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What are the Medicinal Uses of Bovine Cartilage?

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  • Written By: Laura Evans
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2016
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Bovine cartilage is cartilage taken from cattle. Cartilage is a flexible type of tissue that is found in different parts of the body such as the ear, the nose, and in joints between bones in humans, cattle and other animals. Medicinal uses of bovine cartilage include treating conditions such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

Only a few studies have been conducted on people using bovine cartilage who have serious diseases and the number of subjects involved were small. There is no clinical proof at this time that the medicinal uses of bovine cartilage are effective. Some scientists believe the cartilage may be helpful in treating conditions such as psoriasis, dry socket after a tooth extraction, or acne.

New York medical surgeon John F. Prudden published a report in 1985 that included 31 patients who had different types of cancers and had been given bovine cartilage. Although this report showed a high response rate, some of the patients received conventional treatments in addition to the cartilage and the trial was not conducted under scientific conditions. In addition, later clinical trials were unable to come up with the same results.

Like other treatments, taking bovine cartilage can have side effects. These side effects can include diarrhea, swelling, itching, and nausea. People who are allergic to beef products should not take this cartilage. In addition, bovine cartilage may or may not interact with other drugs or herbal remedies.

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Bovine cartilage is available in pill or powder form as a dietary supplement and is used orally or topically. When bovine cartilage is injected, the cartilage is in liquid form. Some practitioners inject bovine cartilage directly into muscles to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis or under the skin to treat conditions such as psoriasis. Injected bovine cartilage is considered to be an experimental medication.

Many people consult with their primary medical providers about using bovine cartilage. Since the medicinal uses of bovine cartilage have not been thoroughly tested or proven to be effective, physicians may suggest alternative treatments. In addition to the lack of information regarding the effectiveness of the medicinal uses of bovine cartilage, there is also no information on the effects, if any, of taking bovine cartilage while a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding.

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