We’ve had a busy month here with some fascinating new research from highly credible sources.
And in this case, Duke University recently published research in ScienceAdvances which found that humans do in fact have some ability to regrow cartilage.
The implication is that new medical processes can be invented which capitalize on this ability. And that could help you regrow cartilage in your ankles, knees (or any other joint for that matter).
At this point, It’s thought to be fairly limited in nature. So, it’s not like you’re going to experience major regrowth in seconds like a Marvel superhero or supervillain.
But at the same time, it could mean faster or even complete recovery from cartilage injuries in your joints. It’s possible arthritis could eventually be prevented or even completely reversed!
What Causes This Regeneration?
For years, the thinking has been that once your cartilage is damaged, your body can’t repair it. However, Duke research found that humans can repair their cartilage, regardless of age and injury history.
Humans do naturally have a very limited ability to regenerate tissue. For example, some children can regenerate their fingertips (if amputated), but only when done correctly via a specific process.
For the regeneration of cartilage, microRNA is the key. Salamanders and lizards are known for their joint and limb repair. And microRNA is highly active in them.
And in this study by Duke, researchers found microRNA is associated with “protein turnover” (the scientific way of saying your body has the ability to regenerate cartilage).
You have microRNA. However, the problem is that it’s much less active in us than lizards and salamanders. And, they have yet unidentified cells (not found in humans) which help them regenerate entire limbs.
The Future Holds Dramatic Changes
Eventually, scientists will figure out which cells are responsible for limb regeneration. They’ll learn how to use microRNA to help regrow your cartilage, and possibly entire limbs.
To date, the Duke study is the only one to research this phenomenon (to the best of anyone’s knowledge). This is completely uncharted territory for science.
So, it opens the door for further investigation and the development of new medical technologies that help you regenerate your cartilage!