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Pomegranate - An Ancient Fruit with Infinite Wisdom

Pomegranate - An Ancient Fruit with Infinite Wisdom

Pomegranate has multiple modes of action influencing various bodily systems; hence the reason pomegranate, in particular the standardised extract offers a plethora of health benefits; recognising the potential of this remarkable fruit led to the creation of Skin+Beyond.

The following blog will showcase the therapeutic modes of action and benefits pomegranate extract (PE) has to offer. Backed up by over 3,000 studies on PubMed. PE exhibits many attributes including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, prebiotic, mitophagy (regeneration of cellular parts), autophagy, skin protection, hormone and gene regulation.

NB Patented, pomegranate extract (PE) is different to the fruit since it contains the key compounds linked to health in standardized amounts, mainly from the inedible peel.

ANTIOXIDANT

PE contains potent antioxidants, namely punicalagins that are not only unique to pomegranate, but possess powerful bioactive free radical scavenging properties, with Pomella® standardised to 30% punicalagins. (1)

PE upregulates Nrf2 activity, an important mediator of antioxidant signalling during inflammation by boosting antioxidant enzymes e.g. superoxide dismutase. (2)

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Inflammation is the key driver of all ageing processes and not just skin, mediated at every stage of disease progression by nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-κB), the master inflammatory pathway.

Punicalagins found in PE not only demonstrate potent anti-oxidant activity, but anti- inflammatory by suppressing the master inflammatory pathway, NF-κB that is implicated in every chronic disease including skin ageing, cancers, heart disease, stroke, autoimmune diseases e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to name a few. (3)

PREBIOTIC

Pomegranate extract or PE exerts potent prebiotic properties that not only boosts gut health, but all areas of health.

PE polyphenols are converted into Urolithin-A by gut microbes. (4) This novel anti-ageing postbiotic improves mitophagy, the regeneration of the mitochondria or energy plants of the cells. (5) See under “Mitophagy” below.

PE polyphenols, especially punicalagins that are unique to pomegranate have put Urolithin- A in the higher echelons of health compounds with wide ranging benefits including skin, gut, joints, muscle, heart, brain, exercise performance and longevity to name a few.

Further PE via prebiotic action boosts akkermansia muciniphila, a novel probiotic strain that protects the gut barrier from inflammatory damage and exerts weightloss, anti-obesity and anti-diabetic properties as well as protecting the digestive tract from inflammatory/immune disorders e.g. IBD, Crohn’s. (6)

MITOPHAGY

Mitochondrial dysfunction is the root to most if not all conditions of ageing. (7)

Due to age and/or poor lifestyle factors, the mitochondria (energy plants of the cells) are not replaced or regenerated via mitophagy, causing a reduced output of cellular energy (ATP) and more free radicals. Combined they lead to ageing of different bodily systems e.g. skin, joints, heart, brain, muscle, immune etc.

Mitophagy represents a new paradigm in anti-ageing, courtesy of Urolithin-A and transcription factor EB, that is metabolized (in the gut) and upregulated respectively via pomegranate polyphenols. By optimising mitophagy, you are essentially giving your engine (mitochondria) a tune up that runs the car (body) better with less exhaust emissions (free radicals in cells).

AUTOPHAGY

Similar to mitophagy, but this clearing and recycling process involves other parts of the cells that have become senescent or aged, including toxic and damaged aggregated proteins that are the hallmarks of neurodegeneration.

Autophagy plays an important role when it comes to ageing and longevity. As a person ages, autophagy decreases, which can lead to a build-up of cellular junk parts that hamper normal cellular functioning, and cause inflammation and mitochondrial damage.

Transcription factor EB (TFEB) regulates autophagy. (8) See directly below.

TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR EB (TFEB)

Pomegranate extract or PE also shows a separate mechanism of improving or rebooting mitophagy by activating the gene regulator, Transcription Factor EB (TFEB) independent of the gut postbiotic, Urolithin-A. Singapore researchers made this remarkable finding in 2019. (9)

TFEB has widespread implications for health including neuroprotection, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory attributes. (10)

In fact improved expression of TFEB via pomegranate balances the immune response so effectively that it has been linked to the prevention of sepsis, a significant finding since sepsis has been implicated in 20% of global deaths. (11)

TFEB has been referred to as the master regulator of mitophagy (12) and autophagy. (13)

COLLAGEN AND ELASTIN SYNTHESIS

PE protects dermal fibroblasts (collagen and elastin producing cells) from UV damage similar to MitoQ, a £60 per month super antioxidant. This potent antioxidant and anti- inflammatory activity gives PE the ability to boost collagen and elastin synthesis. (14)

NB Dermal fibroblasts provide the machinery for dermal hyaluronic acid or HA synthesis and should be the key priority in targeting skin hydration. Importantly HA from creams and ingestible formats is cleared quickly and degraded from the dermis. (15)

ANTI-GLYCATIVE

Glycation is a process caused by free radicals from stimuli such as UV light and sugars reacting with proteins and fats to form advanced glycation end products (AGEs); these AGEs damage keratin, collagen and elastin in connective tissues e.g. skin, joints, vascular system (heart, brain), resulting in premature ageing. In fact glycation is a major issue for diabetics. (16)

Pomegranate especially in the patented Pomella® extract form, is a natural AGE product inhibitor and anti-inflammatory agent, showing great potential as an anti-glycative agent, thus slowing the progression this damaging process. (17)

SKIN

Pomegranate offers so many mechanisms of action on skin health that it genuinely offers “All in one skin solution” that is 100% natural including the following:

Antioxidant

PE and specifically Pomella® exerts potent, synergistic effects on protecting keratinocytes from free radical induced oxidative damage. (18)

PE protects the collagen and elastin producing cells, the dermal fibroblasts from DNA damage caused by free radicals, specifically the DNA of mitochondria that generate cellular energy, the lifeforce of all bodily systems including skin.

Skin ageing researchers in the UK, made a remarkable finding when PE compared well to MitoQ, a patented super antioxidant when protecting against UV induced damage. Further PE has many other therapeutic properties other than antioxidant. (19)

NB This was an inferior pomegranate product, and PE has many more attributes than just antioxidant.

Further antioxidant action of PE bioactives prevent glycation that damages keratinocytes and alters ceramide (fats) production in the epidermis, and damages the collagen and elastin structures in the dermis and the extracellular matrix. (20)

Anti-inflammatory

The key polyphenol unique to PE, punicalagins exerts potent anti-inflammatory attributes on via the inhibition of NF-κB, TFEB upregulation and courtesy of its gut metabolite, Urolithin-A Inflammation drives more free radicals and oxidative stress, leading to damage to epidermis and dermis layers of skin. (21)

Prebiotic

PE also boosts skin barrier integrity via the prebiotic action in the gut that influences the skin via the gut-skin axis. It does this by making Urolithin-A that exerts gut barrier protection, which is anti-inflammatory, in turn protecting the skin via the gut-skin axis. (22)

Further PE boosts the novel probiotic, akkermansia muciniphila that also exerts gut barrier protection, that is anti-inflammatory in turn protecting the skin via the gut-skin axis. (23)

Mitophagy

PE improves mitophagy via the gut metabolite Urolithin-A and upregulation of the gene expressor, transcription factor EB (TFEB). Both keratinocytes (keratin) and dermal fibroblasts (collagen and elastin) benefit from regenerating their mitochondria or energy plants via the mitophagy process that declines with age and/or poor lifestyle. (24)

Autophagy

If senescent cells and aggregated proteins are not cleared in the ECM due to a breakdown in autophagy, mitochondrial damage will result, thus effecting collagen synthesis and hyaluronic acid synthesis.

Autophagy plays a key role in the health of keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts, thus optimising keratin, collagen and elastin production. (25)

Fortunately pomegranate extract or PE via the upregulation of transcription factor EB (TFEB) stimulates autophagy. (26)

Collagen and Elastin Synthesis

Pomegranate extract or PE boosts collagen synthesis by protecting the dermal fibroblasts from oxidative damage and improving mitophagy. This amazing finding has only come to light recently and it represents a paradigm shift in bodily ageing. This study showed in relation to skin urolithin A increased type 1 collagen expression and reduced MMP-1 expression. (27)

NB MMP-1 is largely responsible for collagen and elastin degradation along with glycation.

