"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Chondroitin and Melanoma: How Concerned Should You Be?

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Chondroitin sulfate is one of the crucial popular supplements on this planet. It is usually taken together with glucosamine for joint disease—some take it for prevention, others for pain relief.

And yet, the evidence that it actually works in any respect is proscribed at best. one A review of the evidence suggested that of the few chondroitin studies that were positive, just about all were funded by complement manufacturers. Yet, hundreds of thousands of individuals take it, lots of my patients swear by it, and the dearth of evidence doesn't appear to worry them much. A frequent comment I hear is: “Well, I'm not sure it's doing much but it can't hurt, right?” Oh A new study suggests that it would.

Can chondroitin increase the danger of melanoma?

Researchers published in a medical journal The molecular cell These are raising concerns that chondroitin sulfate may encourage the event or reoccurrence of melanoma, a potentially deadly type of skin cancer. Here's what they found:

  • The growth of human melanoma cells with a selected mutation (called V600E) that was grafted onto the skin of mice was boosted when the mice ate chondroitin sulfate. This mutation is present in about half of human melanomas.
  • In mice fed chondroitin sulfate, these melanoma tumors were more proof against the anti-tumor drug, vemurafenib, than those without the mutation.

Although the study didn't actually study individuals with melanoma, the study authors speculated that chondroitin is perhaps a nasty idea for individuals with poor skin growth that incorporates the V600E mutation since it could speed up tumor growth. Is. And if an individual has had melanoma up to now, taking chondroitin may make it more prone to occur again.

Research linking chondroitin and melanoma is preliminary.

It is vital to say that that is preliminary research. Although tumor cells have been studied in humans, a link between chondroitin sulfate use and melanoma in humans has not yet been established. It is feasible that these results don't apply to real people—for instance, the doses or metabolism of chondroitin sulfate could also be so different in humans (vs. rats) that these results don't apply to humans. It shouldn't be unusual that studies in animals don't translate on to people.

Why does it matter?

Melanoma shouldn't be essentially the most common style of skin cancer, but unlike many other skin cancers (comparable to basal cell cancer), simply removing the cancer shouldn't be at all times a cure. It can spread rapidly even after years of apparent “treatment”. It is estimated that greater than 90,000 people learn they've melanoma annually, and greater than 9,000 people die from the disease annually.

Here's my take: This research is sort of preliminary, and can have little relevance to human disease. But if chondroitin sulfate May be promotes melanoma growth – and it's not clear that this complement is especially helpful anyway – I'd advise against its use, at the very least until we all know more.