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CARTILAGE & GLUCOSAMINE

The cartilage matrix
Cartilage is made up of three main components: Water (70 to 80 percent), collagen (10 to 15 percent), and proteoglycans (10 to 15 percent). Combined, these are called the cartilage matrix. The cartilage matrix is where new cartilage is born.

As we have seen, water provides cartilage with buffering qualities, and also helps shape the "cartilage" sponge. It also feeds the cartilage. Cartilage contains no blood vessels, so the soaking up and squeezing out of water is what provides cartilage with nutrients.

Collagen also plays a role in giving cartilage its shape and resiliency, and it also absorbs shock. Think of collagen as super strong threads that create the framework to hold the third component of cartilage: proteoglycans.

Proteoglycans are large water-soluble molecules. They are woven in among the collagen threads, forming a kind of netting. This netting traps the water. Proteoglycans also act like magnets. The individual molecules push away from each other, again allowing for space and a buffering effect.

Finally, tiny factories called chondrocytes are located throughout this netting. They produce new collagen and proteoglycans, as well as enzymes that dispose of older, past-their-prime collagen and proteoglycans.

The Role of glucosamine
Glucosamine stimulates chondrocytes to produce more collagen and proteoglycans. The more glucosamine there is, the more collagen and proteoglycans there are, and the more water can be absorbed. The end result is healthier cartilage. Because of these properties, glucosamine can help the body help itself repair damaged or eroded cartilage. It works at the cellular level to reinforce our natural "repair" ability.

When things go wrong
As we age, the millions of movements we have made in our lives begin to wear and tear on cartilage. Catilage begins to deteriorate, and our bones begin to rub together. This becomes noticeable around age 45, and often happens in the fingers, knees, hips, neck, and lower back. Cartilage can also be destroyed through trauma, injury, and repetitive actions.

When cartilage is damaged, the chondrocytes go into high gear, manufacturing more proteoglycans and collagen. Unfortunately, these replacements may be of inferior quality, or be overproduced, resulting in bumpy joint surfaces. Chondrocytes also produce more of the enyzmes that "eat away" old matter. These enzymes may begin attacking the new, inferior cartilage, with an end result of diminished cartilage, not more cartilage. This also may result in fewer proteoglycans, which means the cartilage cannot hold water well. The cartilage can then dry out and wear out more quickly.

The result is that we begin to feel our bones rubbing together during movement. We experience pain and stiffness.

What to do
One way to counter the deterioration and destruction of cartilage is to increase the amount of glucosamine your body has—remember, glucosamine helps the body build and repair damaged cartilage. Glucosamine is not only a "builder" but also a painkiller. In sum, it improves joint function and reduces pain. It makes no difference whether it comes from foods we eat or from supplements.

Return to Joint Health Page


american image marketingFRAME ESSENTIALS

Frame Essentials for Joint Health
american image marketingFrame Essentials contains two types of glucosamine—glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride (HCL)—with methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and boswellin extract. This unique formula provides you with an all-around product to maintain healthy joints and promote ease of movement.

Frame Essentails includes MSM and boswellin extract

Click here for more information on
FRAME Essentails



In 6-weeks I have results with Frame Essentials that I didn't see in 6 months with Glucosamine & Chondroitan tablets. I highly recommend Frame Essentials. Bert
My experience.



The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons met and announced that results from several published, placebo-controlled clinical trials indicate that glucosamine is an effective treatment for arthritis. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 1999 Annual Meeting, Scientific Program.

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