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Why Sulfur May Be the Answer for Chronic Back Pain

by IVL Products

It may smell a bit like rotten eggs, but sulphur is the eighth most common element in the human body, and is found in almost all of our tissues. Despite this fact, there is no recommended daily allowance of sulfur provided by the government or health agencies, which could be a contributing factor to chronic back pain.

Look to sulfur for relief from chronic back pain.

About 70% of American adults have reported experiencing lower back pain, according to national health surveys.  When the pain persists for 12 weeks or longer and is more than a dull ache that sticks around long after the initial incident, it’s diagnosed as chronic back pain. The symptoms can be milder one day, and more severe the next, but they are always present.  This has led some in the medical community to believe that a dietary deficiency could be contributing to the problem.

Sulfur’s Role in the Body

Many of our biological processes depend upon sulfur to work correctly. It helps maintain the integrity of the cell walls and produce collagen and essential protein that makes up the support bands beneath our skin. Sulfur is also needed to produce connective tissue, keratin (the key component in hair and the outer layer of our skin) glucosamine and chondroitin, which are part of our cartilage, the crucial cushioning tissue between the bones in our joints.

Sulfur also plays a critical role in keeping our metabolism humming along efficiently. When we become sulfur deficient, our metabolism becomes defective, damaging muscle and fat cells; this can lead to becoming glucose intolerant. When that happens, there is a number of muscular and skeletal disorders that can result, such as inflammation and chronic pain.

Upping Your Sulfur Consumption

Getting more sulfur in your diet is important, whether or not you are suffering from chronic back pain.   Adding the supplement MSM to your daily diet could help alleviate chronic pain. 

Related: White Willow Bark For Safe And Effective Pain Relief

MSM stands for methyl sulfonyl methane and is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in human, animals and plants. It can be made manufactured into pill form or even a topical gel to help provide the correct daily dosage.  To date, MSM has proven to be non-toxic.

How Sulfur Can Help Relieve Chronic Back Pain

MSM has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the pain of inflammation in joints and muscles.  For this reason, it is often used to treat a variety of discomforts such as:

  • Leg cramps
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Constipation

One of the ways MSM relieves chronic back pain and other disorders is by inhibiting the transmissions of pain impulses along nerve fibers.  This helps to reduce inflammation that could be compressing a nerve, and reduces muscle spasms, contributing to lower back pain.

Sulfur in MSM also has the ability to dilate blood vessels for improved circulation, bringing more nutrients to speed up the healing of damaged tissue. What’s more impressive is MSM’s potential to make cell membranes more permeable, letting the body’s own natural painkillers into damaged areas.

By reducing inflammation, enhancing blood flow to more flexible cells to allow for faster healing, MSM could play a big role in not only relieving chronic back pain, but also with the loss of joint mobility from arthritis.

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Natural Treatment for Arthritis

by Cindy Gray

A History of an Ayurvedic Natural Arthritis Treatment

Joint pain is a common complaint in this country affecting approximately one-third of the adult population. The most likely cause of painful joints is arthritis, and either rheumatoid (RA) or osteoarthritis (OA).  Clearly, finding a natural arthritis treatment is an attractive option for many sufferers.  

Natural treatments for arthritis can include Ayurveda.

A Natural Alternative Treatment

Ayurvedic medicine offers natural arthritis treatments that have shown to be highly effective in modern medical studies. This is good news for those who wish to manage their joint pain, but are wary of the side effects of prescription drugs, such as the possible increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, or drowsiness and constipation.

In addition to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin and ibuprofen, real relief can be found using Indian frankincense. Also known as Boswellia serrata, it has a centuries-long history of use for aromatherapy and in religious ceremonies.

Indian frankincense has also been used in Ayurvedic medicine for relief from joint pain. Clinical trials by western medicine researchers have confirmed its effectiveness in relieving discomfort and helping to restore mobility to stiff joints by alleviating inflammation.

How Does Indian Frankincense Work?

It is believed that Indian frankincense helps to relieve arthritis pain by inhibiting the formation of leukotrienes, which cause inflammation in the body. This inflammation destroys joint tissue leading to pain and stiffness that becomes progressively worse over time to the point of being debilitating.

Four acids found in Boswellia resin (scientific name for Indian frankincense) are most likely responsible for the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties by suppressing 5-lipoxygenase or 5-LO, the enzyme that produces leukotriene.

