Super Bowl 57: NFL Players Suffer From Joint Injuries
By Robert Schinetsky
The Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Arena in the Phoenix area (Glendale, AZ) in Super Bowl 57 on Sunday, February 12th.
Injuries are dominating the media coverage heading into the Super Bowl. Last year the talk was Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who in his rookie year on November 22nd, 2022 tore his left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medical cruciate and needed major knee surgery and lengthy rehab. ACL injuries result in early-onset osteoarthritis, joint pain, functional limitations and decreased quality of life. It was reported in the journal Sports Health that one in four NFL players that have had knee surgery later go on to suffer knee osteoarthritis.
This year it is Kansas City Chief quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who suffered a severe ankle sprain in the Kansas City Chiefs AFC Divisional playoff win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. This type of injury usually takes four to six weeks to heal, but the following week Mahomes limped in obvious pain went on to win the AFC championship game against the Buffalo Bills.
During the playoffs, injuries also plagued the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game loss to the Eagles 49ers; quarterback Brock Purdy suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow and will need surgery and hopefully undergo repair and not need a reconstruction of his elbow.
Other Chiefs players battling injuries include three passing weapons and wide receivers: Kadarius Toney, who sprained his ankle, Juju Smith-Schuster had knee swelling and Mecole Hardman reinjured his pelvis. Also, Willie Gay injured his shoulder.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes was expected to practice fully ahead of the Super Bowl with the help of the Chiefs Assistant Athletic Trainer Julie Frymyer. She has led Mahomes’ rehab from his ankle injury and is getting him ready for the Big Game on Sunday!
When you consider the size and speed of these athletes, it is no surprise that football has the highest rate of injury than any sport today. The most common being knee joint injuries.
Joint pain affects millions of individuals each and every day. One of the most common causes of joint pain is osteoarthritis – a disease of the joints and one of the leading causes of disability.†
Osteoarthritis is caused by a loss of cartilage. When the joint loses cartilage, the bone grows to try to repair the damage, but this bone growth can worsen the situation, making the joint painful and unstable, which can affect physical function and/or the ability to use the joint. This leads to pain and decreased joint mobility, most commonly in the knees, hips, hands and spine.†
Researchers estimate that by 2040, about 78 million (26%) U.S. adults 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.1†
To make matters worse, many individuals don’t place a premium on joint health until it’s too late (e.g., they hurt themselves in the gym or they start experiencing age-related joint complications). The simple truth of the matter is that joint health is something with which we all need to be concerned, from the young to the old.
Without healthy, supple joints everything becomes more laborious, exhausting and painful; even mundane activities like walking the dog or picking up the paper become a painstaking chore with poor joints.
Given the importance healthy joints play across the life span, Advanced Molecular Labs (AML) set out to create the most comprehensive joint support formula (backed by science) in AML Joint Cocktail™.†
What’s in AML Joint Cocktail™?
Collagen is the primary structural protein of the body. It’s literally the stuff that holds you together and gives you structure.
No doubt you’ve seen a litany of collagen products on the market, and they’re usually used as part of a hair, skin and nails supplement, including AML Hair Skin & Nails™ Cocktail.
But, collagen also plays a role in the health of your joints.
Unfortunately, the body’s endogenous production of collagen dwindles with age, which is part of the reason skin starts to sag/wrinkle, hair grows slower (and thins), recovery is slower, etc.
Hydrolyzed collagen has been demonstrated to be an effective means for supporting collagen production in the body.
More specifically, when collagen peptides are consumed, they are readily absorbed, accumulate in cartilage tissue, and stimulate production of type II collagen (the major protein in articular cartilage) and proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix of cartilage.2,3,4
Additional studies have demonstrated that consuming between 7-10 g of collagen hydrolysate per day for 3 months may lead to improvements in measurements of joint health or function and improvements in leg strength.5,6,7
10 grams of collagen supplementation per day has also been found to increase collagen within the knee, too!32
Moreover, a 24-week study in healthy, young athletes given 10 grams of hydrolyzed collagen per day (the same dose in AML Joint Cocktail™) showed improvements of joint health.8 Researchers concluded the study by noting that collagen may “possibly reduce the risk of joint deterioration in a high-risk group.”8
As we’re all aware, athletes (both young and old) put tremendous stress on their bodies, including their joints. Collagen supplementation may help support strong healthy joints and reduce the risk of activity-related pain and degradation.
Added Vitamin C!
Vitamin C is a well-known vitamin, highly regarded for its potent antioxidant capabilities.
