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Vitamins:  Glucosamine Helps Keep Joints Healthy

Glucosamine supplements are designed to help maintain healthy cartilage.   Every day your joints endure an enormous amount of stress from physical activity, including walking, lifting, and typing. Despite this heavy and constant use, we take our joints for granted and expect them to function trouble-free for several decades.

However, more than 50 million people in the United States and more than 6 million in Canada suffer from some form of joint problem. The situation is worse for athletes and those who have high amounts of physical stress at work and at home.

Cartilage is the protective layer that cushions and lubricates the joints. Over the years, the cartilage in our joints is gradually worn down due to normal physical activity. The body rebuilds the cartilage as it is worn and replaces shock-absorbing synovial fluid, so the joints are always protected. For various reasons, however, the production of new cartilage and synovial fluid can fall behind demand.

Because of poor blood supply, lesions to articular cartilage do not heal at the same rate as other tissue in the body; cartilage is rebuilt slowly. And if components of the substances used for cartilage repair are in short supply, the recovery from damage can be slowed even more.*

Glucosamine, an amino sugar, is an important precursor in the biosynthesis of cartilage. Specifically, it is a building block of proteoglycans1—protein molecules with a high content of bound carbohydrate. Proteoglycans and collagen compose the majority of the cartilage matrix. Proteoglycans are essential for healthy cartilage because they bind the water that lubricates and cushions the joint. When the articular cartilage degenerates, joint pain and osteoarthritis may result.*

In addition to its role as a biochemical precursor, glucosamine is believed to play a role in regulating cartilage formation and normalizing cartilage metabolism by encouraging higher production of collagen and proteoglycans.2 Glucosamine also stimulates synovial production of hyaluronic acid, which is responsible for the lubricating and shock-absorbing properties of synovial fluid.3*

Numerous double-blind clinical studies have shown the efficacy of glucosamine supplements in maintaining healthy cartilage, healthy joints, and full range of motion in the short-term.4-10 More recently, a threeyear study was published showing that joint space increased in the glucosamine-treated group, while it continued to decrease in the placebo group, indicating that the protective cartilage was better maintained in those who used glucosamine.11 Additional studies have demonstrated that glucosamine, taken orally, is well-absorbed and diffuses into tissues, including the articular cartilage.12-14*

Glucosamine Sulfate formulations
The combination of glucosamine sulfate with turmeric extract, manganese, vitamin C, and silicon represents a more comprehensive approach to joint health. Over the long term, these ingredients help retain healthy cartilage. Glucosamine sulfate promotes the incorporation of sulfur, a component of protein, into the cartilage matrix. Turmeric contains curcumin and related compounds known as curcuminoids, which have good antioxidant properties.15,16 Manganese is required for enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of proteoglycans.17,18 Vitamin C is essential for the reactions necessary to collagen formation. And, silicon is required for proper collagen formation and ultimately cartilage composition.19*

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

1. Karzel K, Domenjoz R. Pharmacology 1971;5:337-45.
2. Goggs, R, et al. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2005;45(3):145-64.
3. Matheson AJ, Perry CM. Drugs Aging 2003;20(14):1041-60.
4. Pujalte JM, et al. Curr Med Res Opin 1980;7:110-14.
5. Lopes VA. Curr Med Res Opin 1982;8:145-49.
6. Muller-Fassbender, et al. Osteoarth Cartilage 1994;2:61-69.
7. Crolle G, D’Este E. Curr Med Res Opin 1980;7:104-09.
8. Dovanti A, et al. Clin Therapeutics 1980;3:266-72.
9. Pujalte JM, et al. Curr Med Res Opin 1980;7:110-14.
10. Tapadinhas MJ, et al. Pharmatherapeutica 1982;3:157-68.
11. Reginster JY, et al. Lancet 2001;357:251-56.
12. Vaz AL. Curr Med Res Opin 1982;8:145-49.
13. Fabender H, et al. Osteoarthr and Cartilage 1994;2:61-69.
14. D’Ambrosio E, et al. Pharmatherapeutica 1981;1:504.
15. Maheshwari RK, et al. Life Sci 2006;78(18):2081-7.
16. Sreejayan R. J Pharm Pharmacol 1994;46:1013-16.
17. Tinker D, Rucker RB. Physiol Rev 1985;65(3):607-57.
18. Yang P, Klimis-Tavantzis DJ. Biol Trace Elem Res 1998;64(1-3):275-88.
19. Bisse E, et al. Anal Biochem 2005;337(1):130-5.

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