Is eating it good for my health or bad? A crunching coarse bit of eggshell will probably not make much difference in meeting daily nutritional needs, but scientists have found that the eggshell membrane lessen knee pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis.
Eggshell membrane is the protective layer lining the inside of the shell and it contains proteins that may help to repair the cartilage network in between the bones. But the benefits of these ingredients are lost once the egg is cooked.
It is said to act as a source of collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and calcium, all of which have been investigated extensively for osteoarthritis treatment.
In a trial involving 166 subjects diagnosed with grade 2 or grade 3 osteoarthritis of the knee, researchers found that after a seven-day treatment period, the stiffness score in the group that had Natural Egg Shell Membrane (NEM) improved by approximately 24per cent and the pain score by about 22 per cent.
The study found that the number of patients having at least a 15 per cent decrease in pain in the 90-day NEM (71 per cent of subjects) was higher compared to the 60-day NEM group (53 per cent of subjects).
In addition, the pain and stiffness reduced within seven to 30 days in subjects with grade 2 and 3 knee osteoarthritis and these benefits persisted for 90 days.
And in healthy women, those taking NEM started to feel less stiffness after exercise on the fourth day, and less pain after exercise on the eighth day.
There were no serious adverse events reported during the study and the treatment was reported to be well tolerated by study participants.
This Osteoarthritis Pain Treatment Incorporating NEM(R) clinical study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of NEM(R) as a treatment for pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. It was published in the Journal of Arthritis .
The researchers concluded that an individual taking eggshell membrane would be 5 times more likely to experience a 50 per cent improvement in pain compared to glucosamine.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. The condition can affect any joint in the body, but people often notice it in their knees, hands, hips, or spine.
It weakens the cartilage of a joint, the bone underlying the cartilage undergoes changes. The damage begins years before symptoms become evident, and cartilage wears away gradually over a long period of time.
Injury, hormonal disorders, rheumatologic diseases, and the ageing process can lead to more cartilage breakdown than rebuilding, with a net loss of cartilage.
And without that cushioning cartilage, joints can become stiff or painful. Eventually, some cases become severe enough to be diagnosed as osteoarthritis.
Another study published in May 2009 issue of Clinical Interventions in Aging concluded that supplementing with eggshell protein supported joint flexibility within seven days with clinically meaningful results. Also, patients who took 500mg of natural eggshell membrane for 30 days was completely free of pain at the end of trial.
Scientists have tried to understand “how” and “why” eggshell works. As much as the constituents of the eggshell membrane might resemble those in human cartilage, it would be impossible to rebuild and restore lost or damaged cartilage in just a matter of days. It turns out that eggshell has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Moreover, a balanced, nutritious diet will give the body the tools it needs to prevent further damage to the joints, which is essential for people with osteoarthritis.
Some foods such as garlic are known to reduce inflammation in the body and eating enough antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E may help to prevent further damage to the joints.
Scientists believe that a compound called diallyl disulfide that occurs in garlic may work against the enzymes in the body that damage cartilage.