Background: Osteoarthritis-induced arthralgia is a common cause of morbidity in both men and women worldwide. AR7 Joint Complex is a nutritional supplement containing various ingredients including sternum collagen II and methylsulfonylmethane. The product has been marketed in United States for over a decade, but clinical data measuring the effectiveness of this supplement in relieving arthralgia is lacking. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of AR7 Joint Complex on osteoarthritis.
Methods: A total of 100 patients over the age of 50 who had osteoarthritis were recruited to the double-blind study and randomly assigned into either treatment or placebo control groups. The patients in the treatment group were given AR7 Joint Complex orally, 1 capsule daily for 12 weeks, while the patients in the control group were given a placebo for the same period of time. Prior to and at the end of the study, data including Quality of Life questionnaires (SF-36), visual analog scales (1 to 100 mm), and X-rays of affected joints were collected.
Results: A total of 89 patients completed the study: 44 from the treatment group and 45 from the control group. No significant change in X-ray results was found in either group after the study. However, there was a significant decrease in patients complaining of arthralgia and tenderness (P < 0.01) in the treatment group and there was also a significant difference between the treatment and control groups at the end of the study. In addition, for Quality of Life data, the body pain index (BP) in the treatment group was significantly improved (P < 0.05) compared to the control group. No significant toxicity was noted in either group.
Conclusion: AR7 Joint Complex appears to have short-term effects in relieving pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Whether such an effect is long-lasting remains to be seen.