Note: This monograph does not include clinical information on chondroitin sulfate.
Interest in aortic acid began in the 1960s and focused on atherosclerosis (hardening of the artieries). This was a logical place to begin research, as aortic extract is usually manufactured from the hearts of animals, usually sheep, cows, or pigs. In this extract are many substances, including aortic acid, which is a broad term encompassing several constituents. Mesoglycan, a preparation of glycosaminoglycans, is the most studied of these constituents.
Although mesoglycan is found in great quantities in the heart, it is found throughout the body, primarily in the cardiovascular system. It is in all three layers of blood vessels, and is responsible for maintaining vessel structure and flexibility. One of the glycosaminoglycans in mesoglycan is heparin sulfate, which may explain why mesoglycan has shown anticoagulation effects in some clinical studies.
Because mesoglycan and aortic acid are extracted from the heart, preliminary studies have focused on cardiovascular disorders, such as atherosclerosis, deep vein thrombosis, lower limb ischemia, and cutaneous necrotizing venulitis. Mesoglycan has shown the most promise in treating chronic venous ulcers and intermittent claudication. Other areas of future interest may be hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), impaired fibrinolytic activity, and general wound healing. However, more high quality research is needed in all of these areas.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Chronic venous ulcers:
Mesoglycan, an aortic acid, is a structural component of blood vessels. In the case of venous ulcers, mesoglycan may be able to improve venous health. Additional study is needed to confirm early findings.
Intermittent claudication is part of late stage atherosclerosis, and mesoglycan has shown some therapeutic ability in preliminary atherosclerosis studies in humans. In addition, mesoglycan is a heparin-like substance that has shown anticoagulation ("blood thinning") properties in clinical studies. Additional study is needed.
Mesoglycan is a structural aspect of cardiovascular vessels and organs. One preliminary study indicates that mesoglycan may reduce blood vessel thickening, however, additional research is needed in this field.
Mesoglycan has shown activity in anticoagulation ("blood thinning") and increasing blood vessel health. Preliminary studies also indicate that it may be helpful in reducing recurring ischemic cerebral attacks and improving quality of life.
Vein clots (deep vein thrombosis):
Currently, there is insufficient available evidence to recommend for or against aortic acid for deep vein thrombosis.
Mesoglycan has shown activity in anticoagulation ("blood thinning") and increasing blood vessel health. Low quality research shows that mesoglycan may be helpful in various venous disorders, including postphlebitic syndrome, venous insufficiency, and varicose syndrome. Additional study is needed.