Aug 20, 2010
Exercise is vital to good health, but the wrong exercise can destroy health. As we age, many of our muscles begin to atrophy from lack of use. This is especially true for leg muscles. Weak muscles lead to increased stress on joints — and for this reason, regular walking is important as a preventative measure, especially as we age. If you have access to a health club or have home equipment, you should do leg-strengthening exercises — especially those that exercise the quadriceps, hamstrings, and muscles of the hip area. Damaging exercises include high-impact
exercises, aerobics, and jogging long distances, especially on hard surfaces. I suggest walking and the use of cable or free weights. Start with no
weight and gradually work up to heavier weights. For the elderly and those with more advanced osteoarthritis, I would suggest avoiding weights
and instead use calisthenics. As you improve, you can add some light weights. Regular exercise will not only improve joint stability but will also aid in weight control. Exercise also reduces inflammation. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Both of these bad habits increase free radical generation and inflammation. Smoking interferes with blood flow to the tissues around the joints, increasing the destruction.
Glucosamine-chondroitin sulfate Most arthritis sufferers have heard of these two supplements. A number of large-scale, double-blind
clinical studies have demonstrated the ability of these supplements to alleviate pain and aid joint reconstruction. In fact, some arthritis experts
say they should be a regular part of arthritis treatment. Earlier studies have shown that while anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin and
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), can reduce pain and joint swelling, they actually
accelerate joint destruction. For this reason, experts suggest that glucosamine should always be used in conjunction with medications.
There is some disagreement about whether chondroitin sulfate improves results, but most agree that glucosamine reduces pain and disability, and in early cases it may even restore joint cartilage. Early on, it was thought that glucosamine worked because it supplied the building blocks for cartilage construction, but now there is evidence it works by reducing inflammation. Glucosamine is a significant immune suppressant and has been used to treat autoimmune diseases with some success. It has been demonstrated that the effectiveness of both compounds increases the longer you use it, and it usually takes four to six weeks for benefits to be seen. In severe cases, it may take a year to see significant improvement. The beneficial effects last four to eight weeks after a patient stops taking the supplements. This would indicate a combined effect of immune suppression and rebuilding of the joint. The dose is 1,000 mg. three times a day just before a meal. A diet high in animal protein has been associated with arthritis. This may be caused by two factors Red meats are rich in highly absorbable iron and iron increases inflammation and free radicals Also, high-protein diets induce acidosis, which worsens bone loss and joint damage. Eat no more than six ounces of chicken, turkey, or pork twice a day. Do not take vitamin C with meals, as it will drastically increase iron absorption, even from vegetables. Normally, vegetables (even those high in iron) do not release their iron. Eat five to 10 servings of vegetables a day Vegetables are generally alkaline and will reduceacidity within tissues (such as joints). Also, they contain a number of flavonoids with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Using a blender to puree your vegetables before you eat them will greatly increase absorption and reduce the number of vegetables you need to eat with meals. Avoid vegetable oils Polyunsaturated vegetable oils are known to powerfully stimulate inflammation. These include corn, safflower, sunflower, peanut, canola, and soybean oils. Cook with either extra virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil. Add several dashes of turmeric to the oil to increase antioxidant power. Avoid MSG and other excitotoxins Recent studies have shown that MSG (glutamate) worsens fibromyalgia and may exacerbate all inflammatory conditions. A recently reported study demonstrated that removing MSG and excitotoxins from the diet cured a number of long-term, resistant cases. There are many disguised names for glutamate — hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy protein and soy isolate, sodium and calcium caseinate, natural flavoring, and even broth. Some foods, especially soups, can contain three to four forms of disguised excitotoxins. Even foods with the words “No MSG” on the label can contain
these excitotoxins. Special Supplements to Repair Joints Hyaluronic acid The joint contains cartilage composed of complex glycosaminoglycans, which aid in joint health. One product that supplies this vital substance is hyaluronic acid. This is a component of connective
tissue whose function is to cushion and lubricate. Some products contain the larger molecular form, which is not absorbed. Pure Encapsulation
Company makes a product under this name. It has a lower molecular weight and is well absorbed. The dose is three capsules twice a day with or between meals. You can get Pure Encapsulation products at (www.MyVitaNet.com). MSM Also called methyl sulfonyl methane, MSM is a
natural form of sulfur found in living organisms. Its main benefits are a reduction of inflammation and the ability to penetrate many tissues, including joints. Recent studies have confirmed its safety, even when used in large doses over prolonged periods of time. The dose is 500 mg. to 1,000 mg. two to three times a day with meals. It is widely available. Collagen type II This is a major component in cartilage, and supplementation has demonstrated benefits in reducing pain and improving joint function. The dose is three capsules twice a day on an empty
stomach. It is important that you get a brand made from chicken rather than bovine. You can get this from (www.swansonvitamins.com). Tart cherry extract A number of studies have shown that concentrated extracts of tart cherries improve joint function and reduce pain and swelling. You can also get this from (www.swansonvitamins.com). The dose is one to two capsules a day. Triple stack This is a special compounded supplementcontaining full therapeutic doses of MSM, glucosamine, and curcumin. The dose is one capsule three times a day. It should be taken with meals. The best results are seen within three weeks. It can only be found at Specialty Pharmacy (www.specialtyrx.com).
