More Ways to Relieve Osteoarthritis
Certain supplements have been found to be helpful in relieving osteoarthritis. The basic building block of collagen, which makes up cartilage, tendons, ligaments, discs, hair and nails, is Vitamin C and is our main anti-oxidant. Always make sure it is a non-citrus source (otherwise it will make you acidic) and is at bowel tolerance.
Another supplement with a lot of research, which many of you have already read about, is glucosamine sulfate. This is a nutrient derived from seashells and contains building blocks that repair the joint. There are often combinations of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, however, chondroitin is a much larger and less refined substance and will absorb less, therefore, I recommend glucosamine by itself.
MSM is another great tool. This is a substance that is extracted from seawater, if it is a natural source. This donates sulfur groups to the body, which the body uses to remove inflammation and toxins. I have had a few patients cancel knee surgery after using this combination!
Collagen itself can be supplemented to help build cartilage structures.
Fish oils have also been found to be anti-inflammatory, so if a person doesn’t eat fish 3 times a week, I recommend an EPA/DHA fish oil supplement.
People who eat high levels of anti-oxidants have a slower rate of joint deterioration. Vitamin E has been shown to reduce symptoms. It also stimulates cartilage synthesis and inhibits cartilage breakdown.
Vitamin B3-in the form of niacinamide is helpful. It increases joint mobility, improves muscle strength and decrease fatigue in that muscle group, because it increases circulation.
Boron has also been found to minimize arthritis due to its ability to maximize calcium metabolism.
Vitamin A and B6, as well as zinc and copper are required for proper collagen formation and maintenance, so should be in a multi-mineral CAPSULE combination.
Some herbs are also helpful for osteoarthritis. I will start with the most effective and the herbs with the most research.
Cayenne, a relative in the pepper family, has been used topically as a cream to give symptomatic relief in that area.
I find Curcumin, found in turmeric, the most effective anti-inflammatory herb. It is a strong anti-oxidant, so reduces inflammation and also minimizes the release of histamine and other inflammatory products by stabilizing the mast cells.
Another herb that is anti-inflammatory is Bowellia. Its action is similar to NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), but does not lead to irritation or ulceration of the stomach. Note that long term use of these drugs such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Fenoprofen, Indomethacin, Tolmetin and Sulindac has been found to cause blocking of cartilage repair and accelerates the destruction of the cartilage in the joint. Therefore, while NSAID’s are effective in suppressing the symptoms, they may worsen the condition by inhibiting the repair of the joint itself and therefore accelerate the progression of the disease.
Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) and Cat’s claw (Unicaria tometosa) have both been found to be anti-inflammatory.
Yucca has been found to decrease bacterial toxin absorption and therefore increases cartilage formation. (This minimizes the toxin accumulation that can decrease collagen formation.)
Cherries, hawthorne berries and bilberries and other dark red-blue berries are rich in anti-oxidants and have been shown to increase collagen formation and repair.
This will give you some ideas to maximize joint repair. If you would like your foods tested or have a customized program designed for you, contact Dr. Brenda Gill at 250-362-5035.