Several newspapers over the weekend (9-10 September 2017) reported the discovery of a new drug called pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS) to treat osteoarthritis. Professor Peter Ghosh and others have in fact been researching this for decades, and it’s a drug that has long been used to treat dogs and horses.
image credit: Herald Sun
It’s described as working both as an anti-inflammatory that reduces degradation of cartilage; and a stimulant for synthesis of water-proteoglycan gel in joint cartilage and of the lubricating hyaluronic acid (HA).
HA - also known as hyaluronan – helps retain collagen, increase moisture and provide elasticity and flexibility in all the body tissues where its found: in our skin (accounting for more than 50% of it); eye membranes (protecting us from dry eyes), in all bones, connecting tissue, tendons and cartilage (especially hyaline cartilage that cushions the end of bones) and within joints (1). It’s in the synovial membrane that produces synovial fluid that helps joints absorb shock, and carries nutrients to the cartilage.
I need more HA! I have the dry skin and more achy joints experienced by postmenopausal women when our oestrogen levels drop and am having more foot stability problems, for which I’m advised to wear shoes with orthotics everywhere.
My goal for myself is to minimise musculo-skeletal degradation, reduce my risks of developing osteoarthritis, improve the condition of my skin, keep on bushwalking, walk barefoot on grass and sand, avoid pharmaceutical medication and stay joyfully well while aging naturally with healthy food and lifestyle choices. I do want to enjoy our next New Zealand hike in January 2018!
So for this next quarter, I’m going to focus on all the information I have, knowledge I can access and action that I can take to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, improve collagen and restore cartilage. I hope to have some really helpful advice to share with you in blogs to follow.