We see a lot of advertising hawking prescription drugs for arthritis, but the side effects from these drugs – including death – make them a big risk. There are much better options out there to relieve your pain and even prevent arthritis, naturally. Let’s look at a smarter way of relieving pain: curcumin, boswellia, DLPA and nattokinase.
Natural Pain Relievers
Curcumin is one of the best natural pain and inflammation fighters out there. Because curcumin doesn’t absorb easily, I recommend a curcumin extract with the essential oil of turmeric for up to 10 times the absorption of standard 95% curcumin extracts. Avoid extracts that blend curcumin with piperine – it interacts poorly with most medications and can have very negative effects on the liver. Research shows boswellia is especially potent at reducing arthritic joint pain. Make sure you look for boswellia that is low in β-boswellic acid (which interferes with beneficial activity) and has high levels of acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA). The amino acid combination DLPA (D,L phenylalanine) inhibits the breakdown of enkephalins (related to endorphins, and associated with positive mood), improves mood-elevating chemicals in the brain (dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine) and relieves muscle pain. The enzyme nattokinase helps promote blood flow so that other compounds that are carried in the bloodstream (such as curcumin, boswellia, and pain-killing endorphins) can reach the areas where they are needed the most.
The well-known benefits of omega-3s for inflammation and arthritis pain make fish oil seem like a natural choice to relieve pain. But it isn’t. By the time fish oil is bottled, it has been processed so much that it bears little resemblance to the omega-3 fatty acids you would get from eating fish. This has bothered me for some time, so I was thrilled to find a new method from Europe which uses a patented, gentle, cold water and enzyme process to extract from salmon naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) bound to phospholipids, rather than the triglyceride bonds in traditional fish oils. This creates a supplement that is much closer to nature and how people were meant to absorb and use these nutrients. Even more exciting? Researchers have found that the omega-3s naturally bound to these whole salmon phospholipids are up to 50 times better absorbed than fish oil. The phospholipid form of omega-3 is equivalent to taking 4 to 6 grams of fish oil (about 12 capsules per day) in just one tablet. All this without fish burps, too.
Healthy knees and joints
For damage to the cartilage between the joints I absolutely recommend some of the same special pain and inflammation fighting ingredients mentioned above plus vitamin D3 and a form of boron called fructoborate in a combination targeted specifically to knees and joints. Although well known for preventing osteoporosis, some exciting new research shows a relationship between arthritis, joint health, and vitamin D deficiency. In fact, vitamin D deficiency was noted in 69% of the patients with inflammatory joint diseases or connective tissue diseases, 77% with soft tissue rheumatism, 62% with osteoarthritis, 75% with back pain, and 71% with osteoporosis. Fructoborate, a form of boron found naturally in fruits and vegetables, has been clinically shown to reduce joint pain in 79% of volunteers suffering from mild to moderate osteoarthritis. Additionally, it helps the body absorb and use Vitamin D3, which helps
build bone and reduce potential problems with joint pain. It also boosted levels of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), a hormone that supports the adrenal glands and can boost energy levels and generally help you feel healthier.
Terry Lemerond has over 40 years of experience in the health food industry. Terry has created more than 400 formulations, has a local talk radio show on Sunday mornings from 10-11 on WTAQ, 1360 AM or 97.5 FM, and writes a weekly educational column covering a variety of health topics.