An Introduction to Joint Health
Everyone wants to move freely without stiffness and discomfort, but achy and creaky joints are often considered to be an inevitable consequence of growing older. The good news: There are some natural ways to preserve your joints that are simple and life-enhancing in other ways, too.
Tips for Supporting Joint Health
1. Cut Back on Processed Foods and Sugar.
Or better yet, eliminate them altogether. If you eat like most Americans, most of your diet is made up of processed food products, meat, and dairy. For a multitude of reasons, these types of foods are really bad for your joints.
2. Get Plenty of Sleep.
Sleep is when the body repairs itself. At least 7-8 hours of restful sleep is necessary for optimal maintenance of body parts.
3. Manage Stress.
The modern world is saturated with stress. Continually “running from the tiger” inhibits normal repair functions in the body and allows tissues to break down.
4. Stay Active.
But not excessively so. Regular physical activity stimulates repair functions in the body and helps maintain healthy joints. Excessive physical stress, however, accelerates wear and tear.
5. Practice Yoga.
Yoga stretches ligaments and enhances joint support without increasing wear & tear. Many top athletes now include yoga as an important part of their regular workout routine.
6. Support Your Joints With Herbs and Natural Ingredients.
At the top of the list:
- Turmeric: Excess, chronic inflammation has been linked with joint and back pain, among many other health concerns. Natural compounds called curcuminoids in turmeric have been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity in several studies.
- Boswellia: Long used for promoting join comfort in India and the Arabian Peninsula, boswellia has anti-inflammatory powers and has been linked with reduced osteoarthritis pain in clinical studies.
- Eggshell membrane: A natural source of collagen and other proteins that support joint health, eggshell membrane has been shown to help ease joint pain, stiffness, and discomfort..
- Hyaluronic acid: This natural sugar helps keep the synovial fluid in joints viscous for proper lubrication, which helps fend off friction and resulting pain..
- Bromelain: A protein-digesting enzyme found naturally in pineapple, bromelain has been studied for its anti-inflammatory actions and ability to help ease symptoms associated with knee and shoulder arthritis..
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Maintaining a healthy omega-3 ratio can help reduce cartilage erosion and help thicken the synovial membrane. Both krill oil and fish oil are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but krill oil has the advantage of providing the omega-3 fatty acids in easily absorbed phospholipid form, as opposed to the triglyceride form found in fish oil. In addition, krill provides astaxanthin – a highly potent antioxidant.
1. Binu Chandran and Ajay Goel, A Randomized, Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis, Phytotherapy Research
(Impact Factor: 2.66). 11/2012; 26(11):1719-25
2. Sishu, et al, The bioavailability of curcumin from turmeric, BCM-95®, Journal of Functional Foods
, 2010; 2(1):60-65
3. Antony, et al, Relative bioavailability of BCM-95®CG (BCM-95), Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Science
, 2008; 70(4):445-449
4. Reji Kizhakkedath, Clinical evaluation of a formulation containing Curcuma longa and Boswellia serrata extracts in the management of knee osteoarthritis
, Molecular Medicine Reports, November 2013, Volume 8 Issue 5, p 1542-1548.
5. Prabhavathi K, Chandra USJ, Soanker R, Rani PU. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study to evaluate the analgesic activity of Boswellia serrata in healthy volunteers using mechanical pain model
. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 2014;46(5):475-479.
6. Gupta PK1, Samarakoon SM, Chandola HM, Ravishankar B, Clinical evaluation of Boswellia serrata (Shallaki) resin in the management of Sandhivata (osteoarthritis)
, Ayu. 2011 Oct;32(4):478-82.
7. Conrozier T, Mathieu P, Bonjean M, Marc JF, Renevier JL, Balblanc JC, A complex of three natural anti-inflammatory agents provides relief of osteoarthritis pain
, Altern Ther Health Med. 2014 Winter;20 Suppl 1:32-7.
8. Walker AF1, Bundy R, Hicks SM, Middleton RW, Bromelain reduces mild acute knee pain and improves well-being in a dose-dependent fashion in an open study of otherwise healthy adults
, Phytomedicine. 2002 Dec;9(8):681-6.
9. Soltani M, Parivar K, Baharara J, Kerachian MA, Asili J, Putative mechanism for apoptosis-inducing properties of crude saponin isolated from sea cucumber (Holothuria leucospilota) as an antioxidant compound
, Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2015 Feb;18(2):180-7.
10. Thao NP, Luyen BT, Le Vien T, Tai BH, Le Dat D, Cuong NX, Nam NH, Van Kiem P, Van Minh C, Kim YH, Triterpene saponins from the sea cucumber Stichopus chloronotus,
Nat Prod Commun. 2014 May;9(5):615-8.
11. Bruyère, Altman, Reginster, Efficacy and safety of glucosamine sulfate in the management of osteoarthritis: Evidence from real-life setting trials and surveys
, Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2016 Feb;45(4 Suppl):S12-7.
12. Raynauld et al, Long-term effects of glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate on the progression of structural changes in knee osteoarthritis: 6-year follow-up data from the osteoarthritis initiative
, Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2016 Feb 16.
13. Runhaar et al, The role of diet and exercise and of glucosamine sulfate in the prevention of knee osteoarthritis: Further results from the Prevention of knee Osteoarthritis in Overweight Females
(PROOF) study, Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2016 Feb;45(4 Suppl):S42-8.
14. Rovati et al, Effects of glucosamine sulfate on the use of rescue non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in knee osteoarthritis: Results from the Pharmaco-Epidemiology of GonArthroSis
(PEGASus) study, Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2016 Feb;45(4 Suppl):S34-41.
15. Roubille et al, Impact of disease treatments on the progression of knee osteoarthritis structural changes related to meniscal extrusion: Data from the OAI progression cohort
, Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2015 Dec;45(3):257-67.
16. Luisa Deutsch MD, MSc, Evaluation of the Effect of Neptune Krill Oil on Chronic Inflammation of Arthritis Symptoms
, J of Am Col of Nut, 2007, 20 (1), p 39-48.
17. Kevin J Ruff, et al. Beneficial effects of natural eggshell membrane versus placebo in exercise-induced joint pain, stiffness, and cartilage turnover in healthy, postmenopausal women.” Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2018; 13: 285-295.
18. Mariko Oe, et al. “Oral hyaluronan relieves knee pain: a review.” Nutrition Journal.; 2016 Jan 27.
19. Sarah Brien, et al. Bromelain as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis: a Review of Clinical Studies. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2004 Dec; 1(3): 251-257.