Related: A New Strategy To Successfully Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis

In a study published by Phytomedicine all 30 participants suffering OA-related knee pain reported a decrease in their pain and improved knee flexion; and the ability to walk farther with less discomfort after taking doses of Indian frankincense extract.

While results published in the Journal of Rheumatology about a research project involving the use of Boswellia extract for those with rheumatoid arthritis were not as dramatic, researchers concluded that it still may be an effective therapy because of the drug’s ability to interfere with the autoimmune disorder that causes RA.

ApresFLEX as a Natural Arthritis Treatment

Promising results were shown in a clinical study that tested the effectiveness of a trademark blend of Boswellia serrata known as ApresFLEX when compared to another form of the drug 5-Loxin.  The study involved 60 participants with OA knee pain.

In the 90-day, double blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled study (meaning neither participants nor researchers knew who received the drugs or the placebo) those who received the placebo reported no significant relief in their joint pain. However, those who received the 5-Loxin and ApresFLEX reported significant improvements in joint pain and increased mobility.

What was especially significant was that those who received the 100 mg dose of ApresFLEX reported improvements to their OA symptoms in as little as five days, two days earlier than those who received the other Boswellia serrata extract!

With so many undesirable side effects associated with many prescription drugs, a more natural arthritis treatment like ApresFLEX offers a promising new way to address the pain and limited joint mobility of the disease more swiftly with fewer health risks.

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Alternative Arthritis Treatments for Joint Tenderness

by Health News

Approximately 350 million people worldwide have some form of arthritis, a group of conditions that typically cause pain and swelling in joints.  While many claims have been made about the effectiveness of alternative arthritis treatments for relieving joint tenderness, two in particular appear to show promise.

Acupuncture and massage make promising arthritis treatments for joint tenderness.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used in some parts of the world to relieve joint pain for more than 5,000 years.  It is a treatment in which ultra-thin needles are inserted into specific points of the body, triggering energy flow (or qi) to promote healing.  While many people worry about the treatment's potential for discomfort, insertion by skilled practitioners usually proves painless.

Moxibustion

Sometimes, practitioners use a technique called moxibustion, in which the tip of the inserted needle is wrapped in an herbal mixture called moxa.  Made from mugwort, a small spongy herb, the moxa is ignited to generate heat to the acupuncture point and speed healing in the body.

Acupuncture Research

Research on acupuncture for pain and joint tenderness has shown good results, making it one of the most promising alternative arthritis treatments.

  • Research published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine looked at 204 patients with chronic pain.  Following treatment with acupuncture, 74 percent of the patients experienced significant relief for more than three months.
  • A study from China showed that 20 sessions of traditional acupuncture or electro-acupuncture (sending pulsating electrical currents through the needles) reduced joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • A German study examining 304,674 people with osteoarthritis of the knee showed that those who received 15 sessions of acupuncture in combination with standard care experienced less pain and stiffness than people receiving standard care alone.  Results lasted for three months after the acupuncture treatment.

Massage

Many people take advantage of massage to relieve anxiety and soothe sore muscles, but according to research, it also makes for one of the better alternative arthritis treatments for relieving pain.

Related: Managing Chronic Joint Pain on a Day-to-Day Basis

Massage Research

A study in 2006 examined 68 adults with osteoarthritis of the knee.  Researchers found that people who received two sessions of Swedish massage for eight weeks reported less pain and stiffness and better range of motion than people who did not partake in massage.  Another study in 2006 examined 22 adults with arthritis of the hand or wrist.  Participants received four weekly therapeutic massages and were educated how to self-massage tender joints at home.  All experienced reduced pain and anxiety and better grip strength as evidenced by pre-therapy and post-therapy testing.

With a pill for nearly every medical condition, often accompanied by unwanted side effects, many people are turning to alternative methods of treatment.  Offering promising results in scientific studies, acupuncture and massage give people with arthritis an alternative to NSAID pain relievers or stronger oral medicine for the relief of joint tenderness.

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Cannabis-Related Drugs May Provide Pain and Inflammation Relief to Osteoarthritis Sufferers

by Cindy Gray

According to recent research from the Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre, synthetic chemical compounds similar to those found in cannabis have the potential to reduce both the pain and joint inflammation seen in osteoarthritis.  Osteoarthritis affects eight million people in the UK. The cartilage at the ends of bones wears away, causing joint pain and stiffness, and is a major cause of pain and disability.Osteoarthritis Relief from Cannibis-Related Drugs

Current treatment is limited to pain relief, exercise, physiotherapy and joint replacement. There are no drugs or therapies that slow its progression. Clearly, more effective treatment is urgently needed.

