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Does MegaRed Joint Care Relieve Joint Pain?

Supplement Claims It Comforts Joints

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Updated November 29, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

You may be familiar with the name Schiff, especially if you've taken one of their popular products, such as MegaRed Krill Oil or Move Free. Schiff, a company that manufactures several dietary supplements and vitamins, has added MegaRed Joint Care to its product line. Many people with osteoarthritis try dietary supplements to improve the health of their joints. Is MegaRed Joint Care a supplement that's beneficial for people with osteoarthritis?

What Is MegaRed Joint Care?

MegaRed Joint Care is a dietary supplement that combines omega-3 krill oil, hyaluronic acid, and astaxanthin. The proprietary blend of ingredients includes 100% pure Antarctic krill (tiny crustaceans).

Krill oil provides omega-3 fatty acids. A study conducted by the University of Bristol, and published in the September 2011 journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, concluded that an omega-3-rich diet fed to guinea pigs cut their development of osteoarthritis by 50%, compared to guinea pigs fed a regular diet.

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring substance in the body that helps to lubricate and cushion the joints. Astaxanthin is an antioxidant that relieves oxidative joint damage.

Inactive ingredients in MegaRed Joint Care include: gelatin, extra virgin olive oil, glycerin, water, yellow beeswax, Red #40, ethyl vanillin, titanium dioxide, caramel color, Blue #1, mixed tocopherols and rosemary extract.

Indications and Effectiveness of MegaRed Joint Care

The manufacturer's website claims that MegaRed Joint Care comforts sore joints. One MegaRed Joint Care soft gel per day is twice as effective as glucosamine and chondroitin for relieving sore joints, according to results from a 56-day randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study, though the study has not been published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal. A search of PubMed.gov turns up no results for MegaRed Joint Care.

The supplement begins to relieve sore, aching joints in as few as 7 days, and the full effect from MegaRed Joint Care takes about 8 weeks, according to the manufacturer.

Precautions and Warnings

Schiff has warned that people with shellfish allergy, coagulopathy (clotting problems), or who take anticoagulants or other medications should consult with their doctors before using MegaRed Joint Care. In addition, pregnant or lactating women should consult with their doctors before taking the supplement.

Availability of MegaRed Joint Care

MegaRed Joint Care is available at drugstores, vitamin stores, and online at the Schiff Marketplace. A 30-count bottle lists for $37.46.

The Bottom Line

Dietary supplements are considered alternative or complementary treatments for osteoarthritis. The supplement market is a lucrative business that's gaining in popularity, but remember that dietary supplements do not require FDA approval, as other drugs do. Supplements can be marketed with little scientific research to back up their touted effectiveness and presumed safety.

Once a dietary supplement is marketed, the FDA must prove that the product is not safe in order to restrict its use or remove it from the market. The label of a dietary supplement is required to not be misleading, and if the label does not meet this requirement, the FDA may remove the product from the marketplace or take other action.

You should consult with your doctor before buying or trying any dietary supplement, including MegaRed Joint Care. Your doctor should have a complete list of all medications, supplements, and vitamins that you take. Informing your doctor should prevent the possibility of any adverse interactions. Also, keep your expectations realistic. No supplement is a cure for osteoarthritis. At best, it may relieve the symptom of sore joints.

Sources:

MegaRed Joint Care. Description, Facts, Features. Accessed 11/21/12.
http://www.schiffvitamins.com/product_detail.asp?id=213

Regulation of osteoarthritis by omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids in a naturally occurring model of disease. Knott L. et al. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. Volume 19, Issue 9, Pages 1150-1157, September 2011.
http://www.oarsijournal.com/article/S1063-4584(11)00164-6/abstract

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