Findings of the 12-week clinical study found that intake of the liquid supplement could increase the walking distance, lower blood oxidative stress, and reduce the use of rescue medications.
For instance, the intervention group was able to walk 267 ± 28m on the treadmill without pain, while that of the control group was 207 ± 22 m by the end of the trial.
The results were published on the Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology last month.
This is the second time that the dietary supplement company has completed a human clinical trial on its product.
Its first trial was conducted on its blood glucose control product.
“The product has received feedback from customers on how it has helped relieve joint pain and that gave us the confidence to embark on a human clinical trial on the product,” Director, Brendan Howell said of the firm’s bestselling SKU.
The product’s active ingredient comes from the extract of the bark the French maritime pine tree trademarked Pycnogenol.
Other ingredients used are aloe vera, enzyme papain from papaya, and honey.
It has been sold in the market for close to five years and is available online and in over 700 pharmacies and health food stores across Australia. They include Blooms the Chemist, Mr Vitamins, and TerryWhite Chemmart.
With the promising trial findings, Howell said the company planned to focus on partnering with naturopath, physiotherapists, and especially doctors in recommending the use of the product.
“We do want to speak with more doctors. That's an area that we are going to focus on over the next 12 months, so that they understand the product and the evidence behind it.”
Moving forward, the company hopes to conduct more clinical trials to build up the scientific evidence of its products, such as a study around cholesterol control, and how its sports nutrition products can improve performance and endurance recovery.
“We are happy to continue doing more trials and will do more trials. It is a bit frustrating that takes a long time and costs a bit of money but you need to have a product that is supported by evidence and that's what we are aiming for.
“At the end of the day, its good to have a clinically trial on your end product, not just the ingredient used.”
An open, controlled trial was conducted on 60 subjects aged 40 to 65 suffering from knee osteoarthrosis symptoms.
Thirty took standard management, the rest underwent standard management and took the Arborvitae supplement at 100ml/day (50ml in the day and night) for eight weeks, followed by 60ml/day for the last four weeks of the trial.
Apart from a longer walking distance, the intervention group had lower blood oxidative stress, and lesser use of rescue medications by the end of the trial.
For example, only two from the intervention group required rescue medication, while eight from the control group required the medicine.
No tolerability problems or side effects were observed.
“The present pilot registry on this new liquid formation including Pycnogenol indicates that it is possible to control most moderate-mild symptoms due to knee osteoarthrosis with Arborvitae, without using drugs,” the researchers said.
However, they also added that a longer study period of six months or more is required for future trials.
Arborvitae primarily sells its products in Australia and New Zealand, but it is now considering market expansion.
Vietnam, Japan, and China are the targets and the firm is already in discussion with a few potential distributors.
Source: Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica)
An open, supplement, registry study Arborvitae for prevention of arthrosis-related pain during exercise
Authors: Hu S, Belcaro G, Hosoi M, Cesarone MR, Scipione V, Scipione C, et al