Cannabis contains a number of natural chemicals called cannabinoids, to which our brain responds in various ways. Cannabis and synthetically manufactured cannabinoid compounds have previously been shown to relieve pain in animal models of arthritis, but so far their use has been limited because of undesirable psychological side effects.

This new study shows that selectively targeting one of the molecules involved in the body's natural pain-sensing pathways can reduce pain in animal models of osteoarthritis, partly through actions in the spinal cord and brain.  The compound used in this study is a synthetic cannabinoid molecule manufactured in a laboratory, not derived naturally from the cannabis plant.

Interestingly, this study showed for the first time that the amount of receptors for this synthetic molecule in the spinal cord was directly related to osteoarthritis severity, which means this drug target may have significant clinical relevance to osteoarthritis pain.

Cannabinoids are known to have anti-inflammatory effects. Indeed, this study shows that the synthetic molecule reduces inflammation in osteoarthritis. Thus, drugs targeted to this molecule’s receptor may have a dual beneficial effect for people with osteoarthritis by providing pain relief as well as reducing joint inflammation.

These findings are significant, as spinal and brain pain-signaling pathways are known to make a major contribution to pain associated with osteoarthritis.

Millions of people live daily with the severe pain caused by osteoarthritis, and better pain relief is urgently needed. This research suggests that there is potential to develop a synthetic drug to relieve both pain and inflammation in this condition by mimicking the behavior of cannabinoid receptors and without causing serious side effects.

If you regularly suffer from debilitating joint pain and inflammation, there are also natural supplements formulated with many powerful, proven pain and inflammation fighting ingredients to help improve joint flexibility and movement.

 

Source:

Drugs Related to Cannabis Provide Pain and Inflammation Relief in Osteoarthritis

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Daily Ginger Consumption Eases Muscle and Joint Pain

by Cindy Gray

Did you know that for centuries, ginger root has been used as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments such as colds and upset stomachs?   In the Indian and Chinese systems of medicine, ginger root is used to help cleanse the colon, reduce spasms and cramps and stimulate circulation. However, it is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Many studies show that ginger can improve morning stiffness, swelling and joint pain associated with arthritis.Ease Muscle and Joint Pain with Daily Ginger

And now in a 2010 study, researchers at the University of Georgia have shown that daily ginger consumption significantly reduces muscle pain caused by exercise.  While ginger had previously been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects in rodents, its effect on human muscle pain was not known before this study.  Since some people believe that heating ginger during cooking increases its pain-relieving effects, study authors carried out two studies to look at the effects of treatment with both raw and heat-treated ginger supplementation on muscle pain.

The participants in these two studies, 34 and 40 volunteers, respectively, consumed capsules containing two grams of either raw or heat-treated ginger or a placebo for 11 consecutive days. On the eighth day they performed 18 extensions of their elbow flexors with a heavy weight to induce moderate muscle injury to the arm. Arm function, inflammation, pain and a biochemical involved in pain were all assessed before the study began and for three days after the exercise.

These studies show that daily ginger supplementation reduces exercise-induced muscle and joint pain by up to 25 percent. However, this effect was not enhanced by heating ginger beforehand.

Muscle and joint pain are very common types of pain. Specifically, exercise-induced muscle and joint pain are common injuries, especially related to sports and activities such as gardening and shoveling snow.

If you frequently suffer from these types of pain, ginger might just be the solution for you!  There are powerful formulas that contain many pain and inflammation fighting ingredients, such as ginger root extract, to help ease pain and improve joint flexibility and movement.

Imagine if your knees could bend more easily…your hips rotate more smoothly…your hands, wrists and fingers had better flexibility…and your back had renewed strength?  It’s possible to free up your joints and get much-needed pain relief, so why not give ginger or a ginger formula a try today?

 

Source:

Daily Ginger Consumption Eases Muscle and Joint Pain After Exercise

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Healthy Recipes: Ginger Salmon

by Nancy Maneely

Many people want to know how to gain energy. Eating healthy meals is one way to give your energy levels a boost. Check out this Ginger Salmon recipe that’s packed with good-for-you nutrients to keep you energized and feeling great.

