Bone and Joint Health
Arthritis and Osteoporosis are NOT Inevitable
The bones and joints are often some of the first parts of the body to show signs of aging. Contrary to popular belief, however, the "wear and tear" theory of arthritis has been largely disproved. Although an injury can certainly cause joint damage, most causes of arthritis are not related to "overuse" or injury. We know this because senior marathon runners --- who place a lot more "wear and tear" on their joints --- actually suffer from less arthritis than non-runners of similar age.
If "wear and tear" isn't the main causes of joint pain, osteoporosis and arthritis, what is? Decreasing male and female sex hormones, lack of bone nutrients, overweight and obesity, lack of exercise and body-wide inflammation and free-radical damage are some of the most common causes of joint pain and chronic changes such as arthritis. Low gastric acidity, common in people over age 50, impairs the body's ability to assimilate bone nutrients such as calcium from food and supplements. This should be evaluated with a gastric acid self-test.
Here are some of the top recommendations for maintaining or restoring bone and joint health.
Top Bone and Joint Health Supplements and Herbs
Multi Vitamin/Mineral Formula - Not a "once per day" pill (they don't contain enough of anything to have any effect except preventing severe deficiency disease). A complete bone and joint-protecting multiple should include optimal doses (not minimal doses) of B complex vitamins, C, D, K, calcium, magnesium, vanadium, zinc, and boron which are all especially important for strong bones.
If you only take ONE NUTRITIONAL FORMULA for your overall health plus bone and joint health, a quality Optimal Multiple Vitamin/Mineral such as Maxi Multi should be The One.
Bromelain Nature's Premier Anti-Inflammatory herb,
Bromelain is a mixture of sulfur-containing, protein-digesting enzymes from the stem of Anansus cosmosis (pineapple). Since it was introduced as a medicinal agent in 1957, more than 200 scientific papers on bromelain's medicinal uses have appeared in the medical literature. It is one of the safest, most well-studied anti-inflammatory herbs known.
Cal-Mag Amino The recommended calcium dose for post-menopausal women or for those with osteoporosis is 1,500 mg calcium with corresponding magnesium, boron and vitamin D. Maxi Multi Daily Multiple formula contains 1000 mg of calcium and 500 mg magnesium per day, which is optimal for most people. Post-menopausal women and anyone with a diagnosis of osteoporosis may need even higher doses. Cal-Mag Amino supplies additional calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and boron is easy-to-assimilate forms.
Cox-2-Support A superior anti-inflammatory herbal formula. Why take dangerous NSAID's for pain relief when you can take safe this and effective combination?
Vitamin D increases calcium absorption. Deficiencies of Vitamin D are associated with osteoporosis, rheumatic pains, and dental disease. Many authorities are recommending that the RDA should be raised from 400 IU to 1,000 IU. Doses of 1,000-2,000 are not only safe, they may be needed for disease prevention.
DHEA is a steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. It is a precursor (“master hormone”) for many other steroid hormones including male and female sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) and corticosteroids. DHEA levels often decline dramatically with age.
Low DHEA levels in the brain and blood are thought to contribute to many of the problems associated with aging including age-related memory and mental decline, decreased strength and muscle mass, lowered immune system response, heart disease and atherosclerosis, and age-related weight gain.
Gastric Acid Function Studies have shown that stomach acid production declines with age. Why does this matter? Because a strong stomach acid is necessary to assimilate bone nutrients from food and supplements, including calcium and magnesium (the major bone nutrients). Surprisingly, even symptoms of "excess stomach acid" are usually caused by low, not high, stomach acid. Learn more about gastric acid function here.
Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, pregnenelone) Both women and men appear to benefit from natural hormone replacement therapy after age 40. By "natural," I mean using hormones that are identical to what the body manufactures and in amounts that a healthy body produces in early adulthood. This is a very different type of hormone replacement from the semi-synthetic forms and doses used in conventional medicine.
Male hormones: testing and replacement
Female hormones: testing and replacement
Glucosamine Sulfate is the only form of glucosamine proven by over 300 scientific investigations and 20 double-blind studies to stimulate joint repair and relieve pain.
Glucosamine is a molecule manufactured by the body. Inside the joint, it stimulates the production of glycosaminoglycans (GAG's) which are the main structural material of joints. Studies suggest that a decline of the body's manufacture of glucosamine may be the primary cause of osteoarthritis.
Grape Seed Extract (OPC's) is an antioxidant that exhibits 50 times more antioxidant power than vitamin E and 20 times more than vitamin C.
Grape Seed Extract (OPC's) binds to collagen and helps increase elasticity of skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Grape seed extract (OPC's) has been proven by over 25 years of clinical studies to be useful for stroke prevention (grape seed extract helps keep blood viscosity normal), skin rejuvenation and/or wrinkle prevention (strengthens collagen), arthritis and musculoskeletal complaints (antioxidant and strengthens collagen), blood clot prevention (improves blood viscosity), respiratory allergies (antihistamine), food allergies (antihistamine), asthma (antihistamine), ADHD (many cases are allergy-related), longevity and rejuvenation programs (blood viscosity and collagen-strengthening effects).
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)is a source of biologically active sulfur. Sulfur is a mineral that is plentiful in the human body and is found in particularly high concentrations in structural tissues (joints, skin, hair, nails). Unfortunately, sulfur is easily destroyed by cooking. This means that many people have a deficiency of this important joint and skin nutrient.
StrontiumThe "forgotten mineral" that not only prevents, but reverses, osteoporosis. If you are concerned about bone density, this is one mineral you should definitely supplement. Since it competes with calcium and magnesium for absorption, strontium should be taken separately from other bone-building formulas.
TurmericThis bright yellow spice herb is also one of nature's most potent anti-inflammatory substances. Turmeric (and it's active ingredient, curcumin), help reduce the pain and swelling of joint inflammation. Turmeric also helps the joints through it's potent antioxidant properties.
Other Joint and Bone-Healthy Supplements. Fish and flax oil, Mega Soy, Feverfew, Ginger.