DEGENERATING JOINTS

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

Os­teoarthri­tis (OA) in the knee is one of the most fre­quent causes of phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity af­fect­ing 80% of peo­ple over the age of 65 years. Al­though many peo­ple be­lieve that their joints will au­to­mat­i­cally de­gen­er­ate as they age, there are those in their 60s and 70s who are joint trou­ble free. At the same time, there are 40-some­things who suf­fer from joint aches, pains and stiff­ness es­pe­cially af­ter a sport­ing ac­tiv­ity.

The rea­son is when our joints are over­strained, cer­tain en­zymes are re­leased to fix the dam­ages in­curred. Be­fore the joints can be re­built and re­paired, it first needs to be bro­ken down to al­low a joint re­mod­elling process to hap­pen. To achieve this, en­zymes known as Ma­trix Me­tal­lo­pro­teinases (MMP en­zymes) are re­leased into the joints.

When MMP en­zymes fail to “switch off”, that is when joint prob­lems and arthri­tis develop, caus­ing pro­longed and per­sis­tent dam­age.

The en­zymes also worsen in­flam­ma­tion in the joints which con­trib­ute to symp­toms such as pain, stiff­ness, and swelling.

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