Anti-Glycative

PE prevents and slows glycation, a process caused by environmental stimuli e.g. UV rays and where sugar in the form of circulating glucose reacts with proteins, in turn forming advanced glycation end products or AGEs that damage the collagen matrix in skin as well as other areas such as joints; PE inhibits glycation significantly. (28)

PE and its polyphenols have been shown to prevent methylglyoxal (MGO) induced DNA damage of keratin producing cells (keratinocytes), and boost collagen and hyaluronic acid production in the extracellular matrix. (29)

NB Damage to keratin via AGE products also affects the structure and production of ceramides. Although PE does not directly boost ceramide production, it indirectly does and the niacinamide in Skin+Beyond boosts ceramide synthesis by 34%. (30)

This in turn helps to retain moisture and skin barrier integrity, thus maintaining firmness and protecting skin from environmental insults that cause inflammation and associated damage.

How do these qualities of PE improve skin health?

Please note there may be references to other extracts, but they have the same amounts of the key bioactive compounds e.g. 30% punicalagins.

  • PE boosts water content by +51% in the stratum corneum, and +40% increase in skin hydration overall since PE boosts the production of hyaluronic acid that has impressive water retention properties (31)
  • Pomegranate boosts hyaluronic acid (HA) in the extracellular matrix by 50%, and prevents cross Cross linkages prevent removal of damaged collagen (32)

NB The extracellular matrix or ECM that makes up over 70% of the skin, is the key player in repairing and regenerating the skin. (33)

  • PE reduces wrinkle volume or depth by -26% and skin roughness by -31% (34)
  • PE boosts blood microcirculation by reducing blood vessel permeability; this increases nutrient, water and oxygen delivery to the skin layers, in turn improving radiance (35)
  • PE reduces the appearance of dark spots or hyperpigmentation and inhibits tyrosinase to decrease melanogenesis, reducing both melanocytes and melanosomes (36)
  • PE can be helpful for severe cases of acne, especially when it’s inflammatory driven evidenced by papules and pustules. By reducing inflammation in the gut via S+B prebiotic action, you will alleviate all inflammatory linked skin conditions (37)
  • PE protects against free radicals and oxidative stress caused by environmental stressors e.g. UV sunlight, pollution and toxins (38)
  • PE improves skin tone and reduces dark spots and blemishes (39)
  • Pomegranate extract also has been proven to boost hair health; the researchers found better hair strength, increased hair density and thickness, and an improved speed of hair growth in the participants (40)

HORMONE

Pomegranate extract or PE promotes hormone health since it contains the highest amount of oestrogen in the plant kingdom; hence the reason it is a boon for postmenopausal women; further PE boosts healthy estrogen in younger women, and prevents xenoestrogens (toxic metabolites) from chemicals and other products e.g. plastics

Pomegranate extract or PE offers postmenopausal protection from osteoporosis, heart disease, moods and hormone cancers e.g. breast; these benefits extend to all women. (41)

MUSCLE

Longevity is very dependent on the amount of muscle you have! Sarcopenia is a muscle wasting condition that accelerates over 40, and is central to chronic decline and early

mortality. Believe it or not muscle wastage is linked to cognitive decline and even dementia. (42)

Pomegranate extract or PE makes Urolithin-A in the gut, which boosts mitophagy that prevents and reverses sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass); muscle mass and strength are the ultimate determinants in preventing chronic decline and improving longevity. (43)

Further Urolithin-A actually boosts NAD+ levels and upregulates the sirtuin-1 gene in skeletal muscle. NAD+ is a crucial co-factor in cellular energy production or ATP in the mitochondria.(44)

NB The sirtuin-1 gene is central to longevity, and NAD+ is often referred to as “The biggest discovery in regenerative medicine” or “The secret of life and anti-ageing”. Importantly niacinamide, another ingredient in Skin+Beyond is an effective precursor for making NAD+. No need for expensive NR and NMN precursors.

CARDIOVASCULAR

Pomegranate is often referred to as “The heart fruit” due to its positive effect on multiple factors that lead to heart disease and stroke. effective multiple mechanisms of action, including the reduction of arterial plaque by 36% in one year and that includes the carotid arteries supplying the brain with blood, in turn preventing and reducing the risk of stroke as well as heart attack. (45)

There is no such thing as bad cholesterol; oxidized cholesterol (oxLDL), a key factor in heart disease, is when LDL becomes oxidised or damaged due to inflammation from poor lifestyle. A further study showed a 59% reduction in oxidised cholesterol (oxLDL), a more accurate predictor of arteriosclerosis and associated heart attacks compared to LDL cholesterol. Further the study showed: (46)

  • 130% increase in antioxidant capacity
  • 21% reduction in systolic blood pressure
  • 39% improvement in arterial plaque in one year

BRAIN

Due to various stimuli e.g. toxins, infections, gut inflammation (gut-brain axis), neurons come under assault via oxidative stress, inflammation and free radicals. Resultant neuroinflammation results from overstimulated microglia, the immune cells of the brain and key protectors of neurons. (47)

Pomegranate extract or PE has been demonstrated in a recent study to control (balance) microglia activation and dampen neuroinflammation, in turn protecting brain cells from further damage in an Alzheimer’s model. (48)

Further autophagy helps clear these toxic, aggregated proteins. When autophagy is dysfunctional in microglia, phagocytosis (clearing damaged cells and toxic proteins) breaks down and neuroinflammation ensues, leading to neurodegeneration.

Autophagy is boosted by the upregulation of Transcription Factor EB or TFEB (49), which in turn is upregulated by pomegranate extract or PE polyphenols as identified by researchers from Singapore in 2019. (50)

Another key factor in the initiation and progression of neurodegeneration is mitochondrial dysfunction. Caused by environmental stimuli induced oxidative stress and inflammation, and the breakdown in mitophagy system that removes and regenerates the damaged mitochondria, the energy plants of the cells. (51)

Pomegranate upregulates or boosts mitophagy via the production of the gut metabolite Urolithin-A and the upregulation of the gene expresser, TFEB. Further the pomegranate metabolite, Urolithin-A exerts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory attributes, and crosses the blood-brain barrier to protect neurons and their mitochondria (energy plants), in turn preventing the chronic microglia response (overreaction) that causes neuroinflammation, protein aggregate formation, and potential neuronal damage and loss. (52,53)

Glycation plays a role in the formation of amyloid protein aggregates, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s, and further amyloid proteins found in Alzheimer’s patients show evidence of glycation. This is significant when you consider that pomegranate prevents and retards glycation (see under “Anti-glycative”) and prevents the formation of amyloid plaques or deposits via microglial inhibition and autophagy as discussed here.

Interestingly the researchers in this study concluded that oxidative stress causes both

glycation and amyloid protein formation, and therefore effective treatment strategies could include antioxidants, and in particular polyphenols that are well studied for proven for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory attributes. (54)

The gut-brain connection

It’s often overlooked that the gut and brain are dependent on each other for optimum health via the gut-brain axis making the gut microbiome a key player not only in preventing neurodegenerative and mental health conditions; hence the reason the gut is often referred to as “The second brain”. (55)

When the good to bad microbes in the gut become imbalanced known as gut dysbiosis, the immune system reacts with an inflammatory response that migrates to the brain via the vagus nerve and in the case of gut barrier damage via the bloodstream.

If gut dysbiosis and associated gut inflammation is left unchecked, the intestinal barrier can be breached, often referred to as leaky gut syndrome, in turn allowing microbes, undigested food particles and toxins into the bloodstream. This prompts a chronic immune response and inevitable autoimmunity that causes a plethora of disease states e.g. irritable bowel disease Crohn’s, type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, MS, MND, Alzheimer’s.

