More than 50 million Americans are suffering from arthritis. Most of them have osteoarthritis, also called "wear and tear arthritis." By the time we reach the age of 50, almost everyone have some sign of this degenerative disease.The cause is a breakdown of the protective cartilage layer that covers and cushions the ends of all bones. |
As the cartilage wears down and its cushioning effect dissipates, smooth joint function suffers, causing pain and inflammation. The accumulated wear and tear on our joints from routine walking, typing,lifting, and running eventually results in the thinning and breaking down of the cartilage. This in turn leads to inevitable pain, inflammation, and loss of motion associated with osteoarthritis. This can happen even faster for athletes and obese people.
Until recently, most doctors thought that once osteoarthritis set in, there was no cure; all they could do was give pain relief. However, the drugs they prescribed caused serious side effects over time, like stomach bleeding, ulcers, and other problems. Finally, steroid injections (such as cortisone)at the joint, or opiates are used. None of these drugs does anything to fix the underlying problem. In fact, they may well contribute to further damage, since without pain it is easier to overwork arthritic joints.
Over the years several blind clinical studies have shown that glucosamine sulfate supplements may help to maintain healthy joints, restore full range of motion, and reduce the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis. Unlike the painkillers that doctors prescribe, glucosamine doesn't just cover the pain.It has been shown to stop further joint degeneration, and may help to rebuild cartilage, thus alleviating the cause of the pain.
About 20 years ago, few doctors believed that glucosamine worked. While there where some short-term clinical trials, the conventional wisdom said that there were no long-term studies on a large enough group to prove that glucosamine was effective. Then, at the 63rd Anual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, a new report of a three-year randomized placebo- controlled, double blind study on 212 patients dispelled the conventional wisdom. This study showed, for the first time, that glucosamine not only reduces the symptoms (pain and inflammation), but it actually stops deterioration and induces re-growth of the cartilage.
Other recent studies on glucosamine have finally convinced the skeptics that glucosamine works. The Arthritis Foundation published a report: "Glucosamine, the truth about the talk." The National Institute of Health awarded a four-year research contract to the University of Utah School of Medicine, totalling approximately $6.6 million, to study glucosamine at nine centers across the U.S. Many doctors are telling their patients to take glucosamine supplements, and the use of glucosamine by professional athletes is growing rapidly.
Glucosamine is the most fundamental building block required for the biosynthesis of cartilage. It is a simple amino sugar and the primary building block of proteoglycans-the molecules that give cartilage elasticity.
If you are starting to feel the early warnings of osteoarthritis-, stiffness or minor aches and pain, or if you've already gone beyond that and aspirin is part of your daily routine, a high-quality glucosamine sulfate supplement may help you to enjoy many more years of pain-free, active life. If you are overweight and like to lose some belly fat, read my articles on: www.thebestweightlossdiets.com
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