Supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin associated with lower mortality over a 5 year period
An article published online on April 21, 2010 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed the discovery of University of Washington School of Public Health and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center scientists of a lower risk of death from all causes among users of the arthritis supplements chondroitin and glucosamine over an average 5 year follow-up period. While previous research by the team, summarized in the July 24, 2009 issue of Life Extension Update, sought to determine the impact of multivitamins and vitamins C and E on mortality, the current investigation focused on the effect of less common supplements.
The study included 77,673 men and women between the ages of 50 and 76 who resided in western Washington. Dietary supplement use during the 10 years prior to enrollment was documented in questionnaires completed by all participants.
Over an average 5 years of follow-up, 3,577 deaths occurred. While none of the supplements evaluated in the study, which included individual B vitamins, magnesium, fiber and other supplements, were associated with an increased risk of dying over follow-up, adjusted analysis confirmed an association between the use of glucosamine and chondroitin with reduced risk. Glucosamine use that was categorized as low, as determined by infrequent or short duration of use, was associated with an 8 percent lower risk of dying, and high use with a 17 percent lower risk, while low and high use of chondroitin were associated with 12 and 17 percent reductions. A 17 percent lower adjusted risk of mortality was also observed for those whose use of fish oil was categorized as high, however, the researchers did not consider the finding statistically significant.
In their discussion, the authors remark that chondroitin and glucosamine may inhibit nuclear transcription factor kappa-beta (NF-kB) dependent pathways, and that abnormal regulation of NF-kB is associated with cancer and inflammatory diseases. They note that other antiinflammatory agents have been associated with reduced mortality; for example, aspirin use was associated with an 18 percent reduction in deaths in the Iowa Women's study. "Glucosamine and chondroitin may have antiinflammatory properties, and future studies that evaluate risk of death separately for those diseases with and without a chronic inflammatory cause, and with longer durations of follow-up and possibly functional studies, may increase our understanding of any potential benefit of glucosamine- and chondroitin-supplement use," they conclude.
With osteoarthritis, the thin layer of cartilage between the joints gradually erodes and wears away. As the protective layer of cartilage vanishes, the bone beneath becomes pitted and uneven, and the structural integrity of the joint is destroyed. Movement can become extremely painful and, in the worst cases, people who have severe osteoarthritis can no longer take care of themselves on a day-to-day basis.
Effective treatment of osteoarthritis includes the protection of the cartilage and synovial fluid in the joint against further destruction. In addition, it is important to stimulate anabolic restoration of joint cartilage and synovial fluid. Chondroprotective agents are compounds the body produces to regenerate cartilage and maintain healthy joint function. Chondroprotective agents protect and restore joint cartilage by a variety of mechanisms. They enhance development of chondrocytes, enhance the synthesis of synovial fluid, and inhibit free-radical damage to proteins and joint cartilage degradation by autoimmune processes.
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance. It is synthesized by chondrocytes for the purpose of producing joint cartilage. In osteoarthritis, glucosamine synthesis is defective, and supplementation with glucosamine has proven to be beneficial. The body uses the supplemental glucosamine to synthesize the proteoglycans and the water-binding glycosaminoglycans in the cartilage matrix. In addition to providing raw material, the presence of glucosamine seems to stimulate the chondrocytes to produce more proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans. Glucosamine also inhibits certain enzymes such as collagenase and phospholipase, which destroy cartilage. By blocking pathogenic mechanisms that lead to articular degeneration, glucosamine delays the progression of the disease and relieves symptoms, even for weeks after termination of the treatment. Among the natural therapies for osteoarthritis, glucosamine sulfate is probably the best known. Commercial sources of glucosamine are from the exoskeleton of certain shellfish and are available as glucosamine sulfate and N-acetylglucosamine.
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Vitamin D Lotion
Aging may be measured in years, but when it comes to your skin, every second counts. Over the course of a normal day, the epidermis, the outermost layer of your skin, naturally loses 30-40,000 cells per minute. As you get older, your skin replaces these dead cells more slowly and produces less natural oil, as wrinkles, lines, and areas of dry rough-looking skin begin to appear.
Vitamin D Lotion contains a highly absorbable form of vitamin D3 called cholecalciferol. It readily penetrates the outer layer of your skin, nourishing dry areas by helping to lock in moisture before it’s lost. This helps to offset the visible impact of your skin’s gradually declining ability to renew itself.
Because of its quenching action, this active nutrient also helps with rough patches, dry spots, and areas of tough-looking skin that result from dehydration, cold weather, irritating fabric, or repeated friction and pressure. Upper arms, elbows, knees, hands, and extremities are especially susceptible. Applying Vitamin D Lotion helps to restore their natural appearance. A proprietary blend of highly refined tea extracts (green, black, red, and white) has been added to augment vitamin D’s moisturizing and rejuvenating effect with polyphenols and antioxidants.
Many doctors and blood laboratories consider homocysteine levels of 5–15 micromoles per liter (mmol/L) blood to be “normal.” However, recent reports indicate that a homocysteine level greater than 12 µmol/L can double the risk of heart attack. One study found that each 3 mmol/L increase in homocysteine caused a 35% increase in heart problems. Because there is no “safe” level of homocysteine, Life Extension recommends keeping it as low as possible, preferably below 8 mmol/L.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in elderly people, folic acid combined with vitamin B12 supplementation significantly reduced plasma homocysteine concentration by 36%.
For those seeking to lower their homocysteine, Homocysteine Resist provides a potent dose of 750 mg of vitamin B6 along with 800 micrograms of folic acid and 500 micrograms of vitamin B12.