Study Shows Natural Pain Relief
Supplements Work Better Than Celebrex
Natural pain relief supplements not only manage arthritis symptoms and other causes of joint inflammation, some like glucosamine promote the rebuilding of cartilage or damaged tissue at the pain source.
Pain is the body's natural warning system and it deserves a natural response
A 2006 government-sponsored study had overall findings that natural glucosamine supplements (see last paragraph for the one we feature) actually work better than the prescribed Celebrex (celecoxib) in providing significant pain relief for patients with moderate to severe pain from osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis.
Millions of Americans now choose natural relief treatments when side effects from long-term use of traditional drug therapies are a concern or have simply not provided acceptable results. And some natural remedies for arthritis not only can ease pain and swelling, they target and work to repair the causes of symptoms.
Our bodies efficiently assimilate plant nutrient ingredients found in natural dietary supplements, unlike synthetic drugs that are not recognized by the body as nutritive or food. Pharmaceuticals have little or no nutrient value at the cellular level.
Arthritis Foundation estimates 66 million Americans suffer joint pain
An estimated 187 million American adults take dietary supplements. When polled, the majority of users cited the most prevalent reason for taking supplements was to improve their overall health and well being.
The U.S. Arthritis Foundation estimates that more than 66 million Americans live with chronic joint symptoms and nearly 23 million people live with symptoms but haven’t been diagnosed by a doctor.
Government figures show that at least five million Americans use the natural pain relief supplements glucosamine and chondroitin studied in the NIH GAIT study.
Ten dietary supplements for natural pain relief
Including glucosamine-chondroitin, we’ve identified ten dietary supplements that are beneficial for people with pain and inflammation, whether it be for most types of arthritis or for other conditions.
Of those, the glucosamine/chondroitin, boswellia, safflower, GLA and fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids) supplements have reduced arthritis symptoms for my husband and I, and many other people; the B-Vitamins and the vitamin supplements Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Calcium and Lecithin have improved overall health, helped us feel better and seem to also help reduce our symptoms.
Natural pain relief supplements are an alternative to painkilling drugs
My husband has knee arthritis in both knees, caused from sports injuries; I have neck arthritis from an auto accident seventeen years ago. As we’ve aged, stiffness and swelling became more pronounced. Lack of flexibility and mobility also occurred in the affected joints. The need for natural pain relief supplements for our arthritis increased.
I have a sensitive digestive tract and cannot “stomach” pain killers, whether prescription or over-the-counter. I am also chemically-sensitive and susceptible to experiencing drug side effects. Finding natural alternatives was a necessity and in my opinion a better choice.
There’s one caution, however: not all natural dietary supplements are equal. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements as stringently as it does pharmaceuticals. It classifies dietary supplements as “foods”, and does not require pre-market testing to guarantee efficacy. Be careful to choose only high quality, trusted supplements.
To help me find a company that I could trust for making top quality natural products, I devised a list of 30 Questions.
Dietary supplements do not require "pre-market" FDA approval
Although dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA as foods, they are regulated differently from other foods and certainly differently from drugs. Whether a product is classified as a dietary supplement, conventional food, or drug is based on its intended use.
Since 1994, the FDA has not required dietary supplements to undergo pre-market approval to confirm that the product actually works in the human body. Therefore, no placebo controlled clinical studies are necessary and any dietary supplement maker can market a natural pain relief product, for example, simply based on the claims it makes.
As long as the supplement does not specifically claim to cure or heal, it is allowed on the market. Yes, this means allowed on the market without statistically reliable evidence concerning its efficacy or remedies!
Even the new FDA current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) that is becoming effective for dietary supplement manufacturers in phases between June, 2008 and June 2010, the FDA does not require pre-market approval or clinical studies for proof of a product’s efficacy! You can guess what this means for natural pain relief products out there beckoning you with tempting advertisements.
Ten featured natural pain relief supplements
Here are ten natural pain relief supplements that are beneficial for people with joint inflammation or arthritis. The following links for the ten supplements will take you to the product pages of the 50-year-old company we use for natural supplements. This company is internationally-known for the science behind their products.
Note: The bold heading links for the ten natural supplements will take you to the product pages of the company we use and are featuring:
- Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids)
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of omega-3’s (EPA in particular) which helps the body tip the balance towards an anti-inflammatory state. To get in your sufficient omega-3’s in the amounts used in studies, you’d have to eat three servings of fish daily. Fatty acids must be consumed as the body cannot make them for itself. Top notch fish oil supplements, free of impurities, helps your cells stop inflammation—a root cause of rheumatoid arthritis and, to a lesser degree, osteoarthritis. If you’re on blood-thinners, including aspirin, you should always check first with your doctor before starting a supplement program. Click on this link for more information on fish oil.
