Despite the well-known benefits of exercise, as well as its importance for a healthy lifestyle, infrequent or intense exercise can create discomfort in the joints which often leads to reduced exercise frequency or can even cause people to quit exercising altogether. This single center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was designed to evaluate whether NEM would reduce cartilage turnover or alleviate joint pain or stiffness, either directly following exercise or 12 hours post-exercise, versus placebo.
Sixty healthy, post-menopausal women, who reported no prior persistent joint pain, were randomly assigned to receive either oral NEM 500 mg (n = 30) or placebo (n = 30) once daily for two consecutive weeks while performing an exercise regimen (50 to 100 steps per leg) on alternating days. The primary endpoint for the study was any statistically significant reduction in exercise-induced cartilage turnover via the cartilage degradation biomarker, CTX-II, versus placebo evaluated at 1 week and 2 weeks of treatment. Secondary endpoints were reductions in either exercise-induced joint pain or stiffness versus placebo, evaluated daily both immediately and 12 hours post-exercise (recovery) via participant questionnaire.
A once daily, small 500 mg dose of NEM rapidly improved recovery from exercise-induced joint pain (Day 8) and stiffness (Day 4), as well as significantly reduced discomfort immediately following exercise (stiffness, Day 7). Moreover, a substantial chondroprotective effect was demonstrated from NEM supplementation through a lasting decrease in the cartilage degradation biomarker, CTX-II. It is also important to note that this patent-pending clinical trial design marks the first evidence suggesting the biomarker, CTX-II, can be used to evaluate the chondroprotective efficacy of joint therapeutics in healthy individuals, as well as other populations.
Jason Theodosakis, MD, (“Dr. Theo”) is a board-certified physician and best-selling author. As a contributing author on the study, Dr. Theo said: “This triple-action NEM ingredient contains naturally occurring hyaluronic acid, chondroitin and glucosamine, as well as three types of collagen, peptides and amino acids—providing defense for joint health.”
Kevin J. Ruff PhD, MBA, CCRP, senior director of scientific & regulatory affairs for Stratum Nutrition, also commented on the study, “This study is significant not only for the growing body of research supporting NEM’s fast-acting benefits for joint health, but importantly for demonstrating these same benefits for the first time in individuals with truly healthy joints. The novel trial design employed in this study has even received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.”