Elastamine is PrimaForce’s joint-support formula which combines some well-established joint health ingredients such as Glucosamine and MSM.
Glucosamine is a member of the group known as ‘amino sugars’, and has been studied primarily in regards to joint health. Glucosamine is commonly found in two forms: glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. Glucosamine sulfate appears to be the most readily absorbed when consumed orally.
While originally thought to directly induce collagen synthesis, more recent research indicates that glucosamine may actually work by inhibiting Interleukin-1, a protein which regulates inflammatory response and ultimately breaks down collagen. By inhibiting IL-1, glucosamine may reduce inflammation and slow down the degradation of collagen, thereby preserving the joint and possibly reducing joint pain.
This was demonstrated in a recent 2013 study, as well as a 2009 study which noted lower levels of CX-II (a bio-marker of collagen breakdown) in athletes (bicyclists and soccer players) following glucosamine supplementation (most effective at 3 grams daily). While glucosamine appears to be atleast somewhat effective at preserving joints, there is no evidence to suggest that supplementation can reverse osteoarthritis (degradation of joints). However, preserving joints is still of much importance to athletes (particularly high impact sports) who may be in danger of developing osteoarthritis.
Overall, Glucosamine may certainly benefit those suffering from osteoarthritis (or perhaps less severe joint degradation), but the miracle claims made by some supplement companies are a bit exaggerated. Elastamine contains 2000mg of glucosamine, which is considerably more than what has been shown to be effective.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is similar in efficacy to glucosamine, but a significant synergistic effect has never been recorded. It is hypothesized that the real benefit of MSM lies in the fact that it contains sulfur, which is a component of collagen, and thus necessary for functional, healthy joints. According to this hypothesis, only people with sulfur deficiencies would derive benefit, and would be able to derive the same benefit from other sulfur containing compounds such as the amino acids methionine and cysteine.
However, this is just a hypothesis and an exact mechanism of action is not currently known. Overall, it appears MSM offers the same benefits as glucosamine in regards to joint health, but there is no evidence that the same benefit cannot be derived from glucosamine supplementation alone. We estimate Elastamine contains about 750mg(standard for the industry) of MSM(give or take 100mg) .
Chondroitin, a major component of cartilage, is generally seen along-side glucosamine in joint supplements based on the belief that the two work synergistically together to reduce inflammation and repair joints.
In vitro, chondroitin and glucosamine have been demonstrated to synergistically induce collagen synthesis. However, in vivo studies comparing and contrasting the effects of chondroitin relative to glucosamine fail to find such synergy between the two. In fact, most of the benefit obtained from supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin is thought to be from glucosamine as chondroitin has shown little promise when studied in isolation. We estimate Elastamine contains 750mg Chondroitin (give or take 100mg).
Bromelain, also known as Pineapple Extract, contains protein-digesting enzymes called proteases, which possess moderately potent anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, Bromelain has been investigated for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA), but with mixed results. A 2002 study, published in Phytomedicine, reported that Bromelain supplementation modestly improved symptoms in subjects with knee pain. However, it should be noted this study was un-blinded and not placebo controlled.
For that reason, the researchers concluded that double-blind, placebo controlled studies were needed before drawing accurate conclusions about Bromelain’s potential for joint health. A 2006 placebo controlled study investigating the effects of Bromelain supplementation on symptoms of osteoarthritis found no significant differences between a group of subjects receiving 800mg Bromelain daily and the placebo group.
A possible reason for the discrepancy (assuming first study was not flawed) might be that Bromelain is only effective for mild OA and not moderate to severe OA. As shown in several preliminary studies, the mechanism of action exists by which Bromelain could potentially reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis, but human studies are certainly not overwhelmingly in support of it.
Furthermore, we have no idea how much Bromelain is present in Elastamine because PrimaForce has concealed it in the proprietary blend along with MSM and Chondroitin. We estimate around 500mg at most.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Elastamine contains the usual blend of glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin, but with the addition of Bromelain. The research on Bromelain for osteoarthritis is somewhat conflicting, but overall there does certainly appear to be some potential. We estimate the 2000mg “PrimaJoint” blend is roughly 750mg MSM, 750mg Chondroitin, and 500mg Bromelain (based on standard industry recommendations). Considering the formula also contains an effective 2000mg dose of glucosamine, Elastamine is competitively priced (about 50 cents per serving), and may be moderately effective as a joint protectant.
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