Clinical studies indicate that glucosamine hydrochloride is most effective when arthritis symptoms are moderate to severe. Glucosamine hydrochloride actually rebuilds the cartilage between the joints. With these natural supplements, you’re not just treating the symptoms of pain, swelling and stiffness, you’re regenerating cartilage. You’re actually regaining the health of your joints. Glucosamine is widely available as a nutritional supplement in different formulations. The market is saturated with glucosamine products. There are many brand names, many claims, many testimonies and a lot of hype. Buy from a reputable manufacturer. Know what you’re getting. Click on this link for more information on glucosamine natural supplements.
- Boswellia and
- Safflower Oil
When the boswellia herb and oil from the safflower are used in combination, it creates a potent, natural arthritis pain relief supplement without gastrointestinal side effects. In studies, these two ingredients together are more effective when combined, than they are separately. The safflower extract contains a potent ingredient that is a very selective Cox 2 inhibitor. The boswellia extract is a very potent 5 Lox inhibitor. With optimized extraction procedures to get the most potent formulations of the inhibitors, you have a product that’s effective against both the 5 Lox and the Cox 2 pain pathways—both of the major pathways—which is the only product on the market of its kind. Its formulation and synergy is so unique that there is a patent pending on this arthritis supplement. Click on this link for more on boswellia. Click this for more on safflower.
- Vitamin C
A sustained release Vitamin C supplement is very important in building collagen, which is an important component of cartilage. Vitamin C is needed to help with the cartilage rebuilding process. Vitamin C is also important for building the matrix upon which the bone is laid down. It is also an essential anti-oxidant, which sweeps the body of destructive free radicals, which are destructive to joint health. The clinically proven delivery system used in the all natural sustained release 500 mg vitamin C supplement my husband and I use has been shown to maintain vitamin C levels for 12 hours. The Framingham osteoarthritis study found that people whose diets routinely included high amounts of vitamin C had significantly less risk of their arthritis progressing.
- GLA (Borage Oil)
GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid) from borage seed oil is an effective natural supplement for reducing inflammation in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis with few side effects, several studies show. The human body produces its own GLA from linoleic acid, but production diminishes with aging, disease states, and specific dietary deficiencies.
Good news for arthritis sufferers, the body uses GLA to form prostaglandins—potent, hormone-like substances that help regulate bodily processes such as metabolic rate, pain, inflammation and circulation. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid. When taken orally, GLA promotes improvements related to joint pain and stiffness and strength of grip. Click this link for more on GLA.
Everyone has heard about the benefits of calcium. But did you know that 44 million Americans are at risk for osteoporosis, including half of women over the age of 50. Also, 78% of women over age 20 get less than their 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for calcium. The U.S. has one of the highest rates of dairy consumption and calcium intake, yet has one of the highest rates of osteoporosis.
Think of calcium as the bricks to building strong and healthy bones. Bricks can only be strong and stable when combined with mortar. In the case of calcium, the mortar consists of vitamin D, magnesium, boron, vitamin K, zinc, copper and manganese. The calcium complex supplement my husband and I use is the comprehensive, clinically proven, easy to swallow formulation described above, which is beneficial for everyone, but especially those with arthritis.
Lecithin contains important fatty acids. The supplement we use for lecithin is sourced from organic non-genetically modified soybeans. Lecithin is sometimes referred to as nature’s natural emulsifier. Lecithin provides an excellent source of choline, which is essential for every living cell and is one of the main components of cell membranes. Choline is also an important component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in the transmission of messages throughout the brain and nervous system.
Lecithin also helps to absorb fat-soluble nutrients in our diet, like beta carotene and the Vitamins A, D, E and K, so having lecithin in your intestinal tract will help you to protect your bones, because both vitamin D and vitamin K are bone builders.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant (like Vitamin C) that protects the body and its joints from free radicals. There are no conclusive studies showing that Vitamin E is markedly effective protection against arthritis. However, its properties indicate that it can help prevent or slow joints from becoming progressively worse.
When choosing a top quality Vitamin E supplement with 400 I.U, be sure it has d-alpha tocopherol concentrate and mixed tocopherols concentrate. Look for it in combination with at least 65 mcg of selenium and 38 mg of grapeseed extract as these three components combined deliver potent antioxidant protection from free radical cell damage. Also look for natural Vitamin E as it is more biologically active than the synthetic form and is better retained by the body for more effective antioxidant protection.
Vitamin B6 and folate (folic acid) are the two B-vitamins most likely to be lacking in people with arthritis. These two cousin chemicals from the B-vitamin family are lacking in the population at large—for example, one study found 90 percent of women don’t get enough B6 in their diets. There’s also evidence that the inflammation process in people with rheumatoid arthritis rapidly uses up these B vitamins. This is not good news for arthritis sufferers as these B vitamins are active in a variety of bodily functions, including the manufacturing of protein, the building block for tissues such as cartilage.
