Avocado soybean Usaponifiables are a natural vegetable extract made from avocado and soybean oils. ASU has recently been added to the list of nutraceuticals that have proven in research to have beneficial effects on osteoarthritis.
Scientific research studies indicate that 300 mg of ASU per day (with or without glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate) appears to be beneficial for patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis. There is also some evidence that ASU or combination (ASU/glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate) products could be used in the earliest stages of osteoarthritis (Dinubil 2010).
In the 2003 study published in the journal of rheumatology scientists reported ASU inhibited the breakdown of cartilage and promoted the repair process. ASU is a natural treatment approach with promising results in the few studies that have been conducted. The French government has been tracking ASU’s safety record for 15 years and have yet to find any significant safety precautions (Arthritis Today Supplement).
This substance has been studied in both oral and topical formulations, as well in combination with other neutriceuticals. Kim et al (2006) performed a placebo-controlled study of 50 people with knee pain. Compared with placebo, MSM (3g twice daily) produced significantly less pain and impairment after 3 months.
Extracts of green tea and it’s properties (polyphenols) have been linked to reduction of the inflammatory responses in vitro and in development of arthritis in animal model studies. There is considerable evidence that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG the most predominant green tea polyphenol) inhibits enzyme activities and signal transduction pathways that play important roles in inflammation and joint destruction in arthritis (Mahavidyalaya and Hindu 2010).
Green tea can be consumed by the cup, which the recommended therapeutic dose is about 3 cups a day providing 240-320 mg of the active ingredients, polyphenols. Green tea extract can be taken in pill form and the recommended dose varies for males and females ranging from 200-500mg/day.
Ginger extract has been used as an anti inflammatory agent in Traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. In a 2001, a 6 week double blind study in 10 US major medical centers, researchers found that highly purified standardized ginger extract had a statistically significant effect on reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee (Altman and Marcussen 2001).
The recommended dose for patients is one 225 mg capsule twice daily of pure ginger extract.
Vitamin B6 is a water soluble vitamin that provides a wide variety of functions in the body including metabolism, energy transformation, oxygen transport, and nervous and immune system function. Vitamin B6 is found in a wide variety of foods including fortified cereals, beans, meat, poultry, fish and some fruits and vegetables. The recommended dose for adults is 1.3 mg/day for those ages 19-50 and 1.5-1.7 mg/day for women and men, respectively above age 51. (**does do not include pregnant and lactating women)
In a single-blind co-intervention study performed at the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology of Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taiwan researchers found that a large dose of vitamin B(6) supplementation (100 mg/day) suppressed pro-inflammatory cytokines in patients with rheumatory arthritis (Huang et al. 2010).
SAMe has been shown to compare favourably to NSAIDs in controlling pain and improving function. In a met-analysis of 11 studies on SAMe, researchers determined that 2 studies produced statistical improvement in functional limitations but not pain.
There is limited evidence supporting the use of the following nutraceuticals however, these have been linked to beneficial side effects in treating arthritis and joint pain (Ameye and Chee 20006):
- Devil’s claw ( Harpagophytum procumbens); iridoid glyside harpagoside may inhibit imflammatory mediators
- Salix alba (white willow); possible aspirin derivative substances. Study found improvement superior to placebo but inferirior to NSAIDs.
- Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentose and Uncaria Guianensis); anti-oxidant characteristics that suppress TNF. Has shown greater reduction in joint pain over control group (53.2% vs, 24.1%)
- Chinese plant extract, duhuo jisheng Wan
- Cetyl myristoleate
- Lipids from green-lipped mussels
- Plant extracts from Harpagophytum procumbens