When we think about joint building supplements, glucosamine or chondroitin is usually what comes to mind first. They are excellent choices, and have decades of use and research to back them up. However, to help those ingredients work their best, you may consider adding a third element: hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid is synthesized in cartilage-producing cells called chondrocytes. It is one of the building blocks of collagen and cartilage in much the same way that amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Hyaluronic acid adds to the spacing between joints, scavenges free radicals, and is critical for joint lubrication. It’s especially important for anyone dealing with osteoarthritis. As osteoarthritis progresses, hyaluronic acid loses its shape and structure as the condition wears down its molecular weight. When this happens, it can’t properly lubricate joints or keep them from grinding together.
Clinical work with supplemental hyaluronic acid has been really promising. This is good news, because in the past, it has typically been injected at the site of pain and cartilage wear – usually the knees. Understandably, that has limited its appeal as a treatment.
In this study, supplemental hyaluronic acid has been shown to improve muscle aches and joint pain by 75 percent in just eight weeks, so it doesn’t always take a long time to notice a difference. It can easily and safely be combined with other joint restoring components, like glucosamine, chondroitin, type II collagen, and boswellia, a full pain-relieving and arthritis-fighting regimen.
Kalman DS, Heimer M, Valdeon A, Schwartz H, Sheldon E. Effect of a natural extract of chicken combs with a high content of hyaluronic acid on pain relief and quality of life in subjects with knee osteoarthritis: a pilot randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Nutr J. 2008 Jan 21;7:3.
Background: Intra-articular hyaluronic acid represents a substantive addition to the therapeutic armamentarium in knee osteoarthritis. We examined the effect of dietary supplementation with a natural extract of chicken combs with a high content of hyaluronic acid (60%) (Hyal-Joint) (active test product, AP) on pain and quality of life in subjects with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Methods: Twenty subjects aged > or =40 years with knee osteoarthritis (pain for at least 15 days in the previous month, symptoms present for > or =6 months, Kellgren/Lawrence score > or =2) participated in a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Ten subjects received AP (80 mg/day) and 10 placebo for 8 weeks. The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and quality of life by the Short Form-36 (SF-36v2) were administered at baseline and after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment.
Results: WOMAC pain (primary efficacy variable) was similar in both study groups (mean [SD]) with 6.6 (4.0) points in the AP group and 6.4 (2.7) in the placebo group (P = 0.943). As compared with baseline, subjects in both groups showed statistically significant improvements in WOMAC pain, stiffness, physical function subscales, and in the aggregate score, but the magnitude of changes was higher in the AP group for WOMAC physical function (-13.1 [12.0] vs. -10.1 [8.6], P = 0.575) and total symptoms (-18.6 [16.8] vs. -15.8 [11.4], P = 0.694). At 4 weeks, statistically significant mean changes compared with baseline were observed in the SF-36v2 scales of role-physical, bodily pain, social functioning and role-emotional among subjects in the AP group, and in physical functioning, bodily pain, and social functioning in the placebo group. At 8 weeks, changes were significant for role-physical, bodily pain, and physical component summary in the AP group, and for physical functioning and role-emotional in the placebo arm. Changes in bodily pain and social functioning were of greater magnitude in subjects given AP.
Conclusion: This pilot clinical trial showed that daily supplementation with oral hyaluronic acid from a natural extract of chicken combs (Hyal-Joint) was useful to enhance several markers of quality of life in adults with osteoarthritis of the knee. The results warrant further study in larger sample sizes.
Here is the link to the complete article: Effect of a natural extract of chicken combs with a high content of hyaluronic acid (Hyal-Joint®) on pain relief and quality of life in subjects with knee osteoarthritis: a pilot randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial