Cactus Botanics Limited

Chondroitin Sulfate

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Chondroitin sulfate belongs to a family of heteropolysaccharides called glycosaminoglycans or GAGs. Glycosaminoglycans were formerly known as mucopolysaccharides. GAGs in the form of proteoglycans comprise the ground substance in the extracellular matrix of connective tissue. Chondroitin sulfate is made up of linear repeating units containing D-galactosamine and D-glucuronic acid. Chondroitin sulfate is found in humans in cartilage, bone, cornea, skin and the arterial wall.

This type of chondroitin sulfate is sometimes referred to as chondroitin sulfate A or galactosaminoglucuronoglycan sulfate. The amino group of galactosamines in the basic unit of chondroitin sulfate A is acetylated, yielding N-acetyl-galactosamine; There is a sulfate group esterified to the 4-position in N-acetyl-galactosamine. (Chondroitin sulfate A is also sometimes called chondroitin 4-sulfate. ) The molecular weight of chondroitin sulfate ranges from 5, 000 to 50, 000 daltons and contains about 15 to 150 basic units of D-galactosamine and D-glucuronic acid.

The action of orally administered chondroitin sulfate has yet to be clarified. Possible actions include promotion and maintenance of the structure and function of cartilage (referred to as chondroprotection), pain relief of osteoarthritic joints and anti-inflammatory activity.