You’ve probably heard of the benefits of calcium for your bones, but did you know that this mineral is also important for your muscles, energy, skin and more? Learn more about the role this powerful nutrient plays in the body from Jerry Hickey, Ph.
Tag: joint health
Due to its high antioxidant content, tart cherries have been studied for their numerous benefits including joint, heart and muscle health. Here’s why tart cherry extract is such a superior ingredient.
Turmeric is a fine, bright-yellow spice that been used in Indian culture for thousands of years for both its healing properties and cosmetic benefits. It is available as a spice, has been included as a potent ingredient in numerous dietary supplements, and is now one of the trendiest, new ingredients in beauty products.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has been used in numerous clinical trials, showing its effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory and a strong antioxidant. Because of this, many companies – both dietary and cosmetic – include Turmeric (or curcumin) in their formulas.
Turmeric for Skin
Here are two face mask ideas using turmeric, from Glamour Magazine.
Turmeric works wonders to turn dull-looking complexions healthy and glowy. There are many variations of the face mask online, but they usually contain the same base: 2 tbsps of flour (regular or rice), 1 tsp turmeric, 3 tbsps milk and a few drops of lemon juice or honey. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add more milk if you prefer a smoother application and exfoliation. (Use skimmed or no-fat milk if you have oily skin).
If you suffer from acne or occasional breakouts, turmeric might be able to help. While its antioxidants slow down cell damage, its anti-inflammatory properties can calm inflammatory skin conditions, like acne, psoriasis and eczema. Use the same recipe as above, but change the milk for natural yogurt. You can also add 2 tsps of sandalwood –its oil is commonly used to fight acne as well.
Turmeric (Curcumin) in Dietary Supplements
Inflammation helps the body fight off foreign invaders and helps to repair damage. Curcumin, or turmeric, is a very powerful antioxidant that can effectively scavenge oxygen and nitrogen-free radicals that would otherwise destroy our cells and accelerate the aging process.†
Given that curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory, numerous studies have shown its benefit on arthritis and other joint issues. Yet, the active ingredients in Turmeric, collectively known as Curcuminoids, are notoriously difficult for us to absorb, meaning we need to swallow large amounts to achieve less than stellar results. This has all changed with the introduction of Bio-Curcumin®; Curcumin is the ingredient in the plant. Bio-Curcumin® is a technological breakthrough improving the absorption of Curcumin significantly, with studies showing 7 to 8 time’s greater bioavailability. Human clinical trials also show that Bio-Curcumin® lasts much longer in our body.†
Curcumin has been found to increase brain levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, BDNF. Neurons are capable of forming new connections, even after early childhood. BDNF is one of the main drivers of this process. Without new neurons and BDNF, our bodies would most likely develop degenerative processes in the brain.†
According to a study published in the the Journal of Clinical Immunology, turmeric’s curcumin can boost your immune system by combating bacteria, virus and microbes; combating the body’s histamine responses (the cause of allergic reactions); improving hormonal balance and block the inflammation that can result in itchy eyes and clogged sinuses.†
Turmeric’s antioxidant effect on blood vessels can help prevent blood clots, improve blood circulation and reduce cholesterol – all extremely beneficial to the body’s overall cardiac function.†
The orange root can also be highly beneficial for managing the symptoms of diabetes, as regular intake can prevent spikes in insulin levels and its anti-inflammatory properties can help suppress glucose levels in your blood.†
Questions about Turmeric? Leave us a comment below to join in the conversation!
Glucosamine and chondroitin are supplements commonly used to support joint health. But a new study reports that these supplements may also support colon health via anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Data from the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow up Study published in the International Journal of …
Jerry Hickey is a pharmacist and radio personality and fills the esteemed role of Scientific Director and President of Invite Health. He has spent his professional life analyzing nutritional information and medical studies with the aim of creating the highest quality and most natural nutraceuticals …
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is inflammation in the joints, mainly due to a breakdown of cartilage. Osteoarthritis frequently occurs in the knees, hips, spine, and the fingers. Common medical treatments do not usually improve healing or change the path of this condition. Typical medication is aimed at decreasing pain, inflammation, and stiffness while improving joint mobility. However, nutritional supplements are being studied intensively to see if they can slow the progression of cartilage destruction and redirect the course of the condition towards actual healing.
The breakdown of cartilage is central to osteoarthritis. Cartilage is a firm but rubbery shock-absorber located at the end of bones that protects the bone and joint. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes stiff, decreasing its shock-absorbing quality and causing it to gradually wear away. With increasing cartilage destruction, the bones can actually rub together causing tendons and ligaments to become stretched and painful.
Targeting specific Joint Components with Nutrition
To improve cartilage and aid osteoarthritis nutritionally, it is important to stabilize the health of the four cartilage components – collagen, proteoglycans, trapped water, and chondrocytes.
- Collagen is the major protein constituent of cartilage, giving cartilage its strength and structure. Collagen is also found in the hair, skin, nails, facial structure, bones, ligaments, tendons and muscle, where it supplies a framework for other building components.
- Proteoglycans are made up of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) such as chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid. These GAGs are lubricants for the joints. The GAGs give their proteoglycans the compressibility and shock absorbing capacity allowing them to weave through collagen. This woven structure traps water which makes up approximately 70% of the total mass of healthy cartilage.
