Arthri D (also called Arthri D3) is an arthritis and anti-inflammation supplement that you may have seen advertised in a 30 minute TV commercial. After watching the 30 minute infomercial, you may have wondered, does Arthri D work or is it a scam? Well, one thing is that this supplement contains an ingredient ―called N acetyl glucosamine ―that I don’t see in many arthritis products. Does that ingredient make it better? It was because of its ingredient that made me want to review Arthri D in case you were wondering the same thing. Let’s see if Arthri D is right for you.
What does Arthri D refer to?
The “D” in Arthri D refers to vitamin D3, the type of the vitamin this supplement contains. Hence the reason it’s also sometimes called “Arthri D3.” There are basically 2 different types of vitamin D:
- Vitamin D3, also called cholicalciferol
- Vitamin D2, also called ergocalciferol
Arthri D gives people 1000 IU of vitamin D3 in two capsules. While that’s nice, it’s possible that people may already be taking 1000- 2000 IU of vitamin D daily, given all the publicity this vitamin has been getting over the past several years. If not, I suggest getting vitamin D levels checked so you know what your levels actually are. For more information see my review on Vitamin D Facts.
Arthri D ingredients
According to the ArthriD.com website these are the ingredients in 2 capsules
|Vitamin C||7 mg / 10%DV|
|Vitamin D3||1000 IU / 250 DV|
|Magnesium||40 mg / 10% DV|
|Proprietary blend||1027 mg|
|Evening Primrose oil|
|Perna Canaliculus (Green Lipped Mussel)|
|Hyaluronic Acid (Sodium Hyaluronate)|
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients in Arthri D and see what the arthritis-research says.
The first thing to mention is that while there is arthritis research on several of the ingredients in Arthri D, the product itself appears to have zero published peer reviewed proof that it helps reduce arthritis pain.
I make this claim because the Arthri D website shows no studies on the product. Also, when I searched the National Library of Medicine for “Arthri D” I saw no studies either. Therefore, I conclude that Arthri D, itself, has no good proof that it specifically helps arthritis.
But what about the ingredients in Arthri D? Let’s now look at the studies on its various ingredients.
Arthri D contains some vitamin C and D and magnesium. There is some research on vitamins C, D and magnesium, however the levels of these nutrients in the product don’t give me any reason to think they would have a significant effect on arthritis.
Also called “NAG.” How much NAG is in Arthri D? They don’t tell us. They only say that the “proprietary blend” contains a total of 1027 mg (about 1 gram). I’ll assume that most of the blend is composed of N-acetyl Glucosamine.
I don’t see many arthritis supplements that contain this type of glucosamine. Most products contain either:
- Glucosamine HCL
That said, I searched the National Library of Medicine for:
- N-acetyl glucosamine, arthritis
- NAG, arthritis
- N-acetyl glucosamine osteoarthritis
- NAG, osteoarthritis
- N-acetyl glucosamine rheumatoid arthritis
- NAG rheumatoid arthritis
This is the study I found:
In 2001 a study titled Oral polymeric N-acetyl-D-glucosamine and osteoarthritis was published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. This study consisted of 10 people with osteoarthritis. People either received 1.5 grams of N-acetyl Glucosamine (NAG) or a placebo for 6 weeks.
It’s important to note that this study did not specifically use N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) but rather a polymer complex of NAG, called “Poly Nag” produced by a company called Lescarden. This complex consists of both glucosamine and N-acetyl glucosamine. This study was also a pilot study (baby/beginner study) that does not seem to have been replicated.
At the end of the study, those getting the Poly Nag supplement showed improvements in osteoarthritis pain scales compared to placebo.
This study actually stated there was a “significant improvement” in osteoarthritis pain. But, unlike most studies, there is no mention of the statistics associated with this effect. Without getting bogged down in math, let me just say that the omission of statistics (like P values) is a big problem with this study.
The omission of statistics, and the fact that the study does not appear to have been followed up with a larger trial, are problems, in my opinion.
