[Effects of Proteoglycan] The Real Structural Component of Cartilage, 3 Benefits of Proteoglycan

[Effects of Proteoglycan] The Real Structural Component of Cartilage, 3 Benefits of Proteoglycan

Dec 03, 2023KimSunhyo

[Effects of Proteoglycan] The Real Structural Component of Cartilage, 3 Benefits of Proteoglycan

3 Benefits of Proteoglycan
This content is health information about ingredients and not directly related to a specific product.
Effects of Proteoglycan
1. Improves knee pain
2. Improves cartilage metabolism
3. Skin health

Hello, I am Jinny, a pharmacist.

When you think of joint supplements, what ingredients come to mind? Usually, people take MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin, and recently, it seems that chondroitin is the most popular.

However, did you know what happens when MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin enter our bodies? They become the building blocks of 'proteoglycan,' which is essentially the 'real structural component of cartilage.'

To explain further, proteoglycan is a structure consisting of multiple carbohydrates attached to a single protein. It fills the empty spaces between cartilage cells and has excellent viscosity and elasticity, allowing it to withstand the pressure on cartilage. So, in light of these roles, proteoglycan is sometimes referred to as 'joint cushion' or 'joint airbag.'

Then why haven't we been taking proteoglycan as a nutritional supplement all this time? The reason is that processing natural ingredients containing proteoglycan was quite challenging. Naturally, the cost of raw materials was also considerably high.

However, recently, proteoglycan derived from salmon cartilage has emerged and gained attention in the academic community as a cutting-edge joint material. It's becoming highly popular as it allows us to directly consume the building blocks of cartilage. But can it deliver significant real benefits? Let's explore that through human trials.

1. Improves Knee Pain

The reason for the decreased quality of life in patients with arthritis is undoubtedly the pain, especially the knee pain.

The knee is a part of our body that bears a very high load. It is said that with every 1 kg increase in body weight, the load on the knees increases by 3 to 5 times. Moreover, it is a joint that performs movements like bending and straightening frequently, so its degeneration rate is faster than other joint areas.

That's why many people complain of knee pain not only when walking but also in resting situations. For such individuals, salmon cartilage-derived proteoglycan may offer hope.

In a study involving participants aged 40 to 75 who complained of knee pain, consuming 15mg of salmon cartilage-derived proteoglycan per day resulted in an improvement in knee pain in various situations.

"In relation to knees with more severe pain, the VAS (Visual Analog Scale) scores during rest and stair climbing at the 6th week were significantly lower in the salmon cartilage extract group compared to the placebo group. Furthermore, in all three situations: rest, walking, and stair climbing at the 6th week, the VAS scores for the opposite knee were significantly lower in the salmon cartilage extract group compared to the placebo group."

Reference :  Kuriyama, Y. (2020). Effects of Salmon Nasal Cartilage Extract Powder Standardized Undenatured Type ⅡCollagen and Proteoglycan on Knee Pain in Healthy Volunteers―A Single Center Randomized, Double—blind, Placebo—controlled Study: Re—analysis Results Focused on the Knee with Stronger Pain―. 薬理と治療, 48(11), 2011-2019..
2. Improves Cartilage Metabolism

As we age, our joints weaken, just like our body's cells, because cartilage cells age as well. Consequently, the ability of cartilage cells to synthesize essential components of cartilage, such as proteoglycans and type II collagen, which protect cartilage, decreases. As these protective components gradually diminish, cartilage damage accelerates.

It has been shown that the consumption of proteoglycans can help with this metabolic process in cartilage. In a study involving men and women with an average age of 52.4 who experienced discomfort in their knee joints, they were given 10mg of proteoglycans daily for 16 weeks. The results showed improvements in cartilage metabolism as follows.

"These results suggest that SPG (salmon cartilage-derived proteoglycan) can protect joint cartilage by reducing the breakdown of cartilage components and improving cartilage metabolism."

Reference :  Takahashi, T. (2018). サケ鼻軟骨由来プロテオグリカン摂取による関節保護効果 [Joint protective effect of proteoglycan intake derived from salmon nasal cartilage]. Functional Food Research, 14(0), 36-43.
3. Skin Health

Proteoglycan isn't only beneficial for joint cartilage health; it also exists in the skin. Like proteoglycans in cartilage, those in the skin contribute to giving elasticity to skin tissues and cushioning the impact on the skin.

In this regard, I would like to introduce a clinical trial that investigated the skin health benefits of proteoglycan consumption. In this study, 19 adults were divided into a consumption group and a placebo group. Only the consumption group was instructed to take 15mg of salmon nasal cartilage-derived proteoglycan daily for two weeks.

Significant improvements were observed in various skin health indicators in the consumption group, including skin elasticity and wrinkles.

"In the consumption group, as compared to the placebo group, there were significant improvements in skin elasticity, as well as in resilience and recovery after deformation. Skin laxity significantly decreased in the consumption group. Additionally, wrinkles, noticeable or darkened facial pores, and the number of blemishes all significantly decreased in the consumption group."

Reference :  Takahashi, T., Matsubara, J., Wakamatsu, K., Tanaka, Y. T., Masutani, T., Yonezuka, M., ... & Tsuboi, M. (2015). Ingestion of salmon nasal cartilage-derived proteoglycan improves skin condition: A randomized, double-blind, controlled study. Immunology, Endocrine & Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry (Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry-Immunology, Endocrine and Metabolic Agents), 15(2), 160-167.

Today, we explored the efficacy of proteoglycan as an advanced joint material that has recently gained attention. It's clear that proteoglycan, as a key component of joints, offers excellent benefits for joint health. However, as mentioned earlier, the process of obtaining proteoglycan has been quite challenging, making proteoglycan supplements less accessible.

The introduction of proteoglycan derived from salmon cartilage is expected to draw significant attention not only from the scientific community but also from the general public. If you have any unanswered questions or would like more information about proteoglycan, please feel free to leave a comment. We will provide more detailed explanations in the next episode.

I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.

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