Joint Health

Joint Health:

As people throughout the world are living longer, joints, all 360 of them, are carrying the load on a daily basis.

Joint health products are the number 1 condition specific supplement category used by adults in the US.  There are 3 categories of joint health supplement users:

1)Baby Boomers: these individuals want to continue their active lifestyle

2)Overweight/Obese: this category suffers from joint pain

3)Middle Age Adults: these adults are looking to be proactive in their health care

Joint health ingredients target different areas:

1)Promoting healthy joint tissues:

As people age so do their joint tissues.  Cartilage wears down from everyday activity.  Individuals with physically active lifestyles may feel the effects of osteoarthritis even sooner than those who are inactive.   Oftentimes joint health products target cartilage:

Collagen Type II: Improves joint health.  Clinical studies report benefits for healthy individuals taking Collagen Type II.

Glucosamine/Chondrotin: This go to combination supports restoring cartilage broken down by the body.

Hyaluronic Acid: HA is the primary component found in the synovial fluid and helps cushion the joint.

NEMNatural Eggshell Membrane: Aids in reducing joint discomfort and increases flexibility.

2)Protecting against inflammation:

Today people live in a state of chronic inflammation which increases people’s risks for disease and other health conditions.

Omega 3: Decreases inflammation in addition to lubricating the cell membranes while                   restoring fluids which help in cushioning the joints.

Curcumin: A long history of usefulness for this phytonutrient has been seen due to                      the antioxidant and anti inflammatory benefits of Turmeric.

MSM: Reduces oxidative stress that leads to chronic inflammation.

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Curcumin for Sports Nutrition? RCT Supports Role for Pain Reduction After Heavy Exercise

Curcumin for Sports NutritionA new study supports the supplementation of curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric it yellow color, as a means to reduce pain related to exercise and to boost exercise performance.

17 men were recruited to participate in a double blind randomized-controlled crossover trial.  Participants were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or a 5 gram daily dose of curcumin to be taken orally for 2 days before and 3 days after being given performance tests.  A washout period of two weeks followed and then the participants crossed over to the other group.  Dosage levels were calculated based on extrapolations made from animal studies.

1 or 2 days after exercise the curcumin group saw moderate to large reductions in pain during exercises that included squat jumps, gluteal stretches and single-leg squats.  A small increase in single-leg jump performance of 15% was seen in the curcumin supplement group.

The science of curcumin/turmeric’s benefit for enhancing brain, muscle, joint and cardiovascular systems has been growing.  This new study suggests a new benefit for curcumin/turmeric in the area of sports nutrition.  More studies are needed to support these conclusions.

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Could Curcumin Benefit Gut Diversity and Prevent Post-Menopausal Weight Gain?

Curcumin and Weight GainAccording to a new study on rats, Curcumin may aid in reversing decreases in the diversity of gut bacteria after an ovariectomy (OVX) which may prevent weight gain often seen in post-menopausal women.

The study lasted 12 weeks.  Rats were split into three groups: rats having undergone an ovariectomy and fed distilled water (OVX); a control group of rats who underwent a sham operation (SHAM); rats having undergone an ovariectomy and given Curcumin (CUR).  The OVX group showed reduced gut bacterial diversity when compared with the SHAM group.  The CUR group however, displayed significantly different amounts of seven bacterial strains when compared with the OVX group.  Rats in the OVX group also showed a significant weight gain when compared to the control group (SHAM).  The CUR Group however, did not experience this weight gain.  No estrogenic effects were seen in the group supplementing with the Curcumin (CUR) since it did not prevent reductions in serum estradiol levels or uterine weight loss.

OVX rats showed a higher ratio of phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in the gut when compared with the control group.  These specific bacterial strains have been observed to lead to overweight rats and have also been associated with obesity in humans.  An additional benefit of Curcumin supplementation was a reduction in the bacteria Anaerotruncus, which has been associated with age-related macular degeneration and pre-natal stress.  Researchers also found Curcumin reduced the amount of Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for certain stomach ulcers.

Curcumin is the phyto nutrient found in turmeric.  It is a powerful antioxidant and has been show to support cardiovascular health as well as joint health in addition to a host of other promising impactful health promoting mechanisms.

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Curcumin Touted For Metabolic Benefits in People with Fatty Liver Disease

LiverA new study suggests daily supplementation with Curcumin (Turmeric) might improve Body Mass Index (BMI), metabolic status and liver biomarkers in people with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

87 people with grades 1-3 NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) participated in this randomized controlled clinical study.  The study lasted 8 weeks.  Participants were assigned randomly to receive either a 1,000 mg daily dosage (divided into 2 doses) of Curcumin or a placebo.  Researchers found a statistically significant reduction in BMI, .99 points in the group supplementing with Curcumin compared to .15 points in the group taking the placebo.  Additionally waist circumference decreased by 1.74 for those taking the Curcumin compared to a reduction of .23 in the group supplementing with the placebo.  Also, Ultrasonographic findings were improved in 75% of the participants in the Curcumin group compared to an improvement in 4.5% of the placebo group.  Curcumin was also associated with a reduction in LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol and uric acid levels.

NAFLD is the most common type of chronic liver disorders and affects approximately 30% of the population and between 60 – 70% of individuals who have diabetes or who are obese.

Further studies are needed.

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Curcumin Supplementation Shows Benefits For People With Severe Depression

Curcumin and DepressionA new study has found that daily supplementation with Curcumin may be effective in reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms in people with major depressive disorders.

Over 100 people participated in this randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study.  All the participants had major depressive disorder.  Participants were given one of four treatment conditions: A placebo, a low-dose Curcumin Extract (250 MG), a high dose Curcumin Extract (500 MG), or a combined saffron (15 MG) plus low-dose Curcumin Extract (250 MG).  The study lasted 12 weeks.  The Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology self-rated version (IDS-SR30) and the Speilberger State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were used to measure results.

Participants supplementing with any form of the Curcumin Extract saw considerable improvements when compared to the placebo group.  No differences were seen between the different doses of Curcumin Extract or the combination of the Curcumin/Saffron.

Researchers believe that larger studies are needed.  They also believe the treatment duration needs to be longer.

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