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Fish, Shark cartilage, and Shellfish for Natural Joint Pain Relief

Sounds fishy, but these natural supplements actually help the joints. Now that summer is sort of here, it’s time to get out and exercise and work those joints! Some of you with osteoarthritis might already take Glucosamine and Chondroitin, but for those of you who haven’t heard of it, you may want to start now.

Osteoarthritis is the wear-and-tear form of arthritis that usually occurs in older adults, but can also be caused by repetitive stress to the knees and hips from running. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in your joint is progressively damaged. The joint pain is a result of your bones starting to come into contact with each other as cartilage and synovial fluid is reduced. Your body is fully capable of rebuilding cartilage, but in order to effectively do so it needs the proper building blocks.

Glucosamine Sulfate is a naturally occurring chemical in the fluid that surrounds the joints. The glucosamine found in dietary supplements usually comes from the shell of shellfish, and Chondroitin Sulfate comes from natural sources like shark and beef cartilage.

The “Sulfate” part of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate is also important. Sulfate is needed by the body to produce cartilage. This is one reason why researchers believe that glucosamine sulfate might work better than other forms of glucosamine such as glucosamine HCl or N-acetyl glucosamine.

The consensus of research supports chondroitin plus glucosamine for improving symptoms and stopping (or possibly reversing) the degenerative process of osteoarthritis. But you need to take glucosamine and chondroitin every day for quite awhile. A recent 2011 study in the Annuls of Rheumatic Diseases found that chondroitin significantly reduced the cartilage loss in those with knee arthritis at 6 months of treatment.

If you suffer from osteoarthritis, the combination of Glucosamine plus Chondroitin can be strengthened with the addition of anti-inflammatory supplements such as these:

  • Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids): These are a regular household supplement nowadays based on its proven benefits in heart disease. Part of the reason why it’s beneficial is because it reduces inflammation.
  • Boswellia: an Indian herb, also known as frankincense, used for its potential anti-cancer properties and also its anti-inflammatory effects in asthma and arthritis.
  • Bromelain: This enzyme, found in pineapple skin, is a natural anti-inflammatory used for pain and digestive issues.
  • Cayenne (Capsaicin) Cream: This comes from dried hot peppers. Not necessarily anti-inflammatory, but this topical cream relieves pain by depleting the body’s supply of substance P, a chemical of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to your brain.

If you already have osteoarthritis, your best bet may be to seek out a trained professional to help you with the process.

Hope this helps and enjoy the sunny weather while it lasts!