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Hey, here's info on Cartilage & Glusocamine
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CARTILAGE & GLUCOSAMINE
The cartilage matrix
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
When things go wrong
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
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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