While B-vitamins are available separately, a preferred way is to take a vitamin B complex supplement that contains all of the B-vitamins in balance (the same as B's are found in nature). Biotin and folate should be at least 100% of the Daily Value, the remaining B's higher, but none higher than 1350% DV.
Another way to take B-vitamins in natural supplements is to choose a balanced whole food multivitamin. Stay away from high-dosage, single nutrient B supplements that may pose nerve damage risks. B-vitamins taken within the formulation of a multivitamin should be well balanced.
When choosing B-vitamin supplements, do so in a multivitamin that provides 100% of the RDA of 2 mg for B6 and 400 mcg (0.4mg) for folate. Look also for Vitamin B12 at 6 mcg (100%) which works in tandem with folate. Click on this link for more information on multivitamin multimineral supplements
Your doctor would like placebo controlled studies for dietary supplements
Some medical doctors and health practitioners have been hesitant to recommend dietary supplements to their patients because the supplement industry is not regulated as tightly as the drug industry.
Strict protective FDA regulation for drugs allows doctors to expect statistically reliable evidence before accepting conclusions about remedies. In fact, without such evidence, the FDA will not permit a drug to be marketed.
If there were tighter regulations and placebo-controlled studies of dietary supplements, doctors would have no qualms about recommending them to their patients. However, the vast majority of supplement companies do not test their products for efficacy, making the whole industry suspect.
The FDA itself estimates there are nearly 1000 dietary supplement manufacturers in the U.S. Of these, only a few routinely conduct placebo controlled clinical trials of their products. And those do so voluntarily.
One dietary supplement company is a clear industry leader
As stated, to determine whether or not a dietary supplement is of high quality, I prepared a list of 30 questions to ask a manufacturer to determine its standards of excellence. Many of the 30 excellence questions are intended to reveal a company’s commitment to science and determine the number (if any) of randomized, placebo-controlled studies they have personally conducted.
The answers to these questions led me to the 50+-year-old company that my husband and I use for nearly all of our dietary supplements, including three products that provide natural pain relief.
During my research, I found only one dietary supplement company that has had over 90 clinical research trials and manuscripts published in leading refereed medical journals, and has a full time scientific staff of 70 leading research scientists and trained specialists. This industry leader appears to have more published clinical studies than the next five leading companies combined.
Their commitment to science is so much a part of their image that this company publishes its research studies in its annual products catalog and make the catalog available online (once there, click on Product Guide.
How to identify dietary supplement companies to avoid for natural pain relief
If you don’t have the time or the patience to investigate a manufacturer’s standards of excellence, here’s a list of things to be on the lookout for in advertising copy of natural pain relief supplements:
- Beware of natural relief treatments promotions using these words: exclusive, secret, proven, miracle, breakthrough, overnight, or cure.
- Beware of glowing testimonials from supposedly satisfied pain sufferers
- Beware of put downs against standard medical practice treatment
- Beware of promises for a complete cure from arthritis or other conditions
- Beware of the guarantee of no side effects
- Beware of the words “limited offer” or “special”
- Beware of natural pain relief treatments offered from foreign or exotic locations
- Beware of natural pain relief treatment sensationalized in magazine ads or in tabloids
- Beware when the natural remedy is repeatedly touted as “natural” and proclaimed as the only sensible alternative to dangerous drugs and surgery
- Beware of meaningless medical terms, fancy scientific explanations that may be used to cover up a lack of scientific proof of their product
- Beware of any proposed natural pain relief remedies for arthritis and other inflammatory conditions that cannot be backed up by scientific clinical trials.
- Beware! If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t as good as it sounds.
If you are considering taking a dietary supplement as natural pain relief for arthritis or undiagnosed pain, always talk to your doctor first. If you have a product in mind, tell him/her the brand name, or better yet, the name of the manufacturer and what you know about them.
Six-month study: glucosamine/chondroitin provides natural pain relief for osteoarthritis
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on February 23, 2006 suggested that glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate provide significant natural pain relief, very positive news for thousands of arthritis sufferers, according to one of the dietary supplement industry’s leading trade association, the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA).
The study, called Glucosamine-chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had overall findings indicating that both supplements actually work better than Celebrex for knee osteoarthritis patients with moderate to severe pain. The six month double-blind placebo-controlled study involved 1,500 osteoarthritis patients.
“The NEJM’s findings that two popular supplements actually work better than a popular prescription medication underscore what millions of consumers already know. That is, natural products and dietary supplements, when used properly, hold great potential for improving health and well-being,” said Dr. Daniel Fabricant, Vice President of Science and Quality Assurance for NNFA.
