Sesamin Promotes Joint Health
Sesamin belongs to a subclass of polyphenol compounds referred to as a lignans. In seeds, lignans act to provide rigidity to the seeds’ cell walls and protect against rotting, a form of oxidative stress. Sesamin is found in sesame seeds.
A cardinal feature of advanced joint disease is decreased quality and quantity of special sugar proteins called glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans. The popular supplements chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are examples of these types of substances. These special sugar proteins are important in maintaining the shock absorbing properties of the joint. Decreased quantity or sub optimal quality of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans magnifies all the negative symptoms associated with joint disease, such as pain, stiffness, and weakness.
Research suggests sesamin stimulates production of these joint boosting substances. Additionally, studies demonstrate that sesamin suppresses the action of Interleukin-1 Beta (IL-ß). Many scientists consider IL-1ß one of the key promoters of inflammation. With respect to joint injury, IL-1ß has been shown to:
- Decreases the production shock absorbing proteins
- Upregulate the activity of enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases that release acid that destroys healthy tissue
- Enhances nitric oxide activity, which magnifies an unhealthy healing response and puts healthy cells at risk for injury
Thai scientists investigated sesamin’s protective effect on human cartilage cells. Cells administered sesamin exhibited enhanced proteoglycan synthesis, suppressed IL-1β expression and decreased IL-1β induced inflammation. (Srisuthtayanontet al. Effects of sesamin on chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan synthesis induced by interleukin-1beta in human chondrocytes BMC Complementary and Alternative MedicineBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted201717:286 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-017-1805-1)
Researches in Iran administered 40 g of sesame seeds per day to patients with knee arthritis. At the end of two months, the treatment group reported less pain and improved function compared to the non-treatment group. (Sadat et al. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases 2013; 16: 578–582.)
Yield: 8 servings
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
- 12-ounce dried Turkish apricot, halved
- 1 cup wheat germ
- ¼ cup raw hemp seeds, shelled
- ½ cup tahini
- ¼ cup white sesame seeds
- Line an 8-inch square baking dish with a piece of foil, leaving about a 6-inch overhang on 2 opposite sides.
- In a food processor, add apricots and pulse until fine and crumbly.
- Add wheat germ and hemp seeds and pulse until the mixture becomes sticky.
- Add tahini and pulse until well combined.
- Transfer mixture into a bowl.
- Add sesame seeds and mix until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture into prepared baking dish and with the back of a spoon, press firmly and evenly.
- Refrigerate to chill for about 2 hours or until set.
- Carefully, invert the mixture onto a cutting board and remove foil.
- Cut the mixture in half vertically and then into fourths horizontally making 8 equal pieces.
- You can store these bars in an airtight container by wrapping each into parchment paper.
Nutritional Information per Serving:
Saturated Fat: 1.7g
Dietary Fiber: 4.7g