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Maintaining the health of ligaments or treating an injured ligament often requires the use of supplements. Inflammation and loss of collagen can lead to ligament problems, especially in athletes. There are various ligament supplements which include glucosamine, a type of bioflavonoid called proanthocyanidin, and chondroitin. Another is cissus quadrangularis, a grape-like plant used for various medicinal purposes. While calcium is often associated with bone health, it is not so much beneficial for ligaments in high quantities.
Glucosamine, a common health supplement, helps in the production of substances that strengthen ligaments. Certain types of glucosamine aid in the production of collagen, which makes up much of the fibrous ligament tissue. Amino acids and vitamin C added to the mix react to form a compound that holds the collagen together. Ligament supplements also include bioflavonoids, chemicals that are responsible for pigment in plants. These break down radicals, produced as a result of inflammation, which can kill cells resulting in further ligament damage.
Inflammation may also be relieved by quercetin. Free radicals are suppressed by the substance as well as enzymes that can break down ligament proteins. Also, chondroitin is a supplement that reduces inflammation and helps build collagen. It can be used as a ligament treatment; supplements that include chondroitin are sometimes used after ligament surgery or to heal a sore ligament. The substance is not only used for ligament supplements but to also treat cartilage and tendon problems.
A plant pigment known as cissus quadrangularis is used in traditional medicine as well as homeopathic treatments. It is also an anti-inflammatory and is used by athletes after rigorous workouts. Unlike other ligament supplements, it doesn’t strengthen the tissue but reduces the swelling and the associated pain. There is also vitamin C and carotene included so the supplement can have other health benefits. Dosage is important because the pigment extract can react with other medications and has a substance that can cause kidney stones.
There are many ligament supplements so it is important to consult a physician or other specialist before taking one. An injured ligament might need varying degrees of treatment, and a torn ligament could require other measures such as surgery. The kind of supplement and the dose can vary from person to person and with the nature of an injury. If other health conditions are present or medications taken, some ligament supplements can have side effects or exacerbate other problems.