A Review on the Treatment of Osteoporosis with Equisetum arvense
The present review aims to verify in osteoporosis the effectiveness of the silicon diet, contained in the Equisetum arvense.What is documented in the literature makes it possible to conclude that silicon improves the formation, consistency and density of bone tissue and cartilage tissue, and excites osteosynthesis through an enhanced biosynthesis of collagen.Treatment with Osteosil Calcium (a silicon-based food supplement extracted from Equisetum arvense and calcium) induces an increase in plasma and tissue silicon concentrations, the greater availability of which results in an increase in the activity of all silicon enzymatic reactions. This is the case of the enzyme prolyl-hydroxylase, which intervenes in the early stages of the synthesis of collagen at the ribosomal level of fibroblasts of connective tissue. Silicon plays a decisive role in normalizing the content of glycosaminoglycans in collagen, which in turn is used as a matrix for the formation of both cartilage and bone.Osteosil Calcium is effective in osteoporosis because silicon, present in the product, acts from the early stages of bone and cartilage formation. The silicon contained in Osteosil Calcium, “exciting” the physiological mechanisms used to produce collagen and glycosaminoglycans, improves in an objective way the pathological states of the bone (osteoporosis, arthritic or post-traumatic bone degeneration, bone fracture, orthopaedic and dental surgery, and guided bone regeneration): in fact, silicon promotes and activates, qualitatively and quantitatively, the bone remodeling processes.
Equisetum arvense (common horsetail) modulates the function of inflammatory immunocompetent cells
In Europe, extracts of Equisetum arvense (common horsetail) have a long tradition in the treatment of inflammatory disorders. To understand the molecular basis for its use, we investigated the immunomodulatory capacity of a standardized commercially available common horsetail extract on human primary lymphocyte function in vitro.
The standardized extract of Equisetum arvense was phytochemically characterized. Effects on proliferation, viability and activity of mitogen-activated human lymphocytes were assessed in comparison to cyclosporine A using annexin V/propidium iodide staining assays and flow cytometry-based surface receptor characterization, respectively. Intracellular levels of effector molecules (IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α) were analyzed with cytokine assays.
T cell proliferation was inhibited dose dependently by the Equisetum extract without induction of apoptosis or necrosis. This effect was mediated through inhibition of lymphocyte activation, specifically by diminishing CD69 and IL-2 surface receptor expression and intracellular IL-2 production. Furthermore, treatment with Equisetum arvense inhibited effector functions, as indicated by reduced production of IFN-γ and TNF-α.
Conclusions: The data indicate that the used extract of Equisetum arvense interferes with the polyfunctionality of immunocompetent cells thereby providing an anti-inflammatory mode-of-action.
Keywords: Equisetum arvense, Equisetopsida, Horsetail, Inflammation, Lymphocytes, Immunosuppression, Anthroposophical Medicine