2013 Clinical Trial: Thunder God Vine VS 5-ASA in Crohn’s disease

2013 Clinical Trial: Thunder God Vine VS 5-ASA in Crohn’s disease
May 20, 2018 Nathalie

A Crohn’s disease natural treatment

Medicinal Thunder God Vine (TGV) is a common Crohn’s disease natural treatment in China for the past 30 years. It is also a first intention prescription for a number of other autoimmune conditions and inflammatory disorders.

It is considered a natural  treatment that is both safe and usually as and often more efficient than many conventional drugs. Although medicinal TGV is not known outside of China, many studies have been carried out and published in English.

Thunder God Vine = TGV = Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F = Lei Gong Teng = TwHF

A 52 weeks clinical trial (1 year)

This study is quite interesting to illustrate the safety and efficacy of Thunder God Vine in Crohn’s disease. It compares medicinal TGV VS Mesalazine (5-ASA) during 52 weeks.

The goal was to explore efficacy and safety of Thunder God Vine as a maintenance therapy in preventing recurrence over a period of a year after a resection. This included clinical and endoscopic aspects.

If you would like to consult the full study, it is available from Sage publisher: Prevention of postoperative recurrence of Crohn’s disease: Tripterygium wilfordii polyglycoside versus mesalazine.

Here I quote the discussion of the study:

” These findings indicate that GTW (medicinal T2 Thunder God Vine) appears to be an effective, well-tolerated prophylactic regimen, superior to oral 5-ASA, for preventing clinical and endoscopic recurrence in postsurgical Crohn’s disease..

Limitation :

…5-ASA might be considered an alternative treatment option for patients with a low, rather than high, risk of clinical recurrence. Most of the patients had a penetrating phenotype or had undergone multiple intestinal resections. Thus, using 5-ASA as the comparator in this study may not have been fair..”

39 patients with recent resection surgery

 The percentage of patients with penetrating disease was 77%.  Most had multiple resections (at list 2), suggesting a high risk of recurrence was 64%. The patients were between 18 and 60 years old. They could participate in the trial because they were in clinical remission since resection. And the last resection had taken place within the 2 weeks before starting the study. Prior and during the one year period, patients were not allowed to take medication such as immunosuppressive drug, NSAIDs, cortisone…

36 of them completed the 1 year trial :

  • 19 Patients took 1 mg/kg/day of the medicinal T2 extract of Thunder God Vine orally
  • 17 Patients took 4 g/day Mesalazine (5-ASA)

Interesting to note that the medicinal Thunder God Vine dosage for the trial was low. The normal dosage range is 1 to 1,5mg/kg.

Here I quote the conclusion of the study:

“In conclusion, the present study showed that GTW  (medicinal T2 Thunder God Vine) is more efficient than 5-ASA in preventing postoperative Crohn’s disease recurrence in high-risk patients over the course of 1 year, with minimal toxicity. These data suggest that GTW can reduce clinical and endoscopic recurrence rates, and may also delay the onset and severity of postoperative recurrence.”


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