Cartilage - The Key to Healthy Joints

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Cartilage Components
Units
Categories
Category 1
Chart Title
Water
Other
Three components:
Collagen
A family of fibrous proteins, collagens are the building blocks of skin, tendon, bone, and other connective tissues.
Proteoglycans
Made up of proteins and sugars, strands of proteoglycans interweave with collagens and form a mesh-like tissue. This allows cartilage to flex and absorb physical shock.
Chondrocytes
Found throughout the cartilage, chondrocytes are cells that produce cartilage and help it stay healthy as it grows. Sometimes, however, they release substances called enzymes that destroy collagen and other proteins. Researchers are trying to learn more about chondrocytes.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. www.niams.nih.gov
Cartilage: The Key to Healthy Joints
65 to 80 percent Water