RCT supports eggshell membrane’s joint health benefits

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / stockdevil
© Getty Images / stockdevil
The water-soluble chicken eggshell membrane ingredient BiovaFlex may help support joint health and function, says a new study.

Performed in people suffering from knee osteoarthritis (OA), the new study indicated that a 450 mg per day dose of the eggshell membrane was associated with improved walking distance and ability and reduced stiffness, according to findings published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

Scientists led by Dr Susan Hewlings from Central Michigan University also reported that the greatest benefits associated with the eggshell membrane supplement were for people with more severe OA.

“This study was able to determine that for those who have a harder time ambulating because of their joint discomfort/OA, the WSEM [Water-Soluble Eggshell Membrane] Study Product could significantly enhance physical capacity (ability to walk and cover distance) as well as feelings of stiffness (joint stiffness) to a greater and more meaningful degree than the placebo product,”​ wrote Dr Hewlings and her co-authors.

“Medicinal studies with OA have previously found that it is those with the most severe forms of the condition that achieve the greatest clinically relevant improvement. Our results are consistent with this previous finding. This early relief or improvement may help spur a person to continued practices for maintaining improved joint health.”

The new study included participants with osteoarthritis, and is in-line with a double-blind, placebo controlled study with BiovaFlex published in 2015 in the Journal of Medicinal Food​ in a healthy population.

Study details

Dr Hewlings and her co-workers recruited 88 adults with knee osteoarthritis and randomly assigned half of them to consume the eggshell membrane supplement (450 mg per day) or placebo for 12 weeks.

Results showed that, compared to baseline, participants in the BiovaFlex group displayed improvements in scores on the Western Ontario McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and in the six-minute walk test (6MWT) after just five days.

Eggshell © Getty Images fermate
© Getty Images / fermate

Significant improvement over the placebo group was observed at week 12, wrote the researchers.

Moreover, the data supported the safety of the product.

'Consistency of the results'

“The fact that the findings of this study are supported by prior published research using this direct tested Study Product (BiovaFlex) or one in the same food category (egg shell membrane) should bolster the strength of the findings due to consistency of the results,” ​wrote the researchers.

“In addition, with the understanding that GAGs [glycosaminoglycans] are a component of the WSEM (e.g., chondroitin and hyaluronan), there are also prior published data demonstrating the benefits of GAGs for quality of life and joint function and ability in those with joint health issues or OA; hence, the findings of this study appear well supported.”

Source: Journal of Medicinal Food
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1089/jmf.2019.0068
“A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Prospective Clinical Trial Evaluating Water-Soluble Chicken Eggshell Membrane for Improvement in Joint Health in Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis”
Authors: S. Hewlings, D. Kalman, L.V. Schneider

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