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Current Therapeutic Research
Volume 63, Issue 7, July 2002, Pages 430-442
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doi:10.1016/S0011-393X(02)80049-2    How to Cite or Link Using DOI (Opens New Window)
Copyright © 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

The effects of milk protein concentrate on the symptoms of osteoarthritis in adults: an exploratory, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

John L. Zenk MDa, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, Tami R. Helmer MDa and Michael A. Kuskowski PhDb

a Minnesota Applied Research Center, Chanhassen, Minnesota, USA

b Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Accepted 2 May 2002. 
Available online 18 September 2002.

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Background: Reconstituted hyperimmune milk product has been shown to have anti-inflammatory qualities, prompting further research into its use for the relief of osteoarthritis symptoms. A concentrated form of this milk product, milk protein concentrate (MPC), contains the high-molecular-weight and low-molecular-weight components present in the reconstituted milk product.

Objective: The purpose of this exploratory study was to assess the effects of MPC on the symptoms of osteoarthritis in adults.

Methods: Patients aged ≥19 years with physician-diagnosed osteoarthritis with daily joint pain, stiffness, and immobility were eligible. This was a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial lasting 6 weeks and having 3 treatment arms: MPC 2000 mg BID, glucosamine sulfate 500 mg TID, and placebo. Osteoarthritis symptoms were assessed using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) Osteoarthritis Index.

Results: Forty-two participants were enrolled (8 men, 34 women; mean age, 59 years [range, 34–86 years]); 35 patients (5 men, 30 women) completed the study. Due to significant baseline differences in 3 (stiffness, activities, and total) of the 4 (pain, stiffness, activities, and total) WOMAC Osteoarthritis Index scores in the placebo group compared with the MPC- and glucosamine sulfate—treated groups (P ≤ 0.05), the results of this study were restricted to the analysis of intragroup performance from baseline to the completion of the study. The results showed significant improvement from baseline to week 6 for the MPC-treated group for all 4 scores (P ≤ 0.005). In the glucosamine sulfate—treated group, a significant improvement was found in stiffness and total WOMAC Osteoarthritis Index scores from baseline to week 6 (P ≤ 0.05 for both) but not in the pain or activities scores. In the placebo group, no significant changes were found in any of the WOMAC Osteoarthritis Index scores.

Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that MPC, when given at a dose of 2000 mg BID, was effective in relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis, including joint pain, joint stiffness, and immobility, in this patient population.

Author Keywords: osteoarthritis; milk protein concentrate; glucosamine sulfate; hyperimmune milk; Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index; neutrophil

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