Nature’s Arthritis Remedies

December 25, 2008 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

If you have osteoarthritis or just your fair share of aches and pains, this is the blog for you. And if you don’t fall into either category, stick around anyway. I’m sure you know someone who might benefit from the following information.

Let’s Be Frankincense

Earlier this year, a study appeared in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy. In it, the results of some promising research on a frankincense extract were described.

Osteoarthritis diagnosis

The study, on 75 osteoarthritis (OA) sufferers, examined the effects of varying dosages of a patented frankincense extract called 5-LOXIN.

25 of the OA volunteers received 100 mg of 5-LOXIN per day, for 90 days. Another 25 received 250 mg daily. The final group was given a placebo (an inactive pill).

A variety of tests were conducted prior to, during and at the end of the 90 day test period. Here’s what the testing showed:

  • An improvement in functional ability and a reduction in pain scores were noted after just 7 days of treatment.
  • There was a decrease in the number of enzymes that are commonly produced in OA patients. These enzymes contribute to damage and decay of the joints. In other words, the 5-LOXIN helped to prevent degenerative damage to the joints.
  • 5-LOXIN was not associated with any major side-effects.

Both dosages of 5-LOXIN were found to be effective. But the 250 mg dosage appeared to produce results faster than the 100 mg dosage.

CarteriBarking Up the Right Tree

Have you ever heard of a supplement called Pycnogenol? It’s pronounced “Pick nah ja nol” and it’s one of the best researched natural products in the world.

Pycnogenol is an extract from the bark of French maritime pine trees. Contained within the pine bark are powerful antioxidants that have been shown to positively affect everything from angina to jet lag to macular degeneration to varicose veins. More than 200 scientific studies and research papers and over 35 years of analysis attest to its efficacy, potency and safety.

One of the most recent studies on Pycnogenol was conducted on patients with osteoarthritis (OA). The OA patients were asked to take 100 mg of this pine bark extract everyday for 3 months

Not only did the patients find a reduction in joint pain and an improvement in joint function but the researchers also measured a dramatic decrease in C-reactive protein and fibrinogen levels. Elevated C-reactive protein and fibrinogen are considered to be risk factors for heart disease.

To summarize: Pycnogenol not only improved the symptoms of arthritis but it also brought about “side-benefits” (as opposed to side-effects) for the users’ hearts.

So now you know. There are at least two effective and safer alternatives to over-the-counter and prescription anti-inflammatory medications. Are frankincense and/or Pycnogenol right for you? I can’t say for sure. But, I do believe that they are viable alternatives worth considering.

Be well!

JP

Referenced Material

Link – Study: 5-LOXIN vs. Osteoarthritis3

Link – Frankincense Article: Osteoarthritis Analysis

Link – Pycnogenol Does Good for the Heart and Joints

Link – Pycnogenol Dosage for OA

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements

4 Comments & Updates to “Nature’s Arthritis Remedies”

  1. Daniel Szalok Says:

    Hi, thank you for the information! But is there any non-medical remedy for arthritis, a specific food perhaps? Thanks in advance!

  2. JP Says:

    Daniel,

    If I were to choose one specific food for arthritis in general, it would be wild Alaskan salmon – which is rich in DHA and EPA (omega-3 fatty acids) and an antioxidant known as astanxanthin. Eating wild salmon regularly may help support healthier circulation and reduce systemic inflammation. Homemade bone broths would be a close second choice because they’re rich in specific amino acids (components of protein) which can help improve the integrity of connective tissue.

    Be well!

    JP

  3. JP Says:

    Update: The right type of exercise benefits cartilage integrity and knee function ….

    http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=9000&issue=00000&article=97807&type=abstract

    Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015 Feb 9.

    Effect of Exercise on Patellar Cartilage in Women with Mild Knee Osteoarthritis.

    PURPOSE: To investigate the effects of exercise on patellar cartilage using T2 relaxation time mapping of MRI in postmenopausal women with mild patellofemoral joint osteoarthritis (OA).

    METHODS: Eighty postmenopausal women (mean age: 58 y (SD 4.2)) with mild knee osteoarthritis were randomized to either a supervised progressive impact exercise program three times a week for 12 months (n = 40) or to a non-intervention control group (n = 40). The biochemical properties of cartilage were estimated using T2 relaxation time mapping, a parameter sensitive to collagen integrity, collagen orientation and tissue hydration. Leg muscle strength and power, aerobic capacity and self-rated assessment by the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) were also measured.

    RESULTS: Post intervention the full-thickness patellar cartilage T2 values had medium size effect (d= 0.59; 95% CI: 0.16 to 0.97, p=0.018), the change difference was 7% greater in the exercise group compared to the control group. In the deep half of tissue, the significant exercise effect was in medium size (d= 0.56; 95% CI: 0.13 to 0.99, p=0.013), the change difference was 8% greater in the exercise group compared to the controls. Also, significant medium size T2 effects were found in the total lateral segment, lateral deep and lateral superficial zone in favor of the exercise group. Extension force increased by 11% (d=0.63, p=0.006) more and maximal aerobic capacity by 4% (d=0.55, p=0.028) more in the exercise group than controls. No changes in KOOS emerged between the groups.

    CONCLUSIONS: Progressively implemented high-impact and intensive exercise created enough stimuli and had favorable effects both on patellar cartilage quality and physical function in postmenopausal women with mild knee OA.

    Be well!

    JP

  4. JP Says:

    Update: Glucosamine & chondroitin lower systemic inflammation …

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0117534

    PLoS One. 2015 Feb 26;10(2):e0117534.

    Randomized trial of glucosamine and chondroitin supplementation on inflammation and oxidative stress biomarkers and plasma proteomics profiles in healthy humans.

    BACKGROUND: Glucosamine and chondroitin are popular non-vitamin dietary supplements used for osteoarthritis. Long-term use is associated with lower incidence of colorectal and lung cancers and with lower mortality; however, the mechanism underlying these observations is unknown. In vitro and animal studies show that glucosamine and chondroitin inhibit NF-kB, a central mediator of inflammation, but no definitive trials have been done in healthy humans.

    METHODS: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study to assess the effects of glucosamine hydrochloride (1500 mg/d) plus chondroitin sulfate (1200 mg/d) for 28 days compared to placebo in 18 (9 men, 9 women) healthy, overweight (body mass index 25.0-32.5 kg/m2) adults, aged 20-55 y. We examined 4 serum inflammatory biomarkers: C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6, and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptors I and II; a urinary inflammation biomarker: prostaglandin E2-metabolite; and a urinary oxidative stress biomarker: F2-isoprostane. Plasma proteomics on an antibody array was performed to explore other pathways modulated by glucosamine and chondroitin.

    RESULTS: Serum CRP concentrations were 23% lower after glucosamine and chondroitin compared to placebo (P = 0.048). There were no significant differences in other biomarkers. In the proteomics analyses, several pathways were significantly different between the interventions after Bonferroni correction, the most significant being a reduction in the “cytokine activity” pathway (P = 2.6 x 10-16), after glucosamine and chondroitin compared to placebo.

    CONCLUSION: Glucosamine and chondroitin supplementation may lower systemic inflammation and alter other pathways in healthy, overweight individuals. This study adds evidence for potential mechanisms supporting epidemiologic findings that glucosamine and chondroitin are associated with reduced risk of lung and colorectal cancer.

    Be well!

    JP

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