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Is Supplementation Needed for Joint Health?

The definition of nutrition has changed considerably through time. The modern purpose of nutrition includes digestion, assimilation, and nutrient metabolism. Now movement, fitness, and the balance of all the above are needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle and promote development through the life stages. Furthermore, movement balances the calories we intake and the energy we utilize while performing physical activity. Exercise can also stimulate muscle hypertrophy, decrease the risk of falls in the elderly and increase our quality of life. Since our bodily systems are so carefully intertwined, our skeletal muscle system depends on our joints and their function to create this movement. Can nutrition reverse joint degradation? Is supplementation needed for joint health?

Joints and movement

Our articular cartilage has the essential purpose of providing a smooth and lubricated surface that lowers the frictional coefficient between our bones. Nevertheless, articular cartilage lacks blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerves, making it difficult to explain the pain related to DJD. This is why degenerative joint disease (DJD) is one of the leading causes of pain and dysfunction.

So, what is cartilage comprised of? Joint tissue composition is a mixture of water, collagen, and proteoglycans. Also, to a lesser extent, this tissue contains chondrocytes, non-collagenous proteins, and glycoproteins. These components create a dense extracellular matrix (ECM) that retains moisture to maintain joint tissue’s mechanical function.

Chondrocytes, collagen, and inflammation

Chondrocytes are critical for the metabolism, maintenance, repair, and development of our ECM. Indeed, these cells have the capacity to synthesize matrix components, including proteins and glycosaminoglycan chains.  

Nevertheless, pro-inflammatory cytokines and mechanical wear and tear can affect chondrocytes’ metabolic activity. 

  • Collagen 

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On the other hand, collagen is the most abundant component of ECM. Indeed, it comprises about 60% of the dry weight of cartilage being approximately 90-95% of type II collagen. Furthermore, collagen contains a region of 3 polypeptide chains made of glycine and proline, with hydroxyproline. These amino acids provide stability through their hydrogen bonds and the length of the molecule.

Is supplementation needed to restore joint function?

Connective tissue has a very particular composition, and at the same time, it is heavily affected by the mechanical friction of our bones and inflammation. Furthermore, chondrocytes depend on the matrix, and the matrix depends on the chondrocyte’s metabolism; it is like a vicious circle. Nevertheless, studies show that collagen damage might be the culprit of joint disorders, making it paramount to stop its degradation. 

Proline and Lysine

In 2018, Paz Lugo et al. noted that cartilage needed large amounts of glycine, proline, and lysine to promote collagen synthesis and reverse osteoarthritis. Indeed, their study showed that low concentrations of proline and lysine enhanced the synthesis of type II collagen at low concentrations. Nevertheless, this study concluded increasing dietary glycine is the best strategy to improve collagen synthesis and thus prevent osteoarthritis. 

Curcumin and Osteoarthritis

The use of curcumin to treat osteoarthritis has been studied to a vast degree. Indeed, inflammatory cytokines play a critical role in connective tissue deterioration; curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects are essential to modulating this response. The practical components of Z. officinale: gingerols, shogaols, zingerone, and paradol, and ginger itself exert anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX).

  • Curcuma longa

The Journal of Medicinal Food published a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs to determine the efficacy of turmeric extracts for alleviating symptoms of osteoarthritis. Furthermore, this meta-analysis concluded that the supplementation of turmeric extract (1000mg/day) has a solid efficacy in treating arthritis pain.

In addition, Heidari-Beni et al. compared the anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin mixed with black pepper and ginger with Naproxen. Their study concluded that Naproxen and the herbal mixture significantly decreased prostaglandin E2 in patients with knee osteoarthritis after four weeks. Furthermore, there was no significant difference between the group taking Naproxen and the one supplemented with the herbal extract.

Conclusion:

Joint tissue is a highly specialized component of our body, which determines how we move and, therefore, can forge our quality of living. Movement is paramount for our healthy development, and so is the maintenance, repair, and synthesis of our cartilage. 

Supplementation plays a vital role in decreasing joint pain, promoting collagen fiber synthesis, and stopping inflammation. Nutrients and amino acids, such as proline, lysine, and curcumin, play a critical role in reversing joint degeneration. Indeed, the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin can modulate pro-inflammatory reactions and therefore prevent joint disease.- Ana Paola Rodríguez Arciniega, MS

Bibliography:

Sophia Fox, A. J., Bedi, A., & Rodeo, S. A. (2009). The basic science of articular cartilage: structure, composition, and function. Sports Health1(6), 461–468. doi.org/10.1177/1941738109350438

de Paz-Lugo, P., Lupiáñez, J. A., & Meléndez-Hevia, E. (2018). High glycine concentration increases collagen synthesis by articular chondrocytes in vitro: acute glycine deficiency could be an important cause of osteoarthritis. Amino acids50(10), 1357–1365. doi.org/10.1007/s00726-018-2611-x

Daily, J. W., Yang, M., & Park, S. (2016). Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Journal of medicinal food19(8), 717–729. doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2016.3705

Heidari-Beni, M., Moravejolahkami, A. R., Gorgian, P., Askari, G., Tarrahi, M. J., & Bahreini-Esfahani, N. (2020). The herbal formulation “turmeric extract, black pepper, and ginger” versus Naproxen for chronic knee osteoarthritis: A randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial. Phytotherapy research: PTR34(8), 2067–2073. doi.org/10.1002/ptr.6671

 

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Is Supplementation Needed for Joint Health?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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Our Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive, cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, practical strength training, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries.

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Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico *

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM, IFMCP, ATN, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Is Supplementation Needed for Joint Health?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card