Eggshell membrane shows joint health benefits: Study

By Nicola Cottam

- Last updated on GMT

Eggshell effects: Incremental improvements as the trial progressed.
Eggshell effects: Incremental improvements as the trial progressed.
Daily supplementation with 500mg of eggshell membrane can reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA), according to a German trial.

Data from the two-month open-label trial revealed a quarter of participants experienced a 30% improvement in painful symptoms after 10 days of treatment and more than 75% reported moderate or significant improvements by the end of the 60-day study period.

Eggshell membrane consists of fibrous proteins, including collagen Type I, as well as other bioactive components, like glycosaminoglycans.

“Eggshell membrane itself has been shown both in vitro and in vivo to reduce various pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-1 beta (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), two primary mediators of inflammation.”

The researchers explained that NEM-​branded eggshell membrane itself contains high levels of protein and moderate quantities of glucosamine (up to 1% by dry weight), chondroitin sulfate (up to 1%) to hyaluronic acid (up to 2%), as well as collagen (up to 5%), which are beneficial to joint health and add weight to its suitability as a treatment for OA.

Incremental improvements

The 44 participants aged 32 to 95 were given a daily oral dose of Atrosia from herbal medicine manufacturer, Weber and Weber, containing 500 mg of NEM.

Subjects were asked to answer nine pain-related questions – at 10, 30 and 60 days respectively – to rate their level of discomfort during treatment.

Results revealed incremental improvements as the trial progressed.

At 10 days, researchers noted an 18.1% improvement in seven out of nine pain-related questions, including going up and down stairs and getting in and out of a car, and an improvement of up to 35.6% in all nine activities at 30 to 60 days, as well as reduction in stiffness (up to 29.3%).

There were no reports of serious adverse effects associated with NEM and 86% of patients rated its tolerability as “good”​ or “very good”.

Trial specifics

To be eligible for the trial, subjects had to have moderate persistent pain in the knee and/or hip as a result of osteoarthritis and were excluded if they had a known egg allergy or were receiving remission-inducing drugs, such as methotrexate, or immunosuppressive medications at the time of or during the three months preceding the trial.

Analgesics, like acetaminophen, were allowed for emergency pain relief, but doses were noted to monitor overall usage during the study.

The ingredient – NEM – was developed by US supplier, ESM Technologies.

Source: Journal of Arthritis

Published July 20, 2014 (​)

‘NEM Brand Eggshell Membrane Effective in the Treatment of Pain Associated with Knee and Hip Osteoarthritis: Results from a Six Center, Open Label German Clinical Study’

Authors: Ulrich Danesch, Marion Seybold, Reiner Rittinghausen, Walter Treibel, Norman Bitterlich

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