Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM) is derived from the inner and outer layers of the membrane within an eggshell. NEM is a good source of collagen and other nutrients that support the maintenance and repair of soft tissues in a joint.

Eggs have long been considered a good source of collagen because type I and type IV are found in the inner and outer membranes lining the egg’s shell, and in the yolk. The usefulness of the collagen is limited, however, because cooking changes the structure of the collagen. Because supplements provide egg collagen that is not denatured, they are considered a better source of eggshell membrane collagen than eggs.

Tendons and ligaments consist of collagen fibers that connect to muscle, in the case of tendons, and bones, in the case of ligaments. Joint cartilage consists of collagen and protein-sugar complexes known as proteoglycans. The main proteoglycan is made up of chains of hyaluronic acid. Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM) provides these substances.

How does NEM work? Here are some research findings from the studies completed to date:
• it may suppress pro-inflammatory signalling involving immune system cells
• it may increase secretion of anti-inflammatory signalling molecules
• its constituents seem to protect the cells that make cartilage
• increased hyaluronic acid may promote cartilage production and repair

Because NEM is a food-sourced supplement, its constituents are well tolerated and interact minimally with medications. This means NEM could be an excellent adjunct for people with rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of autoimmune arthritis as well as those with osteoarthritis or possibly those with cartilage damage from infectious arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affection millions of people around the world. It causes the protective cartilage in your joints to deteriorate. A study published in the Journal of Arthritis found that patients who had osteoarthritis of the knee and/or hip experienced up to 35% improvements in pain and stiffness after up to 60 days of treatment, with most experiencing noticeable improvement in as little as 10 days.

Other studies of people with osteoarthritis or post-menopausal joint pain found clinically significant improvements in pain and stiffness with up to 90 days of treatment, with most showing benefit after as little as 7 days of treatment for pain and as little as 4 for stiffness.

Arthritis often limits range of motion in addition to causing pain and stiffness, and these limitations are as much of a burden on quality of life as the pain.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food looked at the effect of NEM on joint flexibility. The study found improvement in the range of motion for multiple joints, not just those most affected by the participant’s primary joint condition.

Safety and Interactions
In a comprehensive 2012 study published in Food and Chemical Toxicity, NEM was evaluated for cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, acute oral toxicity, and 90-day repeated-dose oral toxicity. Even at much larger amounts than therapeutic doses, NEM was well tolerated. Numerous human studies conducted since 2012 have found the study subjects tolerated therapeutic doses of NEM well.

Side Effects and Cautions
Natural eggshell membrane has no known side effects apart from the concern about triggering allergy symptoms in susceptible people. Women who are pregnant, may become pregnant or who are breast-feeding should consult their healthcare practitioners before using NEM.

Allergy Information – Possibly Suitable for People with Seafood Allergies
If you are allergic to eggs, you should use NEM with caution and contact your doctor if food allergy symptoms emerge. A number of well-known natural treatments for joint pain, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, are marine-sourced. This is problematic for people who have shellfish allergies. NEM does not trigger shellfish allergies so is a suitable substitute for people who have them.

How to Take Natural Eggshell Membrane
A typical dose is 500 mg taken once per day. Your health practitioner may prescribe a different regimen according to the needs of your case.

Summary
New natural products, such as Natural Eggshell Membrane, are emerging as alternatives which meet or exceed the benefits provided by glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and may allow many to reduce or replace their usage of NSAID medications.

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