Egg shell membrane improves joint mobility, comfort in study on healthy subjects

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

Biova president Matt Stegenga at the company's production facility in Iowa.
Biova president Matt Stegenga at the company's production facility in Iowa.

Related tags: Osteoarthritis

BiovaFlex, a water soluble egg membrane ingredient, enhanced joint function, especially shoulder mobility, and was associated with increased comfort in daily activities and elevated physical activity, according to a recent study.

The study, titled, "Support of Joint Function, Range of Motion, and Physical Activity Levels by Consumption of a Water-Soluble Egg Membrane Hydrolyzate"​ was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medicinal Food​The crossover, double-blind, placebo controlled study, conducted by contract research organization NIS Labs of Klamath Falls, OR,  enrolled 25 subjects who took 450 mg of BiovaFlex or a placebo for 12 weeks. The subjects included 15 women and 10 men divided into two groups based on if they received the BiovaFlex or the placebo first. The women averaged slightly older than the men, in their early to mid 50s as opposed to late 40s for the men. All groups were overweight to mildly obese, with BMIs ranging from about 29 into the low to mid 30s.

Matt Stegenga, president of Biova, which supported the research, said the study was meant to focus on a healthy population. The study population was mildly active, healthy adults, who were asked to participate in their normal activities and eat their regular diets during the study.

“If we want to use our data internationally, doing a study on a healthy population is important. We didn’t want to tie the data to a particular condition,”​ Stegenga told NutraIngredients-USA. Having an older population was both a boon to the study end points and just a factor of the lay of the land, he said.

“We are looking for joint pain, so an older population is more likely to be experiencing that,”​ he said. “And, this is the age bracket that is more likely to enroll in a study like this.”

Results confirm earlier data

Biova, which is based in Johnston, IA, had conducted some earlier open label research so the company was reasonably sure of what it was looking for, Stegenga said.  But in certain parameters, the results exceeded expectations. The study measured range of motion for various joints, as well as collecting questionnaire-based data on comfort during activity and perceived energy levels. In the range of motion data, the most significant gain was in the mobility of the dominant shoulder joint in flexion/extension, where BiovaFlex users scores were almost twice those of placebo users.  The product also showed statistically significant positive effects in mobility in the cervical spine.

“The data presented here showed improved mobility and ability to conduct daily activities when consuming (BiovaFlex). This study is important because the study population was not diagnosed with a joint disease, such as, for example, osteoarthritis, and the improvements were broad and independent of a person’s identified major joint problem(s),”​ the researchers concluded.

“It confirms data that we collected previously. One of the biggest excitements is that it is not just the knee joint that was positively affected, it is multiple joints,” ​Stegenga said.

Another obvious target for joint pain sufferers who are not diagnosed with a condition are athletes. Stegenga said the company’s strategy is to tailor its research efforts toward the goals of its finished goods brand partners. The company does have a partner interested in launching the ingredient in a sports nutrition formulation, so an athlete-based study is planned for the future, he said.

Biova will be highlighting the new research at its booth No. 3782 at the Supply Side West trade show in Las Vegas next month.  

Source: Journal of Medicinal Food
Volume 18, Number 9, Pages 1042–1048, doi: 10.1089/jmf.2015.0041
"Support of Joint Function, Range of Motion, and Physical Activity Levels by Consumption of a Water-Soluble Egg Membrane Hydrolyzate"
Authors: G.S. Jensen et al.

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