Joint health is something that is often forgotten about until joint pain or joint-related conditions pop up. There are multiple remedies that you can do to help enhance your joint health, manage joint pain, and potentially prevent joint-related conditions. One class of remedies that is increasingly popular is joint health supplements. This article will review some common joint health supplements, how they work, and how they can benefit your joint health.
Before we take a look at some common joint health supplements, it is important to understand what joints are. A joint is a word that describes a part in your body where two or more bones meet; this meeting place generally allows for movement.
There are three types of joints in your body:
Within the freely movable joints, there is a range of different types of joints. Some examples of freely movable joints are the shoulder, hip, knee, elbow, and thumb.
Ligaments are fibrous connective tissue that holds your joint together. Cartilage is a strong and flexible type of connective tissue that is in between the bones at the joint and prevents the bones from rubbing against each other. In freely movable joints, fluid surrounds the joint to lubricate it and to allow for movement.
Joint pain is a common symptom that many individuals experience. There are many reasons for this pain, with some of the common reasons being:
There are many remedies for joint pain, such as stretching, exercise, and weight management. One variety of remedies is the use of joint health supplements.
Turmeric is a popular spice common in south Asian and middle eastern cooking. Apart from being a colorful and mild-tasting spice, it has multiple therapeutic properties.
Turmeric contains a compound by the name of curcumin. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce inflammation within the body. Joint pain is a sign of inflammation within the joint; by reducing inflammation in the joint, joint pain can be reduced.
Findings from a study found that the use of turmeric can reduce pain more than a placebo and the effects it had were comparable to the effects of common anti-inflammatory medications.
Turmeric is available in spice form, fermented liquid form or in the form of a capsule. This can help you to reach a beneficial level of turmeric easily without having to over-spice all your meals with turmeric. The fermentation helps break down the turmeric so it becomes easier to absorb without being so harsh on the gut.
You should take a turmeric supplement two to four times a day with doses ranging from 500-2000mg. If you do decide to take this supplement, it's important to note that the fat can enhance the absorption of turmeric, so take this supplement with or after a meal that contains some healthy fats.
Boswellia also goes by the name of Indian frankincense and is an herbal extract from the Boswellia tree. It is similar to turmeric in that it contains an anti-inflammatory ingredient; however, this anti-inflammatory ingredient is boswellic acid. Boswellia is available in either a resin or extract form. The extract is more potent than the resin as it contains a higher dose of boswellic acid.
The average dose of boswellia extract is 100-250mg a day. Like turmeric, it reduces the inflammation in the joint, improving pain, and is best absorbed with a meal. Boswellia and turmeric can also be used together. Studies comparing the benefits of turmeric to a combination of turmeric and Boswellia found that the benefits were higher when using a combination of turmeric and Boswellia.
Glucosamine is a building block for the cartilage in your joints. Whilst inflammation can cause pain, a reduction in cartilage in the joints can also cause pain. Cartilage prevents the bones in the joint from rubbing against each other and enables your joints to move more easily. A reduction in cartilage can cause pain from the bones rubbing against each other as well as joint stiffness. Glucosamine naturally reduces with age.
Studies focusing on the use of glucosamine suggest an improvement in joint stiffness and pain relief. However, it can take several months for the glucosamine to reduce pain.
Glucosamine is a popular ingredient in joint supplements and is available in different forms. Two of the most popular forms are glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate. The average dose is 1200mg and can be taken daily. Research suggests that glucosamine sulfate may help to ease pain more than glucosamine hydrochloride; however, more research is necessary.
Chondroitin is also a building block for cartilage and is a common ingredient that is used together with glucosamine. Like glucosamine, it helps to reduce pain and improve joint movement. It's been found that a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin can be more effective than each used alone.
The average dose of chondroitin is 800-1500mg of chondroitin. It is available separately or together with glucosamine.
MSM is a substance that plays a role in the production of collagen and glucosamine. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This can help reduce inflammation and pain. The optimal dose for MSM is between 500-3000mg. This range is wide, and more research is necessary to determine the benefits of this substance as well as the optimal dose.
Collagen is included in many joint health supplements, and its popularity has increased over the years for many reasons including reducing the appearance of aging and its effect on joints.
This ingredient is a protein in your skin, bones, cartilage, and connective tissues. It helps to provide structure, support, and strength to these parts of your body. As you age, the amount of collagen naturally reduces, and parts of your body start to lose structure, support, and strength. This results in weaker joints and a reduction in the movement of joints.
Your body naturally produces collagen. However, there are food sources that can cause your body to increase the production of collagen, and collagen can be ingested through supplements. Some food sources that do this are bone broth, meats, citrus fruits, berries, and green leafy vegetables.
Powdered, liquid, and capsule are common forms of collagen supplements. Studies show that collagen can improve flexibility as well as reduce pain. There are five different types of collagen. The type of collagen in joint supplements is undenatured collagen, meaning that the collagen is in long chains. This is different from collagen supplements for skincare as they use a denatured form of collagen. This means that the collagen is in smaller chains.
These benefits from collagen joint supplements do take a while to occur and are commonly noticed within two to six months of taking collagen supplements.
One condition that can affect your joint health is adrenal fatigue. Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) is a group of symptoms that arise as a result of chronic stress. Your body can cope with short-term stress by releasing stress hormones via your adrenal glands. The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response is a global system that supports your adrenal glands.
The NEM system consists of six circuits, consisting of three organs and systems each, that help your body to function optimally. The Inflammation circuit is one of these circuits. The immune system, gastrointestinal tract, and gut microbiome make up this circuit.
When there is an imbalance in this circuit, it can cause you to become sick frequently, have a leaky gut, and have aches and pains. A leaky gut is when the barrier between your gut and bloodstream is weak resulting in waste and toxins moving through the barrier into the bloodstream. This leaky gut can increase inflammation in different parts of the body, including the joints, which can cause joint pain.
Joint health supplements can help to relieve inflammation and pain within the joints. But while there is promising research on the use of these supplements, there are cautions to be aware of as well.
In times of AFS, the body can become very sensitive to external factors and prone to unexpected negative reactions. This includes the use of supplements. The FDA does not regulate supplements and the safety of the ingredients in these supplements is not a guarantee. Some brands also do not list the ingredients on the products, making it difficult to know for certain which ingredients are in the product.
Due to the safety concern, as well as your body being sensitive, if you are currently experiencing joint pain and AFS, chat with your healthcare provider before trying new supplements to develop a plan that will support your body.
Joint health supplements offer a promising remedy for joint pain and other joint-related conditions. Research in this type of remedy is expanding, as is the popularity of this remedy.
Several substances fall into this category, and there is a good chance that you can find one that will work for you. That being said, guidance from a healthcare provider can help you in your journey to joint health.
If you are currently experiencing joint pain or joint-related conditions, the team at Dr. Lam can help you in your journey. Call us at +1 (626) 571-1234 to speak to one of our team members for a free call, or click here to send us a message.
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Whilst joint health supplements all help to enhance joint health, they all have different modes of action and different benefits. Taking a combination of certain supplements can help. Some are even complementary and recommended to be taken together. However, if you do plan to take them, talk to your doctor first.