If you haven’t heard about Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM) as a natural remedy for joint pain, you can be forgiven. It’s fairly new supplement that’s just starting to gain some traction treating joint and connective tissue disorders.
It is, as you have probably figured out by this point, a supplement derived from the membrane of eggshells.
Yep. Regular old eggshells.
So what’s the big deal about it?
Well, eggshell membrane is a natural source of a number of more common alternative joint pain remedies like glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, collagen and chondroitin (as well as a few others).
All these compounds, which are discussed in detail on this site, effectively contribute to overall joint health and flexibility. So having a natural source of ALL of them in a single supplement could be a very good thing.
Let’s find out if it is…
What’s the Science Say about Natural Eggshell Membrane?
This supplement’s benefits have been confirmed in a couple of clinical trials.
One study published in 2009 in the journal Clinical Rheumatology, found that a 500 mg dose of NEM…
“…significantly reduced both joint pain and stiffness compared to placebo at 10, 30, and 60 days.”
In the study’s conclusion, the authors also noted…
“The trial suffered from a number of issues. The limited initial enrollment (67 subjects), the relatively high drop-out rate (43%), and the smaller mean treatment effect than anticipated (15% versus 35%) could have compromised the statistical significance of the trial results.”
In addition to this, there’s a significant conflict of interest here.
One of the study’s authors is affiliated with ESM Ingredients, who just happen to be the makers of NEM, the branded form of natural eggshell membrane.
While this by no means suggests the results are inaccurate or fraudulent, it always a good idea to be skeptical when the folks who have the most to gain finacially from a positive study result are the same ones conducting the study.
Independent results are what are needed to confirm NEM’s effectiveness as an alternative remedy for joint pain.
And yes, such a study has been conducted. And while it does confirm NEM’s effectiveness for pain and stiffness (you can view it online here) it’s not a double blind study… which means each and every participant knew they were taking some sort of active compound for joint pain.
This can make a significant outcome to study results, which is exactly why the best studies are double blind – neither the clinicials nor the study participants know who’s taking the “real thing” and who’s taking a placebo.
Only in this way can personal biases be avoided.
When this doesn’t happen… well, let’s say the results are much less reliable.
There are studies, but they ain’t great.
To be fair, however, the natural compounds in natural eggshell membrane (glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, collagen and chondroitin) are not new, and are their effects on joint health are validated by a large number of clinical studies, so it’s not much of a stretch to assume NEM works as described.
Whether it makes sense to choose it over a product that contains effective doses of its natural constituents is much less clear.
Eggshell Membrane Dosage, Safety and Side Effects
Recommended dose – as determined by the studies I referenced earlier – is 500 mg per day.
Although there have been no long term studies done on the safety of natural eggshell membrane, both studies noted a lack of side effects, which isn’t surprising, considering its constituents are free of side effects as well.
I stumbled across a discounted bottle of Jamieson’s NEM (Natural Eggshell Membrane) on the clearance rack of my local grocery store while back, so I snagged it up.
The label claims boasted “results in 7-10 days”, so I began my experiment by taking 1 single 500 mg cap (the same amount used in the supporting clinical studies) for 10 days.
Sweet bugger all.
Didn’t notice a damn thing. Underwhelming to say the least.
In fairness, while the positive studies did show improvement in range of motion and pain within 10 days at this dosage, it took a full 30 days for the effects to really kick in. Perhaps after another week or two I would have noticed a difference.
At that point I had to make a decision; continue on for a further 3 weeks at the 500 mg day dose to see if things improved.
Since I only had one bottle to experiment with, and because I’m a fairly big guy (around 245 lbs), I could continue the remainder of the experiment with double the dose (1,000 mg).
I opted for the latter.
The increased dosage made a huge difference.
I went from “meh, this is bullshit” to “hey, this stuff’s not bad” in just under a week. I definitely noticed an improvement in my aches and pains and the arthritis in the ball of my thumb.
Too bad I hadn’t grabbed a second bottle… I would have loved to continue the experiment for another month.
My experience is not “evidence” of anything. It is annecdotal at best. I offer it on this site to provide additional context and perspective, but you shouldn’t assume that your results may be similar – they may not be. They could be better, or they could be worse.
Just for your information. 🙂
Customer Reviews, Feedback and Testimonials
I didn’t find a lot of feedback on NEM (something I attribute to this remedy’s relative unknown status), but what I did find, for the most part, was positive. Overall…
- Most people found it helpful, although some noted it seemed to take quite a while before the effects “kicked in”.
- A few folks did what I did – increased the dose from a single 500 mg capsule to 2 and even 3 a day for more dramatic effects.
- A handful of people found it did nothing at all. It’s possible these folks quit after a single bottle – natural eggshell membrane does take a while to work; the most dramatic effects were obtained after 60 days of supplementation. An increase in the dose may have also helped.
Should You Use it?
In my very humble opinion, whether or not it makes sense for you use natural eggshell membrane to combat your joint pain and arthritis comes down to how much relief you get from the recommended 500 mg/day dose.
If it works for you at this dosage, then it’s pretty good value; a 3-month supply costs just under $30, or less than $10 a month.
Hard to argue with that.
However, if you have to double or triple the dose to get relief, well…
Not only is it not such a great value anymore – if you’re spending $20-$30 a month it opens up a lot more product options for you to choose from… which contain many different proven ingredients at effective dosages.
So to summarize…
One cap + relief = Good value.
Two caps + relief = So so value.
Three caps + relief = Poor value.
The only thing that would change my recommendation here is if you find NEM works better for you than anything else, bar none. In that case, it’s worth it to spend the extra money.
But considering eggshell membrane is just a natural source of commonly available compounds helpful for joint pain, I doubt this will be the case – it shouldn’t outperform a smartly formatted natural arthritis formula.
Your Thoughts: Have You Tried It?
Now it’s your turn.
Your turn on the soapbox.
Have you tried natural eggshell membrane?
Go on, don’t be shy – drop your comments below, and let it all hang out!
We’d love it if you’d share your thoughts!