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"Arthritis is a nutritional
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- Dr. Ruth Yale Long
Nutritional Education Association

Glucosamine Sulfate
(as glucosamine sulfate sodium from shellfish)


A four capsule serving of Healthful - Flex provides 500 mg of glucosamine sulfate stabilized with 66 mg of sodium, in addition to the natural ocurring glucosamine sulfate in chicken collagen type II. The sodium content is equivalent to the amount found in two large carrots, an extremely small amount and poses no health risks.
(See Sodium information)

Glucosamine Sulfate Stabilized with Sodium
Glucosamine is produced in the body by combining glucose and an amino acid called glutamine. As we grow older and due to inadequate nutritional intake, and being prone to diseases and injuries, our bodies fail to produce enough glucosamine to properly maintain heathy cartilage production and joint integrity. Taking glucosamine in supplement form can provide the necessary amounts needed by the body. Over 30 years of research has demonstrated that glucosamine sulfate is essential for the production of proteoglycans such as chondroitin sulfate, keratan sulfate, hyaluronic acid and collagen II. These components are needed by the body in order to maintain healthy cartilage production, attract water to the cartilage matrix for proper shock absorption, produce synovial fluid for lubrication, and protect the cartilage from faulty enzyme function and free radical damage.1, 2

Healthful - Flex contains the necessary glucosamine in conjunction with sulfur, an essential nutrient for joint tissue where it functions in the stabilization of the connective tissue matrix of cartilage, bone, tendons, and ligaments,4 and sodium to protect it from the moisture in the environment and bacteria in the human digestive tract. The combination of glucosamine with sulfate is particularly beneficial to joint cartilage in that both compounds are essential in maintaining its strength and shock-absorbing qualities.5 Glucosamine sulfate can be absorbed quickly and easily through the cartilage matrix where it stimulates the production of cartilage cells because its molecules are simple and small.

Over 20 double-blind clinical studies and over 300 scientific investigations have proven that glucosamine sulfate, and no other form, is 98% absorbable and 85% to 95% effective in building and improving the quality of cartilage 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 This same research has shown that glucosamine sulfate exhibits an anti-inflammatory effect and assists in restoring the lubricating consistency of the fluids and tissues that surround the joint, easing joint movement and increasing mobility.

Please Note: The glucosamine sulfate used in these 20 preliminary double-blind clinical studies was stabilized with sodium.

Experimental Double-blind Study: 80 in-patients with established osteoarthrosis randomly received either glucosamine sulfate (Viartril-S®, Rotta, Italy) 500 mg 3 times daily before meals or placebo. After 30 days, all symptoms (articular pain, joint tenderness, swelling, restriction of active movements, restriction of passive movements) decreased in both groups. Treated pts. experienced a significantly larger reduction in overall symptoms (73% vs. 41%) which was also significantly faster (20 vs. 36 days) as those on placebo. For placebo pts., improvement in autonomous mobility was relatively less compared to improvement in other symptoms; for treated pts., by contrast, such improvement was as great and as fast as that of the other symptoms. An electron microscopy, sample of articular cartilage from pts. on placebo showed established osteoarthritis, while cartilage from treated pts. showed a picture more similar to healthy cartilage. (Drovanti A et al. Therapeutic activity of oral glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthrosis: A placebo-controlled double-blind investigation. Clin Ther 3(4):260-72,1980).

Please Note: The form of glucosamine sulfate used in this study was developed by Rotta Labs in Italy and was stabilized with sodium.

Research Proves Glucosamine Hydrochloride is not Effective
Research has demonstrated that other forms of glucosamine such as glucosamine hydrochloride and N-acetyl-glucosamine, also called NAG, are not effective as the sulfate form. In fact, in 1998 Dr. Joseph Houpt, Chief of Rheumatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada announced that a double-blind study revealed that glucosamine hydrochloride was ineffective, and offered no benefits. Dr. Marliese Annefield, Director of Scientific Development for Rotta Research, and one of the world’s leading authorities on arthritis and glucosamine sulfate, found in studies conducted at the World Health Organization’s Center for Rheumatology, that sulfur is vital in the therapeutic use of glucosamine sulfate. In fact, as far back as 1930, researchers discovered that people with arthritis were deficient in sulfur 3 and when it was restored the patients improved. 4 Dr. Annefield and her colleagues found that sulfur was not only important in assisting in the production of healthy proteoglycans such as chondroitin sulfate and keratan sulfate,5 but sulfur also inhibits certain enzymes such as collagenase, elastase, and hyaluronidase which contribute to the deterioration of the cartilage in osteoarthritis.4, 11

Research Proves N-acetyl-glucosamine is Inferior to Glucosamine Sulfate
As for N-acetyl-glucosamine, double-blind studies have never been performed on humans and research from all over the world reveals that studies with laboratory animals have shown glucosamine to be superior to NAG in terms of absorption and effectiveness by two to one.8, 9 This research has led them to conclude ‘glucosamine is a more efficient precursor of macromolecular hexosamine [glycosaminoglycans] than NAG. It is possible that NAG does not penetrate the cell membranes and, as a result, is not available for incorporation into glycoproteins and mucopolysaccharides.” 10


References:
1 Michael Loes, M.D., Gary Wikholm, M.D., Megan Shields, M.D., David Steinman, Arthritis the Doctor’s Cure (1998):73-78
2 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., The Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):26
3 Sullivan MX and Hess WC, Cystine content of finger nails in arthritis. J Bone Joint Surgery 16, 185-188, 1935
4 Senturia BD, Results in Treatment of chronic arthritis and rheumatoid conditions with colloidal sulfur. J Bone Joint Surgery 16, 119-125, 1934
5 D’ Ambrosio E et al. Glucosamine sulphate: A controlled clinical investigation in arthrosis. Pharmatherapuetica 2(8):504-08, 1981
6 Setnikar I, et al; Pharmacokinetics of glucosamine in man. Arzneim Forsch 43(10):1109-13, 1993
7 Setnikar I, et al; Pharmacokinetics of glucosamine in the dog and man. Arzneim Forsch 36(4):729-35, 1986
8 Capps JC, et al; Hexosamine metabolism, I, The absorption and metabolism , in view of orally administered D-glucosamine and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine in the rat. Biochem Biophyys Acta, 194-204, 1966
9 Tesoriere G, et al; Intestinal absorption of glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine. Experientia, 770, 771, 1972
10 Vidal y Plana RR, et al; Articular cartilage pharmacology: I. In vitro studies on glucsoamine and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Pharmacol Res Comm 10:557-69, 1978
11 Vignon E, Richard M and Annefield M: An In vitro study of glucosamine sulfate on human osteoarthritic cartilage metabolism. Manuscript in preparation

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