Supplementation and Nutrition for improved Joint Health
Almost all people over the age of forty have some pathological changes in the weight-bearing joints. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy goes on to state that osteoarthritis becomes universal by age 70.
Degenerative changes can occur in knees, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, ankles, bones in the feet, and over 200 bone surfaces in the back. These degenerative changes can begin from an early age, especially in hard training athletes.
Clearly this is a huge problem, but there are many things we can do to prevent and even reverse degeneration of the joints before it leads to osteoarthritis.
When we talk about osteoarthritis what we are really talking about are the degenerative changes to the cartilage in the joints. We need to understand the makeup of our bodies joints and start making positive steps through our nutrition and supplementation in order to reverse this degeneration.
Understanding the Anatomy of Your Joints
Healthy cartilage is key for healthy joint mobility. To get an idea of how cartilage works, image rubbing together two perfectly flat, slightly wet ice cubes. They glide across each other, quickly and easily, never catching or slowing. Cartilage is five to eight times more slippery than ice and it makes it possible for the ends of your bones to slide smoothly and easily across each other. No man made substance compares to the low-friction and shock absorbing properties of healthy cartilage.
We need to do what we can to look after our cartilage.
Cartilage is composed of four components: Water, collagen, proteoglycans, and chondrocytes.
Water is the primary ingredient in cartilage, and accounts for between 65% to 85%. Chondroitin sulfate (found in GLC2000) attracts water into cartilage, and has the ability to bind up to 100 times it’s weight in water. If not properly hydrated cartilage can not function effectively.
Recommendation: Drink more water. You know this. But you probably didn’t realise to what a major degree this will affect your mobility. The current RDA is 2 litres of water a day. I would suggest this is a good baseline target. If you workout, you may need even more. This is a very simple step that has a massive impact of your overall well being and your joint health. Supplementing with Chondroitin Sulfate is also beneficial for a lot of people suffering with a variety of joint issues.
Collagen is the 2nd most prominent ingredient in cartilage. It is also a key structural component throughout the body including tendons, skin, bone and even the eyes.
Humans can not digest collagen.
This is why we will not recommend oral supplementation of Collagen, it will not be able to survive your stomach or intestines in order to get where it needs to be in a useable form.
Therefore we need to give our bodies the building blocks it needs to produce Collagen, these include:
Amino acids – You can get a wide range of these through eating lean meat and fish. Unless you are a bodybuilder or extremely high level athlete it is doubtful you need to supplement with BCAA’s
Glucosamine Sulfate – found in GLC2000
Glucosamine Potassium – found in GLC2000
Vitamin C – found in GLC2000 as well as a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Copper – Good sources include: Sesame seeds, cashews, shiitake mushrooms, lentils, walnuts – Do not start sucking or eating pennies!
Iron – Is available from a wide variety of dietary sources: Red meat, egg yolks, dark leafy greens (spinach etc).
Manganese – found in GLC2000
Collagen production is naturally increased with higher levels of Glucosamine in synovial fluid. In order to take advantage of this supplementation of a high strength and varied glucosamine source is necessary.
Recommendation for increasing Collagen production: Focus on eating a variety of protein sources including red meats, fish, poultry, eggs and molluscs. Eat a variety of fruit and veg wide a variety of colours. Eat nuts and seeds occasionally. Supplement with Glucosamine Sulfate and Glucosamine Potassium.
Cartilage acts as a shock absorber for your joints
Proteoglycans are the next category in cartilage.
Proteoglycans are woven around and through collagen fibers, forming a dense netting inside the cartilage. Proteoglycans act like a thirsty sponge attracting water and providing a cushion or shock-absorber for the cartilage.
Proteoglycans also contain structural sugars called “GAGS”, or glycoaminoglycans. The most important and the most abundant ones are called chondroitin sulfates (found in GLC2000). The chondroitin sulfates are the part of the proteoglycan that attracts water and acts like a sponge.
Recommendation: Supplementing with Chondroitin sulfate will help draw water into your cartilage and improve the shock absorbing properties. Ensuring that you drink enough water is also very important.
Understanding Why Cartilage Breaks Down
Chondrocytes are the fourth major category in cartilage. Chondrocytes make up 5% of the cartilage. They are the factories that manufacture the new collagen and proteoglycan molecules. These cells also have the responsibility of breaking down the old cartilage as they rebuild the new. To perform this task, they secrete enzymes to break down cartilage. Without the necessary building blocks and borderline deficiencies of key nutrients can result in poor cartilage construction and can produce problems in flexibility and mobility.
Slow cartilage production and the continuation of the cartilage “chewing” enzymes causes degeneration to take place. This is why it is so important to make sure that the chondrocytes have the nutrients they need to produce healthy cartilage.
By adding additional chondroitin sulfate we can protect existing cartilage from premature breakdown by inhibiting the action of certain cartilage “chewing” enzymes
Recommendation: Supplement with the 4 bioavailable Glucosamine sources to ensure that chondrocytes have the required building blocks to create enough high quality cartilage. Supplement with Chondroitin sulfate to protect existing cartilage and slow it’s breakdown.
There’s More to Joint Health Than Cartilage
Hyaluronic Acid helps to maintain normal joint cushioning. Hyaluronic Acid is found naturally in most every cell in the body. Hyaluronic Acid has a half life of approximately 3 days so it is imperative that the body continually replenish itself with Hyaluronic Acid.
Glucosamine HCl and N-Acetyl D-Glucosamine (both found in GLC2000) together stimulate production of Hyaluronic Acid which in turn lubricates and nourishes existing articular cartilage.
