Originally Posted by ollinger
"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).
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.