Ginger adds a lovely, distinctive flavor to many recipes, but it’s the anti-inflammatory properties of this ancient root that makes it an indispensable addition to the kitchen pantry.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, in addition to its benefit as an anti-inflammatory agent, ginger provides relief of nausea, chest congestion, and  joint pain from arthritis and bursitis.

Dr. Weil recommends:

For inflammatory conditions, 1 or 2 g of powdered ginger a day. For nausea and prevention of motion sickness, take 1,000 mg as a preventive and 500 mg every four hours as needed, or eat two pieces of crystallized ginger or take ginger syrup or tea. For cold relief, brew tea with one-inch piece of peeled and grated ginger root per two cups of water; bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for five minutes; add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and simmer one minute more. Remove from heat. Add two tablespoons fresh lemon juice, one or two cloves of mashed garlic and honey to taste. Let cool slightly and strain. that is the real miracle.

This recipe for Ginger Salmon combines the anti-inflammatory power of fresh ginger with the omega-3  goodness of salmon and antioxidant-rich olive oil, for a delicious and nutritious main course. Bonus: it’s incredibly quick and easy to prepare. Add a tossed salad and a glass of wine and you have a light, elegant summer supper fit for company!

Want to know how to gain energy? Eat healthy meals!

Ginger Salmon
(4 servings)

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 pound salmon fillets

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, blend olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard and ginger

3. Brush salmon fillets evenly with the olive oil mixture. Place in a medium baking dish. Bake 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Nutrition information per serving:

249 calories, 14.7g total fat, 67mg cholesterol

 

Sources:
Allrecipes.com
Drweil.com: Herbal Remedies

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Regular Exercise Provides Amazing Benefits for Arthritis Sufferers

by Health News

How to Have More Energy and Relieve Arthritis Pain

When arthritis pain flares up and every single movement is fraught with pain, the very thought of exercising can be enough to make you cringe. But medical researchers agree that exercise is vital for healthy aging, particularly the treatment and prevention of the pain associated with arthritis. According to the National Institutes of Health, arthritis is the nation’s number one cause of disability and more than 50 million adults suffer from the disease.  Many sufferers are not involved in any type of exercise program even though research has confirmed that regular physical movement keeps joints strong and lubricated which helps control swelling and pain. As an added bonus, exercise helps keep off the excess pounds that put additional stress on achy joints. And if you’re wondering how to have more energy, exercise will naturally provide your body and mind with more energy than living a sedentary lifestyle.

Because people with arthritis sometimes resort to sedentary lifestyle they put themselves at higher risks for other illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and certain types of cancer.  Exercise also provides significant psychological benefits for people who are struggling with the pain, limited mobility and lifestyle adjustments that are associated with arthritis.  The type of exercise that is best for you will depend on the type of arthritis you have, the joints involved, and the amount of inflammation. You should consult your holistic practitioner or physical therapist to develop a personalized plan. 

Yoga, Tai Chi and warm water exercises are good choices for most people because they involve slow, fluid movements that relax muscles and improve range of motion. Yoga stretches not only the muscles but also the soft tissues of or body, including ligaments, tendons and the fascia sheath that surrounds the muscles. Yoga is safe for people of all ages and fitness levels because the exercises cater to the needs of each individual.  Tai Chi is a gentle form or martial arts that originated in ancient China and involves a series of slow movements similar to those used in yoga. 
 
Warm water exercises provide excellent benefits for people with arthritis. Warm water provides soothing relief for sore muscles and helps support the body while the joints are moved through the range of motion. When you immerse your body in warm water your body temperature rises which causes your blood vessels to dilate and increases circulation.

Walking is another good activity for arthritis sufferers. Walking should be part of everyone’s healthy aging plan because it strengthens the bones and also helps keep the joints flexible. With spring just around the corner, walking provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and explore the wonders of nature.  

If you are among the 50 million Americans who suffer from arthritis, it’s time to get moving. Don’t be tempted to give in to a sedentary lifestyle because inactivity is your worst enemy. Make exercise a central part of your overall arthritis management plan so you can maximize your mobility and keep your pain at bay and set yourself on the path to aging healthy.

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How Omega-3s Ease Arthritis Symptoms

by Institute for Vibrant Living

As you already know, arthritis is a disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. The most common form, osteoarthritis - also known as degenerative joint disease - is the leading cause of chronic disability in the US.

