JointVital will be sold in health food stores, pharmacies, and by health care practitioners in the United States. It is standardised for GOPO, the galactolipid compound responsible for LitoZin's anti-inflammatory action.
The ingredient was developed in Denmark by Hyben Vital, which developed a patented method for drying processing a proprietary species of rose hip with a high GOPO. Unlike conventional methods such as sun drying, Hyben Vital's does not destroy the GOPO.
The US rights are held by EuroPharma, whose president and founder Terry Lemerond has a long history in the joint health category; he takes the credit introducing glucosamine to the US in 1993. Lemond explained to NutraIngredients-USA.com in September that glucosamine has a different mechanism of action to Litozin, since it rebuilds cartilage but does not act as an anti-inflammatory.
Of the chemical, pharmacological and clinical studies involving Litozin completed to date, the most recent, published in the August 2005 issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology, found it resulted in a significant reduction in pain on the WOMAC scale after three months.
Whereas glucosamine has been shown to be effective in 40 percent of study participants, Litozin boasts efficacy in 82 percent of cases, said Lemerond. What is more, in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology study patients were allowed to take 'rescue medication' to reduce the pain after the first three weeks, if they felt the need.
With Litozin, use of rescue medication significantly declined, in some cases by 100 percent. This is particularly significant given the recent safety concerns over conventional pain relief medication such as Cox-2 inhibitor Vioxx.
Since Litozin is an anti-inflammatory, it could be useful for other inflammation-related conditions such as asthma, psoriasis and Crohn's disease. However its use in these areas has not yet been studied or patented.
LitoZin has been available though US internet and mail order channels since September in a product marketed by Swanson Health Products.