Nutritional Support for Joint Health
Natural therapy is often sought for conditions such as osteoarthritis. One side effect of aspirin, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) that is often not mentioned is their actual inhibition of cartilage repair and acceleration of cartilage destruction, even though they do provide temporary relief.
Some supplements have scientific validation for efficacy when it comes to how they can boost the health effects seen with chiropractic.
Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate have both been used with varying results but a very extensive review of the literature in January 2009 found that when combined together, they worked well to reduce pain and improve joint health.
Healthy cartilage needs three things: water for lubrication and nourishment, proteoglycans to attract and hold the water, and collagen to keep proteoglycans in place. Both condroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate are glycoproteins which are major building blocks of proteoglycans. Glucosamine stimulates proteoglycan synthesis while chondroitin sulfate acts as a kind of liquid magnet to attract fluid that lubricates and nourishes collagen.
The latest research suggests that the normal dose of glucosamine sulfate of 1500 mg a day is probably too much and a more effective dose is 300 mg per day. It was also noted that N-acetylglucosamine and green lipped mussels helped the body utilize the glucosamine sulfate more effectivly.
Fish oil is another major nutrient to consider, and in addition to the fact that a met-analysis of well designed studies showed fish oil to rival the anti-inflammatory actions of NSAIDS on joint pain without side effects, there is evidence that it “improves lipid composition in bone marrow and joints”, and the “ability to change the amount and character of bones and joint lipids may have major importance for strengthening bones, reducing the severity of osteonecrosis (the destruction of bone cells), and enhancing joint lubrication”. The recommended dosage of fish oil is from 2-10 grams a day, depending on whether the protocol calls for maintenance or aggressive supplementation.
So for those of you who suffer from chronic joint pain due to osteoarthritis, a regimen of chiropractic care and appropriate nutritional supplementation offers relief.