The prebiotic activity of PE has three mechanisms of action:

  • The gut metabolite, Urolithin-A protects the gut from inflammation and damage, which in turn prevents neurological and psychiatric problems via the gut-brain axis or leaky gut (56)
  • PE boosts the numbers of akkermansia muciniphila, a novel probiotic that protects the gut barrier, in turn preventing damage and resultant inflammation and gut barrier permeability that causes brain inflammation (57)
  • Boosting of probiotic numbers including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria family strains keeps a healthy balance of good to bad microbes (58)

IMMUNITY

Pomegranate improves immunity via multiple mechanisms of action. Mitophagy (via Urolithin-A and TFEB) or the regeneration of mitochondria to prevent uncontrolled immune responses such as chronic inflammatory chemical release and excess immune cell activation. The key is a balanced response to threats. (59)

Gut health equals immune health since 70% of immune cells are made in the gut. The potent prebiotic activity of PE promotes gut health. (60) See above under “Brain”.

Further PE upregulates TFEB that in turn improves immune health, so much so it has been shown to prevent sepsis, a pervasive condition due to imbalanced immune response, that can be deadly. (61)

GUT & DIGESTION

Prebiotic action of pomegranate polyphenols as outlined above under “Brain” protect both the gut and beyond the gut into the digestive tract; worthy of special note is the novel gut microbe akkermansia muciniphila (AKKM) boosted by pomegranate polyphenols. (62)

AKKM consumes mucin in the gut wall, in turn releasing short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that protects the digestive tract including the colon from inflammatory disorders (IBD, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s) and cancers including colon. (63)

METABOLIC HEALTH

Pomegranate improves metabolic health by exhibiting cardiovascular (See under “Cardiovascular”), anti-obesity and anti-diabetic properties. It does so via a range of modes of action e.g. anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, prebiotic. However rising star in metabolic health is the exciting probiotic, akkermansia muciniphila that is boosted by pomegranate polyphenols and exerts its metabolic enhancing attributes through its actions in the gut and digestive tract. (64), (65)

JOINTS

Pomegranate extract or PE exerts multiple modes of action on preventing and improving joint and bone disorders.

Pomegranate extract or PE exerts potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect the fibroblasts (collagen and elastin producing cells) in joints and bone from free radical induced oxidative damage. (66)

PE boosts collagen synthesis and inhibits collagen and elastin degrading enzymes (MMPs), in turn boosting and protecting the health of joints and bone. Further PE exhibits ant- glycative properties, in turn protecting connective tissue from this other degrading process affecting connective tissues. (6768)

PE upregulates the gene encoder, transcription factor EB or TFEB that improves mitophagy (similar to Urolithin-A) and autophagy, in turn protecting joints and bones from degenerative disorders including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. (69)

Further pomegranate contains the highest amount of oestrogen in the plant World; post- menopausal women are low in oestrogen, which is also linked to joint and bone conditions. (70,71)

SPORTS PERFORMANCE & RECOVERY

As well as the joint and bone promoting properties of PE (See under “Joints”); PE has potent sports performance and recovery attributes. (72)

LIFESPAN

The pomegranate gut metabolite Urolithin-A promotes NAD+ and Sirt-1 gene expression, both linked to increased muscle mass and increased lifespan. (73)

Further Urolithin-A prevents and reverses sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass); muscle mass and strength are the ultimate determinants in longevity. Hence the reason Urolithin-A also increased the lifespan of c. elegans worms. (74)

CANCER

Pomegranate extract or PE demonstrates potent anti-cancer activity in many cancers including breast, colon, prostate, skin and lung. (75)

Written by Clark Russell, Founder of Skin + Beyond, a unique, hybrid prebiotic drink with patented Pomegranate Extract for skin and much, much more. 

Read more
How to Prevent and Improve Osteoarthritis Naturally

How to Prevent and Improve Osteoarthritis Naturally

How to Prevent and Improve Osteoarthritis Naturally

Osteoarthritis (also known as wear and tear arthritis) is the most common form of arthritis which occurs when the cartilage and synovial fluid between the joints wears down, affecting the mobility of the joint.

As the body starts to try and repair the damaged cartilage, the joints swell and thicken, and new bone material can grow abnormally, forming bony spurs.

Over time, if the condition becomes more severe, the cartilage wears away completely, causing the bones to rub together and the joints to move out of place.

Osteoarthritis (OA) can affect any joint but is most frequently found in the knees, hips and small joints of the hands, lower back and neck. Although it can happen at any age, it tends to start in your 50s most commonly.

Symptoms and Causes of Osteoarthritis

The severity of OA varies from person to person and joint to joint, and is more common in women. Typical symptoms include swelling of the joints, with pain, aching, stiffness, tenderness and problems moving the joint.

Often, the joints feel stiffer on waking, or after rest, then loosen up with movement. Muscle weakness can also develop around the joint. You may experience instability, grating or clicking sounds while moving the affected joints, or your joints might suddenly give out (e.g. hips and knees).

The disease gradually grows worse over time as the cartilage, synovial fluid and bones start to deteriorate.

Causes include ageing, joint injury or overuse, a family history of OA and excess weight which puts pressure on the joints.

Weak muscles around a joint can also increase the risk, as can poor posture. Your occupation may also make you more susceptible, as if you do a very physical job, you use your body much more actively, and certain joints like the knees or in the spine can get overburdened (cleaner, construction, farming). 

Not everyone develops OA, and it doesn’t have to be a normal part of ageing. In fact, by living a healthy life and making a few pertinent lifestyle and dietary choices, you can help to prevent your risk of developing it altogether and reduce the severity of your symptoms if you have it.

Getting to the Root Cause

Before launching into the list of things you can do to improve or help prevent osteoarthritis, it’s important to point out that we are all unique and what works for one person may not work for another, so you need to find what works best for you.

All the suggestions here are very general, and if you have OA, improvements will vary depending on the severity of your symptoms.

After trying these changes for six to eight weeks, if you don’t notice any positive changes, aside from discussing any problems with your GP, it may be beneficial to seek the help of a naturopath, functional medicine practitioner or nutritional therapist. 

You may need to address the underlying cause of your symptoms before you can experience any real, lasting improvement, and they can help with that.

For example, you may have poor gut health which has led to leaky gut, a condition which can cause inflammation throughout your body, including the joints.

It’s more common than you think, and without fixing it, your problem could become worse. You could also have food intolerances which are contributing to your symptoms. 

So, here are 10 food and lifestyle choices to help prevent or improve osteoarthritis…

1) Spring Clean Your Diet

Certain foods can encourage and exacerbate OA. By eliminating or significantly reducing them, you could majorly decrease your risk of developing it or notice a marked difference in any symptoms.

Making your meals at home gives you more control over the ingredients you use. Avoid inflammatory foods such as sugar (including sweeteners and added sugars of any kind). Get used to reading ingredients labels and familiarise yourself with the many different names for sugar.

If you don’t recognise any ingredients, they’re not real food. Sauces, condiments and salad dressings often have sugars lurking inside too.

Swap refined carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, white rice) for complex carbs (brown bread, pasta, rice). Other foods to steer clear of are processed, or junk food of any kind (including processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages, burgers), fried foods, baked goods (particularly bought) and fizzy drinks.

Avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils, including margarine and any other spreads made using partially hydrogenated oils and shortening.

Reduce your red meat intake and only eat organic free-range, grass-fed options. You can have the odd treat but become more aware and mindful of what you are eating.

Once you get into the rhythm of it, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it becomes and how much less you crave foods that are bad for you. If you want chips for a treat, have them – just make them yourself. Baked potato wedges with the skin on lightly coated in a little avocado oil are delicious.

2) Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods Daily

The following foods can help to address and relieve inflammation in the body: organic cold-pressed olive oil (great drizzled onto salads and steamed vegetables), organic raw virgin coconut oil, nuts including almonds and walnuts, beetroot, broccoli, pineapple, blueberries, celery, spices such as turmeric and ginger, onions, leeks, garlic, chives, spring onions, shallots, rosemary, spinach, kale, cabbage, bok choy, spring greens, strawberries, cherries, oranges, chia and linseeds, avocados. Also, drink green tea. 

