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Active lifestyle and joint care

By Franco Cavaleri BSc Nutraceutical Biochemist

It’s no secret that active lifestyle is absolutely essential for preventing premature aging. Exercise is the elixir of life but with regular physical work we also experience more wear and tear and this is most commonly apparent in the joints. When it comes to joint health prevention is the most potent solution and daily supplementation to prevent premature wear is critically important, especially in the case of active lifestyle. Research today is confirming that the underlying cause of joint degeneration as we and our companion animals age is the slow decline in activity of the chondrocyte. The chondrocyte is the cell responsible for using glucosamine to build collagen for cartilage reconstruction. If this worker cell of the body is not functional, even shovelfuls of oral glucosamine won’t result in new cartilage tissue. The supplement may deliver a mild anti-inflammatory effect but this only frees our companions from pain getting them active enough to run around wearing off more cartilage tissue in an already damaged joint. Young animals having experienced cartilage damage through traumatic injury are more likely to experiencing recovery from incomplete glucosamine supplementation since these worker cells, the chondrocytes, may still be in functional form. However, even in these cases the facilitative activity of chondrocyte activators will enhance and even protect the resulting tissue. The key to maintaining healthy joints for you and your pet today and all the way into your senior years is by maintaining a fully functioning worker chondrocyte. We’ve known for some time that vitamin C is important for cartilage and other connective tissue regeneration but since completion of the human genome project, we’ve discovered why. It now appears that vitamin C plays a role in gene activity, related to cartilage synthesis. This study shows that vitamin C actually enters the chondrocyte (the cell responsible for the production of collagen and cartilage) to stimulate the genes responsible for collagen synthesis. Vitamin C deficiency can cause delayed gene response for tissue maintenance resulting in accumulated premature wear. These findings justify supplementation with levels of vitamin C, for example, that far exceed the recommended allowances, especially in the case of osteo and even rheumatoid arthritis. This same research has also shown us which nutrients work alongside vitamin C to escort it to this genetic destination. Joint support is a complex science that requires more than mere glucosamine and a lot more than glucosamine and vitamin C. Even more profound is chondroitin sulfate’s role in the process. The recently discovered method of activity for this controversial joint nutrient demonstrates that it is absolutely crucial to complete cartilage recovery and joint disease prevention. We now know it delivers its own pharmacological activity freeing the genes involved in collagen synthesis from inhibitory factors

such as elevated nitric oxide and peroxy nitrite. This allows the cells to use glucosamine for cartilage tissue regeneration. However, even chondroitin, is required in a highly specific form to make certain it can make it to the chondrocytes where cartilage is manufactured. On its own, glucosamine supplementation delivers extremely limited results but in combination with the right chondroitin sulphate source, vitamin C, and grapeseed extract, which supports vitamin C activity, recuperation is more complete and more immediate. Green tea catechins and polyphenols play an important role in this formulation strategy as well penetrating to the DNA to help restart natural inflammatory control and regenerative potential. However, joint support is still limited if other important nutrients are not part of the supplemental equation. Manganese, zinc, copper, sulphur (MSM), and vitamin E also play central roles in cartilage synthesis and integrity. Boron is also recognized as important to bone matrix development and connective matrix integrity. The demand for all nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, increases significantly when assailed by the chemical scalding our environmental toxicity imposes and this increases again if physical activity is above average. Without these minerals, antioxidants such as SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase can’t do their jobs to neutralize free radicals and tissues degrade more quickly. This is especially the case with seniors where such supplementation is even more critical for tissue and youth preservation. Daily supplementation to maximize health potential is far more logical and a lot more economical than the regular veterinary visits which become more frequent as the years pass your companion by. Daily preventive supplementation with these essential nutrients keeps our pets vital and invigorated; youthful and happy. It allows them to stay with us on that active lifestyle which in turn, promotes sustains that youthful metabolism. It only makes sense that we also administer the same strategies to improve our own chances of long lived vitality. Take charge of your health and that of your companion animal’s. The right nutrient combinations make for powerful therapy when challenged by disease. Prevention through lower dose daily supplementation of these gene-activating systems, however, is the most powerful cure. A healthy supply of digestive enzymes, glucosamine, low molecular weight chondroitin, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), antioxidants like grapeseed and green tea extracts, fibre (lignans), vitamins and minerals that are important to joint structure and function. The dog’s digestive system is unique and very different from our own. Powdered forms of these nutritional supplements prove to be more effective in the faster moving gastrointestinal tract of the dog than tablet or wafers. This higher bioavailability of the powder format is especially important for senior dogs that may have compromised digestive efficiency.

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