Anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective effects of nutraceuticals from Sasha's Blend in a cartilage explant model of inflammation



New Zealand green lipped mussel (NZGLM), abalone (AB), and shark cartilage (SC) are extensively used for treatment of and/or as preventatives for arthritis, despite a relative paucity of scientific evidence for efficacy. This research integrated a simulated digestion protocol with ultrafiltration and cartilage explants to generate new information on the anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective properties of NZGLM, SC, and AB. Each nutraceutical was artificially digested using simulated gastric and intestinal fluids, and the crude digest was ultrafiltered (50 kDa). Each filtrate was applied individually to cartilage explants before the explants were stimulated with IL-1 to induce an acute inflammatory response. Media were collected daily for 48 h and analyzed for prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), glycosaminoglycan (GAG), and nitric oxide (NO), and cartilage tissue was differentially stained to determine the relative proportion of live and dead cells. SC and NZGLM significantly inhibited IL-1-induced PGE2 synthesis and IL-1-induced GAG release, and AB was an effective inhibitor of IL-1-induced NO production. The three test nutraceuticals affect at least three major pathways involved in the catabolic cycle of arthritis and may prove important treatments and/or preventatives for the pain and degradation associated with this condition. The methodology and results describe a useful model for evaluating dietary nutraceuticals in vitro.