Supplements to Build Cartilage?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by TripleB, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. TripleB

    TripleB Hall of Fame

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    After a recent MRI it was discovered I have lost (doc said it tore off instantly during tennis) a "sizeable" portion of cartilage in my left knee.

    I have to have Microfracture Surgery to repair it. The way I understand it they drill 4 small holes in my bone where the cartilage is missing, hopefully a "good" blood clot occurs, and Lord willing that blood clot turns into a type of cartilage.

    I can't put any weight on that leg for 6 weeks after surgery, can't run for 3 months after that, and can't play tennis for another 2 months after that.

    My question is: Is there a supplement that has been shown to build and/or repair cartilage in the body*? If so, what is the best?

    * I understand that this supplement won't put the cartilage back in my knee to prevent the surgery, I'm just thinking about trying to prevent future cartilage loss (although this time it was an immediate injury) and hopefully build some 'extra'.

    Thanks for any help.

    TripleB
     
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  2. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    For decades scientists have tried to figure this out and none have been able to regenerate cartiledge. Getting synthetic cartiledge to adhere to a bone and not be destroyed by the body at this time is not possible.
     
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  3. TripleB

    TripleB Hall of Fame

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    After some reading, it seems that the supplements people 'claim' to work are: Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Omega 3, and MSM.

    Anyone have any positive experiences with these?

    Thanks.

    TripleB
     
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  4. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I take some joint supplements some of the time.. But honestly its hard to evaluate these things because usually if your joints hurt you will play less/do less of the activity.

    At first the news about joint supplements seemed promising but now I am hearing they might not work.. So I dunno..
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I've tried the glu chon fishoil stuff, some for more than 3 months straight, and no conclusive results except I lost a bunch of money I could have used for beer.
    Our bodies naturally go up and down. Couple that with weather, injuries, and uneven play, who knows?
    Ibu does seem to lessen pain. As does a joint or some alcohol.
     
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  6. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    "Precursor loading" strategies (consuming building blocks of a desired compound) don't create "extra" of anything, such as cartilage. If it did, glucosamine consumers would be nine feet tall. How much of anything your body makes is usually regulated by the enzyme that synthesizes the compound, and that's not currently something you can regulate for cartilage. (Some enzymes can be regulated; statins lower cholesterol by inhibiting the enzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis).
     
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  7. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    "Knee microfracture result deteriorates over time in young, competitive athletes

    Orthopaedics Today Europe, Issue 3

    MONTREAL — Microfracture is a viable and effective way to treat small chondral defects in patients who are athletically active, but improvement declines over time and competitive athletes should be advised as such.

    Those were the findings that Alberto Gobbi, MD, presented here at the International Cartilage Repair Society World Congress 2012.

    “We found better results in young, active athletes with a short duration of symptoms, small size … and fewer prior surgical interventions,” Gobbi said. “In our study, those who did not do well were those with large chondral defects, lesions to the trochlea or the patella, and multiple lesions. We did find that early failures were seen within 2 years to 3 years of follow-up.”

    Gobbi’s team looked at 170 athletic patients with at least 10 years of follow-up data who underwent microfracture procedures between 1991 and 2001. In all, 53 patients met all the inclusion criteria, which included self-administered questionnaires, preoperative and postoperative International Knee Documentation Committee scores, Lysholm scores and Tegner scores.

    Following 10 years to 15 years of follow-up, Gobbi and colleagues found patients who underwent microfracture to treat full-thickness chondral defects with of a size greater than 3 cm² tended to fail within 1 year. The group also required another surgery.

    Patients who underwent the procedure for lesions smaller than 2.5 cm² demonstrated significant functional improvements for the first 5 postoperative years. After that, however, the results gradually deteriorated because of reduced activity levels.

    While these athletes had lower activity levels, they also demonstrated significant improvement in pain and function, Gobbi noted.

    Microfracture appeared functionally successful, however there were factors to keep in mind, Gobbi said.

    “We found functionally subjective improvements with microfracture, however, we found a decline in the level of sport activity with time,” he said. “Microfracture may not be a definitive treatment in the young athlete’s knee, especially if the athlete has large or multiple lesions.”

    In older patients, “microfracture can relieve symptoms and may delay arthroplasty,” he added."