Omega-3 Fats For Arthritis Pain Relief

Arthritis sufferers experience a lot of pain, typically localized to the affected joint. This pain happens because of local inflammation, daily wear and tear and muscle strains caused by forceful movements and fatigue. Other symptoms include tenderness, morning stiffness and joint locking.

Treatment generally involves some combination of exercise, lifestyle modification and painkillers. If the pain becomes debilitating, joint replacement surgery is typically used to restore quality of life.

According to Dr. Christine Horner, diet is a powerful way to lower inflammation levels inside your body, even reverse arthritis without the need for either medications or surgery!

She points out that refined carbs, sugary foods such as cake, cookies and sweets, crackers, potato and corn chips - and red meat - are pro-inflammatory foods that create conditions favorable for arthritis, and can actually trigger it.

On the other hand, fresh, organic fruits and vegetables as well as the essential omega-3 fats are well-known anti-inflammatory foods.

In fact, according to Dr. Horner, omega-3 fats are the most anti-inflammatory foods we can consume. Among the omega-3 fats, those from fish oil - known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) - are the most potent.

Omega-3 fats are converted within our body into biologically active substances called eicosanoids, which control many bodily functions such as muscle contraction, blood thickness and inflammation levels.

Some of the effects caused by omega-3 fats in our body are because of the actions of eicosanoids, but these essential fats also act inside cells in many other ways.

In fact, both animal experiments and clinical studies have shown that omega-3 fats in fish oil can significantly benefits the management of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including osteoarthritis.

For example - in a 2006 study, 250 patients who had nonsurgical neck or back pain were asked to take a total of 1,200 mg of EPA and DHA daily, from fish oil supplements. Approximately a month after starting the supplement, they answered a questionnaire.

Of the 250 patients, 125 returned the questionnaire. Of these, 59 patients said they had completely discontinued their prescription painkillers thanks to the fish oil supplement. Overall, 60% stated that their joint pain had improved, while 88% said they would continue to take the fish oil. No significant side effects were reported.

In other words, omega-3 fish oil supplements are a safe and equally effective alternative to prescription painkillers for treatment of joint pain.

Source: Omega-3 Fats for Arthritis Pain Relief.   

 

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The Simple Spice that Eases Back Pain and Arthritis

by Institute for Vibrant Living

According to new research, ginger can reduce pain and inflammation in muscles and joints.Ginger For Muscle And Joint Pain Relief | Institute for Vibrant Living

Ginger has been used medicinally for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine in India, as a natural anti-inflammatory therapy to soothe upset stomachs and diminish nausea - and recent studies show it may help relieve pain and inflammation as well.

In one study, arthritic patients were given small amounts of ginger daily for three months. The majority showed significant improvements in pain, swelling and morning stiffness.

Another study concluded that ginger extract could be an equally effective, safer substitute for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The effects of a highly concentrated ginger extract were compared to placebo in 247 patients with knee osteoarthritis.

Ginger was seen to reduce pain and stiffness in knee joints by 40 percent over the placebo. This may be because ginger affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level thanks to its anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, antioxidant and analgesic properties.

Ginger blocks the formation of the inflammatory compounds prostaglandins and leukotrienes, while also breaking down inflammation and acidity in the fluid within joints.

While many forms of ginger provide health benefits, capsules appear to provide the best therapeutic benefits. Ginger capsules should be taken with food - because although small amounts of ginger can help settle a sour stomach, concentrated doses can actually cause stomach upset.

Before taking ginger, get professional advice - especially if you’re taking a blood-thinning medication for any other health conditions, as ginger may reverse the effects of these drugs.

If you enjoy the tangy taste of fresh ginger, a few tablespoons of grated ginger has been reported to help ease muscle pain caused by exercise. Fresh or dried ginger can also be added to stir fries, curries, soups, or made into tea.

As you age, your synovial fluid - the natural lubricating fluid that protects your joints from deterioration - breaks down, leading to more friction and wear on the cartilage surfaces of the joints. Try adding Ginger to your diet to help alleviate chronic joint pain.

Source: Is Ginger Better Than Drugs For Muscle and Joint Pain Relief?   

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Natural Joint Pain Relief: Boswellia Extract Is An Effective Therapy For Osteoarthritis

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that the Biblical-era incense frankincense was most likely an extract from the resin of the tree known as Natural Joint Pain Relief: Boswellia Extract Boswellia?

