The following review of Avocado Soy (Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables) or ASU, was borrowed with permission from the new arthritis book by Carol Eustice, the guide on arthritis for About.com since 1997, and Scott Zashin M.D., a widely respected and recognized arthritis specialist, the former primary arthritis consultant for About.com, and current arthritis expert for Web MD.
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Borrowed from Chapter 7
The Buzz about ASU (Avocado Soy 107 Unsaponifiables)
ASU (avocado soybean unsaponifiables), which is classified as a dietary supplement in the United States, hasn’t created as much buzz as glucosamine or even vitamin D. But for arthritis patients looking for a natural treatment, ASU may be worthy of consideration. There are a handful of studies that looked at the safety and/or effectiveness of ASU, and the results were promising. Several years ago, ASU was approved in France as a prescription drug. In Denmark, ASU is considered a food supplement.
ASU is a natural vegetable extract made from avocado and soybean oils. The unsaponifiable part is isolated from a tiny portion of the oil obtained from avocados and soybeans. To understand “unsaponifiable,” you must first understand the meaning of “saponifiable.” A saponifiable substance is one that can be mixed with lye to form soap. The oil fractions that are unsaponifiable cannot form soap. They are considered good fats that have health benefits.
Potential Benefits of ASU
ASU is believed to slow the production of certain inflammatory chemicals in the body and help prevent the breakdown of cartilage. The goal of using ASU is to reduce the need for prescription drugs that may be less safe and have a higher risk for side effects and adverse events.
Recommended Use of ASU
The recommended dose of ASU is one 300mg tablet per day to help minimize the pain and discomfort from osteoarthritis. It may take up to three months to see benefit from taking ASU.
Possible Side Effects/Adverse Reactions of ASU
In controlled clinical studies, ASU exhibited no significant side effects compared with placebo. Mild stomach upset is possible with anything that is ingested, however. It is important to note that ASU has not been studied in children, pregnant women, or women who are nursing.