As we grow older, our bones and muscles ache, our skin begins to sag and our hair becomes thinner. We accept these things as a natural byproduct of aging, but what actually causes them are internal processes by which certain substances that occur naturally in our bodies are produced at a lower rate, as well as oxidative stress. The most common expression of this deterioration occurs when the body fails to provide our bones and cartilage with their necessary building blocks, causing a breakdown of joints that is accompanied by severe pain and which can develop to motor disability.
But what happens if, instead of managing the aforementioned symptoms of aging, you take those same substances that your body has stopped producing as a supplement? Would that remedy the aches and pains you’ve been experiencing? Why, yes, it will.
In order to better familiarize yourself with these supplements, we’ve compiled seven of the supplements that are most effective in battling osteoarthritis, the most common joint disease in the world, caused by the wearing down of cartilage and bones.
By taking these supplements, not only will you be able to treat the symptoms of arthritis, you may be able to preempt it completely if it hasn’t developed yet, as the supplements help reinforce the structural integrity of your joints, even if arthritis is not present. This is of particular importance to people who are exercising regularly and putting stress on their joints.
Osteoarthritis, the most commonly occurring of all types of arthritis, occurs when there is wear and tear of the cartilage. When cartilage breaks down, the bones begin to rub against each other causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. Age, genes, metabolism, and mechanical and chemical factors are all leading causes of osteoarthritis. Thankfully, turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin can help to reduce inflammation and protect bone health in osteoarthritis sufferers.
Studies have found that a daily intake of turmeric can greatly benefit our breathing, digestion, blood flow, heart, and even our brains. Curcumin has strong anti-inflammation and anti-carcinogenic properties. It's amazing what just a teaspoon of turmeric, mixed with the right ingredients, can do. In supplement form, curcumin is far more concentrated than your everyday turmeric spice powder.
Despite the intimidating acronym, what MSM really is, is a natural sulfur compound that appears in some plants. MSM has a variety of health and beauty benefits which make it a popular supplement. MSM beauty appliances promote hair growth and protect the skin by strengthening the connective tissue in our skin and the keratin in our hair and nails. But more importantly, as a health supplement, MSM relieves joint pain such as that caused by osteoarthritis and reduces oxidative stress on the body which can cause cell damage and the formation of tumors.
Rather than a single supplement, this mouthful is actually a pair of two active ingredients that complement each other in battling arthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin help form cartilage, thus preventing joint deterioration, while chondroitin is also effective in reducing inflammation. These effects combine to relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis.
Though glucosamine is often derived from the chitin of shellfish, there does not appear to be any danger of severe reactions for those who suffer from shellfish allergies, and it is also possible to attain glucosamine that is not derived from shellfish.
A fancy scientific name for silicon, as a supplement it has been found to have numerous benefits in those fields where beauty and health coincide. The silicon in ch-OSA supplements restores function and liveliness in skin tissue that has been damaged by the elements, as well as strengthens hair and nails. It has also been found to help bone formation in women who suffer from low bone density (osteopenia).
Collagen is the main building block of all mammals, including humans, and functions as a glue that connects bone, muscle and skin cells, as such it is crucial to the well-being and function of our joints and consuming it can improve skin density as well as pain symptoms in the joints. Hydrolyzed collagen is collagen that has been broken down to allow for easier consumption and absorption.
Also known as hyaluronan, this is a naturally-occurring substance in our bodies that has an important role in moisture retention and skin regeneration. In our skin, hyaluronic acid serves to bind water to our skin tissue which keeps it soft and supple. Upon injury to the skin, hyaluronan has an important role in accelerating cellular repair and regulating inflammation levels. As we age, the amount of hyaluronic acid present in our skin decreases, and by taking it as a supplement, we can restore these crucial functions.
S-Adenosyl methionine (or SAMe) is a molecule produced in the liver that has an important role in methylation- a process by which certain genes are regulated and inhibited. This natural process is critical to our development and the protection of our DNA. As a supplement, SAMe has been shown to be as effective at alleviating the pain of osteoarthritis as NSAIDs like ibuprofen are, without the harmful side-effects associated with taking those medications. SAMe is also known to be as effective as some antidepressants in treating the symptoms of major depressive disorder (consult a doctor before taking SAMe for depression).