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Moving Forward: Ingredients for Healthy Mobility

Once Again Nut Butter
Bone, Muscle & Joint Health Bone, Muscle & Joint Health

Nobody has time to or the desire to sit around, but aging factors can keep good folks down. Here’s how to formulate to keep America moving forward.

Non-GMO Project

Knees, back, shoulders, muscles all can hurt seemingly at their own whim. The makers of Tylenol, Advil and Aleve depend on it, which is why their marketing all feature middle-age and older folks who work on a construction job, garden, jog, play tennis, etc.

These are certainly helpful—after the fact when the pain is noticed and the mobility thusly declines. But what about before? Well, that’s where your supplements come in.

Factors That Impede Mobility

Lifestyle during the younger adult (“invincible and immortal”) years helps create loss of mobility. For example, explained Andrew Downey, marketing manager, Xsto Solutions of New Jersey and Georgia, “If we avoid excess weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle we can remain active and mobile.”

The general factors that impede mobility as men and women age is the loss of bone mass and lean muscle mass, he explained. Fluid and cartilage in the joints decrease thus making joints stiff and less flexible. Structural degradation of the joints often causes inflammation and pain, and can progress to arthritis, and in some cases, deformity. “All the mechanical degradation leads to discomfort and the cycle of immobility remains in place,” he asserted. “If we can maintain or start some program of activity as early as possible, we then have a foundation to build on or return to if we stray into unhealthy habits.”

Samantha Ford, new business development director of California-based AIDP, elaborated that the protective membranes and fluids in the joints begin to thin out. If ignored, these changes cause the bones to uncomfortably rub against each other because there is no cushioning. Stiffness (a degree of temporary immobility) may start to occur in the morning, and aches in some joints that were never bothersome before will begin to happen with increasing frequency, she pointed out. Joints may become swollen and warm to the touch, a sign of out-of-control inflammation in that area. And although these problems are common in older people, they are usually considered to be minor annoyances—but in some cases, joint aches and deformities can make it very hard to function. “All of these factors can create a bit of a vicious cycle—as we become more uncomfortable, we become more sedentary and the issue gets worse,” she described.

When it comes to muscles, stated Ford, “if you don’t use it, you lose it. Maintaining a healthy weight and regular physical activity is important in maintaining muscle strength. “Otherwise, before you know it, simple functions such as getting up out of a chair may become a challenge,” she commented.

According to David O’Leary, commercial manager at Marigot Ltd., the Cork, Ireland-based maker of Aquamin, reduced mobility is an eventuality that all adults can expect to encounter at some stage of their lives. “With reduced hormone activity (for males and females) the body will compensate by removing essential minerals from bones, and if left untreated can lead to osteopenia and or osteoporosis,” he explained.

Separate But Together

Today’s middle-agers are all about prevention, quality and convenience. They will take, well, whatever it takes, to prevent loss of mobility. It may make sense to formulate a separate product for bone, joints and muscle, as they each have structural components that differentiate from one another and hence, degrade in different ways. But, today’s consumers are nothing if not all about “packages and plans.” So, a unified program may be a successful approach. “Consumers want convenience and ease, combined with the security of knowing a product works and is safe,” stated Ford.


Although men certainly develop porous bones as they become elderly, women tend to experience loss of bone mass and strength. Women achieve peak bone mass by age 35 after which bone mass slowly declines, and more sharply during and after menopause. A shift in bone remodeling is the culprit—when osteoclasts outnumber and outperform osteoblasts (bone breakdown molecules and bone-building molecules, respectively).

Essentially, minerals and vitamin K2 are the key bone-benevolent supplements. Said Downey, “Vitamin K2 offers a significant benefit to supporting healthy bones. Adding sufficient levels of K2 through supplementation or diet directs minerals to proper disposition, strengthens bones and reduces cardiovascular harm from excessive calcium. Vitamin D3 mobilizes calcium and phosphorus into the blood, but without K2, we may not make the mineral deposit into the bone.”

