Joint Health

Joint Health Supplements Offer An Alternative Method For Pain Relief & Managing Many Health Conditions

Joint health supplements can really make a difference. One of the main issues is inflammation, which is responsible for many conditions like arthritis. I will go over the three main supplements that I take personally and that really make a difference. This will be an expanding section, however, some of the main ones you will find can keep costs down as well as taking supplements to a minimum, with maximum benefit. We also make the decision process a bit easier, as there are so many to choose.

As always, when taking supplements for joint health, check with your health care provider to make sure it will not interfere with any current medications or current health conditions.

One of the biggest trends in joint health has been glucosamine and chondroitin. There is good reason for this as they have been popular and effective.

A 2015 study in the Journal Of Magnetic Imaging Research investigated the content of glycosaminoglycan of lumbar discs in patients suffering arthritis and found there was significantly lower levels of these important joint compounds in the entire discs of these patients, even when low levels of degenerative arthritis was seen, compared with subjects without arthritis.

A 2016 study in the Georgian Medical News studied the effects of moderately severe, non-specific back pain, by adding chondroitin, or what they term a structure modifying agent or chondroprotector (joint protecting), along with an anti-inflammatory and B vitamins. The authors found that the group receiving the addition of chondroitin produced significant results in improved motion and quality of life.

I find that taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are effective, however, it does upset my stomach and you have to take a lot. Something I use that I find just as effective is natural eggshell membrane.

Eggshell Membrane

While traditional glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can take weeks to achieve results, there is more to joint health than just these two nutrients. I started taking natural eggshell membrane years ago and it contains many nutrients essential to the health of your joints. It is fast acting in supporting joint flexibility and comfort and is clinically proven to work in just 4 to 10 days. You only take one small capsule a day! It contains all natural hyaluronic acid, chondroitin, and collagen in a vegetarian, gluten, dairy and soy free capsule. Because it is from the membrane of the eggshell, there is no shellfish or bovine products.

I very highly recommend it as well as use it personally every day! No upset stomach, in fact it can be taken on an empty stomach, and just one capsule per day. This helps with a chronic joint problem I sustained in Kung-Fu class many years ago, where I had the first toe joint significantly torn. If I don’t take it daily, I can’t walk without a limp. The pain is very sharp and this keeps the pain away, as well as improves function. So, glucosamine formulations have improved and we will be providing some, but the eggshell membrane is my personal choice.

A 2014 study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research indicated Glucosamine has a protective effect on the nucleus (inner part) of the disc, suggesting it may be a possible therapy for disc degeneration.

Omega 3’s

Another supplement for joint health is fish oil. This has been known for some time, not only for the anti-inflammatory effects, but for other benefits as well. The omega 3’s are an important source of fats that are essential – we don’t make them ourselves, so they need to be provided. The best source is fish, however, most of us do not eat enough fish, many fish oil supplements can upset your stomach, and there is always an issue with purity.

What I find is more effective and does not have the issues with fish oil is krill oil. It is processed by the body differently and is more bio-available. The benefits for joints is just as effective as fish oil and it is better for the nervous system as well.

So, krill oil is something I take everyday, and one specific brand I find works best. If I don’t take it, I feel the difference. It helps more systemically with inflammation. I have, over the years, tried many fish oil supplements and have never been satisfied with the results. Similarly, I have also tried many krill oil supplements and find one brand works the best for me. This is based on effects, mainly noticed when I stop taking it and immediately notice increased pain, but also as related to my tinnitus; some brand make it worse, especially noticed with the fish oil.

So, this is purely subjective on my part, however, just like most Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, like Ibuprofen, my tinnitus will increase. Some are worse than others. However, it has been my subjective opinion that the purity of a supplement relates to my tinnitus, so I have found one particular brand that provides the benefits without increasing my tinnitus.

A 2007 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition concluded that just 300 mg of krill oil per day, “significantly inhibits inflammation and reduces arthritic symptoms within a short treatment period of 7 and 14 days.”

The benfits of krill oil extend well beyond joint health to improving depression, lowering triglycerides and other blood fat levels, helping with PMS and others beyond anti-inlammatory and reducing joint pain.

Tumeric Curcumin

Another great anti-inflammatory is Curcumin from Tumeric. This supplement can cross the blood brain barrier and is clinically studied to reduce brain inflammation. The amazing new ways it is formulated increases bio-availability and absorption.

A comprehensive review in the 2016 Journal of Medicinal Food led the authors to conclude that the scientific evidence supports the efficacy of turmeric extract in the treatment of arthritis.

A 2012 study in Phytotherapy Research found that curcumin showed significantly better improvement of joint tenderness and swelling in rheumatoid arthritis patients than diclofenac sodium (Eg. Voltaren).

It is a powerful antioxidant and has shown improvement in brain function, have positive effects on heart health, and may be an anti-cancer agent. We are focused on joint health, however, we will be getting into other conditions related to inflammation that may benefits from good quality supplements.

Vitamin D

vitamin d

A 2015 study in the journal Lupus Studies the effects of vitamin D3 supplementation on levels of pain and inflammation. The results showed significant reductions in pain and inflammation in those with musculoskeletal disorders.

A particular marker of inflammation that is associated with degenerative disc disease as well as rheumatoid arthritis is TNF╬▒ (Tumor Necrosis Factor). The results of the study showed a decrease in this inflammatory cytokine by 54.3%. This is a very significant reduction. The authors used 4000IU of D3 (cholecalciferol) for 3 months to achieve the results.

Vitamin D deficiency is underestimated and serum levels can be checked to be sure your levels are good, however, vitamin d is easy to take and affordable. Related to levels of sun exposure, most of us do not get enough. Studies reveal a complex polymorphism of Vitamin D receptor genes with disc degeneration.

Basically, after reviewing the above study, I began to add this vitamin to my anti-inflammatory regimen, including the other supplements for joint health indicated here. I have been very pleased with the results and take 5000IU a day. The results have mainly been noted with the lumbar spine Modic changes. This is something that should be considered, especially during the winter months.

Melatonin

Melatonin is known as a sleep aid or for restoring the normal sleep cycle. New evidence shows it is beneficial for joint health. It is protective for cartilage in arthritis. So, in addition to other benefits like helping chronic pain, there are many benefits to this supplement that go beyond sleep. It is a supplement that is often overlooked for it’s joint protective and anti-inflammatory properties.

Iron

You are probably thinking iron supplementation is for anemia, however; a new study shows that iron deficiency can result in accelerated disc degeneration, a leading cause of spinal pain due to osteoarthritis. The authors of the study indicate that supplementation can be effective at alleviating symptoms related to joint pain in disc degeneration.

So, adding joint protecting and enhancing supplements is an easy method to use in combating pain, increasing mobility and improving quality of life. We have gone over some that I recommend as well as take myself and have seen results in others over the years. The decision is yours and there is no shortage of opinions. You can do the research and experimentation yourself. I hope this information helps and can narrow down some of the best choices in the vast and often confusing world of joint health supplements.

Always check with your health care professional to avoid any reactions with current medications.

Author Bio

Dr. Steve has treated thousands of neck, shoulder and back conditions since graduating Chiropractic College in 1987 and during his involvement in Martial Arts. He holds certifications as a Peer Review Consultant, in Physiological Therapeutics, Modic Antibiotic Spinal Therapy, and specialized further in Myofascial Release Techniques. No longer in active practice, he authors articles for NeckSolutions and works with special products for ALS patients as well as other neuromuscular conditions.