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The aim of the present preliminary study was to investigate the effectiveness of an
avocado-soybean unsaponifiable extract (ASU) in patients with arthralgia and osteoarthritis
of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled
trial was carried out. Fourteen women diagnosed with arthralgia and osteoarthritis
of the TMJ using the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders
were included in the statistical analysis. The women were allocated randomly to two
groups: ASU group and placebo group. Pain was measured using a visual analogue scale
and pressure algometer. Mandibular function was evaluated through measurement of mandibular
movements. Quality of life was measured using the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14).
The medication (ASU capsules or placebo capsules) was used for 4 months and the total
follow-up was 6 months. Those taking the ASU extract had a decrease in pain symptoms
and an improvement in quality of life. Moreover, a significant reduction in the use
of rescue medication was found in the ASU group compared to the placebo group. This
preliminary study provides strong evidence of the effectiveness of an avocado-soybean
unsaponifiable extract in patients with degenerative joint diseases and arthralgia
in the TMJ. Further studies with larger samples should be performed.