Other than this single study, every other investigation of N acetyl glucosamine and arthritis that I saw, involved lab animals or were test tube studies. Here is a summary of those NAG-arthritis studies I found:
- Suppressive effects of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine on rheumatoid arthritis mouse models. This is a mouse study
- Effect of glucosamine, a therapeutic agent for osteoarthritis, on osteoblastic cell differentiation. This is a test tube study.
- Chondroprotective effect of N-acetylglucosamine and hyaluronate in early stages of osteoarthritis–an experimental study in rabbits. This is a rabbit study. NAG was injected into rabbits.
- Chondroprotective activity of N-acetylglucosamine in rabbits with experimental osteoarthritis. This is a rabbit study. NAG was injected into rabbits.
Where are the studies showing that oral N acetyl glucosamine reduces arthritis pain in humans? Other than the 2001 study summarized above, I don’t see any.
This is very different than the research on glucosamine sulfate which has most of the positive research.
While I am not prepared to say NAG does nothing for arthritis, the lack of human evidence makes it hard to recommend at this point.
Chondroitin sulfate is popular in arthritis supplements, but it’s difficult to say how effective it might be. Some studies have noted that chondroitin sulfate (alone and in combination with glucosamine sulfate) might help osteoarthrits (particularly knee arthritis). Some of those studies include:
- Comparative efficacy and safety study of two chondroitin sulfate preparations from different origin (avian and bovine) in symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Equivalence of a single dose (1200 mg) compared to a three-time a day dose (400 mg) of chondroitin 4&6 sulfate in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Results of a randomized double blind placebo controlled study.
Conversely, other studies have found that chrondroitin sulfate does not help arthritis. Some of those studies include:
- Glucosamine/chondroitin combined with exercise for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a preliminary study.
I admit I’m on the fence when it comes to chondroitin sulfate helping arthritis. I’ want to see more research.
Also known as Curcuma longa and curcumin. This herb is often touted as being anti-inflammatory. Since inflammation often accompanies arthritis, it makes sense that tumeric would be in arthritis supplements. For example, tumeric is also found in Tissue Rejuvinator which I reviewed previously. It’s also in the anti-aging supplement called Protandim so see those reviews for additional information.
I found an arthritis study of a tumeric-containing supplement called “Meriva” published in 2010. The study was titled Efficacy and safety of Meriva®, a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex, during extended administration in osteoarthritis patients.
Meriva contains tumeric and Phosphatidylcholine. The tumeric in this product is said to be more bio-available because of its association to Phosphatidylcholine. On the Meriva website, they call this a “Curcumin Phytosome.” A “phytosome” is a man-made word used to describe something that is better absorbed, in this case tumeric.
Here is Meriva on Amazon for those who are interested.
When I reviewed the weight loss supplement SlimQuick, they used a special type of green tea which they called “green tea phytosome”, so see that review for more information.
I am not aware of any arthritis research on rice flour.
Boswellia (also called frankincense) appears to have anti-inflammatory properties. There is also some arthritis research on this herb also.
In a 2011 study titled A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled clinical study evaluates the early efficacy of aflapin in subjects with osteoarthritis of knee, a boswellia supplement called Aflapin helped arthritis pain in 60 people with osteoarthritis after 30 days of use.
Conversely in a 2008 review titled Frankincense: systematic review the researchers looked at 47 boswellia studies, with only 7 deemed good enough for inclusion in the review. While the researchers noted that boswellia appeared “clinically effective” and “encouraging” for a number of conditions associated with inflammation (arthritis, Crohn’s disease, asthma, etc), they did not feel the evidence was “compelling.” This lack of endorsement is likely the result of not enough good research on boswellia.
For more information on Boswellia see the Tissue Rejuvenator review.
