Monday, June 20, 2016

Glucosamine and Healing Part One

Glucosamine and Healing Part One
Glucosamine (GA) is a hexosamine product that is made from chitin, which is extensively distributed in nature and is the second most plentiful polymer after cellulose. The biological effects of GA are membrane stabilization, liver protection, wound healing, tissue regeneration, osteoporosis treatment, and an anti-inflammatory aid.1
Effects of Glucosamine use on Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease, affecting not only the joints but the surrounding attached muscles which become weak.4 OA causes disability, pain, and reduced quality of life. There are many risk factors of this disease including age, increased body mass index genetics, and previous injuries to the joints and surrounding muscles. Approximately 8-10% of all men and women have osteoarthritis in one or more of their joints.3 In the first study I read thirty-six elderly patients with knee OA were randomly assigned to treatment with GA, ibuprofen, or placebo during a twelve week session. The patients were placed in a twelve week strength training program on both legs focusing on the quadriceps. At the end of the study all three groups had increased their strength but only the GA group had a decrease in cartilage oligomeric matrix protein. This suggests that an effect by GA on the response of the OA cartilage to a period of joint loading in humans with knee OA.3 However in the second study that I read it concluded something different. In this particular study two hundred and twenty two patients with hip OA were given either 1500mg of glucosamine sulfate or a placebo for two years. Test were performed at the end of the two years and it was concluded that the patients given GA did not have reduced symptoms or reduced progression of hip OA.5
Enhanced Healing of Cartilaginous Injuries
     Cartilage is an extremely important connective tissue in the body that lacks blood vessels, lymph systems, and nerves. Cartilage cells are mostly composed of highly organized matrices; which are composed of 70-80% water, 20-25% collagen, and 5-10% proteoglycan.  In this study twelve rabbits were split evenly into two groups and three holes were drilled into the left stifle joint of the rabbits. For the control group only water was given and in the other group was administered a glucosamine solution. The study proved that orally administered GA facilitated healing of artificial created cartilage injuries in the rabbits. The effects of the GA can be summarized as; GA increases the number of cartilage cells, in three weeks in the control group the bone trabecula was not treated and permeation to the osteoclast was documented, and the GA allowed complete restoration and no osteoclast was seen.6

1Ashkani-Esfahani, S. (2012). Glucosamine Enhances Tissue Regeneration In The Process Of Wound Healing In Rats As Animal Model; A Stereological Study. Journal of Cytology & Histology, 3(4), 1-5.

2Mccarty, M. (1996). Glucosamine for wound healing. Medical Hypotheses, 47(4), 273-275.

3 Petersen, S., Saxne, T., Heinegard, D., Hansen, M., Holm, L., Koskinen, S., ... Kjaer, M. (2010). Glucosamine But Not Ibuprofen Alters Cartilage Turnover In Osteoarthritis Patients In Response To Physical Training1. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 18(1), 34-40.

4Petersen, S., Beyer, N., Hansen, M., Holm, L., Aagaard, P., Mackey, A., & Kjaer, M. (2011). Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug or Glucosamine Reduced Pain and Improved Muscle Strength With Resistance Training in a Randomized Controlled Trial of Knee Osteoarthritis Patients. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 92, 1185-1193.

5Rozendaal, R., Uitterlinden, E., Van Osch, G., Garling, E., Willemsen, S., Ginai, A., ... Bierma-Zeinstra, S. (2009). Effect Of Glucosamine Sulphate On Joint Space Narrowing, Pain And Function In Patients With Hip Osteoarthritis; Subgroup Analyses Of A Randomized Controlled Trial. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 17, 427-432.
6Tamai, Y., Miyatake, K., Okamoto, Y., Takamori, Y., Sakamoto, H., & Minami, S. (2002). Enhanced healing of cartilaginous injuries by glucosamine hydrochloride. Carbohydrate Polymers, 48(4), 369-378. Retrieved November 7, 2014.

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