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Discover MKARE® – an Alternative Ingredient for Sports Nutrition

AUTHOR: Patricia Álvarez Rodríguez, dietitian-nutritionist

MKARE® is a natural functional ingredient derived from eggshell membrane. It has regenerative and anti-inflammatory effects, may speed muscle recovery after exercise, reduce inflammation, and improve muscle function. MKARE® may also play a role in maintaining joint health and improving sports performance.

Physical exercise is fundamental for maintaining overall health and well-being. In addition to the evident benefits, it has on physical fitness, exercise also affects various systems of the body, including the musculoskeletal system. Joint wear and tear, also known as osteoarthritis, is a chronic disease characterized by the deterioration of joint cartilage and inflammation. While osteoarthritis is considered an age-related condition, there has been debate regarding whether certain sports practices can have negative effects on joint wear and tear1.

The choice of exercise type can be important in minimizing the impact on joints. Low-impact activities such as swimming or cycling can be beneficial by reducing the load on the joints and providing a safe way to stay active. On the other hand, intense physical activities or high-impact sports like running, CrossFit, or tennis can increase stress on the joints and potentially accelerate joint wear and tear, especially if performed incorrectly, leading to muscle damage and delayed recovery1.

During high-impact sports such as running, jumping, or contact sports, significant forces are generated that affect the joints, especially weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips. Over time, these repetitive forces and abrupt movements can cause damage and wear on joint structures such as cartilage, ligaments, and meniscus2.

A study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Research in 2013 examined the impact of repetitive loading on knee joint cartilage. The researchers found that repeated mechanical loading can generate microtrauma in the cartilage, leading to degeneration and eventual joint wear. Additionally, the inflammatory response associated with repetitive loading can contribute to cartilage degradation and the progression of joint wear3.

Another study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 2017 investigated the effects of repetitive impact on the joints of American football players. The researchers found that the players experienced greater wear and tear in the knee and hip joints compared to non-athlete controls. The study emphasized the importance of prevention and proper management of joint wear and tear in highimpact sports4.

In addition to cartilage wear, high-impact sports can also affect the ligaments and meniscus of the joints. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2012 examined the incidence of ligament and meniscus injuries in professional football players. The results showed that football players had a higher risk of ligament and meniscus injuries, especially in the knees, due to the demanding nature of this sport5.

In conclusion, cartilage wear, stress on ligaments and meniscus, and chronic inflammation are key factors in the process of joint wear and tear in high-impact sports. These findings supported by scientific studies highlight the importance of prevention strategies, proper training, and the use of specific nutritional supplements to maintain joint health, minimize the risk of injuries, and prevent the development of long-term degenerative conditions.

Sports supplementation has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it is considered a way to improve physical performance, accelerate recovery, and optimize overall health. In this context, the eggshell membrane, which used to be considered a waste product, has been discovered to have interesting potential within a circular economy. This membrane possesses an extracellular matrix with a unique combination of nutrients and bioactive compounds that can provide notable benefits to both athletes and active individuals.

MKARE® eggshell membrane

MKARE® is a completely natural functional ingredient based on the eggshell membrane. This membrane inherently contains a unique source of bioactive compounds that have clinically demonstrated diverse health benefits. To obtain MKARE®, a hydromechanical process is used without the intervention of chemical agents. This process takes place in the egg production facilities at the same time the eggs are cracked, ensuring optimal freshness of the product.

MKARE® is rich in collagen (types I, V, and X), hyaluronic acid, elastin, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, CREMP (cysteine-rich eggshell membrane protein), and over 400 proteins—a perfect matrix of key biomolecules in a single ingredient6. These components are essential for the maintenance and repair of connective tissues such as cartilage, tendons, and ligaments, which undergo considerable stress during certain physical activities7.

Thanks to the freshness of MKARE®, we can guarantee the maximum effectiveness it provides through two synergistic mechanisms of action:

• Regenerative effect: The biomolecules present in the membrane, such as collagen, elastin, and various GAGs (glycosaminoglycans) like hyaluronic acid, chondroitin, and heparan sulfate, provide nutri- ents to the cells responsible for synthesizing these same metabolites8.

• Anti-inflammatory effect: Invivoand invitrostudies have shown that the membrane reduces levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and TNF-α, which are involved in inflammation, explaining the demonstrated anti-inflammatory effect through studies with osteoarthritis patients9.

Recently, ARANDOVO conducted a study (currently undergoing the publication process) on human chondrocytes, which demonstrates the anti-inflammatory potency of MKARE on this type of cells by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 α and TNF-α and also induces the synthesis of extracellular matrix components in cartilage, such as collagen type II and aggrecan. This means that it promotes the production of these important structural molecules, which are essential for maintaining the integrity and function of cartilage tissue. The increased synthesis of collagen and aggrecan suggests that MKARE may have a potential role in promoting cartilage repair and regeneration. This study marks the first time that the membrane proves its effect on these cells.

MKARE® and sports nutrition

Muscle recovery after exercise is essential for improving physical performance and preventing injuries. However, various factors such as inflammation and oxidative stress can hinder this recovery process. Fortunately, research supports the anti-inflammatory capacity of the eggshell membrane, making it a beneficial option for accelerating and optimizing recovery.

Supplementation with eggshell membrane, due to its composition rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, has been shown to stimulate collagen and proteoglycans synthesis and improve muscle regeneration following exercise. Moreover, human studies support the use of this supplementation by showing positive results such as reduced delayed onset muscle soreness, and improved strength and muscle function compared to those who received a placebo7-10.

Furthermore, MKARE contains 27% of CREMPS (cysteine-rich eggshell membrane protein). These proteins play a very important role in post-exercise recovery. During exercise, there is an increased demand for cysteine in our body as it serves as a precursor in the synthesis of molecules such as glutathione, taurine, and hydrogen sulfide. After exercise, the concentrations of reactive oxygen species, which can cause cellular damage, increase in our body. Glutathione plays an important role in counteracting these effects and exerts an antioxidant effect by protecting our cells and tissues11. This is especially relevant for joints, which are subjected to high loads during physical activity. It is crucial to minimize degradation processes and promote repair processes in these areas.

In situations where cells require a greater supply of nutrients to repair joint damage, MKARE® provides the necessary nutrients for collagen synthesis and cartilage repair. Additionally, it contributes to the production of glycosaminoglycans in the synovial fluid, helping restore the normal state of the damaged joint12.

In addition to its nutritional properties, MKARE® membrane also presents a proven anti-inflammatory effect. This effect is due to the presence of specific molecules in its composition, such as ovotransferrin and ovocalyxin-36, which have been isolated and shown their anti-inflammatory effects13-14.

In summary, supplementation with MKARE® eggshell membrane can contribute to more efficient and faster recovery by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress associated with high-impact sports and intense physical activities. These benefits, supported by scientific studies, provide a solid foundation for considering the use of this ingredient in muscle recovery programs and improving physical performance.

References:

1 Hunter DJ, Eckstein F. Exercise and osteoarthritis. J Anat. 2009; 214(2):197-207.

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