The Effectiveness of Arthri-D3 in Treating Arthritis

Arthri-D3 is a dietary supplement that has been promoted heavily on TV infomercials as a means of relieving arthritis pain. Both the infomercial and Arthri-D3 website state that it is "a revolutionary formula that combines one of the highest grades of glucosamine with key plant extracts."

Man reading label on medicine in store
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Active Ingredients

The key ingredient in Arthri-D3 is N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG), a form of glucosamine that is produced naturally in the body. For dietary supplements like Arthri-D3, the form used is derived from crustacean shells. In addition to NAG, the list of active ingredients includes:

  • 2000 IUs of vitamin D3 in each serving to support bone growth
  • Turmeric (whose key chemical, curcumin, is said to relieve arthritis pain and inflammation)
  • Boswellia (a tree gum derivative with similar purported properties)
  • Ashwagandha (an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis)
  • Yucca (which is said to have anti-inflammatory effects)

Indications for Use

There are no specific indications for Arthri-D3 other than to promote general joint health. The term "Arthi" is meant to suggest that it has arthritis benefits, although there is no direct mention of arthritis or any other joint condition (such as bursitis or tendinitis) in the company marketing.

Arthi-D3 cannot be used in people with a shellfish allergy.

Dosage Recommendations

Each bottle of Arthri-D3 contains a one-month supply of 120 capsules. The manufacturer recommends taking two capsules in the morning and two capsules in the afternoon or evening, preferably with a meal. Because Vitamin D is fat-soluble, it is better absorbed with food.

The manufacturer further recommends that you take the supplement for at least three months to "feel its full range of benefits," although it is never clearly indicated what those benefits may be.

Clinical Research

The Arthri-D3 website does not list any evidence in support of its claims other than to include a few reviews from customers (first names only). Testimonials that previously appeared on their web site were removed in 2015 when challenged by the National Advertising Division, according to the Better Business Bureau.

As a dietary supplement, Athri-D3 is not required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to undergo the same level of rigorous testing seen with pharmaceutical drugs. While dietary supplemental manufacturers are not allowed to make false claims about their products, the industry as a whole is poorly regulated and largely left to police itself.

This is not to suggest that evidence of glucosamine's benefits to people with arthritis is entirely unsupported. The problem is that most of the studies, such as that performed at Juntendo University in Tokyo in 2017, are small and short, limiting the conclusions that can reasonably be drawn from them.

Other investigations are hampered by affiliations with supplement manufacturers. This is the case with a review of studies from the University of Liège in 2012.

Conclusions

While most researchers accept that glucosamine may offer some benefit to people with arthritis pain, they will also assert that there is no way to know what, if any, impact the supplement will have on disease progression and question why the purported benefits are achieved in some studies and not in others.

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Article Sources
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  2. BBB National Programs. Arthri-D says it will discontinue challenged testimonials; NAD finds no basis for recommending product name change. Updated April 20, 2015.

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