It just so happens that this essential vitamin also plays a role in collagen synthesis.
Specifically, studies show that ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and the amino acid proline (one of the most abundant amino acids in hydrolyzed collagen) can increase collagen production and engineered ligament mechanics.32,33
Preclinical studies have also found that vitamin C has the potential to accelerate bone healing after a fracture, increase type I collagen synthesis, and reduce oxidative stress parameters.34
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are, quite simply, the two compounds most closely associated with joint health. In fact, if you’ve ever used (or considered using) a joint supplement before, it almost certainly contained both of these ingredients.
So, what exactly are glucosamine and chondroitin?
Glucosamine is an amino sugar found naturally in the cartilage and fluid around the joints, and supplementation with glucosamine has been shown to improve joint health, particularly in regards to joint function, and other related clinical outcomes.9,10,11 Researchers posit that glucosamine supports joint health by way of its anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects on articular cartilage and bone.12
Additionally, epidemiological studies note lower risk of incident type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mortality rates in individuals who were supplementing with glucosamine.13,14†
In fact, one cohort study involving over 77,000 people who averaged 10 years of glucosamine use were found to have five-year mortality rates that were significantly lower than non-glucosamine users.15
To top it off, recent research has even found that glucosamine supplementation may benefit gut health.16
You may be surprised to learn that most of ingested glucosamine is metabolized by members of the intestinal microbiota before it is absorbed into the bloodstream, and researchers believe its properties of glucosamine that the ingredient can promote gut health.
Similar to glucosamine, chondroitin is a naturally occurring substance in joints that is formed from sugar chains. It belongs to a family of heteropolysaccharides called glycosaminoglycans, or GAGs, which serve as important components of the extracellular matrix of connective tissue, and it helps the body maintain fluid and flexibility in the joints.
Chondroitin also aids:17,18
-resistance and elasticity to articular cartilage
-inhibiting the synthesis of inflammatory mediators (including cyclooxygenase-2 and metalloproteinases) and catabolic enzymes
-stimulating the synthesis of cartilage matrix components
-reducing chondrocyte apoptosis
A 2015 Cochrane review of the literature pertaining to chondroitin supplementation in regards to joint pain found that it:19
- may improve pain slightly in the short term (< 6 months)†
- may improve knee pain by 20%†
-improves quality of life as measured by the Lequesne index (combined measure of pain, function, and disability);
-slightly slows down the narrowing of joint space (assessed via x-ray) of the affected joint.
Glucosamine + Chondroitin > Either Alone
Not only are glucosamine and chondroitin immensely popular in their own right, the combination of the two ingredients is frequently used in dietary supplements and it has been widely researched.19
One study from 2015 showed that combining 1,500 mg of glucosamine hydrochloride with 1,200 mg of chondroitin sulfate helped enhance knee health, stiffness, and swelling compared with 200 mg of celecoxib, an NSAID typically used for osteoarthritis pain.20†
Another study from the same year found that the combo of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements were effective for joint health and function.21
A new study published in Advances in Rheumatology found that the combination of Glucosamine Sulfate (1500mg/day) + Chondroitin Sulfate (1200mg/day) – the same doses used in AML Joint Cocktail™ – improved symptoms of knee health more effectively than placebo.22†
Beyond joint health support, the combination of glucosamine + chondroitin has been found to lower inflammatory biomarkers, including C-Reactive Protein (CRP).23†
One last thing to mention is that AML Joint Cocktail™ opts for the more bioavailable form of glucosamine in glucosamine sulfate over glucosamine hydrochloride.24,25†
As an added bonus, the sulfate component of glucosamine sulfate is noted to increase sulfate concentrations in the body, which may help counter deficiencies in inorganic sulfur, caused by a low level of dietary proteins. FYI, sulfate is essential for the synthesis of proteoglycans that are important for chondrocyte metabolism
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is another popular joint health supplement, and one that is becoming increasingly more commonplace alongside glucosamine and chondroitin.
MSM is a naturally occurring organosulfur molecule as well as a methyl donor. It is the first oxidized metabolite of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO).
DMSO, itself, has been extensively studied for its unique biological properties including its antioxidant capabilities.
A 2017 review of MSM supplementation noted that several improvements in health-related measures, including oxidative stress and physical function.26,27,28,29
Moreover, MSM is a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) approved substance, is well tolerated by most individuals at dosages of up to 4 grams daily, and possesses few known and mild side effects.