As an all-natural, rich source of calcium, magnesium and trace minerals for bone health, Aquamin, said O’Leary, has shown higher mineral bioavailability and bioactivity over other widely used calcium forms such as carbonates and phosphates. Aquamin, with more than 70 minerals, he noted, is synergistic with bone-health compounds vitamins D and K2.

AIDP’s KoAct, a patented, self-affirmed GRAS (generally recognized as safe) combination of collagen and calcium, is clinically shown to improve bone mineral density, bone strength and flexibility, according to Ford. Bone mass is made up of 75 percent calcium and inorganic minerals and 25 percent collagen; the collagen component is critical to bone structure and function because it helps keep bones flexible and absorb impact, especially during physical activity.

“KoAct’s patented composition drives collagen to the bone matrix, providing a stronger more flexible bone,” she explained. KoAct’s collagen formula delivers more than bone mineral density. It provides a strong, flexible and fibrous protein network that supports bone structure and helps bone withstand daily impact. KoAct is ideal for women who pursue active lifestyles or those concerned with bone health.”

She reported that a randomized controlled trial of post-menopausal women demonstrated that KoACT was “far superior” to calcium and vitamin D in slowing down the leaching of calcium from bones, and led to significant improvements in markers of bone synthesis.


As with anything that is used frequently, joint structure can wear away, and this is compounded by the body’s age-related slowed production of collagen and synovial fluid and heightened inflammatory response. While these factors do not necessarily develop into full-blown arthritis, they do disrupt quality of life by lessening range of motion due to discomfort. There is a wide range of ingredients that have been researched to show benefit for joints.

Nitrosigine from New York-based Nutrition 21 is a patented complex of bonded arginine silicate with FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) notification status; GRAS affirmed at the level of 1,500 mg per day for use in nutritional bars and beverages, according to James Komorowski, MS, CNS, chief science officer. A preclinical study evaluated the potential of Nitrosigine to reduce inflammatory markers and promote joint health, he reported. The study recorded arthritis score, inflammation score, inflammatory markers and serum and joint arginine and silicon levels upon administration of Nitrosigine in rats with collagen-induced arthritis.

“Over the course of the duration of the study (30 days), Nitrosigine supplementation exemplified its ability to significantly improve markers of inflammation and overall arthritis and inflammation score over the arthritic control group,” Komorowski explained. “These results demonstrated that Nitrosigine may be effective in reducing inflammation related to joint health. Nitrosigine may also be of physiological benefit to athletes and fitness enthusiasts concerned with joint health and inflammation and to those experiencing joint pain due to inflammation.”

ParActin (Andrographis paniculata), from Florida-based HP Ingredients is standardized to Andrographolide, 14-deoxyandrographolide, and Neoandrographolide. (U.S. Patent No: 8,084,495 B2) Preliminary research has shown ParActin to promote healthy inflammatory response by naturally invigorating the PPAR gamma response, inhibiting NF-kappaB, the key regulator of our inflammatory response system, thereby naturally reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and proteins associated with pain and redness from everyday activities.

In a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study, 60 patients with rheumatoid arthritis were given 100 mg of ParActin or placebo three times a day for 14 weeks. ParActin was effective in reducing number of swollen joints, total grade of swollen joint and tender joints. ParActin helped normalize rheumatoid factor, creatinkinase, hemoglobin, immunoglobin IgA and IgM. The reduction in IgA and IgM is beneficial, as there is positive correlation between the grade of cartilage damage. In another clinical, eight patients with various rheumatoid conditions were given 300 mg of ParActin daily for 3.5 years. Supplementing with ParActin showed significant improvement in number of swollen joints, total grade of swollen joint, total grade of tender joints and improvement in quality of life.

