Nutraceuticals: Potential for chondroprotection and molecular targeting of osteoarthritis

Daniel J. Leong, Marwa Choudhury, David M. Hirsh, John A. Hardin, Neil J. Cobelli, Hui B. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Osteoarthritis(OA) is a degenerative joint disease and a leading cause of adult disability. There is no cure for OA, and no effective treatments which arrest or slow its progression. Current pharmacologic treatments such as analgesics may improve pain relief but do not alter OA disease progression. Prolonged consumption of these drugs can result in severe adverse effects. Given the nature of OA, life-long treatment will likely be required to arrest or slow its progression. Consequently, there is an urgent need for OA disease-modifying therapies which also improve symptoms and are safe for clinical use over long periods of time. Nutraceuticals-food or food products that provide medical or health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of a disease-offer not only favorable safety profiles, but may exert disease- and symptom-modification effects in OA. Forty-seven percent of OA patients use alternative medications, including nutraceuticals. This review will overview the efficacy and mechanism of action of commonly used nutraceuticals, discuss recent experimental and clinical data on the effects of select nutraceuticals, such as phytoflavonoids, polyphenols, and bioflavonoids on OA, and highlight their known molecular actions and limitations of their current use. We will conclude with a proposed novel nutraceutical-based molecular targeting strategy for chondroprotection and OA treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23063-23085
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 21 2013


  • Molecular targets
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Osteoarthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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