RCT supports efficacy of non-animal chondroitin for joint benefits

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / sefa ozel
© Getty Images / sefa ozel
Supplementation with non-animal chondroitin sulfate (Mythocondro ) may improve knee function, pain and inflammation markers in overweight people with knee osteoarthritis, according to results of a pilot study from Italy.

The data, which is published in Nutrients​, is the first report of the efficacy of Mythocondro from Gnosis by Lessafre in humans with moderate osteoarthritis. The scientists used a dose of 600 mg per day of the non-animal chondroitin sulfate.

“It is noteworthy that many of the beneficial effects were present even after four weeks of treatment,” ​wrote the authors. “It is evident that there are advantages to the use of non-animal CS as a dietary supplement when considering potential side effect issues.”


Chondroitin sulphate has been claimed to help relieve joint pain and conditions such as osteoarthritis, with a review by the Cochrane Collaboration​ confirming its efficacy.

But its animal-derived nature has caused its safety and purity to be questioned​.

Gnosis, which was acquired by Lesaffre in 2018, uses a fermentation process to produce its CS product, which it says makes the product consistent.

Mythocondro was launched at Supply Side West 2016 in Las Vegas. The ingredient has FDA GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status in the US and EFSA Novel Food Status in the EU.

Study details

The Italian researchers recruited 60 overweight adults with moderate knee osteoarthritis (OA) to participate in their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. The subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 600 mg of Mythocondro or placebo every day for 12 weeks.

Results showed that chondroitin supplementation led to significant decreases in scores on the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), compared to placebo.

In addition, chondroitin supplementation also led to improvement in the Tegner Lysholm Knee Scoring (TLKS) scale, which is a measure of knee functions and symptoms.

Levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation, also significantly decreased in the chondroitin group, compared to placebo.

Decreases in the visual analogue scale (VAS) of pain, which is a self-reporting of pain in both knees, were also reported for the Mythocondro group, compared to placebo.

“The present study was a pilot trial that was carried out on a moderate number of subjects over a relatively short period of time,” ​wrote the researchers. “… the results of this pilot study are very encouraging and the effectiveness of Mythocondro for the management of pain in OA should be confirmed in a larger number of patients for a longer period of treatment.

“Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that the beneficial effects of Mythocondro were present after a short-term treatment and at a lower dose than usual, with an improvement of the major OA-related parameters comparable to those reported for animal CS preparations.”

Source: Nutrients
2019, 11​(9), 2027; doi: 10.3390/nu11092027
“Effectiveness of Non-Animal Chondroitin Sulfate Supplementation in the Treatment of Moderate Knee Osteoarthritis in a Group of Overweight Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study”
Authors: M. Rondanelli et al.

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