Andrographolide and bone destruction

Lately, we’ve read and learned quite a lot about andrographolide. But there is more: it can prevent bone destruction. A 2014 Chinese study shows that andrographolide reduces osteolysis ( = destruction of bone tissue) by blocking RANKL signaling. Note: RANKL, a member of the TNF family, is closely linked to the development of bone lesions and is greatly increased in multiple myeloma, which is NOT good.

Here’s the link to the abstract:

As for the full study, it’s not available for free online, but I’ve been able to have a look at it thanks to a good friend (whom I met via my blog, incidentally…so we’re friends in real life, too…ahhh, so lovely when that happens!!!). Okay, back to the study…

Bone metastasis is not just a very negative complication of myeloma, but also of prostate and breast cancer. Indeed, as many as 70% of patients with advanced forms of cancer are plagued by bone metastasis, which doesn’t just cause bone pain but also hypercalcemia, fractures, and a bunch of other things that have an extremely negative effect on QUALITY OF LIFE.

This study shows that andrographolide inhibits the development of osteoclasts ( = the cells that chew away at our bones, which is fine in a healthy situation, not fine in cancer where everything goes nutso), while increasing the presence of osteoblasts (bone builders).

The researchers say that the current therapies used to treat osteolytic diseases have many unwanted side effects. And they’re not just referring to bisphosphonates (which can cause osteonecrosis of the jaw) but also to new treatments such as the monoclonal antibody denosumab, Denosumab can cause low calcium levels, weakness, constipation, back/arm/leg pain, anemia…as well as fevers, night sweats, terrible stomach or abdominal pain, hearing difficulties, shortness of breath, severe itching…I mean, the list goes on and on…Mind you, this drug may not cause all of these things, but…it CAN. So, once again, there could be a potentially huge impact on QOL, or quality of life…

The advantage of andrographolide compared to the other conventional drugs is that it isn’t toxic. Big, no, HUGE advantage, I’d say…

As indicated in the abstract, andrographolide blocks RANKL, NF-kappaB, and osteoclast activity, and, consequently, bone destruction.

It also improves bone mass. Very good news for myeloma folks…

Of course, I’d like to see some patient trials. Right now, however, on the clinical trials website, I could find only one Chinese trial testing a chemo drug together (or without) andrographolides on inoperable colorectal cancer patients. No myeloma-andrographolide trials. Well, it’s early yet…

I’m not going to wait, though. I’ve already ordered some andrographolide and plan to test it next month…I have to admit, for the first time in a long time, I’m REALLY excited about a substance I’m about to test. 🙂


  1. Margaret, as a myeloma patient in the UK, can you tell me/us which andrographolide supplement you decided to try? What dosage?

  2. Hi Ian, you probably have more choices in the UK.
    But, since you ask, I chose a German manufacturer’s andrographolide, no additives:
    I also liked the Swanson A.P., but it cost twice as much as the German A.P.
    As for dosage, ah well, that’s a toughie. It looks as though the Chinese colorectal cancer trial tested 500 mg, once a day, for three weeks (ah, those abbreviations…drive me nuts!).
    The Swanson bottle says one 400 mg pill up to three times a day, so that would be more than double the trial dose. I can’t make out what the German bottle says, so that will have to wait until I get it in the mail.
    Clearly, I need to get a better idea of how much to take before starting the experiment. I certainly don’t want to make matters worse! 🙂

  3. Hello,

    I have gammapathy stage 1 (MGUS first in the end of 2010, then stage 1 from 2014), without treatment. I am stable, says recently my hematologist.

    I take a lot of dietary supplements (curcumin, magnesium, glutathione, sélongénine, etc.) with doctor’s prescription since 2014 (Sélongenine only since may 2017).

    I am very interested in Andrographis , but I saw that it is “not appropriate for patient who are Nephritis, and low blood pressure”.
    My kidneys are, actually, in good condtion (correct creatinine…) but in myeloma, we have to watch them ….
    To your knowledge, is taking Andrographis a question of dosage, to avoid problems? Is there a consensus?
    Thank you !
    Paris (France)

    1. Ciao Alessandra. In the study you refer to, the participants were taking INTRAVENOUS andrographolide. I would never ever take it that way. I firmly believe that intravenous administration of herbal extracts is incredibly dangerous…certainly, not worth the risk. Remember the case of that woman who died after being given a dose of intravenous curcumin? I think it happened last year…anyway, I wrote about it on my blog and at the time was (still am, in fact) absolutely horrified. And shocked that anyone would agree to doing something like that.
      In sum, there is a big difference between oral and IV administration. I mean, it’s one thing to take it the way it has been taken for centuries in Asian medicine (orally)…quite another to take it in IV form.
      In any event, I’m running out of andrographolide pills, so I’ll probably have my blood tests done next week. So far, so good. I mean, I feel fine…nothing out of the ordinary.
      Thanks for the link, by the way, even though I almost had a heart attack when I read the scary title of the study! 😉

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