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Cetyl Myristoleate for Arthrtis: Science or Speculation
by: Rusty Ford
There are a lot of fabulous stories about Cetyl Myristoleate (also known as CMO or CM) floating across the Internet. Mine is one of them. There have been a number of articles published in little known journals or magazines. There have been four small booklets published. One making fantastic claims, all four filled with anecdotal evidence but offering no real research to back up the claims. There are a number of Doctors sharing the results they are having with their patients but so does every other wonder-working product. The question is, are there any scientific studies to back up any of these claims? The answer is yes. To date there are several patient studies and two double blind studies completed. I will mention the three most prominent below.
Dr Len Sands of the San Diego Clinic completed the first human study on the effectiveness on Cetyl Myristoleate in 1995. There were 48 arthritis patients in this study. All but two showed significant improvement in articular mobility (80% or better) and reduction of pain (70% or better). Obviously the study had its flaws. One doctor conducted the study, there was no control group and the number of participants was small. Even so, it suggested to many that maybe there was some hope here and that more scientific studies should follow.
The first double blind study followed two years later. Dr. H. Siemandi conducted a double blind study under the auspices of the Joint European Hospital Studies Program. There were 431 patients in the study, 106 who received cetyl myristoleate, 99 who received cetyl myristoleate, and glucosamine, sea cucumber, and hydrolyzed cartilage and 226 who received a placebo. Clinical assessment included radiological test and other studies. Results were 63% improvement for the cetyl myristoleate group, 87% for the cetyl myristoleate plus glucosamine group and 15% for the placebo group.
In August of 2002, a double blind study was published in the Journal or Rheumatology. The study included sixty-four patients with chronic knee OA. Half of the patients received a cetyl myristoleate complex and half a placebo. Evaluations included physician assessment, knee range of motion with goniometry, and the Lequesne Algofunctional Index (LAI). The conclusion was that the CM group saw significant improvement while the placebo group saw little to none. In fact in their conclusion the state that CM "may be an alternative to the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of OA".
Advanced Medical Systems & Design, Ltd completed the last study I would like to mention in Oct 2001. It was not a double blind study but the study included 1814 arthritis patients. The results showed that over 87% of the subjects had greater than 50% recovery and over 65% of those showed from 75% - 100% recovery following a sixteen day regimen. I know that this is not the most scientific study but a study this large does suggest that there could be a positive benefit to the use of CM in the treatment of arthritis.
Conclusion: There is mounting evidence that CM can be effective in the treatment of many forms of arthritis. While it is true that the evidence from these three studies can not be considered conclusive, it is a beginning. It should challenge you to think out side the box and consider that just because it did not come from a drug company does not mean that it will not work. With over 10,000 people a year dying from Nsaids would it not be great to find a safer and more effective product. Especially with the cost of prescription treatments for arthritis costing into the hundreds and good Cetyl Myristoleate products can be found for between $20 and $40.
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