5. 14 Ingredients to Ease Joint Discomfort
Glucosamine / Glucosamine HCL This is the biggest and best in this list. It has been extensively studied in the sulfate form but the HCL form is equally as effective. The sulfate of HCL is just a “carrier” molecule – pure glucosamine is unstable by itself so it needs to be combined with a carrier so it stays pure and does not break down.
There is some debate in terms of which carrier molecule is better, but some of the better formulations will include both, just in case one works better for you. Either way, you are getting as pure of a glucosamine as you can (assuming the manufacturer starts with pure glucosamine – many do not even tell you the quality of glucosamine they use).
This is the most beneficial ingredient behind glucosamine. Chondroitin Sulfate is a component of cartilage. In molecular terms, it is a gigantic molecule, mainly composed of repeated chains of glucosamine. Because of this, it functions in a way that is similar to glucosamine by helping to ease joint discomfort and rebuild cartilage. Make sure you see chondroitin listed as one of the ingredients on the list of any product you buy.
MSM, also known as methylsulfonylmethane, is a major supplier of sulfur, the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. It is related, but not the same as another sulfur compound, DMSO. In animal studies, joints affected by osteoarthritis have lower sulfur content. Mice with arthritis, when given MSM, experience less joint deterioration. The results of a preliminary double-blind trial stated that patients with osteoarthritis found that MSM reduced pain after six weeks.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 Fatty Acids can not be talked about enough when it comes to helping out your entire body as well as treating arthritis pain. They reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, as well as help to reduce Coronary Heart Disease.
Manganese is a mineral essential to the formation of connective tissue (such as cartilage). Manganese is extremely helpful for sufferers of arthritis and also aids in keeping bones strong and preventing Osteoporosis.
Boswellia Serrata (Boswellin)
Boswellia is probably best for Rheumatoid Arthritis, but due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is also effective for Osteoarthritis. Boswellia inhibits pro-inflammatory mediators in the body, such as leukotrienes. Long-term use of Boswellia, as opposed to NSAIDs, does not appear to cause irritation or ulceration of the stomach.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin needed for the repair and growth of tissues in all parts of the body. Vitamin C is essential for the repair and maintenance of cartilage and bones as well as healing of wounds. It is essential to form collagen, an important protein used to make tendons, cartilage, ligaments, skin, blood vessels, and scar tissue. It also acts as an antioxidant to offset the damage of free radicals.
Vitamin A plays an important role in bone formation and may also help to reduce the symptoms of Osteoarthritis. It is also a potent antioxidant and is needed to promote healthy bone development. Low Vitamin A may lead to reduced bone mass and osteoporosis.
Another antioxidant, Vitamin E may be helpful in both the prevention of and the treatment of Osteoarthritis. Vitamin E was tested against a NSAID (diclofenac) and was found to be equally as effective.
Animal studies show that drinking soothing aloe vera can reduce swelling and inflammation in arthritic joints. It has been used since early recorded history for its first-aid like properties. Aloe Vera is one of the only known natural vegetarian sources of Vitamin B12, and it contains many minerals vital to the healthy function and growth process of all the body’s systems.
Bromelain may be as effective as NSAIDS for pain reduction. It may also help with rheumatoid arthritis. Use over time may also help with connective tissue disorders. It also appears to have anti-inflammatory properties.
According to the study “Yucca plant saponin in the management of arthritis” (J Appl Nutr 1975;27:45–50) there is evidence that Yucca can aid in Osteo and Rheumatoid arthritis. Yucca may work by blocking the release of intestinal toxins that inhibit normal formation of cartilage.
As part of your fight against arthritis, look for a product that contains as many of these ingredients as possible, at a reasonable (30 – 40 dollars a month, including shipping, if applicable) cost. If you cannot find a product that contains all of these ingredients, be sure to get one that contains glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, Manganese and Omega 3.
Be sure to visit the Glucosamine Product Guide for a review of commercially available glucosamine products.