While osteoarthritis can affect various parts of the body of aging adults, it is most common in the knees and hip joints. To manage pain and maintain mobility, sufferers use analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Yet, their long-term use may cause various adverse reactions.
Luckily, similar benefits for people with knee osteoarthritis could potentially be obtained from herbs, including avocado-soybean unsaponifiables. These components of avocado and soy extracts showed initial benefits for osteoarthritis treatment, but needed more evaluations.1
This observational study was set up to further explore the effects of avocado-soybean unsaponifiable capsules on knee osteoarthritis.
Polish researchers conducted this observational study on 4,822 patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis in 99 centers throughout the country. The average age of the participants was 61 years old, with 74% of them being women.
Patients received one 300 mg avocado-soybean unsaponifiable capsule per day for six months. Their symptoms and outcomes of the regimen were evaluated before, during, and after the study. Participants were also asked to record their use of analgesics and NSAIDs.
The results were published in the Reumatologia journal.
Comparing the measurements from the beginning and end of the study, there was a substantial improvement in functional abilities among participants.
Pain intensity both at rest and during walking was also reduced. In fact, at least 50% of the participants reported “no pain” at the 6-month check-up. Obese adults showed the greatest reductions in pain intensity.
The use of analgesics and NSAIDs declined from 58.8% to 24.9% throughout the study. Daily dosage of NSAIDs was also reduced from 1 to 0.67.
What Does this Mean?
As can be seen in the results of this study, treatment with avocado-soybean unsaponifiables led to a significant decrease of osteoarthritis symptoms. It not only relieved pain and improved functional abilities, but also helped people reduce their use of pain-relieving medications.
Researchers emphasize the benefits of observational studies in terms of being able to evaluate treatment outcomes in “real-life” settings, including various factors that may influence them.
- Reumatologia, Symptom-modifying effects of avocado/soybean unsaponifiable in routine treatment of knee osteoarthritis in Poland. An open, prospective observational study of patients adherent to a 6-month treatment, 2016
- Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology. (2001). Symptoms modifying effect of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) in knee osteoarthritis. A double blind, prospective, placebo-controlled study. Retrieved February 9, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11578021/