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Archive for the ‘Joint Health Supplements’ Category

Herbal supplements like garcinia kola are used to treat a broad range of symptoms. While many are promising, their classification as herbal supplements frees them from many FDA approval requirements and may allow contaminated pills to reach the market.


Most drugs designed to treat osteoarthritis do so only by addressing the primary symptoms of the disease: joint pain and inflammation.  Reducing swelling is highly effective at reducing the friction within the joint space, and can slow the deterioration of the cartilage.  This delays the progression of the osteoarthritis and, theoretically, could speed the healing process.  Unfortunately, since cartilage heals so slowly, non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) are often prescribed in large doses over long periods of time.  For some individuals, large quantities of NSAID’s can lead to bad reactions.  These individuals often turn to herbal supplements to replace the NSAID’s in their daily routines.

Recent research in the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research found that garcinia kola, a common African herbal supplement, is effective in treating osteoarthritis of the knee.  Garcinia kola, like most western osteoarthritis medications, acts as a painkiller and antiinflammatory.  This article confirms that individuals taking garcinia kola did better than those with no treatment, but found that traditional NSAID’s were more effective in reducing knee pain and swelling.

The FDA examines herbal supplements like garcinia kola differently than it checks medications.  This directly leads to a reduction in quality control, and can allow impure products to reach the market.  Always be aware that herbal supplements are not part of the pharmaceutical industry, and so are subjected to less stringent inspections.

While many herbal supplements are promising, they are often less effective than their manufacturers suggest.  Herbal supplements are most appropriate as substitutes for western medications which cannot be taken for a specific reason.  If you hear about a promising herbal supplement, consult your doctor before taking it, and do not assume that it will perform as advertised.

OA and Vitamin D

January 10, 2013

Calciferol (vitamin D) is a commonly recommended dietary supplement. This does not mean that it can help all medical problems.

It is well documented that sunlight increases happiness.  It does so by helping in Vitamin D synthesis which increases the release of seretonin.  Vitamin D has also been shown to effectively treat rickets and other types of bone diseases like osteoporosis.  Vitamin D manufacturers often prey on the american public through advertisement campaigns that describe supposed benefits of Vitamin D that are not supported by scientific literature.  For example, some advertisers claim that Vitamin D reduces your risk of catching the common cold.  Most recently pharmaceutical manufacturers have claimed that Vitamin D can help treat osteoarthritis.  This is not true.

Recent research at Tufts Medical Center examined 145 people with moderate knee pain and gave half of them Vitamin D supplements and the other half a placebo.  They found that Vitamin D “did not make any difference over the two-year period to how much pain they experienced or the amount of structural damage that occurred to cartilage or to the surrounding bone”.

This does not mean that Vitamin D is bad for you.  Vitamin D has numerous health benefits and has no side-effects.  But this does not mean that Vitamin D will help your knee pain, and this research shows that it has no effect on progression of osteoarthritis.  So, while it is recommended to increase levels of Vitamin D, do not generalize its benefits accross all that ails you.  Consult your physician and seek proven treatment for all diseases or pathologies as necessary.

Joint Supplement

September 26, 2012


There are several important factors to consider when choosing a joint supplement:

1.  Look closely at products that encourage “the same dose for everyone” approach.  Bodies absorb nutrients differently depending on age, weight, and how bad the arthritis is.

2.  The quality of ingredients is more important than the quantity.

3.  Joint supplements usually take weeks to start working not days – so be patient and consistent.

4.  Be sure the supplement contains what your joints need.

5.  Is the supplement a pain reliever or is formulated to help your cartilage defend itself against knee osteoarthritis?

6.  Where is the supplement manufactured?  The supplement you take needs to be manufactured as if it were a pharmaceutical, in an FDA registered lab.  If this information isn’t readily available on the supplement you are looking at then it probably is mixed together in an unregistered site.

7.  Read the label.  Know what you are taking.



New OA Treatment!

September 20, 2012


Provailen is a new joint health supplement.  This new product for arthritis pain relief will help reduce swelling and stiffness.

