5 SUPPLEMENTS TO PROTECT YOUR JOINTS

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Healthy joint function is linked to overall quality of life, and work productivity. Joint inflammation, pain, stiffness and immobility can have destructive effects on physical performance, and the quality of everyday life. According to a recent report released by the World Health Organization, musculoskeletal disorders are the most frequent cause of disability in the modern world, and the prevalence of these diseases is rising at an alarming rate.64 Acute damage caused by an injury, gradual deterioration, or damage due to repetitive, excessive joint loading with consequent joint abnormalities, causes lifelong pain and disability for many millions of people. 1

So don’t forget to protect your joints from daily wear and tear. Let’s see how to head off problems and heal the aches you may already have.

 

GLUCOSAMINE & CHONDROITIN

Glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate, as important basic natural components of cartilage and synovial fluid, have been used for medicinal purposes for nearly 40 years.

Supplementation of such basic components has been thought to exert beneficial effects, especially when there is an imbalance between catabolic and anabolic processes, such as in degenerative joint diseases. 2 Studies have indicated that glucosamine and chondroitin may exert a positive effect on pain relief, function improvement, and joint space narrowing in patients with joint problems and diseases. 6-13

In fact, the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) rated glucosamine and chondroitin with the highest level of evidence, and with the highest recommendation strength, in their evidence-based approach to the management of knee osteoarthritis. 2, 3

 

OMEGA 3

Omega-3 fatty acids are involved in inflammatory responses. Their metabolites inhibit the production of inflammatory signaling molecules responsible for arthritic pain. This is why they been used to relieve joint pain and inflammation associated with joint diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis. 22-37

In an extensive analysis, researchers from the University of Toronto concluded that Omega-3 supplementation reduces patient reported joint pain, minutes of morning stiffness, number of painful and/or tender joints, and the necessary amount of NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) usage. 22

In addition, it has also been shown that the co-supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine in patients with existing joint diseases achieved better improvements in symptoms than glucosamine alone. 22, 23

 

MSM

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a non-pharmacologic nutrition supplement used against osteoarthritis. MSM is a complex containing organic sulfur, that is used by the body to maintain and repair connective tissue.38 Some evidence from clinical and non-clinical trials suggest that it may exhibit some anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-atherosclerotic and chemo-preventive properties. 38, 39, 40, 41

In clinical trials, where subjects with existing joint problems, arthritic and rheumatic pain were supplemented with 3 to 6 grams of MSM daily, an improvement in pain and physical function was observed.38, 43, 44, 45

In addition, the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin with MSM showed clinical benefit for patients with existing joint disease, compared with only glucosamine and chondroitin or placebo.46

 

VITAMIN C & ROSE HIPS

Arthralgia (pain in a joint) is a symptom of the vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy. Vitamin C not only contributes to normal collagen formation that forms connective fibers in tissues such as ligaments, cartilage, and bones, but contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress. It has also been found to exert a pain-relieving effect.47, 48

In a study from Denmark, patients with existing hip or knee joint diseases showed reduced pain following vitamin C supplementation (in the form of calcium ascorbate) for 2 weeks. 47, 48

When choosing a vitamin C supplement, be sure that it contains added rosehips. Rosehip extract contains polyphenols and anthocyanins, which are believed to ease joint inflammation and prevent joint damage. Studies have found that rosehips can reduce the production of specific enzymes that break down cartilage, and cause cell injury in several joint disease such as osteoarthritis.49-56

 

UC-II

Collagen is the main structural protein in various connective tissues in animal bodies, in fact it is the most abundant protein in the human body. Collagen has numerous types. So far, 28 types of collagen have been identified, but about 90% of the collagen in the body consist of type I, II, and III. Of these, type II is the main collagenous component of cartilage.

UC-II is a natural ingredient which contains a patented form of undenatured type II collagen derived from chicken sternum. Clinical studies support the safety and efficacy of UC-II in modulating joint discomfort in patient with existing joint diseases (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis). 57-63

In addition, a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that daily supplementation with 40 mg of UC-II improved joint function and joint pain due to strenuous exercise in healthy subjects.57

 

 

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