Aquamin has, said O’Leary, “outperformed the widely used joint health ingredient glucosamine by being better and faster acting at reducing pain, stiffness and improving range of motion activities while also improving walking distance.” He added that research has shown that Aquamin has inflammation control activity, and human studies showed that participants were able to reduce intake of NSAIDS when taking Aquamin. “Our research shows that it is possible to reduce intake of NSAIDS by up to 50 percent while maintaining range of motion activity and walking distance. Long term NSAID medication intake is known to have negative impact on stomach and digestive function,” he said. AIDP’s KollaGen II-xs is a specialized collagen type II for joint health, addressing range of motion, flexibility and overall joint comfort, according to Ford. KollaGen II-xs is produced from avian sternum through a proprietary, solvent-free technology that she said preserves the integrity of key joint health nutrients. “KollaGen II-xs provides all of the major components of joint cartilage—55 to 70 percent collagen Type II along with chondroitin, glucosamine and hyaluronic acid – in a ratio similar to what’s naturally present in our bodies, providing a synergistic effect on joint health and function,” she explained. Ford noted that a 30-day randomized, controlled trial demonstrated the safety and efficacy of KollaGen II-xs in reducing joint discomfort as well as improving range of motion and muscle strength. Muscle Muscle and tendon/ligament health is equally as important to healthy mobility for an active lifestyle as are strong bones and joints that can work, allow movement, without discomfort. Research has shown that starting at age 30, muscle mass begins to decline by 1 percent each year, according to Komorowski. “A published study found maximum physical muscle capacity occurs between the ages of 20 and 30, with accelerated muscle mass loss occurring after the age of 40,” he pointed out.

Cuvitus from Xsto Solutions is a whole-fruit cucumber extract with research supporting reduction in biomarkers related to delayed on-set muscle soreness, according to Downey. “TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-alpha), the most relevant cytokine in the human metabolic system, was induced in an ex-vivo model. The addition of Cuvitus was shown to clearly reduce TNF-α. Active lifestyle, workouts and exercise, especially as we age, can lead to temporary muscle and joint pain. Cuvitus supports natural recovery by supporting reductions of TNF-α and other damaging cytokines,” he explained.

AIDP’s TendoGuard is a proprietary and patented dietary supplement that Ford said provides a blend of 100 percent avian eggshell membrane and sternum cartilage to support healthy mechanical properties of connective tissue. TendoGuard contains a balance of collagen types I, II, V and X, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate and mucopolysaccarides, “nutrients critical to collagen synthesis and flexible, lubricated joints and connective tissues. TendoGuard contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds to support tendon recovery and to maintain healthy and strong mechanical properties of tendon, bone and joint functions,” she described.

In a recent randomized, controlled trial, said Ford, TendoGuard supplementation led to improvements in range of motion, general discomfort and muscle strength in middle-aged and older adults.

Protein is critical for muscle structure and function—just ask any athlete. However, proteins are not solely just for athletes, it is critical for the middle aged and elderly to ensure they consume enough along with exercise. And there are some innovations in making proteins work even more effectively.

According to Komorowski, Nutrition 21’s Velositol increases muscle protein synthesis (MPS), a key to muscle growth. “Focusing on ways to increase MPS can help maintain lean muscle mass—which is important to think about as we age,” he said. “The unique dietary complex of amylopectin and chromium in our patented ingredient addresses this by doubling the MPS compared to what was seen when using whey protein alone.”

A clinical study showed that the ingestion of a single dose of Velositol mixed with a 6 g dose of whey protein doubled the increase in muscle protein synthesis versus whey protein alone. Protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis, which improves the body’s ability to build lean muscle and repair muscle damage due to exercise, a valid and attractive attribute for adults who want to enjoy an active lifestyle. “Velositol was also formulated to enhance the insulinogenic response, which increases amino uptake and provides fuel for working muscles,” Komorowski explained. “When added to protein, Velositol rapidly stimulates insulin release and increases the muscle cell’s sensitivity to the insulin. This helps to safely increase insulin levels and enhance the body’s amino acid uptake, stimulating and boosting MPS.”

People are living longer and they want to live better. The idea of being confined to wheelchairs or walkers while life passes by is very scary to many active and reasonably healthy modern middle-aged adults. Formulating supplement packages to support healthy mobility can be a much-appreciated tool to help millions move forward in more ways than one. NIE

For More Information:

• AIDP, www.aidp.com
• HP Ingredients, www.hpingredients.com
• Marigot Ltd., www.aquamin.com
• Nutrition 21, www.nitrosigine.com; www.velosital.com
• Xsto Solutions, www.xstosolutions.com

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