Why Science Backs Natural Arthritis Remedies
Arthritis in any form is a painful disease. Despite extensive research being done, there are no real “cures” for arthritis yet. However, there are many natural remedies proven to manage pain and assist in addressing underlying causes. And, not only that, but there’s scientific research to back it up!
Glucosamine and Arthritis Relief
Most well known of joint health supplements is glucosamine. Studies show glucosamine is effective in fighting osteoarthritis. It is thought to work by controlling joint inflammation, preventing cartilage from damage and assisting in rebuilding cartilage. Glucosamine is often used in combination with chondroitin; one Brazilian study conducted in 2009 found that joints benefited from the analgesic effect and cartilage protection in the joints in an animal osteoarthritis study. These positive effects were only produced in combination, not with glucosamine alone.
The combination of the natural ingredients glucosamine and chondroitin is often joined by MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) as a dietary supplement. MSM is an anti-inflammatory with anti-oxidant ability to encourage joint health. It is also a great source of sulfur to promote cartilage growth. MSM in combination with glucosamine may decrease pain in patients suffering from osteoarthritis and may also decrease swelling in joints.
Omega-3 EFA and Arthritis Relief
Another leading natural ingredient known to provide positive anti-inflammatory effects is Omega-3 EFA. Omega-3’s found in fish oil are know to produce anti-inflammatory compounds whereas “bad fats” produce pro-inflammatory compounds. Omega-3s are a natural ingredient with anti-inflammatory effects as opposed to the medical community preferred NSAIDs. NSAIDs block the good along with the bad whereas natural Omega-3s only affect pro-inflammatory compounds.
Omega-3s have been shown to relieve tenderness, joint pain, joint stiffness and allow for diminished NSAID use after 3-4 months use. It is believed that fish oil is more beneficial to arthritis patients than other Omega-3s. After 12-24 weeks of fish oil Omega-3 use, rheumatoid arthritis patients showed improvement in hand grip strength according to Berbert AA, et al.
Other Natural Remedies
Synovial fluid is the lubricant in joints; one of the main components of this fluid is Hyaluronic Acid (HA). When HA is injected into joints, studies consistently show positive results for improved mobility and pain relief. Recently positive effects have been noted when HA is taken orally and increasingly natural joint health supplements contain HA for its anti-inflammatory benefit.
In studies performed by InterHealth, UC-II (Collagen type ll) has outperformed glucosamine/chondroitin in relieving joint stiffness and pain. BioCell Collagen II contains HA, chondroitin and Collagen ll derived from chicken sterna tissue.
Cetylated fatty acids can be blended into supplements designed to lubricate joint cell membranes for increased range of motion, improved mobility and decreased joint pain. Proprietary blends such as Celadrin have been clinically proven beneficial to joint health.
One 2007 study conducted by BioCeutical R&D Labs shows the joint health ingredient Kre-Celazine increased mobility and decreased pain more effectively than both prescription and OTC arthritis medications. This study reinforces a 2002 study conducted on pro football players with joint pain; treated with Kre-Alkalyn, the players were pain free within 6 weeks.
Even though your pharmacist may not tell you about these natural remedies, studies have shown them to be effective.