Provailen is comprised of pharmacy grade ingredients:  Reishi, Tongkat Ali, and Capsaicin.  This new supplement is produced in a pharmaceutical lab registered by the FDA.  It works by reducing swelling, balancing your immune system, and strengthening the bones and muscles around your painful joint.

Some patients experience temporary side effects as their bodies adjust to Provailen.  Rash, headaches, a temporary increase in blood pressure, dizziness, and diarrhea have been reported.  If you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, if you’re nursing or have a serious health condition make sure to check with your doctor before trying Provailen, or any other joint health supplement.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Glucosamine and Chondroitin


A joint health supplement is a safe and inexpensive treatment for arthritis.  Glucosamine has been used for twenty years to help with joint pain.  Nutramax is the manufacturer of CosaminDS and other glucosamine and chondroitin based joint health supplements.

The joint health supplement industry is not regulated.  That means companies can basically design and engineer their products however they see fit.  Nutramax follows pharmaceutical guidelines at their facility.  That means they produce, package, and ship their glucosamine products following the same regulations that drug companies must obey.

Nutramax has been in business since 1992.  They were the first company to market and sell glucosamine to treat osteoarthritis.  You now why they are still in business and growing?  The answer is simple.  Their products work.

Glucosamine for Arthritis

Glucosamine for Arthritis

Glucosamine is a “building block” molecule that your body produces naturally.  Glucosamine is essential in the production of proteins important to joint health.

Glucosamine stimulates the production of cartilage.  In young healthy bodies cartilage cells reproduce and protect themselves.  As we age cartilage cells die and are not replaced.  Glucosamine helps stop the break-down of cartilage and reduce knee pain.

Glucosamine can be obtained over the counter and is a safe joint health supplement.



The Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) published guidelines for knee osteoarthritis. These guidelines confirmed that Glucosamine has an excellent safety profile. Glucosamine is classified as a dietary supplement in the United States.

This means that safety and formulation are solely the responsibility of the manufacturer. There aren’t any government guidelines dictating how Glucosamine is processed and manufactured. Evidence of safety and efficacy is only required if the Glucosamine is being advertised as a treatment for a medical condition.

Even though they are not required to, Nutramax follows the same stringent standards and protocols practiced by the pharmaceutical industry. They manufacture their products like pharmaceuticals, not supplements.



Glucosamine is an amino sugar or building block molecule produced by the body for the production of structures important to cartilage and joint health. These structures are called proteoglycans. Glucosamine helps proteoglycans.

Taken orally, supplemental glucosamine can reduce pain, improve function, and enhance quality of life in as little as eight weeks.  It can absolutely help your knee osteoarthritis.

People have been taking Glucosamine safely for over 20 years. Clinical studies since the early 1980s consistently report that glucosamine is safe. However there are a few considerations:

  • Glucosamine is usually derived from shellfish.  Those allergic should avoid it.
  • Diabetics can experience changes in their insulin levels with glucosamine, even though the body cannot convert glucosamine into glucose.  In diabetics many factors can lead to fluctuations with insulin levels, so it important to check with your doctor before taking the joint health supplement.
  • Pregnant women should avoid glucosamine.

Arthritis is very crippling and painful. There are treatments that can help lesson the pain, but not take it away totally. One of the treatments for knee osteoarthritis is glucosamine. Glucosamine is one of the most non-vitamin, non-mineral, dietary supplements used by adults in the United States.

As with any vitamins, there are different ways that you can take it. Liquid glucosamine is easy to digest, especially if you don’t take pills well. This alternative might be better suited for you. Sinceis usually derived from the shells of shellfish while the allergen is within the flesh of the animals, it is probably safe to use, even if you have a shellfish allergy.



A chondrocyte is a cell found within cartilage.  Chondrocytes are like small factories that produce collagen and proteoglycans – the main ingredients in the cartilaginous matrix.

Collagen is a thin, ropey protein that is the primary component of connective tissue.

Proteoglycans fill in the spaces between the collagen cells.  Glucosamine and chondroitin help strengthen the cartilaginous matrix and help control knee osteoarthritis on the cellular level.