If you want to bump up your vegetable intake, you could try Green Vibrance, an alkalising, nutrient-dense green powder supplement. It’s brimming with antioxidant herbs, vitamins, minerals and 25 billion probiotics from 12 strains.

These all help to reduce inflammation throughout your body, while providing comprehensive nutritional support.

3) Stay Hydrated

You simply cannot function without water and need it for every physiological process in your body.

Water is essential for joint lubrication. It transports vital nutrients and oxygen to all the cells in your body, including the ones in your joints.

Water also allows you to absorb and assimilate vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients more effectively and flushes out toxins, reducing inflammation.

When you feel thirsty, it’s an early warning sign that dehydration has already started. Even mild dehydration causes cognitive decline, slower reflexes, headaches, tiredness, dizziness and weakness.

Read this article for tips on how to stay hydrated. The right amount varies from person to person, but aim for at least two litres per day.

While UK tap water is safe to drink and its standards are among the highest in the world, it can still carry impurities including chlorine, trihalomethanes (THMs), medication residues, hormones, fluoride and heavy metals including lead.

Our alkaline water products are highly beneficial for your body and health. They help to detoxify, alkalise and mineralise the water you drink, and down-regulate inflammation.

4) Eat Plenty of Omega-3

Healthy omega-3 fats from fish oils help to reduce inflammation in the body, improving joint, muscle and back pain, protecting ligaments and tendons.

It can regulate inflammation and the immune response, aiding recovery from injury.

Aim to eat oily fish up to three times a week (sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, herring). While more research is needed, a 2015 review of test tube and culture dish laboratory studies showed that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) reduces inflammation and increases joint lubrication.

Oily fish and fish oil supplements are the most absorbable form of EPA and DHA.

You can consume other foods, rich in healthy fats which are very good for you, your overall health and inflammation. But they are much lower in EPA and DHA – one of the highest vegetarian food sources being walnuts.

Other healthy fat foods to include are linseeds, chia seeds, nuts, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables. 

If it’s a struggle to eat three portions of oily fish per week, consider taking a fish oil supplement. When making your selection, it’s essential to ensure it is a certified brand, with transparency of provenance and testing.

Supplements must be clean and free from harmful pollutants (heavy metals, PCBs, etc.) and have high potency. WHC UnoCardio 1000 provides this and much more. It has been named as the world’s number one fish oil by independent US laboratory Labdoor. 

RelatedHow Toxic Is Your Fish Oil? The Case for Clean Supplements

If you are vegetarian or vegan, try an algae supplement which, for EPA and DHA is the next best thing to fish oils.

5) Increase Brightly Coloured Fruits and Vegetables

Getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals is vital for each and every one of us, helping to prevent illness and chronic disease, including arthritis. If you have OA, getting all these nutrients is more crucial than ever.

You need to feed your cells, get nutrients to where they are required (like your joints) and encourage your body to function at its best. A daily rainbow of vegetables and fruit will provide lots of fibre, which, according to some research, can help to prevent osteoarthritis and prevent knee pain from worsening.

It also significantly contributes to your vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake including vitally needed vitamins C, E, beta carotene, zinc, selenium and plenty of flavonoids. 

All this helps to boost your immune system, improve digestion and calm inflammation. Always try to get a good mixture of colours on your plate with every meal.

6) Have a Cup of Bone Broth Every Day

Eating bone broth can help to heal the gut, calm inflammation, boost immunity and improve joint health.

It is packed full of nutrients, including gelatin and collagen that can help to ease pain and strengthen the joints.

There are plenty of good recipes online and cooking it on a low simmer in the slow cooker over 24 or more hours is best.

Always use organic, grass-fed bones. You can batch cook and freeze daily portions. There are also some organic ready-made bone broths on the market.

7) Prioritise Vitamin D

A vital nutrient, among its extensive list of health benefits, vitamin D helps regulate immunity and inflammation and promote bone and muscle strength.

If deficient, it plays a role in joint cartilage degeneration. Deficiency may increase your risk for osteoarthritis, and also increase the level of pain and lack of mobility in people with osteoarthritis. 

If you suffer from OA, be aware that some chronic pain medications can cause deficient vitamin D. 

Public Health England recommends that children from the age of 1 year and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women and people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

If your vitamin D levels are normal, then you should be fine to take a maintenance dose of 1,000 or 3,000IU per day, especially during autumn and winter.

If you’re worried your vitamin D levels are low, get them tested by your GP. If you choose to go higher in potency, it’s advisable to get your levels checked beforehand as too much vitamin D can be harmful.

8) Maintain a Healthy Weight

It’s well documented that a healthy weight is essential to help avoid osteoarthritis and as part of an OA treatment plan to alleviate unnecessary pressure on the joints.

By eating a healthy, wholefood diet, rich in fibre, you will feel fuller for longer and naturally eat less often. Fibre also helps to keep your bowel movements on track, decreasing your chances of constipation which can contribute to weight gain, poor gut health and toxicity – all causes of increased inflammation.

If you are struggling with your weight, seek the advice of a registered naturopath, nutritional therapist or functional medicine practitioner.

9) Regular Exercise

Exercise is essential for joint health, and if you suffer from OA, it can help to manage pain and improve mobility.

Find the right balance for you in terms of exercise, mixing up your strengthening and aerobic training. The Arthritis Foundation recommends walking and aquatic activities for most people with osteoarthritis. They also suggest a range of motion, flexibility, strengthening, and aerobic/endurance exercise. 

Working on your core strength is also essential as prolonged poor posture and arthritis risk are linked.

Become more aware and connected with your body. How do you carry yourself through life? Where do you hold tension? How do you sit, stand and sleep? How often do you get up and move around? How long do you stay in a seated position? Can you improve on any of these? 

A strong core helps to improve your balance and stability and strengthen muscles, making you less prone to injury.

It also makes it easier to achieve simpler, everyday tasks, activities and movements we can often take for granted until we suddenly find them difficult. Plus it helps to ease back pain.

Working your core isn’t just about focusing on your abdomen. It’s about engaging and strengthening all the muscles around your trunk and pelvis, including your back.

Aside from self-awareness and monitoring how you move your body, a few minutes of core exercises every day is hugely beneficial for your posture.

10) Wear Appropriate Footwear

Insoles and the right shoes can be an effective part of the management of knee, hip and foot OA, helping to relieve both pressure and pain.

Ask your GP to refer you to a physiotherapist for help and advice!

Conclusion

Dietary and lifestyle changes can make a substantial difference when it comes to managing the symptoms of OA or avoiding it altogether. If the amount of suggestions listed here is overwhelming, pick one to three things to start with and take it from there.

Should you try several of the tips on this list with no improvement, consider seeking the help of a registered nutritional therapist, naturopath or functional medicine practitioner.

They can investigate any underlying causes that could be making your symptoms worse. Some people also find homeopathy helpful, and I have successfully prescribed it for many patients with joint pain. 

**If you have any chronic health conditions that require medication, please speak to your doctor before changing your diet or taking supplements.

By Rebecca Rychlik-Cunning, a Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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How Eggshell Membrane Benefits Arthritis, Joint Pain, More

How Eggshell Membrane Benefits Arthritis, Joint Pain and more

Eggshell membrane is a natural substance that forms between the white of the egg and its shell. If you’ve ever de-shelled a hard-boiled egg, you’ll probably have noticed this clear film. But one thing you mightn’t have realised is just what a nutritional powerhouse it is.

A natural source of joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate, hyaluronic acid, collagen and glycoprotein, eggshell membrane is an entirely unique biological matrix.

Little wonder, therefore, that eggshell membrane has been studied for its positive effects on various markers of health. Indeed, clinical research highlights the benefits of eggshell membrane for arthritis and the joint pain which is synonymous with the disease.

In this blog post, we intend to take a closer look at eggshell membrane and assess its usefulness as a dietary aid.

