Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)
Extracted oil from the fruits and seeds of avocado and soybean. ASU is generally one-third avocado oil and 2-thirds soybean oil.
Reduces pain, improves function, and slows progression in osteoarthritis. It is also used for back pain.
ASU has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective effects. It is involved in the protection of the cartilage matrix and can be tried as a natural alternative to NSAIDs.
A 2020 review of the potential treatment benefits of ASU concluded that considering its effect on OA and its role in providing positive structural changes, ASU seems to be a promising drug for OA.
There may be some potential for ASU in treating scleroderma, but large studies need to be done.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo-controlled trials published in 2019 concluded that there is a beneficial effect of ASU treatment in symptomatic knee OA but not in hip OA.
ASU supplementation is generally regarded as safe. Some minor and rare side effects have been reported in some people, such as smelly breath, diarrhoea, and stomach pains. Some rare and more severe side effects have also been reported. However, in clinical trials, adverse events are similar in ASU supplementation as placebo.
Where to find it
Sold as capsules alone and in combination with other nutrients online and at any store selling supplements in New Zealand. It has been studied in specific formulations, so combining these commercial oils yourself will not be the same.