As we age and exercise, normal wear and tear can begin to take an effect on our bones and joint health. It is essential to maintain a rounded diet that is rich in reparative nutrients to help ensure that our bones and joints can remain healthy and strong long into our lifetimes. Additional materials may also be considered to promote overall healing and restoration during periods of peak stress or rehabilitation. Cissus quadrangularis is one such material, which has been studied extensively for its potential as a natural herbal remedy for bone and joint health in addition to many other possible benefits.
Cissus quadrangularisÂ is a commonly-occurring plant which has been found on continents around the world. Often referred to as Veldt Grape, Asthisamharaka, or Devil’s Backbone, the plant is most closely related to the grape family1. As a native of India and Sri Lanka, cissus quadrangularis has found its way in to traditional herbal medicine to relieve a number of various ailments. In the past, cissus has been used as a potential remedy for gastrointestinal disorders including ulcers2,3, as well as hemorrhoids and other debilitating diseases4. More commonly, though, it has been used as a treatment for bone, tissue, and joint repair5-13.
Frequent studies have set out to determine the effectiveness of cissus quadrangularisÂ on bone fractures and inflammation of the joints. One such study conducted by the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences in India claimed that the administration of cissus quadrangularisÂ had a “definite anti-osteoporotic effect” in test subjects that had been diagnosed with osteoporosis5. This builds upon the works of Chopra, Udupa, and others, who have demonstrated a strong correlation between the use of cissus quadrangularisÂ as a dietary supplement in conjunction with increased bone density and shorter recovery speeds for individuals that have suffered from bone fractures6-13. It can be inferred based on these studies that the daily supplementation of cissus quadrangularisÂ may help to strengthen and improve bone structure, especially after experiencing a damaging break or fracture.*
Cissus has been shown to not only have an effect on the bones, themselves, but also on the surrounding tissues that make up the joint structures. In a series of studies conducted by Jainu, et al., cissus quadrangularisÂ was shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on vascular tissues14-16, while Chidambara and another team of experts noted an improved immune response that might act to reduce microbial activity in inflamed areas through the use of the material17. In addition, a study that appeared in the Journal Ethnopharmacol reported an analgesic or pain-reducing effect that accompanied the use of cissus quadrangularisÂ as an anti-inflammatory18.
It is believed that these effects are brought on by many of the bio-active compounds found within the material. Cissus quadrangularisÂ contains naturally high levels of vitamin C and carotene19, as well as the phytochemical quercitin20, an anti-inflammatory21, vaso-dilating flavanoid found in grapes22, and beta-sitosterol20, a cholesterol-based compound that also has anti-inflammatory23 as well as immunomodulating (cortisol reducing) effects24 and possibly the ability to reduce glucocorticoid receptor expression25.
A study with beta-sitosterol demonstrated that this constituent of cissus quadrangularisÂ reduced the stress on the immune system while decreasing the amount of cortisol that was released after running a marathon24, suggesting that beta-sitosterol and cissus quadrangularisÂ may have an adaptogenic effect. Cissus may also aid in the loss of body fat, and may work to improve related health parameters such as the blood lipid profile. Oben, et al.26,27 found that obese individuals taking cissus quadrangularisÂ (600mg daily), with or without a formulation including Green Tea Extract, lost body weight and reduced blood LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and resting blood glucose levels as compared to the control group. The administration of cissus quadrangularisÂ in this study also produced increased serotonin levels in the blood, which may work to reduce appetite, as well as an increased production of creatinine, suggesting that cissus may also have an anabolic effect on metabolism. (An increase in blood creatinine level suggests increased skeletal muscle mass28-29.) Studies of cissus quadrangularis‘ effect on bone growth also support the notion of cissus as an anabolic agent6.
As a dietary supplement, 1 Serving (500mg) of cissus quadrangularisÂ can be taken 1-8 times per day, preferably with food or as directed by a health care professional.
Cissus quadrangularisÂ may be used in conjunction with one or more of the following materials to help promote overall bone and joint health:
It is our goal to help you meet your goals, and adding cissus quadrangularisÂ to your daily supplementation may be the key to your continued success! Ask us how a daily dose of cissusÂ can complement your healthy lifestyle today!
*DISCLAIMER: The above description is provided for information only and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult your physician or the appropriately licensed professional before engaging in a program of exercise or nutritional supplementation. No information in this site has been reviewed by the FDA. No product is intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease.
1. “Cissus Quadrangularis.” Wikipedia. Retrieved 7 August 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cissus_quadrangularis.
2. Jainu M, et al. 2006. “Gastroprotective effect of Cissus quadrangularis extract in rats with experimentally induced ulcer.” Indian J Med Res. 123(6): p. 799-806.
3. Jainu M and C.S. Devi. 2006. “Gastroprotective action of Cissus quadrangularis extract against NSAID induced gastric ulcer: role of proinflammatory cytokines and oxidative damage.” Chem Biol Interact. 161(3): p. 262-70.
4. Panthong A, et al. 2007. “Analgesic, anti-inflammatory and venotonic effects of Cissus quadrangularis Linn.” J Ethnopharmacol. 110(2): p. 264-70.
