Researchers found Stratum Nutrition’s NEM eggshell membrane improved joint function, joint pain, and quality of life in dogs with suboptimal joint function.
NEM brand eggshell membrane has amassed a growing research profile supporting its joint-health benefits in humans, but a new study suggests the ingredient may also offer similar benefits to dogs. Stratum Nutrition (St. Charles, MO) and ESM Technologies (Carthage, MO), the partnering supplier and manufacturer behind NEM, recently shared results of the study, which found the eggshell membrane improved joint function, joint pain, and quality of life in dogs with suboptimal joint function.
The multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included 51 privately-owned dogs that reported to eight different veterinary clinics. All participating dogs suffered from “mild to moderate persistent suboptimal joint function,” as defined by criteria including difficulty climbing stairs, difficulty standing up from a laying position, impaired gait, and/or a noticeable limp.
For six weeks, study animals received approximately 6 mg/lb of NEM eggshell membrane or a placebo once daily as an oral supplement. Researchers evaluated several parameters of joint function and joint pain at one week after baseline and six weeks after baseline, partially through use of the Canine Brief Pain Inventory (CBPI) questionnaire and the Veterinary Canine Scoring Assessments (VCSA). The study also looked at changes to serum levels of a cartilage degradation biomarker, c-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type-II collagen (CTX-II).
Researchers found that NEM eggshell membrane significantly improved joint function and joint pain compared to placebo at one week (22.5% CBPI improvement and 19.4% CBPI improvement, respectively), but “just fell shy of significance” after six weeks of supplementation. Conversely, the CBPI quality of life score did not improve significantly after one week, but did show a significant treatment response by the end of the study in the NEM group compared to placebo. Additionally, the VCSA assessment for pain was significantly improved in the experimental group compared to placebo at six weeks after baseline.
“This canine study on NEM provides further evidence supporting NEM’s ability to modify symptoms of pain, and it provides an alternative to the use of pharmaceuticals which have known detrimental side effects,” says Kenneth J. Knopp, DVM, lead veterinary researcher for the study.
Another noteworthy finding from this study was that serum CTX-II levels were significantly improved in NEM-supplemented dogs following six weeks of supplementation (47.9% improvement), suggesting the eggshell membrane produced a “profound chondroprotective effect,” researchers conclude.
“With so many dogs suffering from suboptimal joint function, it’s important for dog-owners to have safe and effective treatment options like NEM,” says Kevin J. Ruff, PhD, senior director of scientific and regulatory affairs for Stratum Nutrition. “It was particularly gratifying to learn of the chondroprotective effect in this study, as we believe this to be the first of its kind in naturally occurring joint disease in dogs.”
Nutritional Outlook Magazine
Ruff KJ, et al., “Effectiveness of NEM brand eggshell membrane in the treatment of suboptimal joint function in dogs: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study,” Veterinary Medicine: Research & Reports,” vol. 7 (August 2016): 113–121