Also called Withania somnifera. While there doesn’t yet seem to be any specific evidence that ashwaganda reduces arthritis pain in humans, there is some evidence that it might help protect cartilage cells. Theoretically this might help arthritis. Ashwaganda has been an ingredient in several other products I’ve looked at including
- Avesil – a weight loss supplement
- 1 Db Goddess - a weight loss supplement
- Mdrive - a “for men over 40″ supplement
- Protandim - an anti-aging supplement
Also called Yucca aloifolia. Like several other ingredients in Arthri D, yucca might have some anti-inflammatory properties, but I can’t find any good proof it specifically helps arthritis in humans.
Also called Ananas comosus. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples. It’s a protein-digesting enzyme, but it appears to have other properties including being anti-inflammatory. The use of bromelain for arthritis is somewhat controversial.
In a 2007 study titled, Bromelain as an adjunctive treatment for moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study, bromelain didn’t help arthritis pain any more than a placebo did.
In a 2006 study titled Efficacy and tolerance of an oral enzyme combination in painful osteoarthritis of the hip. A double-blind, randomised study comparing oral enzymes with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, a specific type of bromelain supplement (Phlogenzym) appeared to help arthritis pain as much as an anti-inflammatory drug. But, this particular supplement contained more than just bromelain. So how much of the effect was due to bromelain alone is unknown.
Evening Primrose oil
Also called GLA, Oenothera biennis and gamma linolenic acid. This is also an example of an omega 6 fatty acid. I am not aware of any good human arthritis research on GLA.
Also called Green Lipped Mussel. This is actually an extract from a mollusk that appears to have some anti-inflammatory properties. Whether or not Perna Canaliculus helps arthritis or not is open to debate. There are studies showing it might help arthritis and other studies noting that it doesn’t help arthritis.
Also called Glycoaminoglycan. Hyaluronic acid is sometimes found in arthritis supplements however the bulk of the research of it helping arthritis stems from injecting it into joints ―not taking it orally. Also, I see no published peer reviewed proof that Hyaluronic acid supplements help arthritis pain. Therefore, at this time, I don’t think hyaluronic acid supplements work.
Ingredients in Arthri D with arthritis evidence
- Chondroitin sulfate
- NAG (maybe)
- Tumeric (maybe)
- Boswellia (maybe)
- Perna Canaliculus (maybe)
Of these 5 ingredients, it’s chondroitin sulfate that has most of the evidence that it might help arthritis. The evidence for each of the other 4 ingredients is much weaker.
Anti-inflammatory ingredients in Arthri D
- Perna Canaliculus
Some of these ingredients have more studies than others. It’s possible that the blend of these ingredients might have an additive effect and work better than any single ingredient would to reduce inflammation but I see no published peer reviewed research to confirm or deny this.
Arthri D. Natural COX 2 inhibitor?
If you saw the Arthri D infomercial, you may have heard Jim Shriner (the main person who speaks during the Arhri D infomercial) say that the ingredients in Arthri D contains natural COX 2 inhibitors. COX is short for “cyclo-oxygenase” (say, sigh-klo-ox-a-gin-ace). Basically, it’s a big enzyme complex that takes part in many things, including pain and inflammation. Many drugs you have heard of (like aspirin) inhibit the COX enzyme.
All that said, is Arthri D a natural COX 2 inhibitor? It’s hard to say since Arthri D itself appears to have no published peer reviewed evidence that it inhibits COX. And, if it did, which version of COX enzyme does Arthri D inhibit? There is more than one type of this enzyme.
And what about side effects? Several well known COX inhibitors have been shown to cause very bad side effects. Would Arthri D cause these side effects also? Personally, I don’t think it would, but I want to point this out because that you can’t say a supplement is a natural COX inhibitor without people wondering if it might have the same side effects as drugs that inhibit COX.
Arthri D side effects
I’m not aware of any side effects from Arthri D. Below are some theoretical side effects of some of its ingredients. People with health conditions should speak to their doctor for more personal and up-to-date information.
Because N acetyl glucosamine (NAG) comes from shell fish, people who are allergic to shell fish may have allergic reactions. To their credit, the Arthri D website recommends not using the product if you have an allergy to shell fish.
