Chondroitin sulphate: a focus on osteoarthritis
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Chondroitin sulfate (CS) being a natural glycosaminoglycan is found in the cartilage and extracellular matrix. It shows clinical benefits in symptomatic osteoarthritis (OA) of the finger, knee, hip joints, low back, facial joints and other diseases due to its anti-inflammatory activity. It also helps in OA by providing resistance to compression, maintaining the structural integrity, homeostasis, slows breakdown and reduces pain in sore muscles. It is most often used in combination with glucosamine to treat OA. CS is a key role player in the regulation of cell development, cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation. Its commercial applications have been continuously explored in the engineering of biological tissues and its combination with other biopolymers to formulate scaffolds which promote and accelerate the regeneration of damaged structure. It is approved in the USA as a dietary supplement for OA, while it is used as a symptomatic slow-acting drug (SYSADOA) in Europe and some other countries. Any significant side effects or overdoses of CS have not been reported in clinical trials suggesting its long-term safety. This review highlights the potential of CS, either alone or in combination with other drugs, to attract the scientists engaged in OA treatment and management across the world.