Supplementation of essential ingredients, including collagen, vitamin C, glucosamine, vitamin D, hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, will help prevent bone and joint health issues.
Many joint conditions are caused by chronic inflammation. Cat’s claw is a vine—the bark of which is made into a tea (decoction) and consumed for chronic inflammation—offering great potential through the suppression of the master gene switch, NF-kB. This switch controls thousands of genes which contribute to inflammation. Other botanicals and antioxidants—like astaxanthin—can act similarly, by either preventing activation or restoring dormancy. Potent antioxidants work in this manner because the release of the free, active NF-kB switch from its anchored, inactive state is mediated by oxidative stress.
Other well-researched natural ingredients for bone and joint health include curcumin and ginger. Turmeric (curcuma longa) is one of the most revered herbs in India’s system of medicine—Ayurveda—due to the three major phenolic compounds present: the curcuminoids. By targeting multiple inflammatory signalling molecules while also demonstrating activity at the cellular level, curcuminoids are known to regulate inflammation, cell growth and apoptosis, making it effective in managing conditions like arthritis. Ginger is a rhizome used as a traditional herbal medicine for the management of several inflammatory conditions and degenerative disorders, including rheumatism. Several clinical studies have demonstrated ginger’s effectiveness in alleviating symptoms of joint pain. Natural ingredients are preferred by many consumers due to their safety and efficacy profile in comparison to NSAIDs.
Vitamin K2 is another ingredient with great market potential. While calcium is widely understood to be the building block of strong bones, and vitamin D is known to facilitate the absorption of calcium into the bloodstream, vitamin K2 is only now being clinically investigated for its role in bone health. Vitamin K2 regulates the transport of calcium in the body and activates osteocalcin proteins which incorporate calcium into the bone matrix—without K2, calcium and vitamin D are unable to optimally support bone health. As most people are likely to be K2 deficient, there is market opportunity in most categories and age groups as K2 deficiency can be overcome by supplementation.
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