    - http://www.healio.com/orthopedics/s...rates-over-time-in-young-competitive-athletes
     
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  8. Vlad_C

    Vlad_C Semi-Pro

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    You might want to take a look at this product:

    http://jamiesonvitamins.com/collagen_glucosamine

    For a long time I've had problems with my ankles.
    Running, or any kind of shock to the ankle joint would cause severe pain.
    This spring I started taking this collagen-glucosamine complex, and about a month and a half later all my ankle pain was gone, and I could run again without any problems. I played tennis all summer, and still no problems.
    All I can say is, it worked for me.
     
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  9. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    My knees started feeling old a few months ago so I tried glucosamine sulfate. It seemed to help fairly quickly even though it is supposed to take a few months to kick in. I unknowingly stopped taking it for a few days a couple of weeks ago and I had the same knee issues. So I went back on it and life is good again. It works for me but obviously everyone is different.
     
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  10. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    So change "extra" to "repair of existing." I keep hearing doctors say things like, "cartilage basically doesn't heal." Now this is something different from saying "cartilage never heals." So which is it? If there's one proven case of cartilage healing in humans, then cartilage can at least in some cases heal.

    I'm interested in potential supplements/diet for joints because I had a knee injury in my late 20s when I didn't have health insurance. Whatever it was eventually healed, at least to the point where it hasn't caused me pain. I realize my case is a worthless anecdote, because I never had my knee MRId, but it does make me wonder.

    The eat cartilage to protect your cartilage theory sounds crankish, but there seems to be clear evidence in animal models that it works. Some trusted sources have told me about HA pills restoring mobility in old dogs, and dogs shouldn't be influenced by a placebo effect. However, the evidence I've seen from Glucosamine/Chondroitin studies in humans is far from impressive.

    In any case, I have had individuals tell me that they've had meniscus healing confirmed by MRI. I don't know why these people would lie to me, as they weren't selling me anything. If they weren't lying or mistaken, then there may be something to supplementation for joint recovery, especially when some advocate doing it with extremely inexpensive treatment such as eating more gelatin.

    Thoughts by someone more knowledgeable about this issue are welcome.
     
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  11. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ as cartilage is non-vascular, healing is unlikely and generally not seen; your friend's MRI is more likely to have been misread. This nonvascular nature of cartilage makes it nearly impossible for growth or repair building blocks to get to it, except for miniscule amounts in joint fluid, but it's not clear even all the ingredients for growth are found there.
     
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  12. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    OK, I can understand the MRI being misread.

    So why do you think there are reports of pain reduction with joint supplementation? One theory of heard is that somehow the supplementation is bring more fluid into the joint and thereby reducing pain, not that it is actually causing any repair to the damaged cartilage. I know that some doctors are injecting HA into knee joints but I don't know how well such treatments have been studied compared to a placebo or just injecting water into the joint.
     
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  13. maggmaster

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    #13
  14. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ Bogus study presented at a bogus meeting? The meeting was not a legitimate scientific meeting but rather a meeting wholly sponsored by IBSA, a pharmaceutical company. Let's not lower the bar too low, okay?
     
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  15. maggmaster

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  16. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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  17. maggmaster

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    Very true, sometimes they are predictive but often they are not. Glucosamine is too cheap to ever be pursued by a big pharmaceutical company so I doubt you will ever see any real conclusive studies.
     
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  18. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Unfortunately, what you say is very true. There's little incentive to study inexpensive cures to common diseases, especially if the treatment cannot be patented.

    For instance, a doctor did studies on using Chondroitin sulfate to cure heart disease in the 1970s. He got impressive results in animal studies and the original studies on humans looked very promising. If you do a web search on it, you'll find that these studies are mentioned but that no one has done a higher quality controlled study in the following 30 years!

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chondroitin-sulfate/NS_patient-chondroitin/DSECTION=evidence

    So instead, we have all sorts of people on statins but no follow up study on a potentially much cheaper alternative. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
     
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  19. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I'm just wondering, is there is anything Omega 3 doesn't do?
     
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  20. maggmaster

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    It does not give you psychic powers...or does it.
     
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  21. 3fees

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    I tried some of these supplements a few years ago,,after taking just a few of them I felt lubricated all over-all joints were feeling really good,,I dont want to bore you all with the brand. it worked for me, however, from the time I was 16 to 18 y.o I ran 10 miles a day every day rain or shine and never missed one day, if that has a bearing on it.

    :mrgreen:
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
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