Research May Clarify How Eggshell Membrane Affects Joint Health


Eggshell membrane may activate a gene transcription factor that hinders development of inflammatory diseases, according to researchers.

Ruff KJ et al., “Eggshell membrane hydrolyzates activate NF-κB in vitro: possible implications for in vivo efficacy,” Journal of Inflammation Research, vol. 8 (2015): 49-57.

The eggshell membrane (ESM) has made a name for itself as a possible source of relief from joint health conditions, but a new study may provide some insight into the actual mechanism at work in ESM action. Researchers at Missouri State University’s Jordan Valley Innovation Center evaluated the in vitro effect of ESM hydrolyzates on human immune cells, finding that the activation of a certain gene transcription factor may be one aspect of the process.

For four hours, the scientists exposed human cell cultures to ESM hydrolyzates produced by fermentation, enzymatic, or chemical hydrolysis. Compared with untreated control cells, the hydrolyzates significantly activated NF-κB, a signaling protein found in the cytoplasm of human cells and “a primary regulator of immune function,” according to the researchers. All three types of hydrolyzates activated NF-κB, although the fermentation and enzymatic varieties were the most effective.

Partners Stratum Nutrition (St. Charles, MO) and ESM Technologies (Carthage, MO) announced the results of the study, which used the ESM Technologies NEM brand eggshell membrane to determine that ESM hydrolyzates activate NF-κB.

The finding is significant because “dysregulation of NF-κB has been implicated in the development of a number of classical inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease,” according to a press release. In other words, the ESM action on this gene transcription factor may be a crucial aspect of the ingredient’s possible benefits to joint health.

“It’s always rewarding to gain insight into the observed efficacy of one of our ingredients through fundamental research, particularly when this leads to the potential for new intellectual property, says Kevin J. Ruff, PhD, director, scientific and regulatory affairs, ESM Technologies. The companies hope this study will build on previous research suggesting NEM may support a healthy inflammatory response.


Michael Crane
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook magazine


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