PLT Health Solutions has announced the results of a six-month clinical study validating and expanding on three previous double-blind studies demonstrating the joint health benefits of its AprèsFlex 5-Day Joint Support ingredient.
PLT Health Solutions (Morristown, NJ) has announced the results of a six-month clinical study validating and expanding on three previous double-blind studies demonstrating the joint health benefits of its AprèsFlex 5-Day Joint Support ingredient, which is a patented, synergistic Boswellia serrata gum resin extract. The study was conducted in collaboration with PLT’s innovation partner, Lailia Nutraceuticals (Krishna, Andhra Pradesh, India). In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, eight normal-to-overweight women and men between the ages of 40 and 75 years were given either 100 mg/day of AprèsFlex or matching placebo for six months. Results were based on the following endpoints: joint comfort (WOMAC, VAS, Lequesne Functional Index); functional capacity testing (six-minute walk, stair climb); MRI evaluation of the knee joints to assess joint space narrowing, cartilage thickness, and analysis of several biomarkers related to cartilage breakdown and inflammation. Measurements were taken at baseline, one, two, four, and six months.
According to a press release from PLT Health, results showed that supplementation with the extract showed “steady” improvements in joint comfort, with upwards of 70% reduction in pain by the study’s end, as well as a 25% reduction in stiffness after 30 days, and up to 72% reduction in stiffness at six months. Those taking the extract also experienced a 71% improvement in physical function at the end of the study. More specifically, researchers observed improvements in functional abilities such as 27% increase in walking speed as well as a reduction in time to ascend and descend stairs by 30%.
When evaluating data from MRI, results showed that the joint space in the subjects taking AprèsFlex saw limited joint space narrowing in their knees while subjects in the placebo group experience more narrowing. PLT explains that the narrowing of joint space is negative because it means the cartilage can no longer keep bones apart at a normal distance, increasing pressure and pain in the joints. MRIs also showed that femoral, patellar, lateral tibial, and medial tibial cartilage thickness decreased in the placebo group over six months while cartilage thickness in subjects taking the extract was maintained and even slightly improved at 180 days.
Further, PLT explains that changes in biomarkers of cartilage degradation validated the protective effects of AprèsFlex against cartilage breakdown. Significant improvements in systemic and joint inflammation biomarkers were also observed, compared to placebo.
“Currently, most ingredients that purport to support cartilage, like collagens, benefit from a story that relies on their compositional similarity to cartilage, but these ingredients lack human clinical data showing benefits to cartilage,” explains Jen Murphy, director of innovation and clinical development at PLT, in a press release. “The scientific evidence for structural benefits from consuming cartilage or any of its components is limited. Having previously shown that AprèsFlex was effective and fast-acting, this new study demonstrates that the improvements in comfort, stiffness and function experienced with AprèsFlex correlate with the preservation and long-term protection of cartilage."
According to PLT, the oral bioavailability of acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) from AprèsFlex has been shown to be about 52% higher than other commercially available Boswellia extracts, allowing for a lower daily dose with enhanced efficacy.
“AprèsFlex is one of the world’s most widely used joint comfort ingredients, powering major consumer brands – because it works – and now we know that it keeps working for the long-term. Working with our innovation partner Laila Nutraceuticals, PLT designed a study that could evaluate both the long-term potential for this ingredient and its ability to address the unmet needs of joint space preservation and cartilage protection,” said Seth Flowerman, president and CEO of PLT Health Solutions, in a press release. “When you see results like a 70% improvement in comfort, stiffness, and function, and 30% improvement in functional capacity in a longer-term setting, these are not just statistics, but tangible results that can meaningfully improve people’s lives. The joint space and cartilage preservation data from this study is a game-changer for our industry.”