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CAN THE PRICKLY PINEAPPLE REALLY BEAT KNEE PAIN?

WANTED - Volunteers for New Trial at the University of Reading

Whether as a result of an old skiing injury, a fall or a touch of age-related wear and tear, knee pain affects a large number of people in the UK. A new study about to commence at the University of Reading aims to discover whether a new pineapple supplement, Bromelin, can help reduce symptoms of minor knee complaints in otherwise healthy people.

Bromelin contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that is extracted from the stem of the pineapple. The enzyme reduces the impact of prostaglandins that cause pain and inflammation and helps to breakdown fibrin, a protein associated with fluid retention.

Dr Ann Walker, senior lecturer in Human Nutrition at the University's School of Food Biosciences, who is heading the trial, said: "The best time to tackle knee problems is at the early stages when you first notice twinges. There is a lot you can do for yourself at this stage to maintain knee health and avoid more severe problems in the future. The knee joint is one of the most complex in the body and subject to considerable stresses in maintaining the upright position and coping with the body's twisting movements. It's not surprising that many of us suffer discomfort in this vulnerable joint!"

"Natural medicine has a lot to offer in the maintenance of good health generally and many people are turning towards complementary medicine for self help with their minor problems. In this trial we will be investigating the value of an extract from pineapple for the maintenance of knee health. The supplement is newly introduced onto the market in the UK, even though the plant itself has a traditional history of use as a safe remedy for reducing inflammation. Unlike the modern anti-inflammatories normally used for knee pain, this supplement is not known to cause stomach problems," she explained.

The University is looking for 500 volunteers from anywhere in the UK to join the trial, which will be conducted by post for one month. Volunteers should be aged 25 to 50 years and have suffered from knee pain on a regular basis for not longer than three months.

Scientific Protocal - Click here

If you would like further information or to take part in the trial, please send your name and address on a postcard to: The University of Reading / Bromelain Study, FREEPOST (SCE8459), PO Box 4838, Earley, Reading, RG6 6ZZ.