In addition to being studied on its own for joint health support and pain relief, MSM has also been studied in combination with glucosamine and chondroitin.30
A 2017 study compared MSM + Glucosamine + Chondroitin to placebo as well as a combination of Glucosamine + Chondroitin and found greater benefits from the trio of ingredient for joint health and function.30
TurmiPure Gold® Turmeric
Turmeric is a spice well known for its brilliant yellow color and palate-tantalizing properties, particularly in Indian cuisine.
The spice is loaded with bioactive compounds, curcumin in particular, which has received a great deal of attention in recent years for its potent anti-inflammatory properties.
The issue with turmeric, curcumin especially, is poor bioavailability.
This has led to various turmeric and curcumin preparations being developed, which package the spice alongside black pepper extracts (such as BioPerine®) to enhance bioavailability and as a result effectiveness.
TurmiPure Gold® is an enhanced turmeric extract formulation, which offers very high assimilation compared to commercially available turmeric preparations standardized to 95% curcuminoids.35
Each 300 mg dose TurmiPure Gold® (the same dose used in AML Joint Cocktail™) contains 90 mg of curcuminoids (including 69 mg of curcumin) formulated in a patent-pending, water-dispersible colloidal suspension.
This hydro-dispersible formulation allows curcuminoids to penetrate much more easily into the bloodstream and cells.35
Pharmacokinetic (PK) data shows that you would need either 1922 mg of a standard turmeric extract (95% curcuminoids), or 2264 mg of a turmeric extract (95% curcuminoids-piperine combination) to equal the bioavailability or bioactivity found with 300mg of TurmiPure Gold®.36
Now, as for the reason that turmeric is used in joint formulas, it possesses impressive joint health and function properties.37,38,39
Turmeric contains bioactive compounds in curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin and turmeric essential oils, which are known to modify NF-κB signaling, proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin production and phospholipase A2, COX-2, and 5-LOX activities
Turmeric and its components have also been reported to exert many beneficial health effects.37
Furthermore, a 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials supports the use of turmeric and curcumin.39
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is found prevalently in both synovial fluid and articular cartilage. Classified as a “humectant,” HA is a substance that retains moisture, especially in the skin and joints.
Studies using a range of doses between 80-200 mg have found that hyaluronic acid may significantly improve and enhance joint health and function.40,41,42
Hyaluronic acid has also been studied in combination with glucosamine and chondroitin and found to be effective for enhanced knee health and physical function.43,44,45
Boswellia serrata is a plant native to India that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine.
Boswellic acid is the active ingredient in Boswellia serrata, and 3-O-Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) is the one boswellic acid with strong pharmacological activity.
For instance, AKBA has been shown to have a powerful inhibitory effect on 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX).46,47
AML Joint Cocktail™ contains the research-supported dose of 100 mg of ApresFlex – a premium-grade boswellia serrata extract containing 20% AKBA from PLT Health Solutions.
Clinical studies using ApresFlex have shown a 20% reduction in pain scores at 5 days.48†
Regarding safety, studies indicate that Boswellia serrata extracts do not have toxic side effects, even at higher doses.
Also Works Well With MSM!
Boswellia serrata extract has also been studied in combination with another very popular joint health supplement – MSM.
A 2016 compared the combo of boswellia serrata + MSM to glucosamine sulfate.53
Researchers noted that the combo of MSM + boswellia was comparable to glucosamine in terms of joint health and function and recovery.
Ginger Root Extract
Similar to its botanical cousin (turmeric), ginger is another common cooking spice, especially in Asian cuisine. In fact, both turmeric and ginger (Zingiber officinale) belong to the Zingiberaceae and have a long history of use for joint health. Ginger, in particular, is rich in bioactives, including gingerols, shogaols, zingerone, and paradol, and has been found to exert anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting:49
-COX-1 and COX-2
-nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB)
Ginger supplementation has been found to improve joint health.50
A 2015 review by Wilson et al also noted that ginger may reduce pain from eccentric resistance exercise and prolonged running.51
As you’re likely aware, NSAIDs are commonly used to treat both muscle pain from athletic activity as well as joint pain. However, chronic use of NSAIDs is known to bring with it unwanted side effects (including GI pain, GI hemorrhaging, nephropathy, hepatitis, and anaphylactic reactions).51
Ginger provides a more natural option for pain relief that doesn’t present with the same severity of side effects compared to NSAIDs.
One key difference you may have noticed between turmeric and ginger is that turmeric (and curcumin) do not modulate COX-1 activity.
For these reasons, stacking the two ingredients together (as we’ve done in AML Joint Cocktail™) can provide complementary activities.
