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Exp Ther Med. 2017 Jul;14(1):115-126. doi: 10.3892/etm.2017.4454. Epub 2017 May 11.

Evaluation of the effect of salmon nasal proteoglycan on biomarkers for cartilage metabolism in individuals with knee joint discomfort: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study.

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Tana Orthopedic Surgery, Yokohama, Kanagawa 227-0064, Japan.
Research and Development Department, Ichimaru Pharcos Co., Ltd., Gifu 501-0475, Japan.
Nihonbashi Sakura Clinic, Tokyo 103-0025, Japan.
Department of Host Defense and Biochemical Research, Graduate School of Medicine, Juntendo University, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan.


A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the chondroprotective action of salmon nasal cartilage proteoglycan on joint health. The effect of oral administration of proteoglycan (10 mg/day) on cartilage metabolism was evaluated in individuals with knee joint discomfort but without diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis. The average age of patients was 52.6±1.1 years old. The effect of proteoglycan was evaluated by analyzing markers for type II collagen degradation (C1,2C) and synthesis (PIICP), and the ratio of type II collagen degradation to synthesis. The results indicated that the change in C1,2C levels significantly differed in the proteoglycan group compared with the placebo group following 16 weeks intervention among subjects with high levels of knee pain and physical dysfunction (total score of Japan Knee Osteoarthritis Measure ≥41) and subjects with constant knee pain (both P<0.05). There was a greater increase in PIICP levels in the proteoglycan group than the placebo group following intervention, although this difference was not significant in both sets of patients. Thus, the C1,2C/PIICP ratios decreased in the proteoglycan group, whereas they slightly increased in the placebo group following the intervention. Furthermore, no test supplement-related adverse events were observed during the intervention. Therefore, oral administration of salmon nasal cartilage proteoglycan at a dose of 10 mg/day may exert a chondroprotective action in subjects with knee joint discomfort. This effect was achieved by improving cartilage metabolism (reducing type II collagen degradation and enhancing type II collagen synthesis), without causing apparent adverse effects.


biomarker; cartilage metabolism; joint health; proteoglycan; salmon

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