EverFlex For Joints

by Shannon Larsen, Health Sciences, Nature's Sunshine Products

EverFlex is a natural dietary supplement for joint support that combines glucosamine, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), chondroitin, devil's claw and hyaluronic acid for healthy joint function.

Glucosamine plays a key role in the construction of cartilage, the connective tissue that cushions the joints.1 Glucosamine is an amino sugar that stimulates the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans (the major structural component of cartilage).1 Glucosamine helps replenish hyaluronic acid and synovial fluid (joint lubricant).2 Animal and human studies demonstrate that glucosamine is capable of protecting connective tissues.3,4

MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur compound. Sulfur is required for the production of cartilage.5Although MSM is found in many fresh foods, it is easily destroyed in cooking and processing. Thus, it makes sense to take dietary supplements of MSM to ensure adequate supply in the body.

Chondroitin is a sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) that is important in maintaining the structural integrity of connective tissue. Glycosaminoglycans such as chondroitin are the building blocks of cartilage and joint fluid (synovial fluid).6Chondroitin sulfate is produced by chondrocytes and performs the important function of attracting fluid into the cartilage. This gives cartilage its sponge-like form, thereby making it a good shock absorber and draws nutrients to cartilage thereby promoting growth and regeneration.

Evidence suggests that chondroitin sulfate also protects cartilage by inhibiting cartilage-degrading enzymes such as leukocyte elastase.3,7 Studies show that chondroitin may slow the progression of joint degeneration, stabilize the joint space width and modulate bone and joint metabolism.3 Chondroitin may also prevent cartilage breakdown by decreasing the migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes to joints.3

Hyaluronic acid (also known as HA or hyaluronan) is a non-sulfated glycosaminoglycan that occurs naturally throughout the body.8 It is found most abundantly in the skin, cartilage, synovial fluid and eyes.3 Hyaluronic acid plays a major role in joint lubrication and in maintaining joint homeostasis2 and is critical for the health of the joints. Hyaluronic acid may also enhance the synthesis of chondroitin,9 and inhibit the release of enzymes that contribute to the breakdown of cartilage.10

Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is named for the tiny hooks that cover its fruit. Devil's claw root has been used for thousands of years in Africa.11 Devil's claw root contains phytochemicals, such as iridoid glycosides including harpagoside, that have soothing effects.3 Studies show that taking devil's claw root significantly improves physical functioning in many people.11

The nutrients in EverFlexwork together to enhance cartilage repair and improve joint function.

Complimentary products include EverFlex Pain Cream, which features the cooling relief of menthol plus cetylated fatty acid esters and MSM.

References:
1. University of Maryland Medical Center. Glucosamine. 2008. Available at: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/ glucosamine-000306.htm Accessed December 18, 2008.
2. Uitterlinden EJ, Koevoet JL, Verkoelen CF, Bierma-Zeinstra SM, Jahr H, Weinans H, Verhaar JA, van Osch GJ. Glucosamine increases hyaluronic acid production in human osteoarthritic synovium explants. BMC Muscoloskelet Disord. 2008 Sep 11;9:120.
3. Jellin JM, Gregory PJ, Batz F, Hitchens K, et al. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 9th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2007.
4. Reginster JY, Deroisy R, Rovati LC, Lee RL, Lejeune E, Bruyere O, Giacovelli G, Henrotin Y, Dacre JE, Gossett C. Long-term effects of glucosamine sulphate on osteoarthritis progression: a randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lancet 2001 Jan 27;357(9252):251-6.
5. University of Maryland Medical Center. Sulfur. 2007. Available at: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/sulfur-000328.htm Accessed December 22, 2008.
6. Available at: School of Anatomy and Human Biology–The University of Western Australia. Connective Tissues. 2006. http:// www.lab.anhb.uwa.edu.au/mb140/CorePages/Connective/Connect.htm Accessed December 19, 2008.
7. Baici A, Bradamante P. Interaction between human leukocyte elastase and chondroitin sulfate. Chem Biol Interact. 1984 Sep 1;51 (1):1-11.
8. Laurent TC, Laurent UB, and Fraser JR. The structure and function of hyaluronan: an overview. Immunol Cell Biol 74:A1-A7, 1996.
9. Kawasaki K, Ochi M, Uchio Y, Adachi N, and Matsusaki M. Hyaluronic acid enhances proliferation and chondroitin sulfate synthesis in cultured chondrocytes embedded in collagen gels. J Cell Physiol 179:142-148, 1999.
10. Dougados M. Sodium hyaluronate therapy in osteoarthritis: arguments for a potential beneficial structural effect. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Oct;30(2 Suppl 1):19-25.
11. University of Maryland Medical Center. Devil's Claw. 2007. Available at: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/devils- claw-000237.htm