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Arthritis, Fractures, PTSD and Weight News

April 14, 2014 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

If you consult with most primary care doctors about arthritis, overweight, poor bone density or post traumatic stress, you’ll likely walk out of their offices with a prescription and/or a referral to a specialist. A similar scenario occurs quite frequently if you visit your local health food store or holistic clinic inquiring about the very same health conditions. But, regardless of which form of treatment you choose, there’s an important asset that you should always bring to your appointments – information. Instead of simply expecting to be informed, be prepared to pose the types of questions that only informed patients can ask.

Today’s blog features several evidence-based natural remedies that can be used as alternatives to conventional therapies or as adjuncts. However, they can also be applied in the exact same way if you opt for a holistic treatment approach. That’s right. These can also be alternatives or complements to the alternatives! What’s more, if you are armed with current research, it’s likely to be “news” to your treating physician. More often than not, it’s probably something about which they’re unaware or inadequately informed. That’s all the more reason why it could be invaluable for you and their other patients. I’ve seen this time and time again, regardless of a doctor’s education, stature or well-meaning intentions.

Two recent studies have found that a specific probiotic strain, Lactobacillus case 01, safely lowers inflammation and disease activity in patients living with rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative disease that isn’t caused by an autoimmune reaction, is commonly treated with pain relievers including ibuprofen. A new study appearing in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging reports that 1,500 mg/day of a curcumin extract (standardized to 75% to 85% curcuminoids) is as effective and safer than ibuprofen in managing pain and stiffness related to OA. Calcium and Vitamin D are commonly prescribed to women with bone fractures. New evidence reveals that another supplement combination (magnesium and vitex agnus castus or chasteberry) synergistically promotes fracture healing by increasing callus formation and osteocalcium levels.

Post traumatic stress (PTSD) is a debilitating and sometimes life threatening disorder which can be quite challenging to manage. Emerging data from two trials suggests that yoga is an “acceptable and feasible” adjunct for minimizing PTSD symptoms such as hyperarousal, poor sleep quality and the “reexperiencing” of traumatic events. Finally, a highly viscous fiber blend known as PGX is quickly garnering a strong reputation in the scientific community as an effective and safe weight loss aid. PGX or PolyGlycopleX discourages overeating and promotes cardiometabolic wellness in numerous ways, including moderating blood glucose, lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides) and pressure, while promoting hunger satisfaction or satiety.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – Effects of Lactobacillus Casei Supplementation on Disease Activity and (link)

Study 2 – Probiotic Supplementation Improves Inflammatory Status in Patients (link)

Study 3 – Effects of “Vitex Agnus Castus” Extract & Magnesium Supplementation(link)

Study 4 – Trabecular Bone Density in a Two Year Controlled Trial of Peroral … (link)

Study 5 – Efficacy and Safety of Curcuma Domestica Extracts Compared with … (link)

Study 6 – Efficacy & Safety of Meriva®, a Curcumin-Phosphatidylcholine Complex (link)

Study 7 – A Pilot Study of a Randomized Controlled Trial of Yoga as an (link)

Study 8 – A Yoga Program for the Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in (link)

Study 9 – Dose-Response Effect of a Novel Functional Fibre, PolyGlycopleX® (link)

Study 10 – Effect of PGX, a Novel Functional Fibre Supplement, on Subjective (link)

PGX Increases Feelings of Fullness

Source: Appetite. 2014 Mar 12. (link)

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health

11 Comments & Updates to “Arthritis, Fractures, PTSD and Weight News”

  1. Paul F. Says:

    Hi Healthy Fellow,

    In this article you state: “What’s more, if you are armed with current research, it’s likely to be ‘news’ to your treating physician.”

    What follows is an example of how your guidance can help even doctors. I have been an ardent follower of Healthy Fellow research and recommendations since their inception in 2008.

    In an article about Dry eyes in February of 2010 you stated: “The fruit of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is a rich source of antioxidants and essential fatty acids which have been documented as providing anti-inflammatory and immune system modulating activity. At this point, it’s far too early to make any conclusive determination about sea buckthorn. However, there seems to be a solid foundation for testing it.” You kept researching new studies as they became available.

    My wife had been suffering of dry eyes and was not being help by any eye drops prescriptions. I followed your additional research which lead me by mid 2010 to have her try SeaBuckWonders-Omega 7 Complete 2 capsules of 500 mg a day. The results were positive and immediate! She has been blessed with positive results since then. Dry eyes were history!