Eggshell Membrane for Joint Pain and Stiffness


By far the most studied area of research when it comes to eggshell membrane is for arthritis and joint health in general. This is not altogether surprising given the membrane’s constituents, which including fibrous proteins like collagen type 1.

Two of the most widely-reported studies were published almost a decade apart, in 2009 and 2018. While the former (published in the journal Clinical Rheumatology) focused on the usage of eggshell membrane in treating pain and stiffness from osteoarthritis of the knee, the latter (published in Clinical Interventions in Ageing) sought to determine whether the ingredient could alleviate exercise-inducted joint pain, stiffness and cartilage turnover.

The 2009 paper, a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, involved 67 patients randomly chosen to receive either 500mg NEM® eggshell membrane or a placebo daily for two months.

Amazingly, the supplementation group exhibited improved mean pain subscores (15.9% reduction, Placebo?=?0.036) and mean stiffness subscores (12.8% reduction, P?=?0.024) after just ten days of supplementation.

After 60 days, the improvement in pain response had been maintained (15.4%, P?=?0.038), while stiffness was further improved to 26.6% reduction (P?=?0.005), using the Western Ontario and McMasters Universities (WOMAC) Osteoarthritis Index.

In the “Discussion” section of the resulting paper, researchers claimed that “the study proved NEM® both effective and safe for treating pain and stiffness associated with OA of the knee” while pointing out that opting to employ eggshell membrane for this purpose “has the added benefit of avoiding the concerning side effects associated with long-term use of other osteoarthritis treatments such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).”

You can read the 2009 study in its entirety here.

Eggshell Membrane for Exercise-Inducted Discomfort


The 2018 study also used a daily eggshell membrane dosage of 500mg, administered once daily for two weeks while subjects engaged in a leg-based exercise on alternating days. Subjects, in this case, comprised healthy postmenopausal women in the 40-75 age bracket.

Although “immediate pain was not significantly different”, treatment responses were noted for recovery stiffness (Day 4), immediate stiffness (Day 7) and recovery pain (Day 8).

By the end of the fortnight evaluation period, recovery pain had almost returned to resting levels for the treatment group while placebo group recovery pain levels remained significantly elevated.

In other words, the physical aftereffects of intense exercise were mitigated thanks to NEM®. Furthermore, “a substantial chondroprotective effect was demonstrated from supplementation with NEM® through a lasting decrease in the cartilage degradation biomarker CTX-II.”

You can read the 2018 study in full here.

So what do this pair of studies tell us? Merely that the effects of eggshell membrane (and in particular the patent-protected NEM® ingredient) appear to be highly beneficial for treating exercise-induced joint pain and stiffness, and also pain and stiffness from knee osteoarthritis.

The logical question to ask is: Could NEM® be useful for other forms of arthritis? 

Of course, these are not the only trials worth mentioning. In 2014, a German study showed that daily supplementation with – you guessed it – 500mg eggshell membrane could reduce painful symptoms of knee and hip osteoarthritis. One-quarter of patients enjoyed a 30% improvement in pain after ten days of treatment while more than three-quarters reported moderate or significant improvements at the conclusion of the two-month study period.

While more studies would surely be welcomed, the effectiveness of its ingredients in protecting cartilage, synovial membrane and sub chondral bone make eggshell membrane a worthwhile supplement for those interested in preserving and lubricating joints and cartilage, whether due to general age-related wear and tear or sports injuries.

Conclusion

With interest in natural alternatives for the treatment of joint pain and stiffness, including that caused by arthritis, continuing to attract interest, eggshell membrane appears to be worthy of close attention.

If you want to try it for yourself, possibly to avoid the diverse and severe side effects of conventional NSAIDs, or even as an adjunct, consider UnoCardio Sports, a new supplement that combines NEM® with high-potency omega-3 fish oil.

The reason these components are combined is because, like eggshell membrane, anti-inflammatory omega-3s have been well-studied for their beneficial effect on joint health, specifically due to their ability to decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines (one of the primary drivers of arthritis). Each serving of UnoCardio Sports provides a therapeutic dosage of 1,250mg omega-3 and 500mg NEM®.

While we’ve got you here, there’s a few articles we think you might be interested in:

Natural Remedies for Arthritis Pain: Herbs, Supplements and More

Best Form of Magnesium for Sleep, Arthritis, Cramps and Anxiety

9 Proven Turmeric Benefits for Skin, Arthritis, Diabetes and More

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Natural Remedies for Arthritis Pain: Herbs, Supplements & More

Natural Remedies for Arthritis Pain: Herbs, Supplements & More

Arthritis is one of the most debilitating yet common ailments for older adults, affecting nearly 350 million people worldwide.

The word arthritis literally translates to “joint inflammation,” and that’s exactly what it is.

Over time, the cartilage that protects the joints breaks down, leading to inflammation, pain and the eventual degradation of the joint tissue.

If you’ve suffered from arthritis for a long period of time, there’s a good chance you’ve tried all of the traditional remedies available, including analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and maybe even prescription painkillers.

While treating arthritis with medication provides much-needed relief for many sufferers, there are many reasons why you might seek more natural arthritis remedies.

Perhaps you’ve experienced challenging side effects that outweigh the benefits or maybe you’ve found that traditional treatments are too costly.

Many people who mitigate arthritis pain with medication opt to supplement with natural treatments to further quell the pain.

No matter your reason for giving the natural route a go, you might want to consider the following options to add to your treatment plan.

Herbs & Supplements for Arthritis

 

The Arthritis Foundation has published a list of natural and herbal supplements that may help treat arthritis, including bromelain, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, turmeric and essential vitamins and minerals.

These can be taken orally through capsules, while some can be administered topically with essential oils. Let’s take a look at some natural supplements that have been scientifically proven to provide some great benefits.

• Bromelain

Bromelain is a naturally-occurring enzyme found in the pineapple plant that’s thought to help reduce swelling and relax muscles. Most people take bromelain orally through foods, supplements, teas and tinctures.

Whether or not bromelain actually works to treat pain is still up for debate, but several studies indicate that it offers some anti-inflammatory benefits.

• Chondroitin sulfate

This chemical is typically found in joint cartilages of both humans and animals. Adding supplemental chondroitin sulfate to your diet is thought by some to slow the breakdown of cartilage, which can help reduce arthritis pain.

One study showed that arthritis sufferers who took the supplement showed a significant decrease in hand pain and hand function after about three months of treatment.

• Glucosamine

Like chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine is a natural component of cartilage. It’s usually derived from the shells of shrimp, lobster and crab, as well as through vegetables. The effects of glucosamine appear to be proven and broad-spanning, with studies showing that it could provide significant pain relief of arthritis.

• Turmeric

The spice rack staple turmeric, derived from a flowering plant similar to ginger, has recently made headlines for its suggested pain-fighting power. But is it actually all it’s cracked up to be?

Actually, yes! There are plenty of studies showing that turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and modifies responses of the immune system.

• Probiotics

According to Dr Susan Blum, as outlined in her book Healing Arthritis, “Probiotics are thought to improve all the functions of the good flora that we reviewed, including helping T-regulator immune cells work better and live longer, turning off inflammation, and repairing the gut lining and tight junctions.”

The potential of probiotics to help with arthritis has also been explored by Arthritis.org, with the author pointing out that beneficial bacteria reduces “common biomarkers of inflammation, including C-reactive protein.”

Lactobacillus casei and L. acidophilus are the two most commonly-cited anti-arthritic strains.

• Omega-3

Decades of research shows that omega-3 fatty acids decrease the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, one of the main drivers of arthritis.

Danish meta-analysis of 22 separate trials, published in 2017, meanwhile found that omega-3 marine oil had a ‘favourable effect’ on arthritis patients, and a ‘significantly favourable effect’ on rheumatoid arthritis patients in particular, significantly improving inflammation.

• Magnesium Oil

The idea that magnesium oil might be helpful for arthritis has been well-explored, including in this very blog. Here’s an excerpt: “According to a cross-sectional study from 2015, “magnesium intake is inversely associated with radiographic knee osteoarthritis and joint space narrowing. It supports potential role of magnesium in the prevention of knee osteoarthritis.”

