Enhancing the Function of Cartilage

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Cartilage consists of dense, semi-opaque gray or white flexible connective tissue produced by a matrix of cells called Chondrocytes. Cartilage does not contain blood vessels or nerves.

Cartilage is found in:

  • Bronchial tubes
  • Ear
  • Intervertebral discs
  • Joints between bones
  • Nose
  • Rib cage

Cartilage is classified in three types:

  • Elastic cartilage
  • Fibrocartilage
  • Hyaline cartilage
Cartilage%20Types

Source: Socratic.org

Chondrocytes are responsible for the formation of new and the breaking down of old cartilage.

Specialized cells called chondrocytes produce ground substance that is rich in proteoglycan and elastin fibers. Ground substance is primarily composed of:

  • Water
  • Glycosaminoglycans (hyaluronan)
  • Proteoglycans
  • Glycoproteins

There are certain substances that may damage cartilage, especially if taken in excess.

Table: Substances that May Damage Cartilage

Damaged Cartilage

 

 

System

Substance

Reference

Immune

 

 

 

Excessive Interlukin 1 (IL-1 beta)

 A

 

Excessive Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF-alpha)

 B

Lipids

 

 

 

Prostaglandin E2

 C

Pharmaceuticals

 

 

 

COX-2 Inhibitors (long term use)

 D

 

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

 E

There are certain substances that may enhance the function of cartilage.

Table:  Nutraceuticals that Enhance the Function of Cartilage

Cartilage

 

 

Category

Nutraceuticals

Reference

Amino Acids

 

 

 

S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe)

 F

Carbohydrates

 

 

 

Chondroitin Sulfate (CSA)

 G

 

Glucosamine Sulfate

 H

 

 

 

 

Manganese

 I

 

Silicon (orthosilicic acid)

 J

 

Strontium

 K

 

Sulfur

 L

Sulfuric Compounds

 

 

 

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

 M

Vitamins

 

 

 

Vitamin C

 N

 

Vitamin D

 O

 

Vitamin E

 P


Informational Reference:

Cartilage Health


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