Most of us have problems with chronic joint pain. What may very well not know is there are some natural remedies for stiff, aching or inflamed joints.
The health of our joints impacts our standard of living and determines how active we can be as we age. Degeneration and inflammation of the joints (arthritis) is America’s number one crippling disease, affecting approximately one in three American adults, and is the leading reason for disability among persons over age 15. Luckily, research shows that arthritis and joint degeneration can be safely and effectively addressed using natural healing methods.
Actually, many nutrients have already been found to offer significant relief of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis pain and stiffness without the potential side aftereffects of over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications. We will take a peek at a couple of compounds that have been proven effective in clinical trials to simply help alleviate pain and sometimes, help repair degeneration in joints.
One of the most studied compounds for joint health is glucosamine sulfate. Glucosamine is just a naturally occurring substance within the body, synthesized by special cells within the body (called chondrocytes) for the objective of producing joint cartilage. When the joints degrade (as in osteoarthritis or after injury), this synthesis is often defective, so supplying your body with additional glucosamine through supplementation provides your body the nutrients it needs to rebuild and repair the joint.
Furthermore, glucosamine sulfate has been shown to ease most symptoms as effectively because the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, Aleve, and aspirin. In one well-designed study of 178 patients with OA of the knee, one group was treated for 4 weeks with glucosamine sulfate (1500 mg daily) and the other group was treated with ibuprofen (1200 mg daily). Glucosamine relieved the symptoms as effectively as ibuprofen and was tolerated significantly better (i.e., fewer side effects) than ibuprofen. The safety and tolerability of glucosamine can very quickly be explained by the truth that it is just a substance normally used by the body.
Just like easiest remedies, the therapeutic effect of glucosamine is not immediate. It always takes 1-8 weeks to appear. Once achieved, it tends to persist for a significant time even after discontinuing glucosamine supplementation. The probable basis for this really is that glucosamine is incorporated into rebuilding the cartilage itself. In many studies, the dose has been 500 mg 3 x daily.
Chondroitin sulfate is just a major element of cartilage. It is just a very large molecule, consists of repeated units of glucosamine sulfate. Even though absorption of chondroitin sulfate is significantly lower than that of glucosamine (10-15% versus 90-98%), a couple of studies demonstrate positive results from long-term treatment with chondroitin sulfate, reducing pain and increasing selection of motion.
Chondroitin sulfate posseses an excellent safety record, without known toxicity. In repeated clinical studies, oral chondroitin sulfate (1200 mg/day) was consistently effective in reducing OA symptoms, and was well tolerated (no side effects). In many studies, the dose has been 400 mg 3 x daily.
Studies indicate that glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate work synergistically to offer a greater benefit combined than either does separately This article. Glucosamine has been shown to boost the production of beneficial joint compounds and chondroitin sulfate has demonstrated capability to inhibit joint deterioration. Thus, used together they have shown a marked ability to boost joint health.
Purity and Labeling of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate Products
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are both obtained from animal tissue sources, and purity can differ widely based upon the extraction techniques and analysis technology. The studies of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate referenced in this short article were all conducted using carefully assayed, purified compounds. The purity of the compounds used can certainly be expected to effect the outcome.
Furthermore, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are considered dietary supplements, and are therefore not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Although some brands of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine can be found over-the-counter, independent laboratory analysis shows that numerous products do not actually contain the amounts claimed on the label.
As an example, in a recently published study done at the Pharmacy School at the University of Maryland, 32 bottles of chondroitin sulfate were purchased at pharmacies and health food stores. Only 2 of these products met label claims while 14 of the 32 bottles purchased contained 10% or less of the label claim. What were the buyer’s chances of having a great product when only 2 of 32 products met their label claim?
Other Factors in Joint Health
Diet plays an integral role in joint health. Certain foods can aggravate pain and inflammation – including tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplants and bell peppers. Furthermore, you can even eat foods that could boost the repair process and decrease inflammation!
Furthermore there are lots of therapies, nutrients and herbs and specific supplements that you need to use to dramatically enhance your joint health. Natural therapies can be very effective for anyone struggling with arthritis or other joint injury. Studies have proven that natural remedies, diet and certain forms of exercise can decrease the progression of joint disease and even reverse it in lots of cases.
Dr. Chad has studied, lectured and taught through the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Peru and southern Africa. He’s very active in teaching natural healing techniques and has given presentations to thousands of people worldwide. He’s a faculty member at the University of Natural Medicine where he teaches doctors and other medical care practitioners the worthiness of alternative testing techniques in the healing process.