The ability to move around is fundamental to our well-being. Yet, as we age, our ability to move independently is limited by changes in our joints. They begin to lose their flexibility and we see more stiffness in our everyday activities. These changes can be caused by chronic joint symptoms, America’s leading cause of disability in people 15 years or older.

Chronic joint symptoms affect over 73 million Americans, a number that is expected to grow significantly over the next 10 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In part, this is due to the unprecedented rate at which the U.S. population is aging. As baby boomers age, they can expect to feel changes in their joints beginning in their 40s, and nearly everyone can expect to develop chronic joint symptoms by their 70th birthday.

Not Just An Age Issue

However, immobility and stiffness aren’t just a function of age. The expected increase in disability due to chronic joint symptoms is also due to the fact that roughly 50 percent of Americans are overweight. Evidence of significant changes in the level of cartilage is seen in joints of most overweight people who are in their 40s, according to researchers. In fact, some physicians believe that these changes in cartilage levels may occur during our 20s and 30s. This degradation of our cartilage may explain the loss of flexibility and increased stiffness many of us have begun to feel in weight-bearing joints, such as knees and hips. This loss of cartilage opens the joint to developing significant pain with any movement. Fortunately, besides losing a few pounds, there are precautionary measures you can take to protect the cartilage in your hips, knees, lower back and neck, finger or toe joints.

Cartilage Regenerates

Medical studies have proven that even though cartilage does not contain blood vessels, nerves or lymph vessels, cartilage is an active, growing tissue that needs continuous regeneration to perform. Controlling the rate of cartilage regeneration are specialized cells called chondrocytes. These cells detect minor changes in the composition of the cartilage and respond by synthesizing new cartilage. However, joint cartilage may begin to break down over time if the natural regeneration process cannot keep pace with the wear and tear of daily life.

Protecting Cartilage

To protect and preserve your cartilage health, it’s important to maintain the basic essentials of good health: good nutrition, getting sufficient exercise and rest and maintaining a healthy weight. Also, if you are at high risk for cartilage degradation, you may want to ask your doctor about CH-Alpha, available from Gelita Health Products. Its active ingredient, collagen hydrolysate, has a direct effect on the chondrocyte cells that control the production of cartilage tissue.

Collagen hydrolysate, with bioactive collagen peptides, is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, accumulates in the joint and may stimulate type II collagen growth to reduce chronic joint symptoms and improve joint function. In clinical studies with hundreds of patients, over 80 percent of patients experienced a significant improvement in joint mobility and a reduction in pain with collagen hydrolysate. It has also been shown, over time, to reduce the need to take analgesics, such as ibuprofen. Taking CH-Alpha orally may not only alleviate the symptoms, it could also address the underlying cause of joint pain, stiffness and immobility.

Collagen-based products have been used for many centuries for therapeutic purposes, and are recognized as safe components of pharmaceuticals and foods by the Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Nutrition.

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