Joint and Bones
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- Watch Dr Kevin Passero, N.D. discuss natural supplements for joint pain. This three minute video will teach you about popular ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and msm.Watch Video
Bones, joints, and muscles work synergistically to facilitate movement and structure. We often see signs of aging in our joints and bones before we notice effects elsewhere in our bodies. Arthritis and osteoporosis are the two main conditions to affect our joints and bones.
Researchers estimate that more than 45 million Americans suffer the aches and pains associated with arthritis. Over 100 different diseases and conditions fall under the category of arthritis, the leading cause of physical disability in the United States. Arthritis affects the joints, which is where two bones meet. Joints are meant to cushion the hard bone. In osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, there is a deterioration of the cushioning cartilage with lose of joint function and pain. Most people who live past 65 years of age will experience some osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis affects 2 million Americans with 75% of them being women. It is more debilitating than osteoarthritis. The most popular nutraceutical for counteracting the effects of arthritis is glucosamine. Glucosamine is often combined with chondroitin and MSM. Other popular products include Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Cat’s Claw (Una de Gato), and Shark cartilage.
Osteoporosis results in low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue. These lead to fragile bone resulting in 1.5 million fractures each year primarily in the hip, spine and wrist. Almost 45 million adults have osteoporosis, a number similar to arthritis sufferers. Yet a 2004 study revealed that up to one-half of osteoporosis cases go undiagnosed. Even more disturbing was the study’s finding that many of those who are diagnosed do not receive calcium and Vitamin D supplementation. The prevention and treatment of osteoporosis is best achieved through dietary supplementation. The primary supplements prescribed are calcium and vitamin D although studies also indicate bone health may be strengthened with magnesium, boron, Vitamin K and Vitamin C. Doctors recommend daily intake of 1200 mg of calcium for post-menopausal women and 1000 mg per day for pre-menopausal women. Both groups should get 1000 iu of vitamin D. This may be acquired through 15 minutes of sun exposure each day. Calcium and Vitamin D can be obtained through fortified milk or by way of a calcium supplement. Coral calcium supplements have experienced considerable popularity recently. Exercise is also important for maintaining bone density. Bone density loss cannot be reversed by exercise but walking three to five miles each week can halt its progression. Strength training is also desirable. Women should consider a bone density test as they age to help insure good bone health.
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