: Super Supplements for Joint Health
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. With its gel-like nature, cartilage provides a cushion in the joints and acts as a shock absorber.
When cartilage starts to break down, the symptoms can be subtle—maybe some joint stiffness in the morning or pain that gets worse with prolonged activity. But as osteoarthritis progresses, you may experience tenderness, swelling, and pain. Without cartilage in the joint, bone rubs against bone, causing inflammation, pain, and limited joint motion.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have become the conventional treatment for osteoarthritis, but these drugs only provide short-term relief of symptoms and don’t address the underlying cause of the problem—and they may actually increase the rate of degradation of cartilage in the joints. These drugs are also associated with significant risks and side effects.
Along with regular exercise and a diet packed with antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables, your local supplement aisle has a lot to offer when it comes to relieving arthritis naturally. Here are a few of our favorite remedies.
Vitamins and More
B vitamins: The B-complex vitamins help to increase blood flow, reduce swelling, and help prevent nerve damage. The B vitamins work best when taken together, so look for a B-complex supplement.
Vitamin C: This vitamin’s anti-inflammatory effects can help to relieve osteoarthritis pain. Look for a formula that contains bioflavonoids to boost the activity of vitamin C.
Omega-3s: Essential fatty acids help increase the production and activity of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, helping to control arthritis pain and inflammation.
SAMe: This naturally occurring molecule delivers sulfur to the cartilage, helping to build strong joints. Without enough SAMe, we can’t maintain healthy cartilage. Research suggests that SAMe may relive joint pain and improve joint function as effectively as drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin.
Glucosamine and chondroitin: These two supplements are made from substances naturally found in cartilage, and they support healthy joints, ligaments, and tendons. Studies show that glucosamine sulfate, alone or in combination with chondroitin sulfate, helps relieve pain, improve joint mobility, and slow damage to the joints from osteoarthritis.
Curcumin, found in the herb turmeric, has potent anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to relieve tenderness and swelling of the joints.
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. Studies show that ginger can help reduce pain levels and improve mobility in people with osteoarthritis.
Boswellia has anti-inflammatory effects and aids in improving the blood supply to the joints. This herb can also be used topically to relieve pain.
Look for these natural arthritis relievers individually, in joint health formulas, and as part of a high-quality multivitamin/mineral supplement.
© 2014 Living Naturally