Special Supplements to Reduce Inflammation vitamins that can reduce inflammation and free radicals within the joint. CurcuminThis is one of the most powerful natural antiinflammatory substances known. Its effects are comparable to steroids, without the harmful effects.All inflammatory arthritis problems arise from the activation of a special inflammation signal molecule in cartilage cells called NFkappaB, or NFKB. Curcumin powerfully inhibits this cell signal and also suppresses the destructive enzymes mentioned above (MMPs and collagenase).Curcumin is best absorbed when dissolved in an oil. I would recommend either extra virgin olive oil or fish oil. Fish oil has a significant anti-inflammatory effect all its own, so I recommend over olive oil. The dose is 250 mg. of curcumin powder mixed with a half-tablespoon of fish oil. Mix well. Take this three times a day with meals. Quercetin This is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. When combined with curcumin, you get a powerful anti-inflammatory effect because they each act on different inflammatory biochemical pathways. It also suppresses the destructive enzymes Mix 250 mg. of quercetin into oil with the curcumin and take that three times a day. Borage oil Borage oil contains a high concentration of gamma-linolenic acid, which has significant antiinflammatory properties. It also moistens mucous membranes and the skin. You can add this to the mix above. It will come in a gelatin capsule, but don’t eat that — just stick a pin into it and squeeze 1,000 mg. into the mentioned mix twice a day. Keep both the fish oil and borage oil in the refrigerator. Natural vitamin E (Unique-E) Vitamin E, in natural form, has significant antiinflammatory
effects. The dose is 1,000 IU a day. Unique-E is what I recommend. Buffered vitamin C (calcium/magnesium ascorbate)
Vitamin C is not only a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, but it also strengthens the tissues and the ligaments surrounding the joint.
Vitamin/mineral supplement A recent study found that selenium was significantly depleted in the joints of people with arthritis, while
copper levels increased. High iron levels were found in the damaged joints of osteoarthritis sufferers. Iron is a powerful generator of inflammation and free radicals. A well-balanced supplement such as Extend Core (www.vrp.com) will deliver all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Magnesium citrate or citrate/malate Magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce inflammation, while a deficiency increases
it. It not only slashes free radicals but blocks the release of inflammatory cytokines as well. The dose is two capsules twice a day between meals. A survey found that magnesium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies seen, with 75% of the population lacking it. Chronic illness and many medications worsen magnesium loss. Stinging nettle extract This plant extract has been shown to have powerful
anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies have found it to be very protective of the brain as well. It is often included in natural supplements used to treat chronic prostate problems for the same reason. But taking too much can produce a mucous-like
diarrhea. limit intake to two capsules a day with meals. These are the basic steps you will need to follow for good health.
The closer you follow these steps the more likely you will attain success. It is important to know that curcumin and quercetin can cause your blood sugar to drop slightly. While this is beneficial to those with diabetes, it can be a problem if you have reactive hypoglycemia. For this reason, always take it with a meal. If some cartilage is still present, one option is to have hyaluronic acid injected directly into the joint. Several studies have determined that five injections over a week brought rapid relief of pain and lasted about six months or more. The oral product mentioned above would be less beneficial for advanced cases but would be important for prevention and treating early osteoarthritis.