A new research from Switzerland suggests that a substance extracted from brown algae could potentially treat osteoarthritis. The research was led by Professor Marcy Zenobi-Wong from the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH), and Dr. Katharina Maniura, from Empa.
With the help of the experiments in vitro, the scientists discovered that polysaccharide alginate derivatives extracted from the stems of brown algae Laminaria hyperborean can strop joint cartilage deterioration.
The researchers believe that development of a clinical solution target the condition itself, not its symptoms, would greatly improve the quality of life, as well as allow people with the disease to avoid complications that one day could lead to disability and surgery of joint replacement.
Usually, running causes discomfort in joints while running, and running for long distances is believed to be bad for knees. Nevertheless, a new study, conducted by exercise science professors from Brigham Young University, found that molecules causing knee joint inflammation essentially reduce after running.
For their study, the researchers collected the Synovial fluid and serum samples from knee joints of 6 healthy leisure runners aged from 18 to 35, before and after they ran for 30 minutes. The results showed that the cytokines GM-CSF and IL-15 that cause inflammation decreased in levels after running and remained at the same level in a non-running state.
Matt Seeley, the study co-author, said in a press release: “This study does not indicate that distance runners are any more likely to get osteoarthritis than any other person. Instead, this study suggests exercise can be a type of medicine.”
At the present moment, the treatment for osteoarthritis does not exist. Nevertheless, health experts suggest several steps that can help you manage the disease and improve the symptoms.
The most important step is to keep a healthy body weight. Overweight and obesity is a risk factor for the development of knee osteoarthritis. Excess body weight also makes the symptoms of the disease worse.
Fat, an active tissue, creates and releases chemicals that promote inflammation. These chemicals may affect the development of osteoarthritis. Excess weight increases the load on the knee joints and this can help to speed up the breakdown of cartilage. It also makes the joints more likely to wear down and damaged.
Simple lifestyle changes can help to lose weight and this in its turn usually leads to the reduction of overall pain and improvement of mobility.