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Blood biomarkers prove the efficacy of chondroitin sulfate in the treatment of osteoarthritis

19 Dec 2016
Healthcare
  • The analysis of certain soluble biomarkers prove the efficacy of this treatment to stop cartilage degeneration in knee osteoarthritis (OA)
  • The results of an open clinical trial highlighted that chondroitin sulfate protects cartilage and improves OA symptoms 

Experts of the POAL Rheumatology Institute of Barcelona, in collaboration with Artialis, have analyzed the effect of chondroitin sulfate on cartilage degradation biomarkers, in a new study published by the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders journal. This study uses a novel approach: it is based on the analysis of the variation in biomarker levels between individuals, and introduces the notion of metabolic responders.

The study’s data, in which 72 gonarthrosis patients participated and took this treatment over a six-month period, prove the efficacy of chondroitin sulfate in the reduction of pain and functional disability symptoms. These parameters were respectively evaluated through the EVA pain scale and the Lequesne index. Symptoms such as pain and functionality disability were reduced in a statistically significant way throughout the entire study, as demonstrated by earlier clinical essays and studies.  

One new finding was that the researchers verified that chondroitin sulfate improved the metabolic state of patients over the course of several months, showing relevant results after the third month of treatment.

The Coll2-1 cartilage degradation biomarker

To determine the physiological improvement of patients who responded positively to the treatment, the researchers measured the amount of the Coll2-1 biomarker, a specific marker determining cartilage degradation, in their bloodstream. 

More precisely, the patients responding to the treatment with chondroitin sulfate (according to the OMERACT-OARSI criteria) experienced a statistically significant reduction in their Coll2-1 biomarker levels after three (p=0.030) and six (p=0.038) months of treatment.

Chondroitin sulfate is therefore a treatment that shows not only evidence of improvement in the disease’s symptoms after three months of treatment, but also significantly reduces Coll2-1 levels in patients responding to the treatment. With this we are demonstrating that patients experiencing a symptomatic improvement also experience a physiological improvement, as reflected by the biomarkers which indicate a decrease in cartilage degradation.