflammation. Supplementation can also be considered by people who struggle with recurring viral infections (like resistant herpes).
Use 2 capsules a day with a meal.
SWANSON is a well known company operating since 1969, which offers a wide selection of diet and nutritional supplements. Among their products are antioxidants, amino acid supplements, products improving immunity, probiotics, minerals and vitamins. At SWANSON you can also purchase of supplements enhancing your cardiovascular stamina, urinary, nervous and digestive systems. The offer includes products designed specifically for women or men, as well as supplements helping to loose weight.
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