After three successful clinical studies on ASU that showed it can improve function and decrease pain in individuals suffering from osteoarthritis, the next step was to conduct what is called a meta-analysis.
Now what exactly is a meta-analysis? Simply put, it is when you combine multiple trials from different researchers and use all that data to conduct a big trial using some fancy statistics. These type of trials are very important medically for demonstrating that a treatment works.
Why is that?
The idea is that you are combining clinical studies into one giant trial and any potential biases or faults in any of the individual trials will have less of an effect.
The medical community loves these types of trials because any single trial can have certain problems or issues. It’s highly unlikely however that the same issue will be found in all the trials. The idea is to wash out biases and see if the results are positive when you combine all the data. That is exactly what Christensen and colleagues did with this clinical study.
These type of studies do involve some complex math and statistics that we won’t go over now. Instead we will focus on the results of the study. In total, they ended up with 664 osteoarthritis subjects with either knee or hip pain. Of those, 336 took 300mg of ASU while 328 took a placebo.
The researchers found the following results:
- ASU decreased pain compared to placebo.
- ASU increased joint function compared to placebo.
This study helped confirm earlier studies and again demonstrated that ASU could be an effective treatment for those suffering from joint pain. The authors of the study concluded that patients may be recommended to take ASU for three months to see if it can improve their systems.
Christensen, R., Bartels, E.M., Astrup, A., and Bliddal, H. Symptomatic efficacy of avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) in osteoarthritis (OA) patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2008; 16: 399–408