5. Shirwaikar A, et al. 2003. “Antiosteoporotic effect of ethanol extract of Cissus quadrangularis Linn. on ovariectomized rat.” J Ethnopharmacol. 89(2-3): p. 245-50.
6. Chopra SS, et al. 1976. “Studies of Cissus quadrangularis in experimental fracture repair : a histopathological study.” Indian J Med Res. 64(9): p. 1365-8.
7. Chopra SS, et al. 1975. “Studies on Cissus quadrangularis in experimental fracture repair: effect on chemical parameters in blood.” Indian J Med Res. 63(6): p. 824-8.
8. Udupa KN and G Prasad. 1964. “Biomechanical and Calcium-45 Studies on the Effect of Cissus Quadrangularis in Fracture Repair.” Indian J Med Res. 52: p. 480-7.
9. Udupa KN and G.C. Prasad. 1964. “Further Studies on the Effect of Cissus Quadrangularis in Accelerating Fracture Healing.” Indian J Med Res. 52: p. 26-35.
10. Prasad GC and KN Udupa. 1963. “Effect of Cissus Quadrangularis on the Healing of Cortisone Treated Fractures.” Indian J Med Res. 51: p. 667-76.
11. Singh LM and KN Udupa. 1962. “Studies on “Cissus Quadrangularis” in fracture by using phosphorus 32. III.” Indian J Med Sci. 16: p. 926-31.
12. Udupa KN and GC Prasad. 1962. “Cissus quadrangularis in healing of fractures. A clinical study.” J Indian Med Assoc. 38: p. 590-3.
13. Udupa KN, et al. 1961. “Experimental studies of the use of ‘cissus quadrangularis’ in healing of fractures. II.” Indian J Med Sci. 15: p. 551-7.
14. Jainu M and CS Devi. 2006. “Gastroprotective action of Cissus quadrangularis extract against NSAID induced gastric ulcer: role of proinflammatory cytokines and oxidative damage.” Chem Biol Interact. 161(3): p. 262-70.
15. Jainu M and CS Shyamala Devi. 2005. “Attenuation of neutrophil infiltration and proinflammatory cytokines by Cissus quadrangularis: a possible prevention against gastric ulcerogenesis.” J Herb Pharmacother. 5(3): p. 33-42.
16. Jainu M, et al. 2006. “Protective effect of Cissus quadrangularis on neutrophil mediated tissue injury induced by aspirin in rats.” J Ethnopharmacol. 104(3): p. 302-5.
17. Chidambara Murthy KN, et al. 2003. “Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of Cissus quadrangularis L.” J Med Food. 6(2): p. 99-105.
18. Panthong A, et al. 2007. “Analgesic, anti-inflammatory and venotonic effects of Cissus quadrangularis Linn. J Ethnopharmacol. 110(2): p. 264-70.
19. Chidambara Murthy KN, et al. 2003. “Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of Cissus quadrangularis L.” J Med Food. 6(2): p. 99-105.
20. Singh G, et al. 2007. “Constituents of Cissus quadrangularis.” Nat Prod Res. 21(6): p. 522-8.
21. Tomer DP, et al. 2007. “Comparison of the total oxyradical scavenging capacity and oxygen radical absorbance capacity antioxidant assays.” J Med Food. 10(2): p. 337-44.
22. Fitzpatrick DF, et al. 1993. “Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxing activity of wine and other grape products.” Am J Physiol. 265(2 Pt 2): p. H774-8.
23. Gomez MA, et al. 1999. “Study of the topical anti-inflammatory activity of Achillea ageratum on chronic and acute inflammation models.” Z Naturforsch [C]. 54(11): p. 937-41.
24. Bouic PJ, et al. 1999. “The effects of B-sitosterol (BSS) and B-sitosterol glucoside (BSSG) mixture on selected immune parameters of marathon runners: inhibition of post marathon immune suppression and inflammation.” Int J Sports Med. 20(4): p. 258-62.
25. Hagiwara H, et al. 1986. “Fucosterol decreases angiotensin converting enzyme levels with reduction of glucocorticoid receptors in endothelial cells.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 139(1): p. 348-52.
26. Oben JE, et al. 2007. “The effect of Cissus quadrangularis (CQR-300) and a Cissus formulation (CORE) on obesity and obesity-induced oxidative stress.” Lipids Health Dis. 6: p. 4.
27. Oben J, et al. 2006. “The use of a Cissus quadrangularis formulation in the management of weight loss and metabolic syndrome.” Lipids Health Dis. 5: p. 24.
28. Wang ZM, et al. 1996. “Urinary creatinine-skeletal muscle mass method: a prediction equation based on computerized axial tomography.” Biomed Environ Sci. 9(2-3): p. 185-90.
29. Wang ZM, et al. 1996. “Total-body skeletal muscle mass: evaluation of 24-h urinary creatinine excretion by computerized axial tomography.” Am J Clin Nutr. 63(6): p. 863-9.
Image Attribution: “Cissus quadrangularis.” Marco Schmidt. 2002. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/Cissus_quadrangularis_MS0938.jpg, CC by 3.0.