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Osteoarthritis and Cetyl Myristoleate

About 2003 I developed painful hands when I was doing a lot of computer work (designing a motor controller for 4QD - the Pro-120. The doctors could not explain this, but in investigating this I was given a whole-body scan. Some early signs of osteoarthritis were found in one finger of my left hand and in my knees.

Years later the osteoarthritis had developed enough to be a nuisance, so I investigated. I learnt about celadrin and tried some capsules by (if I recall correctly) Premium Health (who seem to not now retail products). They worked - at least, when I stopped taking the capsules my knees became more troublesome.

Premium Health stopped supplying packs of 240 capsules. So in October 2018 I tried some capsules by Hellenia. Hellenia's offering did not seem so effective. It is a plant-based material, not animal-fat based and their ingredients list claims it has cetyl-myristate (not cetyl-myristoleate). So I looked up cetyl-myristate...

The paper that describes the discovery by Harry W Diehl of the effect makes interesting reading. It explains how effective Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO) (not Myristate) is (the experiments were done on rats) but is also says that Cetyl Oleate was less effective and Cetyl Myristate was virtually ineffective.

Most of the "Celadrin" varieties available claim to contain a "complex" of cetylated fats - they are not pure Cetyl Myristoleate and some do not even claim any content of Cetyl Myristoleate. A slight exception is Natrol's "Cetyl Pure" (available in UK from Dolphin fitness) whose capsules, claiming 1100mG each of "Cetyl Myristoleate complex" claim 220mg each of Cetyl Myristoleate and seem to be effective. Their recommended dosage is 2 capsules (220mg of Cetyl Myristoleate) daily. Price for 120 capsules - about £17, so about 64 pence per gram of Cetyl Myristoleate, assuming that to be the only active ingredient. The "Other ingredients" list Cornstarch, Gelatin, Silicon dioxide and Magnesium Stearate but they do not list what "Cetyl Myristoleate complex" contains other than CMO.


As stated above, "Cetyl Pure" recommend 440mG of CMO daily. In practise I have found half this dose to be fairly effective for me - I weigh 67KG, so that is a dosage less than 4 milligram per Kilogram body weight. A higher dose might be more effective - my arthritis is slowly progressing!


Chondrogenesis is the scientific term for cartilage growth. A paper entitled In Vitro Effects of Cetylated Fatty Acids Mixture from Celadrin on Chondrogenesis and Inflammation with Impact on Osteoarthritis found that The treatment with cetylated fatty acids mixture initiated and propagated the process of chondrogenesis.

Sources of CMO

Pubchem says CMO is found in cereals and cereal products. But that page does not give the concentrations, so I suspect levels are very low. Other (perhaps less reliable) sources say it is found in mice, cows, beavers, and whales. It was first isolated from Swiss white mice. But like most such materials, it can more easily be produced chemically.

Raw Material Sources

Both the parent chemicals - cetyl alcohol and myristoleic acid, are much more common in nature, but only slowly is CMO being accepted and are new sources of the ingredients being found.

Originally the Myristoleic acid used to make CMO was derived from beef tallow and it was thought for a long time that Myristoleic acid was only available from animal sources. However in 1999 Myristoleic acid was identified in Kombo butter, made from the fats of the nuts of Pycnanthus Kombo aka P. Angolensis, a relative of nutmeg. There is a US patent, dated 2002 for the use of vegetable CMO specifically for the treatment of horses as the patentees found that horses won't take the common animal fat based version.

Other vegetable sources of Myristoleic acid have been found, such as Cinnamon and the Benzoin (Styrax benzoin - a tree native to Sumatra). In fact the word Myristoleic comes from Myristic - nutmeg and oleic - oil. The nutmeg is a member of the myristicaceae - a family of flowing plants native to Africa, Asia, Pacific islands, and the Americas. Wikipedia says that One of the major sources of this fatty acid is the seed oil from plants of the family Myristicaceae, comprising up to 30 per cent of the oil in some species.

Cetyl alcohol was first isolated from whale oil, hence its name from cetacean, meaning whale. At room temperature it is a waxy white solid or flakes. It is found in small quantities in nature so again is usually manufactured.

General information

Harry Diehl's patent application is interesting reading. It explains how the CMO was extracted from mice. It also says that Cetyl Myristoleate is an oil - I have found no other description of its physical state. It says the effective dosage varies between 50 and 750 mgm per 140-200 gm animal (250mG to 5.3 gm/Kg).

An article entitled Cetyl Myristoleate: A Unique Natural Compound, Valuable in Arthritis Conditions gives lots of general information and gives suggestions for optimising its effectiveness.

Another paper entitled Synthesis of cetyl myristoleate and evaluation of its therapeutic efficacy in a murine model of collagen-induced arthritis concludes "...our results confirm the anti-arthritic properties of pure CM." Their experiments were at levels of 450 and 900 mg per KG body weigh but they found 20 mg per KG to also be effective. Both levels appear to be an unnecessary overdose but they do demonstrate the non-toxicity of CMO. Murine means tested in rats and/or mice.

Jared Story has a page which gives readable background information which appear to be correct and is one reason I have not give more explanation.

CM8 is a trade-marked brand of CMO but they have a page detailing two clinical studies. There are other trade-marked names, e.g. Myrisin and Cetyl Pure but since Cetyl Myristoleate is a naturally occurring substance it cannot be patented or trade-marked.

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First published 16th of August, 2019
Last modified:Sat, 02 Dec 2023 10:19:35 GMT
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