Managing Osteoarthritis (OA)
An integrative approach that addresses the oxidative and inflammatory imbalances involved in joint deterioration is critical for slowing disease progression, improving OA symptoms, and supporting tissue health and regeneration.
What Every Patient Should Understand
Osteoarthritis (OA), the most prevalent chronic joint disease, involves clinical symptoms of chronic pain, joint instability, stiffness, joint deformities, and radiographic joint space narrowing. (1, 2) While more common in older populations (with most individuals over 65 expressing clinical symptoms), excessive body weight, a sedentary lifestyle, pervasive toxin exposures, and poor dietary patterns have led to increasing incidence in younger populations. Though several risk factors are associated with OA, oxidative and inflammatory imbalances are well-established as the underlying causes of joint degeneration and disease progression.(3) Joints most often affected by OA include the knees, hands, hips, and spine, and is a leading musculoskeletal cause of impaired mobility in the elderly. (4, 5)
Articular Cartilage and Chondrocytes
Unlike most tissues, articular cartilage is not supported by blood vessels, nerves, or lymphatics, and therefore does not repair as readily as other body tissues. Articular cartilage is composed of a dense extracellular matrix (ECM), consisting primarily of water, collagen, and proteoglycans. (6)
Chondrocytes, which are highly specialized, metabolically active cells within the ECM, maintain healthy cartilage composition and are critical for joint health and function. Destruction of cartilage occurs largely from imbalances in mechanical joint loading and chemical factors (e.g., proinflammatory cytokines), which disrupt joint homeostasis and degrade ECM substructures. Systemic cellular stressors from diet, toxins, and other external influences are largely responsible for chondrocyte dysfunction and death, thus disabling ECM regenerative capacity.
Maintaining Healthy Joints
Osteoarthritis is not an inevitable consequence of growing older! OA may be avoided by first addressing the underlying mechanical and chemical imbalances behind degeneration (e.g., systemic inflammation), and then supporting the ECM and chondrocytes to halt degeneration and facilitate repair.
Tissue Health and Regeneration
All-in-One Joint Support
Bio-Flex II is a comprehensive joint support formula for patients who experience regular joint pain, discomfort, and associated immobility issues. Bio-Flex II combines a unique blend of botanical extracts including curcumin, boswellic acids, ginger (standardized gingerols and shogaols), and devil’s claw that work to modulate inflammatory enzymes and cytokines (e.g., IL-1β, TNF-α, & IL-6) that contribute to cartilage destruction and chondrocyte apoptosis (cell death).(7) Other ingredients including glucosamine, methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), chondroitin, vitamin C, and manganese work to support the cartilage matrix and provide antioxidant protection against damaging free radicals.(7)
Find Bio-Flex II label facts listed in our catalog, brochure, and store online.
Reduce, Restore, and Repair
For advanced cases of Osteoarthritis (OA), consider a comprehensive joint support protocol that includes combinations of clinically effective nutraceuticals to address the driving factors behind OA symptoms and disease progression.
REDUCE – pain, oxidative damage, and the excessive inflammatory signaling that harms the extracellular matrix (ECM) and embedded chondrocytes of articular cartilage.
Inflam-95 remains the ideal nutraceutical formula for downregulating the inflammatory signaling cascade and enzyme activity involved in OA progression.*
RESTORE – joint mobility and ECM composition.
Maximum G-C-M II includes therapeutic levels of type II collagen and hyaluronic acid, found in clinical trials to increase joint mobility and function.*(3,7) Other glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are also provided at clinical doses to support ECM structure.
REPAIR – the ECM and facilitate cartilage synthesis by improving mitochondrial function and cell survival of chondrocytes.
Mito-Detox III, BioSpec’s enhanced mitochondrial support formula, offers the ideal combination of oxidative reducing agents and cellular energy support to protect chondrocytes from oxidative stress and facilitate mitochondrial biogenesis.
Other nutraceutical supplements supported by research to improve OA symptoms and disease progression include: omega-3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA), and vitamins C, E, and K.(2, 3, 7, 8)
Find Inflam-95, Maximum G-C-M II, and Mito-Detox III Signature Series formulas listed in our catalog, brochure, and store online. Various concentrations of essential fatty acids, and other Daily Support supplements also available.
Benefits of Active Ingredients
Bio-Flex II and Maximum G-C-M II include ingredients supported by peer-reviewed research to support healthy cartilage and joint function.*
- Manganese (sulfate) – included at clinical levels to support the mitochondrial antioxidant protein manganese-superoxide dismutase (SOD2), known to protect against oxidative imbalances involved in chondrocyte apoptosis and OA progression. (9)
- Curcumin and Boswellic Acids – were recently studied in a meta-analysis of 11 randomized clinical trials and shown to be significantly more effective for pain relief and joint function over placebo. (10)
- Ginger Extract – containing bioactive molecules including gingerols and shogaols have shown to suppress tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) mediated synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines – immune responses known to significantly increase OA pathology.(7)
- Devil’s Claw – containing harpagosidestriterpene glycoside compounds have shown to reduce production of matrix metalloproteinases in chondrocytes and downregulate TNF-α and COX-2 gene expression. (7)Devil’s Claw has also shown to be effective and well-tolerated tolerated in patients with OA.*
MAXIMUM G-C-M II:
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin – are glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) synthesized by chondrocytes and synoviocytes, and are basic components of the extracellular matrix and synovial fluid of articular cartilage. Both have shown to protect the joints from possible alternations caused by trauma and wear, in addition to increasing joint function and reducing pain. (7)
- Type II Collagen – accounts for 50% of all protein in cartilage and 85 – 90% of collagen in articular cartilage. As a major structural component of the extracellular matrix, data has shown treatment with undenatured type II collagen to increase mobility and joint function, in addition to reductions in pain and the proinflammatory immune responses found in OA patients.* (7)
- Hyaluronic Acid – is a type of glycosaminoglycan and a major ingredient of synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints and protects against the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Hyaluronic acid is significantly reduced in patients with OA, and thus supplementation may help to improve antioxidant status and chondrocyte survival.(3)
Am J Chin Med. 1981;9:112-118; Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008;17:167-168; Ann NY Acad Sci, 2008; 1148:495–503; Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol 2000;6:84-9; Econ Med Plant Res 1985;1:156-21; Indian J Psychol Med., 34(3),255–262; Int J Biometeorol 1996:39:187-191; J Evid. Based Complement. Altern. Med 22(1),96-106; J Ethnopharmacol 2000;72:345-393; J Res Ayur Siddha 1980;1:133-148; Med Sci Monit, 2012;18(4):RA40-48; Phytomedicine 2000;7:85-89; Phytomedicine 2006:13:383-387; Pharmacopsychiatry 1997;30:l-5; Ztschr Allegemeinmed 1993;69:271-277.
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In cases of osteoarthritis (OA), consider an integrative approach that addresses oxidative and inflammatory imbalances related to joint deterioration to slow disease progression, improves OA symtpoms, and supports tissue health and regeneration.
For more information, refer to BioSpec’s brochure on Degenerative Joint Disease – Osteoarthritis.
Reducing oxidative damage and inflammatory imbalances in OA remain the critical considerations for preventing further degeneration and improving joint function.
For more information, refer to BioSpec’s brochure on pain, fatigue, and inflammation.
For osteoporsis and bone health, consider Osteo-Max K-2, BioCalcin, Bio-Cal1200. Omega-3 fatty acids may also be factors for optimal bone, joint, and other aging health and wellness plans.
For more information, refer to BioSpec’s brochure on bone health.