Problems with joints? This may help you!

 Problems with joints? This may help you!

Joint problems can result from injuries, bruising, excessive stress, or degenerative changes. Disorders of the musculoskeletal system affect quality of life and make daily activities difficult.


Taking glycosaminoglycans (GAG) and collagen supplements is an effective way to treat joint pain. These are the active substances added to products recommended to maintain the proper functioning of the joints. What are its mechanisms and why is it effective in treating and preventing arthritis? The answer is in the following article.



1. When the joints refuse to obey

Glycosaminoglycans (among others chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine sulfate or hyaluronic acid) form the structural basis of cartilage. The biomechanics of articular cartilage mainly results from the physical and chemical properties of these macromolecules. That is why disruption of the biosynthesis and homeostasis of glycosaminoglycans leads to a weakening of the articular cartilage structure, which can lead to the development of arthritis.



Arthritis is a common condition in developed countries associated with arthritis, and is accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness. There are two types of arthritis:


Osteoarthritis - caused by degeneration of articular cartilage exposed to overload,

Rheumatoid arthritis - often the result of joint damage or fracture.


2. Arthritis - treatment

At present, the treatment of arthritis mainly depends on the alleviation of the disease through the introduction of palliative measures including pharmacology and surgical interventions. The drugs used in this disease have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects


 (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - NSAIDs). Slow-acting medications (type AASAL) are also used to treat arthritis. The active substances in this group of drugs show a delayed therapeutic effect and relieve the effects of arthritis after about a month of use, and the effect lasts up to several weeks after taking it. Among the active components of these drugs


 are chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, substances that have proven effectiveness in the treatment of arthritis, as well as their anti-inflammatory effect. Let's take a closer look at the effectiveness of the most popular compounds on the market today that are recommended for joint problems.


 

3 - Chondroitin Sulfate (CS)

Chondroitin sulfate (from cows) is one of the most clinically tested compounds in terms of bioavailability after oral administration. Studies (Volpi, 2002 and 2003) have shown that serum chondroitin sulfate levels increase significantly between 1 to 6 hours after administration, with peak concentrations observed within 2 hours of supplementation. The


 concentration of this molecular compound in the serum remains at a significantly elevated level (more than 200% above the baseline concentration) for up to 4 hours, after which it gradually decreases. The addition of bovine chondroitin sulfate and shark cartilage has been confirmed to effectively increase blood levels of these compounds.



The positive effects of oral administration of chondroitin sulfate in the treatment of osteoporosis have been largely confirmed by clinical trials. They used different types of chondroitin sulfate sources (cattle, sharks, birds) as well as different doses (500 to 1200


 mg/day), different durations of use (3 to 24 months), and different modes of administration (every day for a full trial period or twice per cycle). duration of 3 months). From all this, it turns out that oral administration of chondroitin sulfate is safe in the long term, well tolerated, and highly effective in reducing the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis and increasing the mobility of the knee joint affected by this disease.


4. Glucosamine sulfate (SG)

Glucosamine sulfate is one of the most popular nutritional supplements on the market used for the prevention and relief of osteoarthritis symptoms. The efficacy of glucosamine has been controversial for many years and has been the subject of many controversies and experimental studies. Negative opinions about the action of glucosamine on the joints arise


 from the fact that it is used in a certain chemical form (glucosamine hydrochloride), the absorption of which was at the level of a few tens of percent. Another problem was also the lack of knowledge about the pharmacokinetics of this oral or parenteral substance. We did not have a method sensitive enough to accurately determine the concentration of this


 component in biological fluids. The quality of glucosamine sulfate used often leaves much to be desired, so its performance in experiments has been greatly underestimated. It has changed a lot since then. 3-year clinical studies in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee have demonstrated that glucosamine sulfate is effective in reducing the negative symptoms of this disease.




Glucosamine sulfate has a very high bioavailability - the substance taken orally is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and becomes available to the circulatory system. However, 3-4 hours after administration, the blood level begins to slowly decrease, but remains above the average baseline level for 48 hours, regardless of the dose used. Also


 characteristic of glucosamine is the fact that after a rapid increase in blood concentration, due to intestinal absorption, there is an exponential decrease in concentration. This indicates that glucosamine is widely distributed to extravascular parts of the body (in joints and


 articular cartilage). It is also noted that after administration of glucosamine sulfate, the maximum average concentration depends on the dose used and that the half-life of this compound has been estimated to be approximately 15 hours.



Dosage - The daily dose of glucosamine is set at 1500 mg and an increase in this amount leads to disturbances in the absorption and distribution of glucosamine sulfate. On the contrary, lower doses give a relatively lower blood concentration, and therefore produce a weaker physiological and therapeutic effect.


 

5. Hyaluronic acid (HA)

Hyaluronic acid is the most important component of the synovial fluid in the joints, which is responsible for maintaining their biomechanics. Hyaluronic acid is often added to nutritional supplements for joint problems or supplements to restore healthy-looking skin. The most

 common sources of hyaluronic acid are bacterial or bacterial fermentation processes. However, sometimes manufacturers use only powdered or hydrolyzed cartilage, which is not a high-quality source of hyaluronic acid, and such products should be avoided.




Hyaluronic acid is widely used in medicine, both in the treatment of degenerative joint damage (given in the form of an injection) and in the relief of symptoms of cartilage damage (orally administered). Both forms of management have proven to be effective.



How does hyaluronic acid reach the joints? How can such a high molecular weight compound pass from the digestive tract to the body's connective tissues, especially when the liver breaks down so efficiently? Hyaluronic acid is transported by the lymphatic system and not by the bloodstream. In addition, due to its high adhesion properties, it is able to


 penetrate into the peritoneal membranes and subsequently enter the circulatory system (by the same mechanism it is taken from the gastrointestinal tract). However, the high molecular weight and low lipid solubility mean that the absorption efficiency of high molecular weight hyaluronic acid from the gastrointestinal tract is in the range of 5-20%. Intestinal absorption efficiency



The most preferred dosage, in terms of use for the prevention of joint diseases, is the molecular weight of hyaluronic acid, which hovers around 1 MDa.



6. Collagen

Collagen, like glucosamine sulfate, continues to be one of the most widely used supplements in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, especially joint problems. Collagen is the main protein in the connective tissue of mammals. It is used in food supplements mainly in the hydrolyzed form obtained by enzymatic digestion of animal


 gelatin. Numerous studies have been conducted and it has been proven that hydrolyzed collagen is absorbed by the body from the digestive tract and then transported through the


 blood to articular cartilage, where it stimulates the activity of chondrocytes (chondrocytes) and promotes the formation of chondrocytes. New collagen molecules. All this means that not only the joints, but also the entire musculoskeletal system work better.

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