Natural supplements can be an effective part of an arthritis treatment plan, but you have to use them wisely. The key word for arthritis supplements is “be careful”. Natural supplements for arthritis aren’t always safe, and aren’t as strictly regulated as pharmaceuticals.
Nonetheless, you can find completely trustworthy dietary supplement companies, and Ill show you how
to do that. There are companies whose natural products are completely safe and effective.
The goal for using natural substances for pain and symptom control of arthritis is to avoid side effects of pharmaceutical drugs and/or to improve results.
In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced regulations governing the dietary supplement industry that require each supplement manufacturer to conduct at least one test to insure ingredient purity and potency, but do not mandate any standardized test. Given this loophole, many manufacturers barely test and some have been found tospike supplements with drugs, others do not test at all, placing their faith on ingredient wholesalers, most of which are from China and India suppliers.
These guidelines are called the current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) and are the first attempt to regulate the dietry supplement industry since 1994.
Critics of the cGMP complain the rules are too loose to adequately protect consumers. The FDA classifies dietary supplements as a subset of foods, not drugs. There's no pre-market testing for product efficacy like there is for drugs.
A dietary supplement manufacturer simply notifies the FDA concerning the health benefits of their product--no clinical trials are necessary to prove the supplement actually does what its label claims!. In fact, the FDA never even sees the product.
My husband and I both have osteoarthritis. Mine is neck arthritis from an auto accident in 1991. My husband had knee arthritis in both knees, caused from sports injuries. He was recommended for knee replacements in 1997, but through use of natural supplements continued to play tennis three times a week until total replacement of left knee in 2015, and right knee in 2016. Presently, he has extreme osteoarthritis, diagnosed by X-ray, in his right shoulder. .
We found the need for arthritis supplements increased as we've aged as our arthritis symptoms--aching, stiffness and swelling--became more pronounced. Lack of flexibility and mobility also occurred in the affected joints.
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.
Dietary supplements consist of both plant and animal-derived products. As its name suggests, a “dietary supplement” is a formulation intended to be consumed by mouth as an addition to regular food intake.
Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, botanicals, amino acids, extracts or concentrates. Supplements are actually natural chemicals. Because of this, they have the potential to interact with prescription drugs you may be taking. It’s therefore important to always check with your doctor before starting on natural supplements.
Natural supplements aren’t regulated like drugs. They don’t have the same efficacy protection as over-the-counter and prescription drugs.. This makes your choice of a trusted dietary supplement a very important consideration.
You might think of it this way--With a drug prescription you have three layers of protection between you and the drug.
With a dietary supplement there are no protective layers between the manufacturer and you.
The dietary supplement industry is regulated by rules that are criticized from many quarters as being too lax and too loose. They've created an ease of entry into the industry. A veritable flood of new manufacturers has invaded the supplement market. Some of the companies have capitalized on lack of controls by making all sorts of wild claims while promoting their products. Others shame the industry by marketing illegal supplements contaminated and adulterated, including an infusion of hidden drugs.
When my husband and I first began using high quality natural supplements for health improvement and later to try to control osteoarthritis symptoms following a lateral neck whiplash, I developed a list of 30 questions concerning standards of excellence to find the best dietary supplement manufacturer.
The answers led me to a pioneer and leader in the natural nutrition industry. Their scientists have worked to create the best natural supplements and health products in the world since 1956. They clinical test all their nutritional products to prove efficacy, which is unheard of in this market..
They’ve invested more than $250 million in clinical testing, research and development and have over 135 published studies, 100 of which in peer-reviewed scientific journals—more than any other nutritional company!
They guarantee the unconditional safety of their natural products. Their scientists search the world to source the finest natural ingredients. They conduct over 350 tests on every single new ingredient for heavy metals, pesticides, or any of hundreds of other harmful contaminants.
They also conduct over 100,000 quality tests annually to guarantee the purity and safety of each and every product they produce. They have a 'beyond organic' manufacturing philosophy.
To get technical, their products have no parabens, triclosan, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), 1,4-dioxane, or propylene glycol. There are no banned substances, no dyes, no trans fats, and no artificial sweeteners or flavors. They do not test on animals. Even their packaging is safe and free of toxins bisphenol-A, phthalates, and toxic inks.
Click this Health Resource link for their Complete Research Archive.
There are ten arthritis products that are beneficial for people with arthritis--if you can find a trusted company making top quality natural supplements.
Of those we've found, the herbal and fish oil supplements have reduced arthritis symptoms for my husband and I, and many other people; the vitamin supplements have improved overall health and helped us feel better.
The following bold heading links for natural supplements will take you without obligation to the product information pages of the company we use: The unbold ingredient links lead to additional information pages.
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.
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.
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 (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 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
An August, 2007 article from Arthritis Today, the magazine of the Arthritis Foundation, listed a total of nine supplement ingredients that you should avoid in natural supplements for the reasons quoted from the article:
By the way, the company that we recommend in the final paragraph has never used any of the above ingredients in any of their products.
In 2003, the company we had entrusted for natural supplements for sustaining overall health, introduced a science-based pain management program consisting of three separate products that work together synergistically.
My husband and I have had wonderful results with these natural supplements for relief of pain and management of arthritis stiffness and swelling. Even after total knee replacements, and extreme right shoulder arthritis, he plays tennis three or four times times a week. My neck arthritis symptoms are completely under control. Neither of us takes pain drugs of any kind.
Because of their solid science and safety record, we began to trust and use just one company for all of our natural supplements. I highly recommend their pain relief trio (scroll linked page for our arthritis stories) if you’re looking for alternative answers for treatment of arthritis.
Natural Supplement Arthritis Disclaimer: Health statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.