Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)
Origin: A natural vegetable extract made from one-third avocado oil and two-thirds soybean oil.
Claims: Slows the progression of osteoarthritis (OA).
What we know: ASU blocks pro-inflammatory chemicals, prevents deterioration of synovial cells (which line the joints) and may help regenerate normal connective tissue.
Studies: ASU has been studied extensively studied in Europe, where it is routinely used to treat OA. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Rheumatology reported ASU inhibited the breakdown of cartilage and promoted repair.
A 2008 meta-analysis found that ASU improved symptoms of hip and knee OA and reduced or eliminated use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NDAIDs).
A large, three-year study published in 2013 in the BMJ showed that ASU significantly reduced progression of hip OA compared with placebo.
Dosage: Softgel; take 300 mg daily.
The French government has tracked ASU’s safety record for more than 15 years and has yet to find any significant problems.