- Water– when you use your joints, some water from the cartilage enters the joint and coats this tissue allowing the joint to bend. When you relax the joint, the water is reabsorbed into the cartilage allowing the joint to resume its resting shape.
- Chondrocytes are cells that manufacture both collagen and proteoglycans in the joint cartilage.
Collagen Addresses All Aspects of Joint Health
Hydrolyzed collagen from New Zealand is a pure source of complex nutrients that may aid the health of all four cartilage components. Hydrolyzed collagen supplies both collagen-specific peptides and GAGs. After conducting some research on peptides, it can be said that collagen specific peptides may actually stimulate repair of the joint differently than the well-known nutrients chondroitin and glucosamine (two important GAGs). A high quality collagen also supplies a minimum of 20% GAGs as chondroitin-sulfate (composed of complex chains of glucosamine), keratan sulfate and hyaluronic acid.
The chondroitin sulfate is the most abundant GAG in the human body and is an important component of both joint and bone structure. Keratan sulfate is a GAG foundin bone and is also found attached to chondroitin sulfate to create joint tissue. Hyaluronic acid is the major GAG component of the joint lubricating and shock absorbing synovial fluid. Hydrolyzed collagen is also the richest source of the primary amino acids that constitute collagen, cartilage and connective tissue, bone, tendon, ligament, joint, muscle, hair, skin and nails. These amino acids are glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, lysine, and hydroxylysine.
Hydrolyzed collagen has been used in Europe for decades and studies show it may improve both arthritis and osteoporosis. In German studies, seven to ten grams of hydrolyzed collagen protein per day for one to three months decreased the pain and stiffness of arthritis while improving joint function. Both the glycosaminoglycans and the collagen specific peptides, found in the hydrolyzed collagen, have been shown in a number of studies to help heal the joint – independent of other modalities.
It is important to point out that collagen production slows as we age. Collagen is the superstructure for tissues throughout our body so the sagging of our face, thinning of our hair and wrinkling of our skin can be traced to slowed collagen production. Studies show that supplementation with hydrolyzed collagen may speed up our creation of collagen.
Herbs that are Collagen and Joint Supportive
There are a number of herbs that have demonstrated consistency in reducing inflammation in human and animal studies. Among the most useful of these herbs are Turmeric, Boswellia Serrata and the proteolytic enzyme Bromelain, derived from the stem of the pineapple plant.
The root of the Turmeric plant has been used in Ayurvedic medicine (traditional Indian herbal healing) for thousands of years. Turmeric is also used in cooking, being mildly spicy and giving curry its characteristic yellow color. Turmeric is rich in many nutrients especially curcuminoids collectively known as curcumin. Curcumin gives the plant its activity. Turmeric is the most potent anti-inflammatory herb according to research and is also a strong antioxidant. Because of these qualities, Turmeric has a number of activities.
Various studies show that Turmeric helps reduce inflammation in the liver, in the blood vessels, in the joint and brain. Recent epidemiological research has shown that areas of India with the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s disease also consume the highest quantities of Turmeric rich curry. A recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that Turmeric reduced inflammation and cellular damage in the brains of mice, consistent with decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s type of damage. Other studies show it may be helpful in managing inflammation in the brains of individuals with multiple sclerosis.
Turmeric may be useful for arthritic conditions and it may help manage inflammation. Research has indicated that Turmeric reduced the production of particular prostaglandins, inflammatory chemicals that contribute to arthritis. It depleted substance P in the nerve endings, an activity that may help reduce arthritic pain.
Boswellia Serrata is another important Ayurvedic herb. It’s rich in Boswellic acid, the ingredient largely responsible for its anti-inflammatory activity. Boswellia is traditionally used for arthritis and this usage is supported by modern research. Animal studies show that Boswellia is a potent 5- lipoxygenase inhibitor, that may give it the potent anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic benefit.
In a study of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, those on Boswellia had significant improvement in knee pain, joint flexibility, and overall joint health. These patients had increased ability to use their knee and were able to walk a longer distance than the individuals on placebo. Although many agents that are helpful with arthritis are irritating to the digestive tract, Boswellia lacks this toxicity. In fact Boswellia serrata has been shown to decrease inflammation in the intestines of individuals with chronic colitis.
Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme derived from the stem of the pineapple. In a study Bromelain reduced mild acute knee pain in a dose-dependent fashion. Bromelain gave greater relief at higher potencies and also improved the well- being of these patients.
Other Supportive Joint Health Nutrients
MSM, a derivative of onions, has been shown in animal studies to decrease inflammation. Ongoing research shows that MSM has anti-inflammatory and possibly anti-allergy activity. In a recent study, MSM greatly reduced the symptoms and need for chiropractic care in patients with acute athletic injuries versus those on placebo.
Horsetail Rush grows naturally in Europe. Horsetail supplies silicic acid, an ingredient that has been shown to help with post-traumatic swelling. The German Regulatory Commission approved the use of Horsetail to aid poorly healing wounds. Recently, researchers reported that Horsetail helps to strengthen and regenerate connective tissue; a process necessary for improving the joint health of arthritic joints.
For more information on Joint Health and to view radio and academic studies, visit www.invitehealth.com!