    Going back to today’s article, my wife informed after a few months of use of these capsules to our renowned ophthalmologist about her treatment and he said he regretted not have received this input earlier, because he had read about this research but was not among his standard treatments. Dr. Berbos decided to adopt SeaBuckWonders-Omega 7 Complete 2 capsules of 500 mg a day supplement for his patients with dry eyes, starting with his mother! The doctor made a good choice! Some doctors can be influenced by us!

    Keep up your great work!


  2. JP Says:

    Many thanks, Paul! That is encouraging and most welcome news! 🙂

    Be well!


  3. JP Says:

    Update: Glucosamine & chondroitin lower systemic inflammation …


    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!


  4. JP Says:

    Update 04/29/15:


    Psychol Trauma. 2015 Apr 27.

    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to Enhance Psychological Functioning and Improve Inflammatory Biomarkers in Trauma-Exposed Women: A Pilot Study.

    This study examined the effects of a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program on psychological functioning and inflammatory biomarkers in women with histories of interpersonal trauma. The 8-week MBSR program was conducted at a community-based health center and participants (N = 50) completed several measures of psychological functioning at study entry as well as 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and 12 weeks later. Inflammatory biomarkers were assayed from blood collected at each assessment. A series of linear mixed-model analyses were conducted to measure the effect of attendance and time on the dependent variables. Time was associated with significant decreases in perceived stress, depression, trait and state anxiety, emotion dysregulation, and posttraumatic stress symptoms, as well as increases in mindfulness. Session attendance was associated with significant decreases in interleukin (IL)-6 levels. This pilot study demonstrated the potential beneficial effects of MBSR on psychological functioning and the inflammatory biomarker IL-6 among trauma-exposed and primarily low-income women. Decreases in inflammation have implications for this population, as interpersonal trauma can instigate chronic physiological dysregulation, heightened morbidity, and premature death. This study’s preliminary results support efforts to investigate biological remediation with behavioral interventions in vulnerable populations.

    Be well!


  5. JP Says:

    Updated 08/14/15:


    Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Aug 12.

    Tea and flavonoid intake predict osteoporotic fracture risk in elderly Australian women: a prospective study.

    BACKGROUND: Observational studies have linked tea drinking, a major source of dietary flavonoids, with higher bone density. However, there is a paucity of prospective studies examining the association of tea drinking and flavonoid intake with fracture risk.

    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to examine the associations of black tea drinking and flavonoid intake with fracture risk in a prospective cohort of women aged >75 y.

    DESIGN: A total of 1188 women were assessed for habitual dietary intake with a food-frequency and beverage questionnaire. Incidence of osteoporotic fracture requiring hospitalization was determined through the Western Australian Hospital Morbidity Data system. Multivariable adjusted Cox regression was used to examine the HRs for incident fracture.

    RESULTS: Over 10 y of follow-up, osteoporotic fractures were identified in 288 (24.2%) women; 212 (17.8%) were identified as a major osteoporotic fracture, and of these, 129 (10.9%) were a hip fracture. In comparison with the lowest tea intake category (≤1 cup/wk), consumption of ≥3 cups/d was associated with a 30% decrease in the risk of any osteoporotic fracture (HR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.50, 0.96). Compared with women in the lowest tertile of total flavonoid intake (from tea and diet), women in the highest tertile had a lower risk of any osteoporotic fracture (HR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.47, 0.88), major osteoporotic fracture (HR: 0.66; 95% CI: 0.45, 0.95), and hip fracture (HR: 0.58; 95% CI: 0.36, 0.95). For specific classes of flavonoids, statistically significant reductions with fracture risk were observed for higher intake of flavonols for any osteoporotic fracture and major osteoporotic fracture, as well as flavones for hip fracture (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Higher intake of black tea and particular classes of flavonoids were associated with lower risk of fracture-related hospitalizations in elderly women at high risk of fracture. Be well! JP

  6. JP Says:

    Updated 06/12/16:


    J Affect Disord. 2016 May 30.

    Effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on psychophysiological symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in accident survivors: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

    BACKGROUND: Psychophysiological symptoms (e.g., pounding heart) are known to be a prominent feature of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have a beneficial potential pharmacological effect of preventing these psychophysiological symptoms, no clinical data is yet available. Therefore, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Japanese accident survivors.

    METHODS: A total of 83 participants received either omega-3 PUFAs (1470mg docosahexaenoic acid and 147mg eicosapentaenoic acid per day) or placebo within 10 days of the accidental injury. After 12-week supplementation, participants performed script-driven imagery of their traumatic event during monitoring of their heart rate and skin conductance.

    RESULTS: Analysis revealed that heart rate during both rest and script-driven imagery was significantly lower in the omega-3 group than the placebo group, whereas baseline heart rate was comparable between the two groups.

