Stratum Nutrition learns of the beneficial effects of NEM® brand eggshell membrane evaluated in endangered cranes. An independent pilot study was conducted, presented, and recently published in The Proceedings of the North American Crane Workshop 12:27-32.
The study found that supplementation with NEM for five weeks improved flexion in cranes with chronic tarsal issues (similar to the ankle joint in people). The placebo-controlled, crossover pilot study found an average increase in flexion of 7.2 degrees with NEM supplementation as compared to the placebo-controlled phase of the study. Although the makeup of cartilage in birds and people is fairly different, there are many physical and biological similarities between birds and people when it comes to the development of joint issues. Despite these differences, NEM still appeared to benefit the cranes’ tarsal flexion, with all of the cranes experiencing at least some improvement. NEM brand eggshell membrane has previously been shown to improve people’s joint flexibility in multiple clinical trials, but this emerging evidence suggests that this may be true for our feathered friends as well.
Musculoskeletal abnormalities are quite prevalent in cranes and a retrospective survey at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wis., found them to be the second leading cause of morbidity in whooping cranes (Grus americana), an endangered species of crane in North America. Many conservationists and zoologists work with geriatric animals and look for ‘outside the box’ applications for products that might help to increase the life span and livelihood of wildlife animals.
Dr. Ellen Dierenfeld, an animal nutrition scientist who has worked for more than 25 years with Wildlife Conservation Societies, Universities, and Zoos has worked with a wide variety of animals from gorillas to camels, researching their health concerns and associated nutrition. Dr. Dierenfeld had worked with the NEM ingredient previously for dogs and horses, and saw the potential for additional species, species which prompted the investigative research for cranes with University of Wisconsin-Madison veterinary specialists and staff at the International Crane Foundation.
“We are always gratified to learn of further extensions of the benefits of NEM supplementation. This intriguing work in cranes is a first of its kind on a number of levels, with birds being the furthest species from humans to have been studied to date,” commented Dr. Kevin J. Ruff, director of scientific and regulatory affairs for ESM Technologies, manufacturer of the NEM ingredient.