A clinical study recently published in The Journal of Rheumatology concludes that a topical cream consisting of a blend of natural oils called cetylated fatty acids significantly increased range of motion and physical performance in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee with no reported side effects.
Another study published in the same journal in 2002 found that capsules containing the same ingredients provided similar relief, even for patients who were taking prescription medication for arthritis.
The proprietary blend of cetylated fatty acids used in both studies is now available in Celecaine, an over-the-counter treatment available in both cream and capsule form from IHS Bioceuticals. The cream is designed for temporary relief of minor aches and pains associated with simple backache, arthritis, strains, bruises and sprains. The capsules are designed to promote joint flexibility, mobility and overall joint health.
"The recent removal of Vioxx from the market has prompted a lot of people to hunt for alternative pain relievers, and the results of these studies suggest that products like Celecaine that utilize cetylated fatty acids may be an effective replacement," said Dr. M.V. Nagendran, MD, Medical Center, Manipal, a participant in one of the clinical trials.
"I have never seen a bioceutical compound work so quickly and effectively in a study on patients," he added. "The compound had other remarkable properties in that the subjects continued to experience improvement after cessation of the study and the product. There are also no reported side effects by any subject/patient. While both of these studies focused on osteoarthritis of the knee, the response is promising and merits further investigation for other kinds of joint pain."
Topical cream study: In the case of the cetylated fatty acid topical cream, the double-blind, placebo-controlled study published this year tested 40 patients who applied either the cream or a placebo twice a day for 30 days. Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that patients who used the cream experienced significant improvements in knee range of motion, balance and strength as well as the ability to climb stairs, rise from a chair and walk. Improvements were observed within 30 minutes, with additional benefits after 30 days.
"Considering the increasing incidence of OA (osteoarthritis) in the elderly population, pain-reducing medications such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), and COX-2 inhibitors have been common treatments. However, prolonged intake of NSAID increases the risk of gastrointestinal side effects and renal toxicity, and may inhibit synthesis of cartilage matrix," the researchers noted in their published report.
"There is a need for alternative products that benefit patients with OA without harmful side effects," they added. "The results of this study provide support for the use of cetylated fatty acids as part of a pain relief treatment in patients with knee OA."
Capsule study: In the case of the capsules containing cetylated fatty acids, the double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in 2002 evaluated 64 patients who were asked to consume six real or placebo capsules per day for 68 days. Patients were asked to maintain their daily medication routines, including any prescription medications they might be taking to treat their osteoarthritis.
After 68 days, researchers found that patients treated with the capsules containing cetylated fatty acids exhibited greater improvement in knee range of motion and overall function than those who were treated with placebo. "The CFA (cetylated fatty acids) provided relief even for those individuals also receiving traditional medications," the researchers reported.
"Our results suggest that cetylated fatty acids are effective in improving the symptoms of OA and therefore should be considered as a viable option for treatment of this condition," they concluded.
Complete texts of both studies can be found at http://www.celecaine.com/.