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Keratin Supplement May Help Ease Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs with more frequency in the later years of life. The condition can be painful and debilitating. A recent study suggests that supplementation with keratin may reduce knee pain and stiffness in individuals suffering from osteoarthritis.

Participants in the study included 50 individuals with a diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis. Over the course of 60 days half of the group took a placebo while the other half took two capsules containing a total of 500 mg of keratin daily.

After six days the keratin group showed improvements of 13% on the WOMAC Osteoarthritis Index and a 19.4% improvement in stiffness, while the placebo group showed improvements of 0.73% and 4.9%, respectively. Additionally, 50% of the participants in the keratin group had responded to treatment, compared to only 2.92% in the placebo group.

At the 30-day mark, both the placebo and the supplement group had significant improvements in pain but the supplement group had double the amount of improvement (32.5%) compared to the placebo group (16.9%). Stiffness had improved by 23.2% in the supplement group and by 16.5% in the placebo group.

By the conclusion of the study, however, there were no significant differences between the two groups in pain. Both groups showed a 37% reduction in pain. However the supplement group showed a 42.6% reduction in stiffness and the placebo group showed a 35.8% reduction in stiffness.

The researchers pointed out that a placebo effect is common in osteoarthritis studies and that the supplement group had higher pain levels at the outset than the placebo group.

Researchers from CB Food Consulting LLC, the University of British Columbia, and Roxlor conducted the study. It was published in the September 2013 issue of Journal of Dietary Supplements.

Keratin is an insoluble fiber most commonly used to improve the appearance of skin and hair. Eating lean meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products can help encourage keratin production while vitamin C boosts keratin absorption.

A supplement like the one used in this study is an effective way to do boost keratin levels as well.

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