Milk-Fat Globule Membrane Plus Glucosamine Improves Joint Function and Physical Performance: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study

J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2019;65(3):242-250. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.65.242.


Care of the musculoskeletal system, including the muscles, joints, and bones, is important for a healthy life expectancy in today's aging society. The aim of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to investigate the effect of consumption of milk-fat globule membrane (MFGM) and glucosamine on joint function and physical performance. Participants were healthy Japanese men and women, aged 60-74 y, with a history of mild knee or low back pain at rest. They were randomized to receive tablets containing MFGM 1.0 g+glucosamine 1.5 g or placebo tablets for 8 wk. We assessed passive range of motion, active range of motion (self-reported VAS score), JKOM and JLEQ, and physical performance. Data were available for analysis for 25 participants in the active treatment group and 28 in the placebo group. The active group showed significant improvements in passive range of motion at the knee and active range of motion at both the knee and low back. The active group also showed significant improvements in some physical performance, including obstacle walking speed and speed of ascending stairs. The findings of this study suggest that consumption of a combination of MFGM and glucosamine may improve joint function and physical performance.

Keywords: knee; locomotive syndrome; low back; range of motion; walking speed.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthralgia / drug therapy
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise Test / drug effects
  • Female
  • Glucosamine / pharmacology
  • Glucosamine / therapeutic use*
  • Glycolipids / pharmacology
  • Glycolipids / therapeutic use*
  • Glycoproteins / pharmacology
  • Glycoproteins / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Lipid Droplets
  • Low Back Pain / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Range of Motion, Articular / drug effects*
  • Walking / physiology*


  • Glycolipids
  • Glycoproteins
  • milk fat globule
  • Glucosamine