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Researchers found that NEM significantly improved several markers of inflammation in rats with collagen-induced rheumatoid arthritis.
NEM eggshell membrane has some more promising joint-health research under its belt, with a new preclinical study suggesting the ingredient may significantly improve markers of inflammatory arthritis in rats. Stratum Nutrition (St. Charles, MO) and ESM Technologies (Carthage, MO), the partnering supplier and manufacturer behind NEM, shared results of the new study, which found that the eggshell membrane reduced several markers of inflammation in rats with collagen-induced rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Writing in Modern Rheumatology, researchers report that rats were injected with type II collagen at the base of their tail on day 0 and day 7 of the study to simulate RA. These rats were then treated once daily by oral gavage with NEM (52 mg/kg of body weight) or a vehicle control from 14 days before collagen injection to 17 days after collagen injection. On day 17, rats were euthanized. Researchers measured efficacy of the treatment by measuring ankle diameter, histopathologic evaluation of ankles and knees, and serum biomarkers of cartilage function and inflammation with an ELISA test. An additional group of rats with induced arthritis were given the drug methotrexate rather than NEM by oral gavage.
Researchers found that the NEM-treated rats had significantly less joint swelling, with summed ankle and knee histopathology scores reduced by 36% and 43%, respectively, for rats given NEM compared to vehicle control. Researchers also observed significant improvements to key markers of inflammation, bone resorption, cartilage damage, and pannus formation in both the ankle and knee joints of NEM-treated rats. Serum biomarkers including collagen type II C-telopeptide (CTX-II), cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP), and alpha-2-macroglobulin (A2M) showed a percent reduction in the NEM group ranging from 30% to 72%, researchers note.
Furthermore, compared to the comparator drug, methotrexate, researchers concluded that NEM was “approximately 50% as efficacious as methotrexate at reducing the severe inflammation in this model of RA. This suggests that NEM could offer advantages over methotrexate in a clinical context, due to its documented efficacy and superior side-effect profile.” Low-dose methotrexate, researchers note, can be association with severe adverse side effects, including pulmonary tissue damage, myelosuppression, hepatotoxicity, and impaired renal function.
“NEM significantly improved multiple aspects of inflammatory arthritis including inflammation, pannus, cartilage damage, bone resorption, and periosteal bone formation,” researchers conclude. “This study provides further support for the use of CTXII, COMP, and A2M as relevant biomarkers that were responsive to NEM.”
Stratum Nutrition notes that the studied dose of 52 mg/kg of body weight in rats corresponds to a human equivalent dose of 500 mg/day.
“Using the gold-standard animal model of RA, a strong study design that included all required controls along with a comparator drug (methotrexate), and the use of validated, complementary indices of efficacy inducing physical, histological, and biochemical assessments, we found that supplementation with NEM significantly improved every index to meaningful degrees,” says Alison Bendele, PhD, co-author of the study, in a press announcement from Stratum Nutrition. “These results provide impressive new evidence for the immune modulating activity of NEM in the context of collagen-induced inflammation and arthritis, along with a solid rationale for continuing this line of research.”
Nutritional Outlook Magazine
Wedekind KJ et al., “Beneficial effects of natural eggshell membrane (NEM) on multiple indices of arthritis in collagen-induced arthritic rats,” Modern Rheumatology. Published online December 21, 2016.