    LIMITATIONS: The present trial was conducted at a single-center in Japan and psychophysiological symptoms of PTSD in most participants were not serious.

    CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that post-trauma supplementation of omega-3 PUFAs might be effective for the secondary prevention of psychophysiological symptoms of PTSD.

    Be well!


  7. JP Says:

    Updated 06/28/16:


    J Bone Miner Res. 2016 Jun 27.

    Mediterranean Diet and Hip Fracture in Swedish Men and Women.

    A Mediterranean diet, known to have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, may also influence the risk of hip fracture although previous studies present discrepant results. We therefore aimed to determine whether the rate of hip fracture was associated with degree of adherence to a Mediterranean diet. We combined two Swedish cohort studies consisting of 37,903 men and 33,403 women (total n = 71,333, mean age 60 years) free of previous cardiovascular disease and cancer who answered a medical and a food-frequency questionnaire in 1997. A modified Mediterranean diet score (mMED; range 0-8 points) was created based on high consumption of fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts, whole grains, fermented dairy products, fish, and olive/rapeseed oil, moderate intake of alcohol, and low intake of red and processed meat. Incident hip fractures between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 2012 were retrieved from the National Patient Register. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for potential confounders were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression. Differences in age at hip fracture were calculated using multivariable Laplace regression. During follow-up, 3,175 hip fractures occurred at a median age of 73.3 years. One unit increase in the mMED was associated with 6% lower hip fracture rate (adjusted HR = 0.94; 95% CI 0.92-0.96) and with a three months higher median age at hip fracture (50th percentile difference = 2.8 months; 95% CI 1.4-4.2). Comparing the highest quintile of adherence to the mMED (6-8 points) with the lowest (0-2 points) conferred an adjusted HR of hip fracture of 0.78 (95% CI 0.69-0.89) and a 12 months higher median age of hip fracture (50th percentile difference = 11.6 months; 95% CI 4.2-19.0). Results were similar in men and women. We conclude that higher adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet is associated with lower risk of future hip fracture.

    Be well!


  8. JP Says:

    Updated 08/22/16:


    Explore (NY). 2016 Jun 27.

    EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and Resiliency in Veterans at Risk for PTSD: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Prior research indicates elevated but subclinical posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms as a risk factor for a later diagnosis of PTSD. This study examined the progression of symptoms in 21 subclinical veterans. Participants were randomized into a treatment as usual (TAU) wait-list group and an experimental group, which received TAU plus six sessions of clinical emotional freedom techniques (EFT). Symptoms were assessed using the PCL-M (Posttraumatic Checklist-Military) on which a score of 35 or higher indicates increased risk for PTSD. The mean pretreatment score of participants was 39 ± 8.7, with no significant difference between groups. No change was found in the TAU group during the wait period. Afterward, the TAU group received an identical clinical EFT protocol. Posttreatment groups were combined for analysis. Scores declined to a mean of 25 (-64%, P < .0001). Participants maintained their gains, with mean three-month and six-month follow-up PCL-M scores of 27 (P < .0001). Similar reductions were noted in the depth and breadth of psychological conditions such as anxiety. A Cohen's d = 1.99 indicates a large treatment effect. Reductions in traumatic brain injury symptoms (P = .045) and insomnia (P = .004) were also noted. Symptom improvements were similar to those assessed in studies of PTSD-positive veterans. EFT may thus be protective against an increase in symptoms and a later PTSD diagnosis. As a simple and quickly learned self-help method, EFT may be a clinically useful element of a resiliency program for veterans and active-duty warriors. Be well! JP

  9. JP Says:

    Updated 09/27/16:


    J Bone Miner Res. 2016 Sep 24.

    Type 2 Diabetes and Risk of Hip Fractures and Non-Skeletal Fall Injuries in the Elderly – A Study from the Fractures and Fall Injuries in the Elderly Cohort (FRAILCO).