Hyaluronic Acid in Bones and Cartilage
Hyaluronic Acid is found in all bones and cartilage structures throughout the body. HA is especially found in various forms of cartilage but none more than the hyaline cartilage. Hyaline cartilage covers the ends of the long bones where articulation (bending) occurs and provides a cushioning effect for the bones.
Hyaluronic Acid in Synovial fluid
Our joints are surrounded by a membrane called the synovial membrane which forms a capsule around the ends of the two articulating bones. This membrane secretes a liquid called the synovial fluid. Synovial fluid has many functions, but none more than providing the elastic shock absorbing properties of the joint. Its second most important function in the joint is to carry nutrients to the cartilage and to also remove waste from the joint capsule.
Hyaluronic Acid in Tendons and Ligaments/Connective tissue
Connective tissue is found everywhere in the body. Its major functions include binding, support, protection, and insulation. One such example of connective tissue is the cordlike structures that connect muscle to bone (tendons) and bone to bone (ligaments). In all connective tissue there are three structural elements. They are ground substance (hyaluronic acid), stretchy fibers (collagen and elastin) and a fundamental cell type. Whereas all other primary tissues in the body are composed mainly of living cells, connective tissues are composed largely of a nonliving ground substance, the hyaluronic acid, which separates and cushions the living cells of the connective tissue. The separation and cushioning allow the tissue to bear weight, withstand great tension and endure abuse that no other body tissue could. All of this is made possible because of the presence of the Hyaluronic Acid and its ability to form the gelatinous ground substance fluid.
Recommendation for maintaining appropriate levels of Hyaluronic Acid: Regularly supplement with Glucosamine HCl and N-Acetyl D-Glucosamine.
Glucosamine has 4 bio-available forms each plays an important role in the stimulation of cartilage repair cycle Collagen, Proteoglycans and Chondrocytes. When the Chondrocyte senses higher levels that normal of glucosamine in synovial fluid, it responds by producing more Collagen, Proteoglycans as well as Hyaluronic Acid. This response aids in the repair of damaged cells, helps to replenish structural integrity and provides a more viscous fluid to help prevent binding of the cartilage under pressure. Glucosamine also stimulates synovial cells in the bursa to produce more hyaluronan.
Bioavailability – GLC2000 patented formula increases Glucosamine absorption
combining Glucosamine Sulfate & Glucosamine Potassium. This equalises Ionic transfer so in order to improve cellular membrane function. Enabling the uptake and utilisation of higher levels of available Glucosamine.
Other Dietary Factors to Consider
Inflammation – It affects your Joints and the rest of your body
Heart disease, cancer, obesity… sadly we have some big health problems across Europe. More and more consensus is beginning to be seen that there is one – inflammation.
Here is our summary – inflammation that causes joint pain and osteoarthritis are correlated to conditions mentioned above. We advocate amending your eating habits and reassessing what is ‘healthy’ for you. This could be a massive step towards ridding yourself of joint pain and hopefully protecting yourself from other aforementioned diseases.
Below are some of the areas identified that can contribute towards inflammation in your diet:
Grains are the main concern here many people believe that the human digestive system hasn’t evolved to digest gluten based products. In particular bread, pasta, cereal, rice, even gluten free alternatives can adversely affect the body’s digestive track as well joints.
One interesting observation is that supplementing with glucosamine can affect gluten receptor sites across joints and leads to less inflammation of joints.
Inflammation is a recurring theme for anyone suffering joint pain. Grains provoke inflammation in the gut!
Here is a bit more detail about the mechanism behind this theory:
Many of the foods we eat have proteins in them called lectins. The most renowned grain lectin is gluten, this is found in particularly high concentrations in wheat. Foods with high concentrations of lectins are harmful even if consumed in modest amounts.
Lectins are very difficult for your body to break down. The little buggers resist stomach acids and digestive enzymes. Meaning that lectins travel through the digestive system mostly intact. These lectins destroy the lining of the intestines creating tears in the gut wall! This is not a great situation and it gets worse, these tears mean that lectins, bacteria and other foreign substances including waste material are able to float around your bloodstream.
Your knight in shining armor, the immune system will respond. It kicks into action to fight this substance. However, whilst it’s busy fighting gluten, other more serious conditions have the potential to rise up.
Now imagine that you eat three meals a day all with grains. That is gluten exposure at each meal. Your body constantly is under stress from your leaky gut. Antibodies are constantly fighting invaders in your bloodstream. This causes inflammation everywhere this infected blood goes including your joints, organs and muscles.
Recommendation: Grains from a systemic standpoint are bad news. If you are having issues with your joints it is probably worth considering eliminating or at least significantly reducing your grain consumption. Some studies have also shown that glucosamine supplementation can work to reduce joint inflammation caused by grains as glucosamine molecules can attach to the same receptor sites that are affected by grains/lectins/gluten.
Check out a couple of useful articles on this here:
Dairy and Joint Inflammation
Cut out Dairy; all dairies, even things perceived as “healthy” like Greek yoghurt.
“But why?” again we need to look at the inflammatory response that dairy provokes in the gut (a similar idea to gluten). This is linked with a number of autoimmune conditions including arthritis, asthma, allergies, acne and lupus. There are also significant overlaps with people who have a gluten intolerance. We can see clear similarities between the casein proteins in milk and gliadin a protein found in gluten.
This inflammatory response from dairy is a completely separate issue from the lactose intolerance that many suffer from.
Recommendation: Dairy products are generally bad news. You may not realize you have an issue with dairy. We suggest a period of elimination and reintroduction. We’ve observed that after being completely dairy free for 2-3 weeks, reintroduction is rarely much fun. Alternatively you may find limiting your dairy intake in future will have a positive impact on how you joints feel.
Check out these articles:
If you would like further information about why GLC2000 has been formulated please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a Meta Analysis paper spanning 50 years of research that indicates why GLC2000 works.