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Many injuries and pain occur in joints and such prevalent conditions as osteoarthritis and back pain due to spinal disk degeneration are joint-related.
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Whether you have joint pain or not, it is prudent to address the nutritional needs of these important structures. Exercise places a lot of wear and tear on the cartilage and ligaments that make up joints and you need to ensure you feed and protect these structures, whether it's preventive or therapeutic. Osteoarthritis affects more than 20 million Americans and may double over the next 10 years. Pharmacological treatment of arthritic joint diseases such as NSAIDs and acetaminophen are aimed primarily at alleviating the symptoms and can have serious adverse effects associated with their long-term use, but do little to correct the underlying pathology. Certain dietary supplements can not only reduce pain, but also correct the structural aspects of the joint and therefore slow, or perhaps prevent and reverse disease progression. The two ingredients with the most scientific support are glucosamine and chondroitin, which are normal constituents and important structural components of joint cartilage. The latest study validating the therapeutic effects of glucosamine and chondroitin comes from Japan where researchers tested the effects of a novel joint formula in patient switch both osteoarthritis of the knee and rheumatoid arthritis. For 3 months the patients supplemented with a formula consisting of glucosamine hydrochloride (1200 mg/day), chondroitin (75-111 mg/day), and quercetin (45 mg/day). In addition to making standard measurement of pain and mobility, a unique feature of this study was the evaluation of actual synovial fluid obtained from the knee. The results showed favorable effects in pain symptoms and ability to perform daily activities in osteoarthritis patients. In addition, the synovial fluid from these patients showed several signs of improvement suggesting the supplements were bioavailable. The results of this short-term trial support earlier work showing desirable effects of glucosamine and chondroitin on management of pain and symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Matsuno H, Nakamura H, Katayama K, Hayashi S, Kano S, Yudoh K, Kiso Y. Effects of an oral administration of glucosamine-chondroitin-quercetin glucoside on the synovial fluid properties in patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Feb;73(2):288-92. Epub 2009 Feb 7.