A new paradigm in bone and joint health

Bone morphogenetic proteins, pioneered in orthopedic surgery, prove effective when delivered in oral form, too.

By Richard Garian, DC

Take high-quality calcium, add just the right ratio of magnesium, vitamin D3, vitamin K, and a sprinkling of trace minerals and you have the modern-day recipe for bone health.

For joints, we have glucosamine, chondroitin, methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM), minerals, and vitamins — either combined or alone — in hydrochloride form or sulfate. New research is indicating that a unique bio-active protein complex for joints and bones is needed to make those nutrients work.

At the DNA level, this unique stem- cell activating protein complex, Cyplexinol (bone morphogenetic protein), activates mesenchymal stem cells found in the periosteum of the bone and synovial fluid to grow bone and cartilage tissue. This novel protein complex has been used for 20 years by orthopedic surgeons in millions of patients requiring fusions for bone and cartilage growth.

Welcome to osteobiologics: the new age of natural bone and joint health.

What makes this protein complex so unique and powerful is the natural array of growth factors and stem-cell activating proteins known as bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). BMPs were first discovered by Marshall Urist, MD, the head of orthopedic research at UCLA. He found that a natural protein complex containing BMPs activated mesenchymal stem cells and morphed them into bone- and cartilage-building cells, called osteoblasts and chondrocytes, respectively.

Garian11-2012Urist published his findings in the prestigious Journal of Science in 1965. Since then, cellular and molecular biologists have learned that BMPs are a family of proteins, with 22 different forms existing in the body. BMPs two through 10 are concentrated in the bone.

In the late 1980s, a company was formed to perform the natural extraction of these proteins for commercial use in surgical fusion. That team included Nelson Scarborough, PhD, a published expert in the field of osteo-biologics, and John Morris. Together, they pioneered the development of most of the surgical applications of BMPs that are still in use today. They also helped develop an oral form of the protein complex to treat bone and joint conditions including osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Today, the protein complex containing BMPs is produced under the name Cyplexinol, which is incorporated into a number of natural oral supple- ments for bone and joint health.

This is one of a few products that bridge traditional and natural medicine, bringing 40 years of research and 20 years of clinical experience to the natural medicine market. I have used this protein complex in my practice for the past three years, while working with the manufacturer conducting clinical studies, and I have seen the products perform well. I treated one woman with bilateral osteoarthritis and avascular necrosis (AVN) of the left hip as seen on an MRI. A year later, a second MRI confirmed a healed AVN and arthritis was limited to one side only.

But how is it possible that a biologically active protein complex that worked when surgically implanted could also have clinical impact when taken orally? Dr. Louis Freedman, associate professor of life sciences at Palmer College of Chiropractic explains:

The proteins within the complex have a unique amino acid sequence that is high in lysine. This amino acid resists acid breakdown, like that in the gut. Additionally, the three-dimensional conformation or folding of each protein within the complex inhibits both hydrolytic and enzymatic degradation, allowing the protein complex to survive the gut. Generally, when it comes to protein ingestion, we are taught that the proteins break down into amino acids, di- and tri-peptides for passive absorption through the GI tract into the body.

But Freedman says recent research shows that there are receptors within the GI tract specifically for the BMPs within this complex, “providing a very different mechanism of action for absorption than what we traditionally think of with proteins.”

This process of stimulating a bone- and cartilage-building effect is known as osteoinduction. In practice, it is important to see a rapid clinical response. As reported in in numerous clinical studies (more than 11,000 in the medical and scientific literature and several conducted by the manufacturer), when dosing the proteins according to the patient’s condition, body weight, and severity of symptoms, you should see clinical improvement for degenerative joint disease within days or weeks.

This rapid onset of action is explained by the manufacturer’s chief scientific officer, Daniel Tripodi, PhD:

The rapid onset of action can only be explained by some immunologic response. We know that the BMPs within the Cyplexinol complex have a natural immunoprotective/ immuno- suppressive effect against Interleukin-1 (IL-1) and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) which are responsible for activating NFKappa beta and matrix metalloproteinases  — both catabolic cytokine pathways that cause inflammation and the associated pain. So, what we have here is a protein complex that naturally resists breakdown in the gut, activates stem cells, and protects the body from inflammation, resulting in very rapid onset of action while stimulating the osteogenic and chondrogenic pathways.

The same team has produced Cyplexinol for years, shipping it directly to orthopedic surgeons. Now, they have partnered with other com- panies to allow their products to contain Cyplexinol.

No one can replace high-quality calcium and minerals to fortify bone tissue or glucosamine-chondroitin for cartilage health, but Cyplexinol represents a breakthrough in the treatment of bone and joint conditions, activating stem cells, and working against inflammation.

RichardGarianRichard Garian, DC, CCSP, has 30 years’ clinical and scientific research experience, including post-graduate studies in biochemistry at the University of New Hampshire, nutritional studies at the Harvard School of Public Health, and more than 300 hours in chiropractic orthopedics. He is a founding fellow of the American Back Society and a founding member of the Spine Managed Care.