Rumour: There is a protein that can potentially treat osteoarthritis.

Truth: This is true.

Osteoarthritis is a condition affecting the joints of the body and is typically affiliated with older adults. Individuals that have osteoarthritis often report pain, deformity and disability. Osteoarthritis typically occurs because of an imbalance of formation and resorption of bone, that is, the bone degrades faster than it can repair itself. There is no cure for osteoarthritis and its treatments typically involve surgical replacements of the affected joint. A study has shown that NRF2 is a protein that can counteract bone formation and resorption that is responsible for causing osteoarthritis.

Published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, researchers reviewed the role of inflammation, oxidation, and NRF2 in protecting against osteoarthritis. NRF2 is a protein that is responsible for activating genes that reduce joint pain, protect cartilage from degradation, and prevents mitochondrial damage. Their study shows that mice with less NRF2 experience more severe osteoarthritis and mice with an excess of NRF2 prevent new cartilage formation. This suggests there needs to be a happy balance of NRF2, which can be accomplished using stem cell therapy in future research studies.   

To read more about this study, click the link here.

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