The Role of Cartilage
Cartilage acts like a cushion to ease the impact on joints
Joints are where two bones connect. There is "cushioning" on the ends of the bones so they do not rub directly against each other. This "cushioning" is known as cartilage, and it is very resilient, softening the impacts that the joints experience. Because there are no blood vessels in cartilage, nutrients are transported to it through the transfer of synovial fluid.
The Metabolism of Cartilage
There are no blood vessels in cartilage and it cannot exchange oxygen, nutrients, or waste (metabolism) through blood. Because of this, cartilage metabolism occurs through the exchange of fluids (synovial fluid), which makes up 65% to 80% of the cartilage. We can think of cartilage like a sponge...
When your body weight applies pressure to the cartilage, the joint fluid (synovial fluid) is squeezed out. When the pressure is relieved, fluid (synovial fluid) seeps back into the cartilage. Cartilage metabolism occurs through the repetition of this process. When pressure is applied to the joint, synovial fluid is squeezed out, and seeps back in when pressure is released.
Chondroitin Sulfate Retains Fluids in the Cartilage
Chondroitin sulfate acts similar to a magnet, in that it attracts fluids. Chondroitin sulfate is structured like a coil of sugar, and acts to send fluids into proteoglycans. These actions of chondroitin sulfate allows cartilage metabolism to occur.
The amount of chondroitin sulfate in your body decreases with age
Chondroitin sulfate decreases with age and joint cartilage becomes thinner. With thinner joint cartilage, our bones rub directly against each other and pain occurs. Supplementing with Pure Chondroitin helps the body maintain fluid and flexibility in the joints as we age.
To learn more about how Chondroitin is an essential building block of joint health click here.