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As the name suggests, these giant molecules are comprised of proteins and sugars.
Their primary job is to get and hold water, and they were designed to be very, very thirsty.
The other aminos that figure prominently are proline and hydroxyproline, an uncommon team with a passion for twisting themselves into tightly wound, left-handed helixes, then switching directions and twisting to the right into a superhelix.
These little twisters form tight, tough, rodlike macro molecules, which in turn form thicker rods called fibrils.
Living amidst the proteoglycans are the cartilage cells–chondrocytes–whose jobs are to regulate cartilage metabolism, manufacture the giant proteoglycan molecules and collagenous fibers and build new cartilage as necessary.
To do so, the chondrocytes need the right nutrients delivered in the right proportions by the water and synovial fluid that feeds cartilage.
In fact, the evidence goes back more than a century, and not only established gelatin’s value to cartilage and bones but also to the skin, digestive tract, immune system, heart and muscles.
These early studies, however, have fallen off the radar screen of Knox as well as that of nearly everyone else.
This is not only possible but probable in America today, given the popularity of high-carbohydrate, low-protein and low-fat diets.Chaitow cites research by Carl Pfeiffer discussed in , however, begged to differ, concluding that there were “no significant age-related variations in the content of proline, hydroxyproline, lysine and hydroxylysine over the range of 0-93 years of age.” What they found was that “changes in cross-links derived from aldehyde may be responsible for the effects of age.” Proline and Vitamin C also team up for other vital functions.