Creaky knees, arthritic hips and frozen shoulders used to be a sign of retirement—either from a pro sports career or a lifetime at a desk job. But two social phenomena—baby boomers’ refusal to slow their exercise regimes and the global obesity epidemic—are causing joint pain in people who have no plans to collect their pensions any time soon.
While glucosamine-chondroitin combos are still the Kobe Bryants of the joint health category, these ingredients, like the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, are losing market value as they age. Not only are some newer joint-health formulations quicker acting, but Dean Mosca, president of Proprietary Nutritionals, predicts future ingredients may go even further, targeting specific joints or structural components such as synovial fluid and cartilage.
“A cursory search on planned [joint-health ingredient] clinical trials shows an amazing number that are focusing on the knee,” Mosca says. That makes sense, considering that the number of knee replacements in Americans age 45 to 64 more than tripled between 1997 and 2009, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Check out these promising rookie ingredients in the joint-health arena.
Promising ingredients for joint health
Natural eggshell membrane (NEM) combines glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate with hyaluronic acid, collagen and calcium. The result, says Chris Haynes, director of sales for ESM Technologies, which developed NEM, is a faster delivery mechanism than a simple glucosamine-chondroitin product.
Two human clinical trials show that a daily dose of one 500 mg NEM pill can reduce the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis in as few as seven to 10 days. ESM Technologies President Micah Osborne says preliminary results from a soon-to-be-published in vitro study show that NEM appears to do this by inhibiting a number of pro-inflammatory cytokines in human immune cells.
Working with the premise that worn joints can be linked to insufficient lubrication and cell membrane fluidity, Proprietary Nutritionals developed Celadrin topical cream by esterifying fatty acids to ensure stability and prevent oxygen reactions. There is also a plant-source Celadrin, Vege-Celadrin, for vegans and vegetarians.
Mosca says research has shown that Celadrin’s fatty acids inhibit inflammation in endothelial cells—the thin cells that line the inside of various body cavities—and decrease the pro-inflammatory effects of arachidonic and other fatty acids. Celadrin has also been shown to control the immune factors responsible for inflammation, he says.
There are 10 published human and animal studies on the effects of Celadrin on the pain and swelling of osteoarthritis. In a double-blind study, 100 percent of the osteoarthritic subjects showed significant improvement in range of motion, pain levels, timed up and go, timed stair climbing and muscular endurance tests within 30 minutes of applying Celadrin, and cumulative benefits throughout the remaining 30 days of the study.
Rosy results from rosehips
DSM Nutritional Products brought its i-flex joint relief finished product to U.S. shores starting in May of last year, and, according to the company, quickly became the No.1 selling non-glucosamine product in the category. I-flex is based on a powder made from the fruits (the rosehips) and seeds of a subtype of Rosa canina, commonly known as the Dog Rose. The ingredient has seven scientific studies to its credit, four of which were clinical trials. One ding against the brand—in January the National Advertising Division advised DSM to back off on some of its claims related to the product.
Ayurvedic remedy goes mainstream
For centuries, Ayurvedic practitioners in India have used resin from the boswellia tree for treatment of inflammatory conditions, including joint protection. Today, P. L. Thomas’ 5-Loxin, made from high-content acetyl-keto beta boswellic acid (AKBA), is used in the No. 1 joint-health product on the market, Osteo Bi-Flex.
The new generation of 5-Loxin, 5-Loxin Advanced, provides 50 percent more AKBA bioavailability than the original formulation, says Vladimir Badmaev, director of medical and scientific affairs for P.L. Thomas. Clinical studies show daily doses of both 100 mg and 250 mg of 5-Loxin Advanced helps relieve osteoarthritis symptoms in five days, compared to seven days for 5-Loxin. Other studies show that 5-Loxin products improve biological markers associated with joint health and inhibit enzymes that break down cartilage, collagen and connective tissues around the joints.
Condition Specific Directory
Superba Krill Oil
Superba Krill Oil phospholipid omega-3s have been shown to support joint comfort and function. Krill phospholipids are the most bio-efficient source for EPA and DHA, delivering more of these essential fatty acids to the cells and tissues.
Issaquah, Washington, USA
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
BioCell Technology, LLC
BioCell Collagen II
Patented dietary ingredient substantiated by multiple clinical trials for joint and skin benefits. Containing highly bioavailable hydrolyzed collagen, low molecular weight (MW) hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulphate, it provides a multi-layered support for healthy joint and counteracts both natural and photoaging processes in the skin.
BioCell Collagen II CG-WS
Cosmetic-grade, water-soluble, topical formulation of BioCell Collagen II. Collagen-derived peptides and low MW HA are provided to enhance skin beauty via supplying both building blocks of skin structure and bioactive molecules that inhibits hyaluronidase. Dermatologist-reviewed and hypoallergenic.
Freeze-dried powder of [BEGIN ITAL]Wasabia japonica[END ITAL], rich in isothiocyanates (ITC) which induce Nrf2, a master switch for cytoprotective enzymes, providing antioxidant, liver-detoxifying, and Cox2-specific anti-inflammatory properties. This novel nutraceutical is the most potent [BEGIN ITAL]Wasabia japonica[END ITAL] available, containing 15,000 ppm ITC.
Newport Beach, California, USA
Bio Serae Laboratories SAS
Bioastin Hawaiian Astaxanthin
Fortigel (bioactive collagen peptides)
Indena USA, Inc.
National Enzyme Co.
A proteolytic system from [BEGIN ITAL]Aspergillus oryzae[END ITAL] and [BEGIN ITAL] Aspergillus melleus[END ITAL] that is designed as an alternative for Serrapeptidase (a.k.a. serration-peptidase and serrapeptase) in dietary supplements used for cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, respiratory or immune support.
Forsyth, Missouri, USA
Nutra Bridge Corp
Proprietary Nutritionals, Inc
TSI Health Sciences, Inc.
PUREFLEX Glucosamine, PUREFLEX Chondroitin
A Sustained-release composition containing herbal extracts and nutrients to support healthy joints and connective tissues in the body. The proprietary blend contains Glucosamine sulfate, Boswellin® ([BEGIN ITAL]Boswellia serrata[END ITAL]) and Curcumin C3 Complex® ([BEGIN ITAL]Curcuma longa[END ITAL]), ingredients that work synergistically to support the management of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. It also contains a naturally patented bioavailability enhancer, BioPerine® ([BEGIN ITAL]Piper nigrum[END ITAL]).
East Windsor, New Jersey, USA
Soft Gel Technologies, Inc.
A unique, premium-quality supplement primarily used to support joint health and soothe aches from overexertion of everyday activities. The formula includes a proprietary hops resin extract that is standardized to contain high concentrations of alpha acids, clinically demonstrated to reduce pain-causing compounds in a short time with a low dose.
800-360-7431 or 323-726-0700
Los Angeles, California, USA
NEM (Natural Eggshell Membrane)
Vitaco Health (NZ) Ltd.
Biolane™ Active Green Lipped Mussel Extract
Biolane is a unique branded ingredient extracted from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel. As an oral supplement, Biolane has been clinically shown to promote healthy joint function in arthritis sufferers in both animals and in humans. It can be marketed as a pure ingredient or combined with other ingredients in various formats.
+64 9 272 3838
Auckland, New Zealand