Glucosamine (and chondroitin) may make asthma worse. This may also be true for N acetyl glucosamine.
Chondroitin sulfate may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Whether supplements increase the risk is not known. As such, I personally would not recommend chrondrotin sulfate to men until better research is done. More to the point, this is a controversial topic that is best discussed with a urologist who can help men make the right decisions for them. Chondrotin sulfate may also have a blood thinner effect.
N acetyl glucosamine may have a primitive blood thinner effect. This means it may interact with blood thinner medications.
At least one case report links glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to liver hepatitis. How significant of this is not known. People with liver issues should talk to their doctor.
Bromelain may interact with blood thinner medications.
Who makes Arthri D?
The product website states that Arthri D is distributed by Arthri-D LLC, Beverly, MA 01915. According to the Better Business Bureau, they have to different locations for Arthri D LLC:
- 100 Cummings Center Beverly, MA 01915 which they give a rating of C- as of 4/26/13
- 4101 Spyglass Cir Palos Heights, IL 60463-3100 which they give a rating of F as of 4/26/13
I’ve linked to the BBB files for both addresses
If you look at the 100 Cummings BBB file, you will see reference to another company, called Blue Vase Marketing LLC. This appears to be the company that either markets Arthri D or produces the infomercial. Here is the Blue Vase LLC Better Business Bureau file for more information.
For more information see my review of the male enhancement supplement Androzene.
How much is Arthri D?
According to the product website, 1 bottle of Arthri D will cost $99.99 plus $9.99 for shipping and handling. They also have a buy 2 bottles, get one bottle free for $199.98 – plus $17.99 shipping and handling. I think that’s a lot of money. Here is Arthri D on Amazon. It’s less here but I still feel its over priced compared to glucosamine sulfate.
Arthri D purchase policy
On the purchase policy page of the Arthrid.com website, it specifically states that when people buy Arthri D from the product’s websites, that the credit card used will be charged on the day the product is bought.
If you buy Arthri D from the product’s website, you may be enrolled in a “Monthly Replenishment Program.” This means that your credit card will be charged each month as more of the product is shipped to you. Be sure to ask customer service about this if you want to opt out of this program.
You can avoid the monthly program if you buy Arthria D from Amazon.
Arthri D return policy
According to the purchase policy page of the product website, Buying a 30 day supply of Arthri D comes with a 30 day return policy. The 30 days begins on the day the product is received. People who buy a 90 day supply have a 90 day money back guarantee.
To return Arthri D, people must follow these steps as is outlined on the Arthri D website purchase policy page:
1. Call their Customer Satisfaction Department at 800-609-7247 and ask for a Return Authorization number (RA number). Ask for the address to return the product to. The RA number must be placed on the outside of the package. Include a copy of the original invoice AND a reason why you are returning Arthria D. Use Fed Ex or UPS to return the package so you have a record that it was sent and received.
2. Return Arthri D within 10 days of getting the RA Number. ALL returned bottles and empty bottles (and refused bottles) will be subject to a $10 restocking fee. So, for example, if you bought 3 bottles, $30 will be deducted from your refund. Note. Refunds are only given to bottles that are returned ―even if they are empty.
3. Shipping and handling to return the product are non-refundable.
Note. Here is Arthri D on Amazon for those who are interested but want to avoid the crazy return policy.
Does Arthri D work?
While I’m sure there will be people who say Arthri D helped them, looking at the ingredients and research, to me, Arthri D looks to me like an expensive chondroitin supplement. I see no published peer reviewed evidence that the combination of ingredients in Arthri D work any better than chondroitin sulfate alone. Of course, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for some, and I’m very open to the possibility it might. But, I would expect proof for something that was $99 per bottle. With respect to N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) – the type of glucosamine Arthri D contains - the research just isn’t sufficient yet to say it’s as good― or better― than other the other glucosamine types.
What do you think?