Chon­droitin’s good for sore joints

Hamilton Metro News - - HEALTH - John Arts

Back in 2011 there was some in­ter­est­ing emerg­ing re­search that sug­gested the tra­di­tional os­teoarthri­tis sup­ple­ments were per­haps tar­get­ing the wrong in­gre­di­ent. Most sup­ple­ments were heav­ily weighted to­wards glu­cosamine sul­phate with a smaller amount of chon­droitin sul­phate (CS).

As a re­sult of this re­search I com­pletely re­for­mu­lated my joint sup­ple­ment. I did two things. Firstly, I in­creased CS to 380mg per cap­sule and se­condly added a 95 per cent cur­cumin (turmeric) ex­tract. This gave main­te­nance dose of 760mg of CS. Al­most im­me­di­ately clients re­ported bet­ter re­sults on the new for­mu­la­tion. Th­ese re­sults were in­creased where we added 1-2 months on a dou­ble dose (4 cap­sules daily) which de­liv­ered over 1500mg of CS.

Over the last few years there has been still more qual­ity re­search into the ben­e­fits of CS, es­pe­cially with knee os­teoarthri­tis. Just last year a study looked at still even higher lev­els of CS — at 1200mg daily — and com­pared this with a lead­ing COX-2 se­lec­tive anti-in­flam­ma­tory arthri­tis med­i­ca­tion.

The study was over two years and used MRI to es­tab­lish the ben­e­fits. This was a high qual­ity dou­ble-blind placebo con­trolled trial in­volv­ing 200 peo­ple over 24 months. It con­cluded that while both groups had sim­i­lar im­prove­ments in com­fort, MRI anal­y­sis showed the CS group had much greater re­duc­tion in car­ti­lage loss. This find­ing was con­sis­tent with five other stud­ies look­ing at the ben­e­fits of CS for knee OA. While most of the stud­ies have been with knee OA, I have found that most joints af­fected by OA can be helped.

While such stud­ies are use­ful re­ally it is all about what hap­pens to an in­di­vid­ual with os­teoarthri­tis. This is why I pre­fer to cre­ate a personalised pro­gramme which takes many fac­tors like age, weight, med­i­ca­tions, diet and ex­er­cise into con­sid­er­a­tion. Ear­lier we looked at re­search that in­di­cated higher lev­els of chon­droitin sul­phate (CS) can be help­ful for joints af­fected by os­teoarthri­tis.

The great thing about CS is that it is com­pletely nat­u­ral and work very dif­fer­ently to arthri­tis med­i­ca­tion.

Of course there is a place for pre­scribed med­i­ca­tions for arthri­tis to con­trol pain and in­flam­ma­tion but long term use can be harm­ful.

I have spo­ken to many peo­ple who at the ad­vice of their doc­tor had to stop anti-in­flam­ma­tory med­i­ca­tion.

It is im­por­tant to un­der­stand a lit­tle how joint sup­ple­ments work.

The ben­e­fits come from a restora­tion of nat­u­ral joint health pro­cesses rather than a tem­po­rary block­ing of in­flam­ma­tory pro­cesses — which is how arthri­tis drugs work. The study Chon­droitin sul­phate in the

treat­ment of os­teoarthri­tis (Y. Herotin PhD, 2010) iden­ti­fied more than 30 pos­i­tive changes di­rectly re­lated to in­creas­ing chon­droitin sul­phate through high dose sup­ple­men­ta­tion. All th­ese changes are ef­fec­tively a restora­tion of the nat­u­ral pro­cesses dam­aged by os­teoarthri­tis.

The main pro­cesses af­fected by os­teoarthri­tis in­volve the break­down of car­ti­lage ma­trix or de­struc­tion of the chon­dro­cyte cells re­spon­si­ble or se­cret­ing and main­tain­ing car­ti­lage. The study above cross-ref­er­enced to over 20 other stud­ies that iden­ti­fied th­ese changes.

The first set of pos­i­tive changes from high dose CS sup­ple­men­ta­tion in­volve restora­tion of pro­cesses that pre­vent the un­wanted break­down of car­ti­lage — which is of course the cen­tral process in OA. The main pro­cesses in­volve a re­duc­tion in the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the ends of bones, a re­duc­tion in car­ti­lage loss and an im­prove­ment in joint lu­bri­ca­tion.

What was sur­pris­ing to me is that CS had a di­rect an­tiox­i­dant ef­fect by in­hibit­ing en­zymes that at­tack both car­ti­lage and chon­dro­cytes. While th­ese stud­ies are quite tech­ni­cal the con­clu­sion is that CS can re­store the nat­u­ral joint pro­cesses dam­aged by arthri­tis. Feel free to con­tact me for ad­vice for your cir­cum­stances. Feel free to con­tact me for ad­vice.

■ John Arts (B Soc Sci, Dip Tch, Adv Dip Nut Med) is a nu­tri­tional medicine prac­ti­tioner and founder of Abun­dant Health Ltd. For ques­tions or ad­vice con­tact John on 0800 423559 or email john@abun­dant.co.nz. Join his full weekly news­let­ter at www.abun­dant.co.nz

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