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Combatting Osteoarthritis

The new wave in joint support

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Combatting Osteoarthritis

Supplements such as glucosamine, type II collagen, and eggshell membrane offer joint support for those suffering from osteoarthritis (OA).

Supplements such as glucosamine, type II collagen, and eggshell membrane offer joint support for those suffering from osteoarthritis (OA).

Arthritis is a growing concern for today’s aging population. Fifty percent of adults over age 65 are afflicted by this condition. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is a major cause of chronic pain and decreased mobility in adults worldwide.

It is proposed that with age comes disruption in the production and maintenance of cartilage found between joint surfaces, and an overproduction of inflammatory mediators. Years of repetitive use and excessive stress on healthy or previously injured joints (especially the ankles, knees, and hips) play important roles in the development of osteoarthritis.

Nonmedicinal treatments

Arthritis sufferers are looking for supportive and curative options versus solely pain-relieving, band-aids, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Nonpharmacologic therapies are a mainstay when it comes to treatment and include patient education, proper diet, hydrotherapy, weight loss, exercise, and physical and occupational therapy.

Glucosamine/chondroitin

Alone or in combination, glucosamine and chondroitin, have gained popularity and support from researchers over the past decade. Consumers with OA report a decrease in symptoms while taking glucosamine and chondroitin; however, the effects are moderate at best and often require further support to address ongoing symptoms.

Undenatured type II collagen and natural eggshell membrane are two newer options on the market.

Type II collagen

Type II collagen is the primary structural protein in articular cartilage and is responsible for joint strength and flexibility. It promotes normal cartilage-building activities by directly blocking the breakdown of joint cartilage by immune cells. According to research published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences in 2009, 40 mg of collagen daily resulted in “significant enhancement in daily activities suggesting an improvement in [study] quality of life.”

Eggshell membrane

Eggshell membrane is a natural source of fibrous proteins, glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology in 2009 concluded that 500 mg of eggshell membrane daily significantly reduced both joint pain and stiffness compared to placebo.
Undenatured type II collagen and natural eggshell membrane are safe and promising options for the prevention and management of OA.

A cornerstone of naturopathic medicine is illness prevention. It is best to start treatment before being burdened by joint stiffness and restricted mobility. Aging adults and those who are leading an active life, who are obese, or who have suffered a musculoskeletal injury should consult a natural health practitioner and start on the path to prevent joint disease.

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