People accept arthritic disease as a 'natural part of the aging process', but sometimes the pain from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and over 100 other forms of arthritis so intolerable, prompting people to look for effective treatment.
Prescription drugs such as VIOXX, Bextra and Celebrex (arthritic painkillers) - and many other COX-2 inhibitors widely used for arthritic treatment - have been investigated following studies into their negative cardiovascular side effects. VIOXX alone has been linked to around 140,000 cases of coronary heart disease in the US since 1999.
More and more people look for alternative solutions for arthritis pain and more and more people are buying the combination of Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate and MSN, as studies have shown that Glucosamine and Chondroitin help in the repair and maintenance of cartilage.
Both inflammation and oxidative stress function are primary degenerative mechanisms in the development and progression of osteoarthritis. While researchers believe that glucosamine inhibits inflammation and stimulates cartilage cell growth and chondroitin provides cartilage with strength and resilience, specific amino acids is also need for overall impact.
Amino acids are the building blocks that make up protein. Vitamins and minerals will not perform their specific functions effectively if the necessary amino acids are not present.
Three amino acids are critical to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory functions: cysteine, glutathione, and taurine.
Cysteine influences the synthesis of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH), which plays an important role in the inflammatory response by influencing the production of phagocytes.
Taurine acts as a specific scavenger for the hypochlorite ion, a free radical. Adequate levels of taurine naturally limit the degree of inflammation. When taurine is low, the inflammatory response is enhanced, commonly resulting in oxidative stress reactions.
Other amino acid imbalances may also impact the etiology of osteoarthritis - particularly methionine metabolism. Normally, B12 and folate are necessary for the body to metabolize homocysteine to methionine, the essential amino acid the body needs to produce S-adenosylmethionine. Numerous clinical trials have shown that S-adenosylmethionine can greatly reduce degenerative damage and symptoms of osteoarthritis in some patients, including related depression.
Imbalances of amino acids may also signal key deficiencies of vitamins and minerals integral to the musculoskeletal system. Experimental studies show that impaired cartilage structure can be induced by a vitamin B6 deficiency. Vitamin B6 triggers the transformation of the amino acid homocysteine to cystathionine and then to cysteine and its urinary metabolites.
Not all amino acids are same. Amino acids can be derived from a variety of sources, including plants, meats, fish and cartilage.
For arthritis treatment, the most compatible amino acid source is animal cartilage, including porcine, borvine cartilages and young chicken keel. Joint TLC is one of such products (www.holistictlc.com) that combines chondroitin, glucosamine and essential amino acids that promotes joint health, but this combination is still rare as most still use MSN in the place of cartilage derived amino acids, as MSN, for the marketer, is less expensive.
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8 Masse PG, Ziv I, Cole DE, Mahuren JD, Donovan SM, Yamauchi M, Howell DS. A cartilage matrix deficiency experimentally induced by vitamin B6 deficiency. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1998;217(1):97-103.
James Well consults to nutrition industry, specializing in Diet, Energy, Libido and Diabetes care and other related holistic products. He directs a research lab facility among other projects.