The human body is a complex machine, with more moving parts than the finest Swiss timepiece. Occasionally, those moving parts, specifically our joints, can get sore or inflamed, causing us a significant amount of pain and discomfort. This happens for a myriad of reasons. Overexertion, aging, and medical conditions like arthritis can cause our knees, elbows, shoulders, hips and al of our other joints to ache. Fortunately, modern medicine has found a number of chemicals, both natural and synthetic, that can ease that pain or even alleviate it entirely.
Glucosamine and Glucosamine Sulfate
Glucosamine is a monosaccharide that is found naturally in the cartilage of our body. Glucosamine sulfate is a two part element of this natural substance, consisting of an amino sugar and a uronic sugar. Glucosamine sulfate is hypothesized to be the most effective form in terms of relieving joint pain, as it strengthens the cartilage and assists our bodies to synthesize glycosaminoglycan. Most synthetic glucosamine is produced by extracting amino sugars from the tissues of crab, lobster and other shellfish.
Chondroitin is the substance most commonly combined with glucosamine in modern pain medications for bones and the joints. It is a protein-carbohydrate complex that facilitates healthy cartilage by absorbing water into the connective tissue in our joints, plus some research has indicated that it can also block enzymes that break down our natural cartilage. In short, it not only protects the tissues, but helps us build new healthy cartilage.
MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane, in its purist form is a white crystalline solid organic compound. It is used to reduce joint inflammation, making it a natural pain relief agent. While there is still a shortage of research on the exact benefits and side effects, it is often used in conjunction with glucosamine and chondroitin to create joint pain products that not only repair the damage, but help ease the pain while the body repairs itself.
Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally produced carbohydrate in the body that acts as a natural lubricant for our joints. Since many cases of inflammation are caused by a lack of lubrication in the joint, it acts as a soothing chemical while other ingredients repair the damaged tissue. In addition to joint pain relief, hyaluronic acid is also used in anti-aging treatments as well as eye health products.