alive logo
foodfamilylifestylebeautysustainabilityhealthimmunity

Holistic Healing

Share

When people go to the supplement aisle, they find that three joint health remedies loom large on the shelves: glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Glucosamine and chondroitin are accepted by many doctors because of the numerous double-blind clinical trials demonstrating their efficacy. But what about MSM?

M-S-M Gets Some R-e-s-p-e-c-t

When people go to the supplement aisle, they find that three joint health remedies loom large on the shelves: glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Glucosamine and chondroitin are accepted by many doctors because of the numerous double-blind clinical trials demonstrating their efficacy. But what about MSM?

Despite its popularity and celebrity endorsement, MSM's efficacy for arthritis has been largely an article of faith, with little scientific evidence to convince skeptical medical doctors. All of that has changed with the publication, in a major medical journal, of the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of MSM. In a rare collaboration between naturopathic physicians and mainstream rheumatologists, MSM (3 g twice a day for 12 weeks) was found to significantly relieve pain and improve performance of normal everyday activities among people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee.

MSM was also found to lower homocysteine, a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. As the research on MSM continues, skeptics and naysayers will be increasingly out of step with published scientific data.

Hops for Hot Flashes?

Hops have been prized for centuries for their role in brewing. Now researchers have found support for another use for them: fighting the symptoms of menopause. In a recent study, menopausal women aged 45 to 60 years who took a standardized extract of hops (Humulus lupulus) experienced improved quality of life and significantly fewer hot flashes than those who took a placebo.

For the 12-week study, participants took one of two strengths of hops extract or a placebo. Those who took the hops extract had fewer menopause-related complaints; however, the women who took the placebo also improved significantly overall (placebo effects tend to be high in studies of phytoestrogens for menopause symptoms). This isn't conclusive
evidence. Clearly more studies are needed to confirm these promising results and to discover the most effective dose.

Hops, like soy and red clover, contain hormone-like substances known as phytoestrogens, which can bind to estrogen receptors and produce therapeutic effects. These effects can occur often without the side effects of prescription hormone replacement drugs. To find more information or to find out whether hops are right for you, consult with your healthcare provider.

Ad
Advertisement
Advertisement

READ THIS NEXT

Daytripping With The Guys

Daytripping With The Guys

Grab some friends and shake up life’s monotony

Joshua Duvauchelle

Joshua Duvauchelle

Fire It up on Father’s Day

Fire It up on Father’s Day

Jazz up the grill and quaff a brew for Dad’s Day

Irene McGuinness

Irene McGuinness