He added that demonstrated “efficacy and safety beyond that of the pharmaceutical intervention” is good news consumers should take note of. “This study is further proof that dietary supplements can play an integral role in consumer’s daily lifestyle and overall health,” said Fabricant.
“Arthritis is one of the most prevalent chronic health problems in today’s society, and with the use of certain dietary supplements, consumers can empower themselves to lead healthier and more productive lives, while potentially reducing health care costs to the U.S. health care system and reliance on prescription medications,” Fabricant concluded.
Natural supplements to avoid according to Arthritis Today magazine
If you are considering natural pain relief supplements, a recent article from the magazine Arthritis Today listed a total of nine supplement ingredients that you should avoid in natural supplements for the reasons quoted from the article:
- Arnica (Arnica Montana). Claim: Relieves aches; an anti-inflammatory and immune enhancer. Why you should avoid it: can cause miscarriages, allergic reactions, paralysis, heart palpitations, death.
- Aconite (Aconitum napellus). Claim: Eases joint inflammation, gout, rheumatoid arthritis. Why you should avoid it: Is a fast-acting poison that affects the heart.
- Adrenal, spleen, thymus extracts. Claim: Helps fatigue and relieves stress and inflammation. Why you should avoid it: Derived from animal organs. FDA warns organs could possibly be contaminated.
- Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) Claim: Lessens gout attacks and eases general arthritis. Why you should avoid it: Is a potential poison. Should be taken only as a prescription drug (colchicine), under a doctor’s supervision.
- 5-HTP (5-hydroxytrytophan). Claim: Helps fibromyalgia, sleep disorders and depression. Why you should avoid it: Associated with esosinophilia myalgia, a serious illness that causes severe rashes, acute pain and other symptoms.
- GBL (Gamma-butyrolactone). Claim: Helps fibromyalgia, sleep problems, depression, claims to “improve sexual and athletic performance and health”
Why should you avoid it: Has been linked to death, coma and seizures.
- L-tryptophan. Claim: Eases sleep disorders and depression
Why you should avoid it: Is illegal in the United States. Associated with esosinophilia myalgia,, a serious illness that causes severe rashes, acute pain and other symptoms.
- Chaparral. Claim: Reduces inflammation. Why you should avoid it: Is poisonous and may cause hepatitis, kidney and liver damage.
- Kombucha tea. Claim: Helps “rheumatism” and eases pain. Why you should avoid it: Has a high risk of contamination with anthrax and other bacteria.
By the way, the company that we recommend on this page and in the final paragraph for natural pain relief has never used any of the above ingredients in any of their products.
Featured natural pain relief supplements for arthritis and other causes of inflammation
What is my recommendation for natural pain relief, whether for arthritis or other forms of inflammation?
My husband and I both have osteoarthritis. Since 2003, when our natural nutritional company introduced a scientifically designed pain relief program, we have weaned ourselves away from drugs. We no longer use NSAIDs or pharmaceuticals of any kind for relief of pain and arthritis symptoms.
Instead, we’ve substituted three separate products, two natural herbal pain relief and joint health supplements and an herbal-based topical arthritis pain relief cream, with excellent results.
My husband’s knees are in the best shape they’ve been in ten years. He now plays tennis up to four times a week without experiencing swelling and extreme stiffness.
These natural pain relief supplements not only relieve pain, they rebuild joint cartilage and help improve overall health. And they provide natural herbal pain relief without the side effects of drugs!
I’m happy to confidently recommend this highly effective natural pain relief trio of supplements..
Natural Pain Relief Disclaimer: Health statements on this Natural Pain Relief page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Natural Arthritis Pain Relief. Millions choosing herbal arthritis supplements when conventional treatments are of concern or haven’t provided acceptable results. How to find the best natural pain relief….Click here for more
Arthritis Products 3 safe natural pain relief supplements scientifically designed to fight arthritis and joint inflammation and reduce dependency on pharmaceutical medicines. Each unique for rapid relief and joint health …. Click here for details
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Joint Pain Relief. Wouldn't it be great if you could have a drug-free future with no harmful side effects and have complete control over your joint pain? It's not a dream--all of this is possible.... Click here for more on natural pain relief of joints
Herbal Pain Relief. In the last twenty years in the United States, the public has become increasingly dissatisfied with the cost and side effect risks of prescription medications. This, combined with an interest in returning to natural or organic remedies, has …. Click here for background on herbal medicine
Osteoarthritis Relief. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It affects joints of the knees, hips, fingers, lower spine and neck. Click here for more on osteoarthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief. Many of the natural arthritis supplements for osteoarthritis are also recommended for rheumatoid arthritis. Click here for RA natural treatment options
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