Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO)

There has been a lot of buzz in the rheumatology industry regarding Cetyle Myristoleate or CMO. Some supplement companies make claims that it is a revolutionary compound, that it’s everything from an anti-inflammatory to an immune system modulator that prevents immune cells from attacking your joints.

How does it actually work? Cetyl myristoleate may inhibit the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways of arachidonic acid metabolism and, therefore, decrease production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes. In layman’s terms, it may reduce pain caused by inflamed, arthritic joints.

We looked at actual clinical studies to verify some of these claims. Here’s what we found:

According to the original 1994 study done by the discoverer of CMO, Dr. Harry Diehl:

Cetyl myristoleate was isolated from National Institutes of Health, general purpose, Swiss albino mice that were immune to the polyarthritis induced in rats with Freund’s adjuvant. This substance, or material synthesized from cetyl alcohol and myristoleic acid, afforded good protection against adjuvant-induced arthritic states in rats. In limited comparisons, cetyl oleate, also found in Swiss albino mice, gave lesser protection, whereas cetyl myristate and cetyl elaidate, the trans-isomer of cetyl oleate, appeared to be virtually ineffective. Dosage of the protective compound as well as the site of injection of Freund’s adjuvant was important.

The implication of this is that pure cetyl-myristoleate is more effective than other cetylated fatty acids.

A 2002 study published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that:

Compared to placebo, CFA provides an improvement in knee range of motion and overall function in patients with OA of the knee. CFA may be an alternative to the use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs for the treatment of OA.

More promising results on cetyl myristoleate were published in a 2003 study:

Cetyl myristoleate (CM) was reported by Diehl and May [J Pharm Sci 83 (1994) 296] to block inflammation and prevent adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. To verify this earlier work, we have synthesized pure CM and tested its anti-arthritic properties in a collagen-induced arthritis model in DBA/1LacJ mice. Multiple intraperitoneal injections of CM in 450 and 900 mg kg(-1) doses resulted in a significantly lower incidence of disease and caused a modest but significant diminution in clinical signs in those mice that developed arthritis. CM administered in daily oral doses of 20 mg kg(-1) also reduced the incidence of arthritis and caused a small reduction in the clinical signs in mice that developed arthritis. Although the protective effect of CM in collagen-induced arthritis observed in the present study was less dramatic than that reported earlier, our results confirm the anti-arthritic properties of pure CM.

While some manufacturer’s claims are questionable, the evidence is there. Cetyl myristoleate works and is a great contribution to a joint supplement’s formula.

7 comments to Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO)

  • john shear

    What are the side effects of CM? What about effects when taken with other drugs?

  • Rod M.

    I have been using a CMO based product from Puritan Pride for years.

    I am not aware of any side effects.

    If I stop taking it my joints start to ache and my trigger finger acts up again.

    After taking a double of dose for maybe a week the ache and pains stop and my trigger finger works smoothly again.

    I swear by this stuff. My wife does, too.

  • Rod M.

    Sorry about the dup. I wasn’t sure it had been sent properly.

  • Ron Flynn

    Ron – age 78. I have been troubled with hip pain (much more than knee) for several years. My hips bother me to the point that I am awakened several times every night with fairly severe pain. I have tried no joint products and this inquiry talks about knees but I have found nothing about hips. What can you tell me?

  • Ron Flynn

    What about hip joints? All of your comments are about knees.


    What company would you suggest to order Cetyl miristoleate for person 77 and history of cancer but now arthritis in ankle and hip?

  • Jean Baue

    Jean, age 64. I have heard that glucosamine and chondroiten are effective for the large joints (knees, hips, etc.) but are not helpful for the small joints in thumbs, fingers, wrists, and feet. Has anyone used CMO for their hands and feet and gotten relief?

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