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Joint pain Confirmed enhancement in regeneration of cartilageExpected relief in joint pain

The Research group at Tottori University, Faculty of Agriculture, Dept. of Veterinary Medicine, announced that fucoidan derived from mozuku sea algae is useful for enhancing the effect of healing damaged joint cartilages, in the academic journal "Glucosamine Research Vol. 6" 2010 issued by the "Association for Glucosamine Research". 1)

The following is a summary of their research.

Acceleration of regeneration of cartilage "Fucoidan Tsusin" News Letter Vol. 3

Prediction of effects on osteoarthritis by a substance with a sulfate group

It is known that human osteoarthritis (OA) develops as a result of age-related decline in cartilage tissue synthesis capability or mechanical wear due to over-exercise.

Disorders involving damaged joint cartilage are currently treated by non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs [1], medical therapy by steroids, surgery treatment [2], or administration of supplements.

Among these treatments, the result of research on glucosamine chondroitin sulfate [3], suggested the possibility of substance sulfate group substances to get involved in prevention and therapy of OA.

Then Tottori University, Faculty of Agriculture, Dept. of Veterinary Medicine and Marine Products Kimuraya have jointly examined the accelerating healing effects on cartilage damage, by fucoidan derived from mozuku which contains sulfated polysaccharides.

Examined the accelerated healing effects on cartilage of rabbits

To examine the accelerated healing effects on cartilage damage, 24 rabbits were damaged by a drill at the femur [4] and divided into two groups.

The group administered fucoidan received oral administration of fucoidan dissolved in water for 3 weeks. The non-administered group took tap water.

After the experiment, we quantified the repair levels of the damaged part by megascopic observation and compared with the beginning of experiment.

Further we conducted image analysis [5] of a sliced section which was treated by hematoxylin-eosin stain, safranine stain-O (SO), and alcian blue (AB). The repair level of the non-administered group was 1.1 points, while the fucoidan administered group was 1.78 points.

Histologically, the damaged part of the Control was filled up with collagen fiber [6] and fibroblast [7] etc., and the group administered fucoidan was constituted with chondroblast and chondrocyte.

In image analysis of the sliced sections of AB stain and SO stain revealed that the non-administered group was 5989 pixel and 2018 pixel, respectively, while the fucoidan administered group was 27,175 pixel and 29,474 pixel.

It was clearly shown that the group administered fucoidan showed the effects of acceleration of healing cartilage, being accompanied with the regeneration of glycosaminoglycan [8] and proteoglycan [9].

Acceleration effect on regeneration of cartilage by fucoidan
(trochlear groove distant AB stain)

*Blue parts are the regenerated parts of cartilage

Non ingestion of fucoidan

Histological picture (hematoxylin-eosin stain specimen) of damaged part of the Control.Regeneration images of cartilage tissues and spongy bone was not observed at the joint cartilage layer of damage part, nor the surface layer of spongy bone as well as at the deep layer.

Ingestion of fucoidan

Histological picture (safranine stain-O (SO) specimen) of ingestion group of F330 (fucoidan of molecular weight 330,000).
Regeneration of cartilage tissues was observed at the joint cartilage layer, at the surface layer as well as deep layer of spongy bone. Regeneration of bone trabeculae was not observed

Provided by Prof. Minami, Tottori University, Faculty of Agriculture, Dept. of Veterinary Medicine.


[Sources]1)"About effects by fucoidan derived from mozuku on experimentally damaged cartilage" by Mr. Kodai Kitahara, The booklet "Research on Glucosamine". 6, 37-43 (2010).


[1]Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug/Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin which are not steroid. Used for treatment of pain, fever, and inflammation.

[2]Surgery treatment/Surgery to remove part of the joint which is deformed or cut and artificial joint replacement surgery.

[3]Glucosamine chondroitin sulfate/Substances included in crab and shrimp shells.

[4]Femur/Longest and largest volume of mammal bone, which extends from the crotch to the knee.

[5]Image analysis/From the tissue pictures magnified 200 times of damaged hole, selecting at random within 20,000 pixels, numbers of pixels of cartilage matrix in its range are measured by image analysis software.

[6]Collagen fiber/Fiber which is formed by collagen. Observed by optical microscope.

[7]Fibroblast/One of the cells constituting connective tissues which fill the gaps of tissues and organs of the body. In case where tissues are damaged, it produces collagen to assist repair.

[8]Glycosaminoglycan/Mucopolysaccharide exists in all connective tissues in animals. It is stained indigo blue by AB stain.

[9]Proteoglycan/A kind of glycoprotein in which many sugar chains are combined. It forms a complex with such fibered protein as collagen. It is stained purplish red color by SO stain.

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