As many Countries now face the issues of an ageing population, degenerative diseases such as Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis become increasingly prominent health issues. While Osteoporosis is due to loss of bone mass, Osteoarthritis results from the thinning of the joint cartilage. Both diseases are not exclusive and any individual suffering from either would experience reduced mobility and agility. Thus, joint pain and its associated diseases, in most cases, lead to a more sessile routine. Accompanied with the high stress and dietary habits of the modern working adult, individuals tend to become overweight in their lack of exercise. This triggers a cascade of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
One common preventive measure most people take to counter joint pain is the consumption of oral calcium and glucosamine. However, there is increasing concern about the safety and efficacy of these supplements. Moreover, the health supplement industry is largely unregulated in most advance economies Manufacturers are not required to list potential side-effects nor produce any form of clinical evidence to prove their effectiveness.
It has also been suggested, in recent articles, by Dr. Mark J Bolland that ”Calcium supplementation in healthy postmenopausal women is associated with upward trends in cardiovascular events” It has been suggested that high dosage of calcium supplement may cause blood concentration of calcium to spike, resulting in calcification and hardening of the arteries and plaque build-up that may lead to heart attack.
According to Dr. Rebecca D. Jackson who published an article on The new England journal of medicine in 2006, ”calcium with vitamin D supplementation resulted in a small but significant improvement in hip bone density, did not significantly reduce hip fracture, but increased the risk of kidney stones.” For effective bone formation, calcium supplementation needs to be released slowly into the body, so as to prevent excess calcium getting excreted in the urine, causing kidney stones. The natural food source of calcium is therefore recommended as the best form of supplementation.
Glucosamine has also recently come under fire by emerging studies due its apparent low absorption as echoed by Dr. Laverty S in his article saying “a large proportion of glucosamine taken orally is rapidly eliminated due to poor absorption in the gut, or if absorbed, it is metabolized by cells in the gut lining and liver and/or efficiently cleared by the kidney.” This explains the research finding of Professor Peter Juni (Bern University Hospital, Switzerland) published in the British Journal of Medicine in 2010. Professor Peter Juni’s report concluded that “Compared with placebo, glucosamine, chondroitin, and their combination do not reduce joint pain or have any impact on narrowing of joint space”
Another research published in the Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2005 journal conducted at the National Centre for Biotechnology Information , concluded that oral glucosamine and chondroitin have a low absorption rate in the gastric system. Glucosamine, being acidic compounds by nature, when swallowed in high concentrations, may also interact with the stomach lining and may cause gastric irritations.
While these research finding are still being further investigated, there is a need to provide a safer alternative route for the delivery of these two biologically valuable molecules to the body. This is especially relevant now as the cases of joint pain, affecting people in greater numbers and at younger age, are on the rise.
Urah Micellar transdermal breakthrough – an alternative solution
To provide an alternative and effective delivering method for glucosamine and calcium, Urah, a transdermal research group in Singapore has recently invented a new “micellar” transdermal delivery concept that is able to deliver optimal concentration of glucosamine and bio-calcium through the skin into the body without any side effects and at one’s convenience.
Through the use of its Micellar technology which is based on Urah patented technology in USA, Japan and Singapore , URAH is able to ensure genuine transdermal delivery through the skin into the blood. As a result, glucosamine and bio-calcium in the cream are absorbed completely into the body without leaving any residue on the skin, and without temporary hot or cooling placebo sensation.
Prior to the invention of the Micellar technology, transdermal drug delivery was a challenge. This is because the skin, being an excretory organ, is not designed to absorb molecules into the body. Most “transdermal” products therefore do not permeate fully through the skin and often stop at the epidermis layer. However, the breakthrough made by Urah allows a drug molecule to fully penetrate the skin into the blood stream within few minutes.
Clinically tested creams – a good alternative to oral supplements
Urah Micellar glucosamine product was clinically tested in 20 local clinics in Singapore in 2009. The test results which showed that the cream is able to deliver a high concentration of glucosamine directly to the body, resulted in significantly alleviating pain in arthritic joints when applied over four weeks. And none of the 44 patients experienced any the side effects of gastric disorders associated with oral consumption of glucosamine. The results were accepted and published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science in 2011.
Similarly, the technology allows the cream to deliver the optimal amount of bio-calcium slowly and steadily into the body along with vitamins, omega-3 and glucosamine, and avoids cardiovascular risks and kidney stones associated with oral calcium supplements.
Given the growing research in recent years suggesting the inefficacy and side effects of consuming these supplements orally, the transdermal mode of delivery by Urah is a good alternative in the management of Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis.
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