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Osteoarthritis (OA)

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Osteoarthritis (OA), which is a progressive degenerative chronic disease, can cause joint stiffness, swelling, pain and loss of mobility, characterized by cartilage and synovial inflammation. A high prevalence of OA is seen mainly in elderly population (85% of above 65 years of age worldwide). Although there is no chance of full recovery from OA, primary management of OA is done by prescribing analgesics and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce the symptoms (pain, stiffness etc.). But a prolonged use of pharmacological agents leads to substantial gastrointestinal, renal, and cardiovascular side effects. So, as alternative therapy nutraceuticals and supplements are on the rise.

The term ‘nutraceutical’ was developed from ‘nutrition’ and ‘pharmaceutical’ in 1989 by DeFelice and was originally defined as ‘a food (or part of the food) that provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of a disease. Some of the most commonly used nutraceuticals in joint pathology include glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, Hyaluronic acid, krill oil, fish oil, turmeric, gamma linolenic acid and avocado-soybean unsaponifiables.

Recent studies indicate that the other natural compounds like phytoflavonoids, polyphenols, and bioflavonoids, which are found in fruits, teas, spices, wine, and vegetables, have shown the most potential to modify OA disease and symptoms based on their anti-inflammatory and anti-catabolic actions, and protective effects against oxidative stress.

This is well proved that neutraceuticals improve cartilage health, but still preclinical studies are still required for analyzing the activity of nutraceutical products. As a result neutraceuticals were extensively studied in in vivo efficacy studies which demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in acute and chronic inflammatory. The review objective is to disscuss the commonly used neutraceticals including their role in OA in brief and the preclinical studies which are done to prove the effectivity of these agents.

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