    Questions remain about whether the increased risk of fractures in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is related mainly to increased risk of falling or to bone-specific properties. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the risk of hip fractures and non-skeletal fall injuries in older men and women with and without T2DM. We included 429,313 individuals (80.8 ± 8.2 years (mean ± SD), 58% women) from the Swedish registry “Senior Alert” and linked the data to several nation-wide registers. We identified 79,159 individuals with T2DM (45% with insulin (T2DM-I), 41% with oral antidiabetics (T2DM-O), and 14% with no antidiabetic treatment (T2DM-none)), and 343,603 individuals without diabetes. During a follow-up of approximately 670,000 person-years we identified in total 36,132 fractures (15,572 hip fractures) and 20,019 non-skeletal fall injuries. In multivariable Cox-regression models where the reference group was patients without diabetes and the outcome was hip fracture, T2DM-I was associated with increased risk (adjusted Hazard Ratio (HR) [95% CI] 1.24 [1.16-1.32]), T2DM-O with unaffected risk (1.03 [0.97-1.11]) and T2DM-none with reduced risk (0.88 [0.79-0.98]). Both the diagnosis of T2DM-I (HR 1.22 [1.16-1.29]) and T2DM-O (HR 1.12 [1.06-1.18]) but not T2DM-none (1.07 [0.98-1.16]) predicted non-skeletal fall injury. The same pattern was seen regarding other fractures (any, upper arm, ankle and major osteoporotic fracture) but not for wrist fracture. Subset-analyses revealed that in men, the risk of hip fracture was only increased in those with T2DM-I but in women, both the diagnosis of T2DM-O and T2DM-I were related to increased hip fracture risk. In conclusion, the risk of fractures differs substantially among patients with T2DM and an increased risk of hip fracture was primarily seen in insulin-treated patients, while the risk of non-skeletal fall injury was consistently increased in T2DM with any diabetes medication.

    Be well!


  10. JP Says:

    Updated 12/06/16:


    Rheumatol Int. 2016 Dec 2.

    Managing knee osteoarthritis with yoga or aerobic/strengthening exercise programs in older adults: a pilot randomized controlled trial.

    Although exercise is often recommended for managing osteoarthritis (OA), limited evidence-based exercise options are available for older adults with OA. This study compared the effects of Hatha yoga (HY) and aerobic/strengthening exercises (ASE) on knee OA. Randomized controlled trial with three arms design was used: HY, ASE, and education control. Both HY and ASE groups involved 8 weekly 45-min group classes with 2-4 days/week home practice sessions. Control group received OA education brochures and weekly phone calls from study staff. Standardized instruments were used to measure OA symptoms, physical function, mood, spiritual health, fear of falling, and quality of life at baseline, 4 and 8 weeks. HY/ASE adherences were assessed weekly using class attendance records and home practice video recordings. Primary analysis of the difference in the change from baseline was based on intent-to-treat and adjusted for baseline values. Eight-three adults with symptomatic knee OA completed the study (84% female; mean age 71.6 ± 8.0 years; mean BMI 29.0 ± 7.0 kg/m2). Retention rate was 82%. Compared to the ASE group at 8 weeks, participants in the HY group had a significant improvement from baseline in perception of OA symptoms (-9.6 [95% CI -15.3, -4]; p = .001), anxiety (-1.4 [95% CI -2.7, -0]; p = .04), and fear of falling (-4.6 [-7.5, -1.7]; p = .002). There were no differences in class/home practice adherence between HY and ASE. Three non-serious adverse events were reported from the ASE group. Both HY and ASE improved symptoms and function but HY may have superior benefits for older adults with knee OA.

    Be well!


  11. JP Says:

    Updated 04/08/18:


    Clin Rheumatol. 2018 Apr 3.

    The association between the Mediterranean diet and magnetic resonance parameters for knee osteoarthritis: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.

    The Mediterranean diet appears to be beneficial for osteoarthritis (OA), but the few data available regarding the association between the diet and the condition are limited to X-ray and clinical findings. The current study aimed to investigate the association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and knee cartilage morphology, assessed using magnetic resonance (MRI) in a cohort of North American participants. Seven hundred eighty-three participants in the Osteoarthritis Initiative (59.8% females; mean age 62.3 years) in possession of a MRI assessment (a coronal 3D FLASH with Water Excitation MR sequence of the right knee) were enrolled in our cross-sectional study. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was evaluated using a validated Mediterranean diet score (aMED). The strength of the association between aMED and knee MRI parameters was gauged using an adjusted linear regression analysis, expressed as standardized betas with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Using an adjusted linear regression analysis, each increase of one standard deviation (SD) in the aMED corresponded to a significant increase in the central medial femoral cartilage volume (beta = 0.12; 95%CI 0.09 to 0.15), in the mean central medial femoral cartilage thickness (beta = 0.13; 95%CI 0.01 to 0.17), in the cartilage thickness of the mean central medial tibiofemoral compartment (beta = 0.12; 95%CI 0.09 to 0.15), and in the cartilage volume of the medial tibiofemoral compartment (beta = 0.09; 95%CI 0.06 to 0.12). Higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet was found to be associated with a significant improvement in knee cartilage as assessed by MRI, even after adjusting for potential confounding factors.

    Be well!


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