Cartilage, collagen, and chondrocytes.

Let’s have a quick lesson on joint health and cartilage to help keep away the pain and stiffness commonly associated with aging.

Cartilage building cells are called chondrocytes. As we age, chondrocyte activity slows down and eventually fails to adequately compensate for the daily wear and tear placed on the joint. But don’t let that discourage you, and don’t give up on your joints!

Know these 3 facts:

  1. The function of the chondrocytes can be sustained as long as their nutritional needs are met.
  2. Cartilage strength and thickness can be improved if proper nutrients are supplied.
  3. In order to rebuild, there must be some cartilage with viable chondrocytes in the joint.

Key nutrients that will keep your joints healthy:

Collagen Type 1 and 2. Cartilage is made up of a mass of type 2 collagen fibers and is slightly different in composition than type 1 collagen found in bone, skin, tendons, blood vessel walls, and organs. Taken together these collagens will help maintain the integrity of the entire joint.

Chondroitin Sulfate A is used by the chondrocytes to create a sticky matrix, or glue, that holds the collagen fibers together to form cartilage.

Glucosamine is converted to hyaluronic acid by the chondrocytes.

Hyaluronic acid holds water creating a slippery structure. The goal of hyaluronic acid is to become a component synovial fluid while rehydrating cartilage along they way.

Silica contributes the element silicon, giving strength and stability to connective tissues – bone, cartilage, tendons, skin and blood vessels.

Grape seed extract has condensed tannins that temporarily binds broken collagen fibers for a quick fix of connective tissues.

MSM promotes flexibility.

Antioxidants will help quell free radical activity and the related discomfort known as inflammation. Immune cells travel through tissues looking for damage to clean up and utilize free radicals to dismantle the cellular debris they ingest as part of the clean up work. Free radicals inadvertently released during the process run amok inflicting some damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Antioxidants like Boswellia serrate, turmeric, bromelain and vitamin C can help control these biochemical events relieving sore, aching joints.

Photo credit: dropdeadgorgeousdaily.com

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