In fact, research shows that the combination of turmeric + ginger + black pepper may improve the prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels in patients with chronic knee injuries.52
UC-II contains a patented form of undenatured type II collagen derived from chicken sternum.
Studies to date have shown that undenatured type II collagen improves symptoms of joint health.54,55,56,57
Other research indicates that UC-II supplementation may improve knee joint extension as well as potentially increase the period of pain free strenuous exertion and alleviate the joint pain that occasionally arises from such activities.60
Interestingly, supplementation with UC-II collagen (40mg/day) was found in a study to reduce visual analog scores of pain by 40% after 90 days as compared to 15.4% in those receiving glucosamine + chondroitin.59
UC-II supplementation at 40mg/day also reduced Lequesne’s functional index score by 20% as compared to 6% in the glucosamine + chondroitin group at the end of 90-day study.59
A more recent 2016 study found that 40mg of UC-II supplementation improved knee joint symptoms in knee osteoarthritis subjects compared to placebo as well as glucosamine + chondroitin and was well-tolerated.61
AML Joint Cocktail™ contains the full research-backed 40 mg dose of UC-II in every serving!
The final ingredient in AML Joint Cocktail@ is none other than the “sunshine vitamin” – vitamin D.
While typically thought of more frequently in regards to bone health or immune function, vitamin D also plays a role in joint health.
As you likely are aware, deficiencies in this essential vitamin (and hormone precursor) are linked to increased sickness, lower testosterone levels, muscle weakness, soft/brittle bones and a variety of other unwanted outcomes.
As it turns out, deficiencies in vitamin D are also associated with greater joint pain, increased progression of radiographic osteoarthritis and poor quadriceps function.62,63
Studies have found that higher vitamin D intake is associated with a significantly better architecture of the cartilage of the knee.64
Vitamin D supplementation has also been reported to decrease pain and improve knee function.65
AML Joint Cocktail™ supplies 2,000IU Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol) to support joint health, bone health, hormone production and immune function.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to start taking care of your joints.
Start taking care of them today by staying active, eating well, and using proper form when lifting.
For added joint health support, check out AML Joint Cocktail™, which contains an extensive combination of joint support supplements backed by human research.†
A serving of AML Joint Cocktail™ supplies 17 grams of ingredients. Most joint formulas on the market supply (at most) 3-4 grams of active ingredients.
To put this into perspective, if AML Joint Cocktail™ was in capsule form, you would have to take over 20 tablets or capsules to get the same clinically effective dosages found in one serving of our powdered joint supplement!†
Besides allowing for a more robustly formulated product, making AML Joint Cocktail™ into a powder allows it to be mixed with water for ease of digestion as well as efficient absorption and assimilation. Many individuals have difficulty swallowing capsules, and there is a lag in digestion and absorption of ingredients in capsules on account of the body having to digest the capsule itself first before it can begin to utilize the active ingredients contained within it.
Taking everything together (clinically effective dosages, synergism, multi-tiered approach to joint health, etc.), AML Joint Cocktail™ can be considered the most powerful, comprehensive and research-backed joint support product ever developed!†
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
†These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
© Published by Advanced Research Media, Inc., 2023
© Reprinted with permission from Advanced Research Media, Inc.
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- Eugene J. Kucharz, Volodymyr Kovalenko, Sándor Szántó, Olivier Bruyère, Cyrus Cooper & Jean-Yves Reginster (2016) A review of glucosamine for knee osteoarthritis: why patented crystalline glucosamine sulfate should be differentiated from other glucosamines to maximize clinical outcomes, Current Medical Research and Opinion, 32:6, 997-1004, DOI: 10.1185/03007995.2016.1154521
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- Calderón-Pérez L, Llauradó E, Companys J, et al. Acute Effects of Turmeric Extracts on Knee Joint Pain: A Pilot, Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Food. 2021;24(4):436-440. doi:10.1089/jmf.2020.0074
- Henrotin Y, Malaise M, Wittoek R, de Vlam K, Brasseur JP, Luyten FP, Jiangang Q, Van den Berghe M, Uhoda R, Bentin J, De Vroey T, Erpicum L, Donneau AF, Dierckxsens Y. Bio-optimized Curcuma longa extract is efficient on knee osteoarthritis pain: a double-blind multicenter randomized placebo controlled three-arm study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2019 Jul 27;21(1):179. doi: 10.1186/s13075-019-1960-5. PMID: 31351488; PMCID: PMC6661105.
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