Using a good and effective joint supplement is one of the best ways to protect against joint inflammation and pain. With so many options available, it can be a challenge to figure out which one is right for you, and which one can actually provide the health benefits consumers seek. Let’s take a look at two of the most popular joint supplements so we can better understand how they work and how they support your joints. Knowing the difference can help avoid joint inflammation and pain, which can greatly improve your life. So who will be the winner: Natural eggshell membrane (NEM) or glucosamine and chondroitin?
Millions of Malaysian are living with arthritic and other forms of joint inflammation and pain. For many people, they eventually reach the point where they consider taking a vitamin or supplements in order to ease pain, swelling, etc. While the right supplement may lead to a significant reduction in symptoms, the wrong one can be a complete waste of money.
One of the reasons joint supplements have gotten a bad rap is due in part to a number of ineffective products that have flooded the market. A surprising number of products advertise big results without offering any real alleviation of symptoms. Some studies have gone so far as to show potential joint harm when taking some of the lower quality joint supplements that are readily available on the market. This can best be avoided by paying close attention to what is in your supplement.
Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM®) is an innovative nutritional supplement that brings fast relief to people suffering from the pain, stiffness, and impaired mobility of osteoarthritis and other joint health problems.
Eggshell membrane is the clear film lining inside of chicken eggshells. If you were to hard-boil an egg you would see this layer when you peel back the hard shell. It sits between the egg itself and the hard shell, serving as an added layer of protection. This membrane is made largely from fibrous proteins such as collagen type I. They have also been shown to house glycosaminoglycans, such as dermatan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate and sulfated glycoproteins including hexosamines, such as glucosamine.
The NEM used as a joint supplement is harvested commercially from the eggshells of industrial egg processors. In the United States alone, these types of facilities generate more than 24 billion eggshells every year.
In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 67 patients were randomly assigned to adhere to a regimen of eggshell membrane or a placebo. They found that after just 8 weeks of participating in the treatment, the group taking 500mg of natural eggshell membrane supplement showed significantly reduced amounts of joint pain and stiffness, as compared to the placebo. They showed continued improvement at 10, 30 and 60 days.
A new study was conducted at six different clinical sites throughout Germany to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of NEM® for the relief of the pain and discomfort associated with osteoarthritis of the knee and/or hip.
Forty-four patients were treated with a daily dosage of 500 mg of NEM®. Clinic visits were scheduled for subjects at study initiation and at 60 days following the onset of treatment. Statistical analysis revealed that supplementation with NEM® produced a significant pain relieving effect within 10 days. On average, nearly 1/4th of the subjects experienced a 30% improvement in pain-related questions within 10 days and almost 20% of the study population experienced a 50% improvement in pain-related questions by the end of the study (60 days).
Significant improvement for stiffness was noted at 30 and 60 days after treatment.
An indication of the pain relieving effect of NEM was a drop in analgesic use. For the 30 days prior to study commencement, patients consumed on average 7 doses of acetaminophen. Analgesic use had dropped considerably to 2.43 doses per 30 days after 30 days of supplementation with NEM®. No side effects were noted with NEM®.
Glucosamine and chondroitin naturally exist as parts of cartilage, which acts as a cushion between the bones in a joint. Glucosamine, sometimes referred to as chitosamine, is a natural substance found in the hard covering of most shellfish. It can be found in many forms, such as glucosamine hydrochloride, N-acetyl-glucosamine and glucosamine sulfate. There are also several synthetic varieties of glucosamine. Chondroitin is derived from natural sources, such as shark or bovine cartilage, or can be made as a synthetic. Chondroitin can also be referred to as chondroitin sulfate, chondroitin sulfuric acid, and chonsurid.
These two compounds can be found in tablets, capsules, powder and even liquid form. Because of their combined success in alleviating joint inflammation and pain, they are very often taken in combination with one another.
According to Consumer Reports, American consumers spent $753 million in 2012 on supplements containing glucosamine, chondroitin or a combination of the two in hopes to support joint health. What they also noted was that findings regarding whether these products actually work were mixed. In their test of 16 commonly sold joint supplements, they found that several contained less of the compounds than claimed, and two of the supplements did not dissolve enough to have any impact.
Most recently, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons put out a set of important guidelines to be used by American orthopedic surgeons. One of these guidelines outlined that glucosamine and chondroitin supplements should not be recommended for patients living with joint pain due to a lack of evidence that they work.
When it comes to nutritional supplements the answer is often “we don’t know”. In this case, the answer is clear. Study after study has shown that eggshell membrane is safer, more effective and has better long-term results than glucosamine and chondroitin. In fact, NEM even contains the compound glucosamine.
Adding a joint supporting supplement is a great way to minimize inflammation and avoid pain in your joints. By finding a high quality supplement you can use this non-medicinal way to help stay active and pain-free. So for those of you that have decided to add a joint supplement to your regimen, look for one that is made with natural eggshell membrane to get the most out of your joint supplement.