Medicinal Meditation and Eastern Medicine


If sitting still in silence for a half an hour a day could keep you pain-free, would you do it?

According to some studies, that just might be the case. Meditation is a mind-body practice with the primary goal of boosting feelings of calm, mindfulness and relaxation

When used to treat physical ailments and depression — which often go hand-in-hand — meditation is referred to as mindfulness-based stress reduction. Several studies have shown that practising this type of meditation can slightly improve pain relief and greatly improve feelings of depression, which could lead to improved physical well-being.

Other traditional Eastern practices are employed to treat arthritis, including acupuncture and other kinds of traditional Chinese medicine. While research is limited, there are a few studies showing that sufferers of osteoarthritis may experience slightly less pain when treated with acupuncture, while sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis experienced less success with the treatment.

Other holistic approaches that work for some people include Qi Gong massage — an ancient Chinese massage technique designed to promote relaxation and healing — as well as herbal treatments.

If you’re interested in further exploring this topic, check out our article Alleviating Aches of Body and Mind with Movement.

Compression Therapy

Compression therapy is another promising natural remedy that appears to be useful for treating arthritis in the lower limbs, back and hands.

This treatment requires patients to wear compression garments — compression socks, arthritis gloves, back support garments and more — for a prolonged period of time.

Compression socks and gloves work by providing gentle pressure to the muscles and veins, improving blood flow and preventing blood clots. For many, compression garments can help reduce pain and swelling, and people who work on their feet for long periods of time often wear compression socks or hose to help prevent blood clots and pain.

Is it worth a try? Compression gloves, otherwise known as arthritis gloves (or gauntlets), have been studied with regard to arthritis. Research shows that people who wear these kinds of garments while they slept experienced a reduction in pain, swelling and stiffness.

Some styles feature copper sewn into the material, which is said to offer additional benefits to relieve pain, tiredness and swelling. The great thing about this kind of therapy is that it doesn’t interrupt your life — there are no appointments, medication schedules or extra supplements to remember to take. All you have to do is slip on a pair of gloves or socks to experience some relief.

Options to Try

While natural remedies are generally thought to be less risky than pharmaceuticals, you should still always consult your doctor before you start any new treatment plan.

They will be able to guide you towards natural options that are best for your particular condition and pain points and will understand side effects and risks with regard to your health record and background.

With any luck, you and your doctor will be able to design a natural arthritis treatment plan that suits all of your needs.

This guest article was written by Kaki Zell, the Vice President and co-owner of Ames Walker. When she is not working for the family business, she enjoys running, hiking, travelling, Virginia Tech football and spending time with family and friends.

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Magnesium Oil for Arthritis: Can It Soothe Joint Pain, Rheumatism?

Magnesium Oil for Arthritis: Can It Soothe Joint Pain, Rheumatism?

Magnesium is a highly important mineral involved in well over 300 biochemical reactions in the body.

Although increasingly appreciated for its role in the production of ATP, and therefore its effect on energy levels, the specific benefits of magnesium for arthritis (and pain management more generally) have only recently come to light.

If you already suffer with arthritis, or are at risk of the inflammatory disease, read on to learn how magnesium oil could help.

How Might Magnesium Help with Arthritis?


Along with calcium, magnesium is critical for good bone and muscle health. As such, its potential for assisting with arthritis – an inflammatory condition typified by pain and swelling in the joints – is comparatively easy to understand.

In fact, according to a 2015 research paper published in the Journal of Rheumatologymagnesium helps the calcium you digest actually get to your bones – specifically by restricting a glandular hormone which diverts it away from bones and into muscle.

As a side note, vitamin D is also integral to the process of calcium absorption.

It is widely believed that low-grade systemic inflammation plays a key role in the pathophysiology of arthritis, of which there are over 100 different forms.

Magnesium, of course, is a noted anti-inflammatory, with a higher mg intake consistently correlating with lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).

Indeed, several animal and human studies have underlined mechanisms by which magnesium deficiency can actually induce increased inflammation. Specifically by increasing the production of a pro-inflammatory cytokine that plays a critical role in osteoarthritis.

The impact of this valuable micronutrient on key inflammation mediators is undoubtedly a major part of the reason why it is beneficial for those already battling, or vulnerable to, arthritis.

That said, magnesium’s role as a potent antioxidant and detoxifier may also be relevant. It’s even known as one of the best natural alternatives for pain relief.

While there is no known cure of arthritis, forms of treatment which reduce the associated excruciating pain, improve mobility and limit further joint damage should be explored.

As we hope to demonstrate, magnesium is a form which should be considered.

“Magnesium Cured My Arthritis”: Anecdotal Evidence


There are countless reports of individuals who have used magnesium – usually in the form of magnesium lotion or oil, though sometimes in combination with supplements – for pain relief from arthritic conditions.

While it’s difficult to verify these testimonies, it is no so difficult to imagine the effect magnesium has on inflammation mediators governing the disease itself. After all, we have the clinical data to which we can refer.

Magnesium expert Carolyn Dean, MD, has published a lengthy testimonial from a client on her website; it’s well worth a look but not unique in terms of content: many people report that magnesium oil has helped alleviate their arthritis symptoms, whether the pain is concentrated in knees, muscles or joints.

If you wish to tumble down the rabbit hole, YouTube features a broad selection of magnesium oil testimonies.

Do Clinical Studies Support Magnesium for Arthritis?


According to a cross-sectional study from 2015, “magnesium intake is inversely associated with radiographic knee osteoarthritis and joint space narrowing. It supports potential role of magnesium in the prevention of knee osteoarthritis.”

A more recent study from 2017, meanwhile, looked at the relationship between magnesium intake and knee chondrocalcinosis, a joint disease believed to simulate osteoarthritis. Again, researchers found that magnesium deficiency set the stage for the disease.

“Subjects with lower levels of serum magnesium, even within the normal range, had higher prevalence of knee chondrocalcinosis in a dose-response relationship manner, suggesting that magnesium may have a preventive or therapeutic potential for knee chondrocalcinosis.”

The potential of magnesium for arthritis is not something in the realm of ‘alternative health.’

The Arthritis Foundation, which works alongside healthcare providers to strengthen education and interactive offerings, explain on their website that “many studies, including the Framingham Heart Study, have found that eating foods high in magnesium and potassium increases bone density and may help prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis.”

Why Magnesium Oil Specifically?

An ever-growing number of studies demonstrate the superior absorptive capacity of transdermal magnesium as compared to oral supplements. This includes studies conducted on both sides of the Atlantic.

That said, most magnesium experts and naturopathic doctors/nutritionists recommend combining oral methods of administration with regular transdermal application.

Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If you’re suffering from arthritis-related pain and discomfort, give magnesium a try and monitor the effects.

Our Revitacell Magnesium Oil is a great choice of supplement, providing highly pure magnesium chloride ecologically extracted from the northern flank of the Himalayas.

Himalayan magnesium is the only magnesium chloride in the world to have achieved EcoCert/COSMOS Natural Cosmetic certification, ensuring the highest possible quality for topical applications.

With our 100% pure, unrefined magnesium oil, you can rapidly increase your intracellular levels of magnesium to address arthritis symptoms. Simply spray on an area of discomfort seven times and massage into the skin.

Each seven-spray serving provides 105mg of Himalayan magnesium, and the recommended daily dose is 10-20 sprays per day as required.

If you want to combine pure, unrefined magnesium with MSM, meanwhile, we have a formula that can help. Himalayan Magnesium Serum + MSM contains the same premium-grade magnesium chloride as our oil, but is enriched with organic sulfur from OptiMSM®, the world’s purest methylsulfonylmethane.

Known as an effective muscle and joint pain relief agent, MSM has also been touted for promoting smooth, soft skin and – just like magnesium – soothing arthritis symptoms.

According to WebMD, other uses of MSM include for “chronic pain, osteoarthritis, joint inflammation, osteoporosis, tendinitis, swelling around the tendons (tenosynovitis), musculoskeletal pain and muscle cramps.”

