Good nutrition is an important aspect for building strong muscles, but what about your bones and joints? You simply can’t be active without healthy joints, and achy joints can be such a pain! Literally. Joint supplements can help reduce inflammation and keep your joints well lubricated and properly insulated.
But first, what causes joint pain? Joint pain can be caused by overuse or injury to the joint and/or the surrounding ligaments and tendons. Active individuals will be more at risk for joint pain from overuse or injury. Joint pain can also be caused by arthritic conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation is a common factor in joint pain, so one thing we can do to help joint pain is to reduce inflammation.
Joint pain also occurs when there is a breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage helps cushion the joints and lets them move smoothly and easily. Injuries or arthritic conditions can cause the cartilage to break down and cartilage also naturally deteriorates as we age. When there is no cartilage left to protect the joints, the bone surfaces will come into direct contact which causes more pain and inflammation. Joint supplements can help to protect and strengthen the cartilage.
So how do the natural ingredients in joint supplements help prevent and reduce joint pain?
Glucosamine an amino sugar derived from the chitin of shellfish, it is made up of glucose (sugar) and glutamine (an amino acid). It is one of the building blocks of cartilage and is utilized by the body to support healthy joint structures. Glucosamine is used by chondrocytes – the cells found in cartilage, to form molecules that attract and bind water into the cartilage to increase resiliency.
Chondrotin (aka Chondroitin Sulphate)
Chondroitin is a naturally occurring substance in the body that is a major component of cartilage. It is essential in providing healthy structure and function within joints. Chondroitin plays a crucial role in producing new cartilage. It also protects it from damaging enzymes and maintains the balance of fluids and nutrients inside the cartilage.
Chondroitin also has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help to reduce pain and swelling, and aid mobility.
Turmeric Meriva Curcumin
Curcumin - the Indian Solid Gold. Many of you will know the common Indian spice Turmeric. Curcumin is the main active compound in turmeric. It has been found to help reduce inflammation in the body which plays a major role in arthritis and joint conditions.
Curcumin has also been shown to be a powerful inhibitor of Cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox-2). Cox-2 is an enzyme responsible for pain and inflammation.
If Curcumin is found in Turmeric, can we just sprinkle Turmeric on all our food? Sadly, no. Turmeric only contains 2-5% curcumin and as curcumin is insoluble in water it is very hard to absorb this way. Curcumin must be taken as a supplement to achieve a dosage necessary to produce substantial benefits .
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Ensuring your diet is rich in Omega 3s will help keep your joints lubricated. The fat that we eat becomes the fats that populate the cell membranes that encapsulate our cells. This allows the joints to move smoothly and easily and not damage the cartilage.
Omega 3s also help fight inflammation which can reduce joint pain.
Sources of Omega 3 fats include oily fish, flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds and avocado. Fish Oil supplements can also be used.
If you're concerned about your joint health or are experiencing joint pain, we do recommend you see a health professional to find out the underlying cause of the pain. Joint pain and joint health can be improved by reducing inflammation and protecting and strengthening the cartilage between the joints. If you are experiencing joint pain, consider switching to low-impact exercises like swimming, cycling or yoga. Strength training can be helpful to strengthen the muscles around the joints but just make sure you take it slow with the weight to avoid further injuries.
Written by Gemma