Supplements and Osteoarthritis:

Kristen Sparrow • September 15, 2010

I just came across two interesting abstracts concerning supplements for osteoarthritis. I will review each in its own post. The first one, Phys Sportsmed. 2010 Jun;38(2):71-81, is titled,
A potential role for avocado- and soybean-based nutritional supplements in the management of osteoarthritis: a review.

The article discusses osteoarthritis and its prevalence and importance and then goes on to say, “Although the ultimate goal is to slow or prevent OA progression, at present, medical management of OA is aimed primarily at controlling symptoms of pain and stiffness and maintaining joint mobility and quality of life. Because of the lack or perceived lack of response to many conventional therapies for OA as well as concerns regarding the long-term administration of drugs (eg, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), oral joint health supplements (OJHSs) have become increasingly popular among patients with OA.” It then describes some of the molecular mechanisms and concludes ” Basic scientific research studies and a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available high-quality randomized clinical trials indicate that 300 mg of ASU (avocado and soybean unsaponifiables) per day (with or without glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate) appears to be beneficial for patients with hip or knee OA.” (emphasis mine)

I had not been aware of this definitive research and am glad to have another suggestion for my patients with osteoarthritis. I was also surprised to see the admission that conventional therapies are not always effective.