Nutrients to Help Relieve Arthritic Pain
Learn about the supplements that help reduce arthritis pain and inflammation
There are some key supplements you should be taking to help preserve joint health and relieve arthritic pain naturally. Here are my top arthritis supplement recommendations:
- Whey Protein Powder
- Lemon Myrtle
- Aniseed Myrtle
- Wild Rosella
In years of research dating as far back as the 1930s, Dr. William Kaufman documented hundreds of cases of severely immobilized patients with arthritis who became mobile and self-sufficient after long-term niacinamide therapy. Although niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3) is not considered an anti-inflammatory compound or analgesic, apparently its ability to trigger repair of joint surfaces dramatically reduces pain and inflammation.
- For moderate joint dysfunction and arthritic pain, take 250 mg every three hours for a total of six dosages a day (1,500 mg taken over an 18-hour period).
- For severe joint dysfunction and arthritic pain, take 250 mg every two hours for eight doses (2,000 mg taken over a 16-hour period).
- For extremely severe joint dysfunction and arthritic pain, take 250 mg every one-and-a-half hours for 10 doses, making a total of 2,500 mg a day. (In these cases, the dosage may even be increased to 250 mg every hour for 16 hours, for a total of 4,000 mg a day.)
Start at the dosage level related to the category of joint dysfunction you believe you have. If you are not feeling relief after 6 to 8 weeks, bump up to the next dosage level.
To be most effective, niacinamide must be taken at short, regular intervals during the day. For example, taking 500 mg three times a day works out to 1,500 mg, but your results will not be nearly as effective as taking 250 mg every three hours. The latter approach keeps blood levels consistent throughout the day, which is the key to niacinamide working correctly. For the most part, niacinamide works gradually and gently. You may not notice changes right away, but it is important that you stay with the program. Even after symptoms have improved, Dr. Kaufman felt that a maintenance dose of 250 mg every three hours, six times daily should be taken for life.
I do not recommend taking time-released niacinamide because time-released products can cause liver problems and you would need to get periodic tests to monitor your liver function.
Whey Protein Powder
Cartilage is high in protein, and if you don’t get enough protein, cartilage can't be repaired. Whey-based protein seems to be the best digested form, and the brand I personally use and recommend is Designer Whey Protein. Follow the label instructions.
Glucosamine sulfate works by building the proteins that make up healthy cartilage. These proteins bind to water, which is critical for proper joint lubrication. Stiffness and aching in joints are signs that these essential proteins are breaking down and, consequently, your cartilage is eroding. To help prevent this erosion, chondroitin sulfate provides a constant supply of the nutrients needed to repair damaged protein and build new protein. These fluids also serve as shock absorbers.
While glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates are essential for healthy joints, they are just two members of a much larger family of mucopolysaccharides that are naturally found in all joint cartilage. Other compounds in the family include heparan sulfate, heparin, dermatan sulfate, keratan sulfate, and hyaluronan.
Many people have problems digesting glucosamine and chondroitin. Because sulfates can be difficult to break down, I also recommend taking the enzymes bromelain and papain to help take some of the stress off of the digestive system and ensure that the cartilage components are properly absorbed.
Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora)
Lemon myrtle is one of the world's most concentrated sources of a potent substance called citral. Citral oil appears to have powerful antipathogenic qualities that enable it to get to the root of some arthritis problems. One of the most common and overlooked causes of arthritic pain is the buildup of toxic pathogens in the joints. Lemon myrtle works by carrying these toxins away from the joints, thereby eliminating the source of arthritic pain and inflammation.
Aniseed Myrtle (Backhousia anisata)
Like lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle contains some very complex antipathogenic compounds that counteract the buildup of toxins in the joints. Aniseed myrtle also has effective and completely safe anesthetizing properties that can reduce arthritic pain.
Wild Rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
Similar to lemon and aniseed myrtle, wild rosella helps prevent arthritic pain and inflammation by neutralizing toxins that make it into the joints. In addition, it appears to have fairly strong antioxidant properties and is a good source of vitamin C.
DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) is a clear, colorless, slightly oily liquid with a faint smell of sulphur. It has been shown to reduce swelling, inflammation, and arthritic pain.
I recommend that everyone keep a pint of 99.9 percent pure liquid DMSO on hand. DMSO should always be diluted with distilled water. In the majority of conditions, DMSO works best when it is in 70 to 90 percent concentrations—70 percent DMSO and 30 percent distilled water, or 90 percent DMSO and 10 percent distilled water.
Using your fingers or a cotton ball or swab, apply DMSO directly to the skin where you are experiencing arthritic pain. Most authorities suggest dabbing DMSO onto an area, but rubbing it on has been shown to improve the absorption time by up to 50 percent. A typical application is 1–3 teaspoons. For acute injuries, apply DMSO every two hours for six to eight hours following the injury. For the next five days or so, apply once every four to six hours. You can buy DMSO at health food stores and from online retailers.
More Dr. Williams Advice on Arthritis
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For more than 25 years, Dr. David Williams has traveled the world researching alternative therapies for our most common health problems—therapies that are inexpensive and easy to use, and therapies that treat the root cause of a problem rather than just its symptoms. More About Dr. Williams
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