Wednesday, 3 June 2009

THE ALTERNATIVE TO ...PAINFUL JOINTS

More people seem to suffer with troublesome joints than just about anything else we see at Elixir, whether it is due to arthritis, wear and tear, sports injuries or a variety of other reasons. This is not something which is exclusive to old age, it can strike at just about any age. However, despite the many reasons behind the problematic joints, there is one remedy which seems to have the magical ability to sort most people out – glucosamine.

How does it work?
Glucosamine is used by the joints to repair, strengthen and improve the integrity of the cartilage, in addition to creating more lubricating fluid in the joints. Over the years there have been numerous clinical trials which have shown glucosamine’s ability to relieve symptoms associated with arthritis as well as initiating joint repair, including reduction of pain and inflammation. Also, the compounds found in glucosamine are important in the repair of bone tissue, whether through fracture or age-related bone loss.

What else can be done?
All arthritic joints are low in sulphur, compared to healthy joints. MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane, since you ask!) is the most concentrated source of sulphur compound available, and plays many roles in the body’s organs and systems. As sulphur is necessary for the production of new cells, it is essential for connective tissue repair, as well as making and maintaining hair, nails and skin. The anti-inflammatory action of MSM also help reduce pain in the joints.

Chondroitin is closely related to glucosamine, and the two are often seen together in the same supplement. Evidence suggests that chondroitin helps the cartilage to attract and hold onto fluids (which improves the shock-absorbing properties of cartilage, making it more ‘springy’), and inhibits enzymes which damage joint tissue.

How do I take all that?
If that seems a lot to swallow, you may choose to take it all together in one supplement. The important thing to remember is that you must start off on a strong enough dosage to make a difference, and that means preferably 1500mg of glucosamine per day until you feel an improvement. You can then reduce the strength to 1000mg per day as a maintenance dosage. Bear in mind that any repair job is not going to be instant, so you may have to wait a month or two or even three before you see results! The good news is that it just keeps on improving once you have started taking it, as the repair gets stronger and stronger.

There are numerous brands on the market, and some of these are infinitely better than others. If you would like us to guide you through the maze of tablets, capsules, liquids and even vegetarian versions to ensure you get a good quality product which will give good results, please come and see us at Elixir or contact us at Elixirhealth.co.uk for orders or further information. We may not be able to get you running the London Marathon next year, but who knows – there’s always the Olympics in 2012!

By Randi Henderson
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