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In 2004, a special mixture of fats called cetylated fatty acids began to be widely marketed as a treatment for osteoarthritis. Although the claims associated with this product appear to exceed what has actually been proven, it is fair to say that cetylated fatty acids have shown definite promise in preliminary trials.
Three double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have found cetylated fatty acids helpful for osteoarthritis . Two involved a topical product, and one used an oral formulation.
In one of the studies using that used a cream preparation, 40 people with osteoarthritis of the knee applied either cetylated fatty acids or placebo to the affected joint. 1 The results over 30 days showed greater improvements in range of motion and functional ability among people using the real cream than those using the placebo cream.
In another 30-day study, also enrolling 40 people with knee arthritis, use of cetylated fatty acid cream improved postural stability, presumably due to decreased pain levels. 2 In addition, a 68-day, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 64 people with knee arthritis...