As discussed in the last article, when our joints wear down we can support them by consuming the substances that cartilage and other joint connective tissues are made of, such as collagen, hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and others. But when the problem is more than simple wear and tear, and involves excess inflammation, these components are not likely to help as much, because they are not readily incorporated by the joint until the inflammation is reduced. Therefore, when dealing with joint pain a good approach is to reduce inflammation first before attempting to rebuild.
If a joint gets physically injured or traumatized, our experience has been that collagen type II can be phenomenally helpful in the healing process, presumably because it contains all of the above structural elements, and is also anti-inflammatory. But when the inflammation is chronic and ongoing, due to age, prolonged stress, or illness, extra anti-inflammatory help is generally needed. There are several natural herbs and supplements which can be helpful for this, and that can be used together in synergistic combinations.
The effects of the herb turmeric and its active component curcumin are becoming widely known for their anti-inflammatory and immune modulating benefits, as are green tea, and a flavonoid called quercetin. An Ayurvedic herb called Boswellia also has extremely far reaching anti-inflammatory properties. And substances found in Rosemary called Carnosic and Ursolic acid(s) are also powerful inhibitors of enzymes that create inflammation.
Rosemary is also very antioxidant, and since the relationship between oxidation and inflammation is like that between heat and a flame, antioxidants also provide secondary anti-inflammatory effects. In this regard grapeseed extract is also very valuable. A versatile antioxidant that exerts its effects in many tissue, the OPC’s (oligomeric proanthocyanidins) in grapeseed extract also have the additional benefit of binding to and strengthening our connective tissue.
The skins of red grapes also contain another polyphenol that has recently received much attention called Resveratrol. Found in many plants, including Japanese Knotweed, resveratrol is being hailed for its protective gene modulating, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging effects. In studies on species such as fruit flies, fish and mice Resveratrol actually seems to mimic many of the positive genetic effects of calorie restriction, and has also been shown to be a potent inhibitor of numerous inflammatory enzymes and gene expressions.
The above ingredients can all be found in Opti A.I.Extra, formulated to contain the most broad spectrum antiinflammatory support available in a single formula. (Note: for those that do not want the hormonal influences exerted by Resveratrol and / or Nettle Root extract, our original Opti AI formula, has these excluded.)
This article was written by John Biggs, BSc, NCP. John has been counseling people on how to achieve and maintain better health naturally for 24 years, and started Optimum Health in 1993. His qualiﬁcations include a Bachelor of Science degree specializing in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Alberta, and he is registered with the International Organization of Nutritional Consultants as a Nutritional Consulting Practitioner. John is also an eager and ongoing student of the Institute for Functional Medicine.
References available on request.
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.