Which Other Supplements Help with Arthritis?

Of course, magnesium oil is not the only natural product which may be useful for arthritis.

• Omega-3 Fish Oil

Supplementation with fish oil can be beneficial for some people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) due to the mild anti-inflammatory effects of Essential Fatty Acids.

Like magnesium, omega-3 appears to decrease the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Studies show that positive effects can include reduced joint pain intensity and stiffness, though supplementation should continue for a period of at least 3 months to exert maximal effects.

Lastly, EPA has shown to be more beneficial than DHA in rheumatoid arthritis patients, with beneficial effects coming from fish oil with an EPA/DHA ratio of 1.5.

• Vitamin D

A UK study published late last year suggested that vitamin D might be employed to suppress the kind of inflammation which leads to rheumatoid arthritis.

While the researchers concluded that an adequate intake of the anti-inflammatory vitamin could be vital for preventing RA in the first place, they conceded that it was much less effective once the disease was already established.

Dr Louisa Jeffrey, who co-wrote the report, explained “For patients who already have rheumatoid arthritis…much higher doses of vitamin D may be needed.”

While the ideal dosages are still being investigated, you might consider supplementing with UnoCardio 1000, which combines EPA and DHA fish oil with vitamin D3. A single softgel supplies 1280mg total omega-3, including 675mg EPA and 460mg DHA, as well as 1,000 IU of vitamin D.

UnoCardio has been rated #1 for quality by independent supplement aggregator Labdoor since 2015.

• Turmeric

Several studies have emphasised the ability of curcumin (turmeric’s primary active ingredient) to counteract inflammation via multiple pathways, including by regulating transcription factors and redox status and blocking pro-inflammatory cytokines and enzymes linked to inflammation.

While you should avoid high doses of turmeric if you take blood thinning medication such as Warfarin, a daily supplemental dosage of 1,000mg has been suggested for patients with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Try Maximized Turmeric 46x: a double-blind study comparison showed it to be 46x more absorbable than 95% curcuminoid extract, which is used in the vast majority of turmeric supplements.

What’s more, each capsule provides 500mg of curcuminoid raw material enhanced by BioPerine black pepper extract, the inclusion of which further enhances bioavailability.

Conclusion

Does magnesium oil represent a potential pain management solution for arthritis? Absolutely.

While we cannot confidently state that it will work for every single sufferer (just as pharmaceutical companies cannot do the same for most drugs), it represents a novel natural therapy.

If you give magnesium oil a try, we’d love to hear from you. If you choose to use our product, please leave a review noting your impressions; if you use a competitor product, we’d still love to hear about your experience.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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Stronger Bones Naturally

Severe Joint Pain? Don’t Blame the Weather

It’s not uncommon for us to blame the weather when we suffer pain in our joints. How many times have we uttered ‘This cold and wind is no good for my bones’?

As a matter of fact, the weather tends to take the flak for numerous health complaints – not just severe joint pain, cold and flu but insomnia, fatigue and depression.

Two new studies from Australia, however, suggest changes in weather are not to blame for intermittent joint pain and flare-ups.

Is Bad Weather Causing You Pain?

The dyad of studies, which were conducted by the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney, tried to find a correlation between subjects’ reports of pain and weather data gathered by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Their conclusion was that no link existed between the weather and reports of – in this instance – lower back pain and knee arthritis.

Factors such as air pressure, precipitation, wind speed and humidity appeared to have no effect on back pain in a study of 1,000 people published last month in the Pain Medicine journal. Researchers compared weather data from the week when the subjects reported back pain with data from a month earlier, when they had been pain-free.

The same was true of the arthritis study, in which 350 subjects participated. Although the study period was only three months (as opposed to four years for the back pain study), meteorological forces were again let off the hook.

There is absolutely no link between pain and the weather in these conditions,’ said Chris Maher, director of the musculoskeletal division at the George Institute for Global Health.

The findings are sure to come as a shock to those of us (and there are many) who angrily shake our fist at the empyrean whenever we suffer from a seemingly undiagnosable bout of pain. Severe joint pain is, in many minds, inextricably linked to the vagaries of weather.

But Don't Dropping Temperatures Affect Arthritis?

Perhaps further studies are needed before the picture becomes clearer. After all, we shouldn’t forget the 2007 Tufts University study, which showed that every 10-degree drop in temperature corresponded with an incremental spike in arthritis pain.

Nor the widely held belief that barometric pressure – the weight of the atmosphere – has a bearing on joint pain. Barometric pressure is known to drop before bad weather strikes; lower air pressure is thought to allow tissues to expand, thereby putting pressure on the joint.

How to Keep Joints Healthy

Ultimately a consensus on whether the weather worsens severe joint pain – or any other pain – eludes us.

For now, mixed conclusions are all we have to rely on. If you want to avoid joint pain, you should endeavour to maintain a healthy lifestyle, favour low-impact exercise (cycle, don’t run; swim, don’t climb) and be sure to stretch daily or at least three times per week. You could also benefit from incorporating a supplement like Joint Vibrance into your diet.

As we age, chondrocyte (cartilage-building cells) activity slows and our tissue becomes less able to maintain homeostasis, leading to pressure on the joints. Joint Vibrance has been specifically engineered to address this problem, supplying chondrocytes with beneficial nutrients – nutrients that are essential for the construction of new cartilage.

Its high collagen content also works in concert with cartilage to promote the health of the joint, while a number of additional ingredients provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These include curcuminoids, grape seed extract and boswellia extract.

Joint Vibrance is available in powder form, which is easily mixed with water or juice, and also tablets. While blaming the weather for severe joint pain might release some frustration, it doesn’t help with pain relief. The aim should be to support your joints and improve flexibility rather than accepting pain as ‘just the way it is.’

In creating Joint Vibrance, our long-time suppliers Vibrant Health have employed valuable ingredients to help you enhance joint health.

Of course, there are other supplements for joint and bone health you might wish to consider. We have received great feedback, in particular, from customers who have used UnoCardio 1000 (high-strength fish oil + high-strength vitamin D) and Maximized Turmeric 46x. You might also consider using magnesium oil for arthritis. Our blog has all the details – just hit the last link.

An Encouraging New Development

Speaking of joints, scientists at Oxford University have recently created the first 3D model of human joints, which sheds light on how typical medical complaints have arisen over the years.

Researchers scanned 224 bone specimens to generate 3D computer models and reckon the information will enable them to anticipate future problems based on lifestyle and genetic changes.

Who knows, maybe severe joint pain will soon be a thing of the past. Till then, we should all do what we can to stay active, flexible and healthy.

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image of man wearing bandage on knee

Rebuilding Joints Naturally Using Diet and Supplements

When the temperature drops, we often feel it in our joints. Cold weather makes it harder for achy joints to get moving and easier for old nagging pains to recur.

Instead of taking over-the-counter pain medications that may cause unwanted stomach and liver problems, seek to rebuild your joints naturally this winter with supplements that are proven to naturally repair cartilage.

What Causes Joint Pain?


Age doesn’t have to be the primary cause of achy joints, but an older individual may experience more joint pain than a younger one.

If you suffered an injury years ago that never completely healed, you may experience some degree of joint pain in this area. Sleeping on the wrong mattress or in the wrong position may cause you to wake up achy.

Inflammation of the joint in the form of osteoporosis or arthritis may also cause unpleasant pain. In rare cases, joint pain may be a sign of a degenerative disease.

How Collagen Naturally Repairs Cartilage and Reduces Joint Pain


Many over-the-counter medications are available to help cope with joint pain. But injections and medications may come with their own list of side effects, including stomach ulcers, liver damage and dependency.

Many people who are seeking help through physical therapy often drop out because it’s too painful for their joints. Luckily, there are natural forms of alternative treatments available to help you cope with the pain in a safer manner.

Collagen is an exciting recent discovery made by those who suffer from achy joints. Until recently, most people were aware that collagen was needed for skin health. But several studies have shown its effectiveness in rebuilding joints and cartilage naturally to reduce pain and increase mobility.

