Brown algae has the potential to cure Osteoarthritis



Osteoarthritis (OA), is a most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. This condition has been considered incurable, and treatments only warning. However, the new research points to a substance extracted from brown algae as holding the potential to cure osteoarthritis. OA affects people later in life, and its symptoms are stiff, swollen, and painful joints, also increases the difficulty in moving.

Also, osteoarthritis damages any joint in the human body. The disorder mostly affects joints in hands, knees, hips and spine. There is no cure for OA. Treatments only target the management of symptoms. Management strategies usually worried weight gain, physical therapy, and prescription and over-the-counter painkillers. Sometimes, surgery required to replace over-damaged joints.

At the moment, researchers from the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Switzerland, suggests that brown algae can cure Osteoarthritis. An in vitro experiment revealed that polysaccharide alginate derivatives removed from the stems of brown algae called Laminaria hyperborea, also known as “tangle” or “cuvie,” might stop joint cartilage deterioration. These derivatives like those of extracellular cartilage molecules.

polysaccharide alginate derivatives

The team experimented with sulfated alginate derivatives to see how they would act on relevant cell cultures. They noticed, alginate sulfate has antioxidant properties, which leads to cell death. Alginate sulfate exhibits immune-modulatory properties, to regulate inflammatory triggers at cell level.

Alginate sulfate decreases the expression of genes that promote inflammatory reactions in chondrocytes, which are cartilaginous cells, also in macrophages, which are immune system cells that “eat” cellular debris and foreign bodies.

Researchers said, these antioxidants and immune-modulatory properties suggest that sulfated alginate derivatives can stall the deterioration of joint cartilage.

Regular therapies for treating Osteoarthritis based on the non-targeted administration of general anti-inflammatory molecules, steroids, and hyaluronic acid, which can limit the pain, but do not affect the disease outcome.

The development of a clinical solution targeting the disease itself, rather than its symptoms, would greatly improve the quality of life and allow people diagnosed with this condition to avoid complications that might lead to disability and joint replacement surgery.

A potential alginate treatment would be a simple and important impact on the evolution of the disease. The experimental evidence shows that sulfated alginate has the potential to modify the outcome of OA.

Researchers said, even if all the experiments are successful, it will still a matter of years until sulfated alginate derivatives will be available to treat people diagnosed with OA.

More information: [Biomaterials Science]