In fact, collagen may be the only nutrient scientifically proven to do so.

Collagen is the main structural unit of cartilage tissue, so it makes sense to supplement with it if you’re looking for natural cartilage repair.

Results from a 2016 study published in The Eurasian Journal of Medicine showed that patients with knee osteoarthritis who were treated with a combination of collagen and acetaminophen for three months reported better control of their pain than patients who treated with acetaminophen alone.

Several other studies have shown that cartilage supplementation may also have positive effects in treating early onset rheumatoid arthritis.

A study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism showed that positive effects were associated with patients who were given collagen even at low doses. The study also found that collagen was a safe and effective treatment method for joint pain as no side effects were observed in patients.

These findings were supported by both a 2009 study and a 2001 study showing positive associations between collagen supplementation and rheumatoid arthritis pain.

Another study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism found that collagen was effective in reducing arthritic pain even when administered in low doses.

Collagen has additionally been shown to reduce inflammatory cell infiltration in knee joints, decrease pain and tenderness in joints and reduce achy joints due to morning stiffness.

Another great way to alleviate morning joint stiffness is by exercising! See our article here on easy tips for incorporating exercise into your daily routine without even knowing it.

Other Nutrients That Naturally Promote Joint Health and Mobility

Joint pain caused by arthritis and osteoporosis is often brought on by inflammation of the joints. Your diet plays a large role in how well your body responds to inflammation.

An improper diet can also be the reason why your body is experiencing inflammation in the first place.

In addition to supplementing with collagen, you may also want to incorporate more alkalising fruits and vegetables into your diet to naturally flush inflammatory toxins from your joints.

Vitamins and minerals are an important part of any treatment plan to naturally rebuild joints and repair cartilage. In place of highly refined sugar and processed foods, focus on green leafy vegetables, berries and other fruits to help naturally boost a healthy immune system capable of fighting off inflammation that may otherwise attack your joints.

Joint Vibrance is a perfect supplement for achy joints. The formula contains everything you need to naturally repair cartilage/joints and reduce inflammation, including two types of collagen, vitamin C, calcium, iron, bromelain and glucosamine, just to name a few superstar ingredients.

The powder has a natural orange flavour, making it a great addition to smoothies; it can also be taken neat in a glass of water. JV includes a potent antioxidant blend, proven cartilage boosters and solubility factors so you’re guaranteed to absorb and utilise every bit of this powerful joint rebuilder.

Another natural ingredient you might want to look at is turmeric. Indeed, this natural anti-inflammatory is replacing conventional pain medication for a great many people. Transdermal magnesium oil is another natural product known to soothe joint pain and rheumatism.

Conclusion

When the temperature drops, we often feel it in our joints. Cold weather makes it harder for achy joints to get moving and easier for old nagging pains to recur.

Vitamins and minerals are an important part of any treatment plan to naturally rebuild joints and repair cartilage.

In place of highly refined sugar and processed foods, focus on green leafy vegetables, berries and other fruits to help naturally boost a healthy immune system capable of fighting off inflammation that may otherwise attack your joints.

We hope this article has convinced you that there are natural options to address deteriorating joints. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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natural treatment for degenerative joint disease

Natural Treatment Options for Degenerative Joint Disease

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and the most common type of degenerative joint disease, according to the World Health Organisation. Worldwide, 9.6 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women over the age of 60 battle with it. In England and Wales between1.3 and 1.75 million people have it.

It is a potentially disabling disease for which doctors claim there is still no cure.

We believe the best that can be done is to protect your joints as well as possible whilst they are strong and healthy and to manage the disease as naturally as possible when it occurs.

What is Degenerative Joint Disease?

Degenerative joint disease stems from the wear and tear of the joints. It is chronic and progressive and involves the gradual loss of articular cartilage due to age or overuse. This cartilage is the soft, spongy cushion between your bones inside your joints.

It causes severe pain and stiffness primarily in the ankle, knee, hip, spinal, neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and finger joints.

What Causes Degenerative Joint Disease?

At this stage experts have not come to a definitive conclusion. The wear and tear of the joints cannot be the only factor, as many people who put significant pressure on their joints do not suffer from it.

Some inherited genes are involved, either by causing insufficient production of the substances that make up cartilage, or by causing your bones to fit together in a way more likely to break down cartilage.

Frequent joint injuries of the types sportspeople suffer can destroy cartilage.

Obesity also plays a role, both because it puts too much weight on your joints, and because fat tissue produces inflammatory chemicals (cytokines) that damage them.

Problems Cited From Traditional Drug Treatments

The people who are most vulnerable to joint deterioration are the elderly and those in their late middle ages.

These also happen to be the people who are at the highest risk of suffering toxic reactions to large quantities of strong medication.

Their livers and kidneys are no longer young and strong enough to process the amount of pain medication that they need to take to keep their joint disorders under control.

Typical treatments for degenerating joints include the following:

  • Analgesics are pain killers. They are the least toxic of the options, but they nevertheless have serious drawbacks.They are physically addictive, in that a larger amount is needed over time to achieve the same pain relief. At the weakest end, paracetamol is too weak to control severe joint pain, and at the strongest end, opioids are seriously addictive. Worst of all, they do not treat the inflammation and cartilage deterioration at all.


  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) treat both the inflammation and the pain, but they can have serious side effects. Regular use can wear down the stomach lining and cause stomach ulcers and bleeding, and they put substantial pressure on the kidneys that can develop into kidney disease. Some types are even associated with a moderate risk of heart attack. Aspirin and ibuprofen are the weakest over-the-counter types, while the stronger ones are available on prescription only.


  • Corticosteroids are steroids that are particularly effective at treating inflammation and pain. The topical creams and tablets are effective for only mild cases, however, while the injections carry the risk of organ failure and bone density loss.


  • Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance in your joint and eye fluid that acts as a shock absorber and lubricant. It can be helpful for people with degenerating joints because their natural supply gets broken down. This does involve regular injections at a doctor's office, however.

Natural Treatment Options for Degenerative Joint Disease

  • Thermal therapies can be administered at home or in an occupational therapist's office. Heat can relieve stiffness and pain, while cold can relieve muscle spasms and pain. Electrically heated gloves or microwavable bean bags are popular for home use on finger, wrist, spinal, and neck joints.

  • Occupational therapists can help you combat stiffness by teaching you some range of motion and flexibility exercises, tailored to your specific needs and requirements. Your joints must remain active to slow the progression of most joint diseases. These exercises will ensure that they remain flexible and that they can move the full range of their abilities. Once you have learnt these exercises, it will also be safe for you to adopt an exercise program that uses, but not damages, your joints.

  • Collagen is the main structural protein in connective tissue. This is the stuff that yields gelatin when it is boiled. Many studies have demonstrated that it is an effective treatment for pre-arthritis and mild arthritis, even in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Some researchers have concluded that it is approximately as effective as NSAIDS without the side effects. It supplies your body with the necessary materials to build up your cartilage again. Joint Vibrance Powder is a supplement that contains it.

  • Methylsulfonylmethane, or just MSM, is also able to relieve pain and improve physical function of the joints. In a study on people with osteoarthritis in the knee joints, Canadian researchers found a significant improvement in the performance of activities of daily living together with the pain relief. Joint Vibrance includes this substance too. It also includes some hyaluronic acid to bathe your joints in nutrients.

  • Topical capsaicin cream might also work. Capsaicin is the compound in chilli peppers that makes them taste hot. A cream form has been found to be a useful treatment for inflammatory joint pain, including for some people with moderate to serious rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Readdressing Your Joint Pain Treatment Options

In the 21st century, we too quickly grab at toxic drugs when their use is still avoidable.

There are normally natural substances that can keep disorders under control for some time. Since these natural treatment options work for people with osteoarthritis, they should definitely be tried for less serious joint pain first. In fact, elderly people can benefit from them for joint health even before they suffer much joint pain.

It is true that prevention is better than cure. If a cure is required, however, it is also true that a non-toxic cure is better than a toxic one.

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