Four species of Boswellia trees - found mainly in Africa and Asia - are known for their fragrant resin. They are also well-known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and analgesic properties.

However, Boswellia is more than just an ancient herbal remedy.

A recent review of studies on the effects of Boswellia extract on osteoarthritis concluded that it provided clinically effective natural joint pain relief, with no serious safety issues. The review authors noted that evidence for the effectiveness of Boswellia extracts was ‘encouraging’.

Further evidence comes from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of Boswellia extract on 30 patients from India with osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic, progressive, degenerative disorder which typically affects the knee joint.

In the study, two groups of 15 patients were given either Boswellia extract or placebo for eight weeks. After the initial eight weeks, each group was ‘crossed over’ to receive the opposite therapy for eight weeks.

All patients receiving drug treatment reported a significant decrease in knee pain, improved knee flexibility and increased walking distance. Not only that, the frequency of swelling in the knee joint was reduced.

It’s worth noting that every one of the patients treated with Boswellia extract found relief from their pain and suffering.

The authors noted that “observed differences between drug treated and placebo being statistically significant, are clinically relevant”. Boswellia extract was well tolerated except for minor gut disturbances.

The study authors recommend Boswellia extract as a therapy for natural joint pain relief in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, with possible uses in other forms of arthritis as well.

If you too suffer from pain and stiffness in your knee, back and hips, try adding in natural supplements that contiain Boswellia extract as a natural and effective way to help ease your pain and suffering.

 

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What's the #1 Supplement Every Man Should Take?

by Health News

What's the #1 Supplement Every Man Should Take

One of the most important things men can do to stay healthy and energetic is to take an Omega 3 supplement. Now, fish oil is nothing new to you.  It’s so well-researched and documented that even the American Heart Association suggests you take fish oil supplements too—and for good reason.
 
Fish oil owes its health-boosting power to two compounds your cells crave.  They’re called Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), also known as Omega-3 fatty acids. And they are the fundamental building blocks of virtually every organ, tissue and cell in the body.
 
Dozens of studies over the years reveal that Omega 3's are capable of almost mind-boggling health benefits.  They help boost levels of healthy HDL cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.  Omega 3’s can improve mood and cognition, reduce joint and muscle aches and keep your heart beating long and strong. They can boost blood flow and support healthy digestion, too!
 
Promotes Healthy Triglyceride Levels
 
According Mid-America Heart Institute, Omega 3’s can lower triglyceride levels anywhere from 25% to 30%.  Another study reported in the American Journal of Cardiology found that high levels of Omega 3’s reduced triglycerides as much as 38% and increased levels of HDL (good) cholesterol by 24%.
 
[retrieved from: http://www.oilofpisces.com/cholesterol.html.  Harris, William S. n-3 fatty acids and serum lipoproteins: human studies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 65 (suppl), 1997, pp. 1645S-54S.
 
Cullen, Paul. Evidence that triglycerides are an independent coronary heart disease risk factor. American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 86, November 1, 2000, pp. 943-49]
 
Eases joint pain
 
Fish oil is great for your joints, too. Several studies show that patients taking Omega-3 fish oil experienced less stiffness and fewer joint aches than they had without taking the capsules. In a study of patients with joint problems, 53% of the patients in the Omega-3 group showed significant relief of their symptoms compared to only 10% in the placebo group.
 
[Geusens, Piet, et. Al. Long-term effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on active rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, Vol. 37, June 1994]
 
Protects your brain from “aging”
 
Plus, research suggests that Omega 3's can actually help keep your brain and memory young! A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that Omega 3 fatty acids slow the aging of the brain by supporting healthy inflammation response. Dr. Lawrence Whalley of Aberdeen University in Scotland stated, "The results suggest that … aging of their brain is being slowed down by a year or two."
[http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Fish-oil-supplements-slow-ageing-of-brain]
 
Other research suggests they can protect against age-related vision loss, support healthy blood sugar levels, and even reduce inflammation in the lungs that causes shortness of breath.
 
So How Much Omega 3’s Do You Need?
 
When it comes to Omega 3's, the rule is: the more, the better. The recommended daily amount of Omega 3 is 1,000 mg per day of EPA and DHA combined.  If you’re concerned about your heart or brain health, you should probably take about 2,000 mg of Omega 3 fish oil per day. Unless you eat several meals of fish every week, your dietary intake probably doesn’t come close to that. That’s why it’s best to take supplements.
 
However, not all fish oil supplements are created equal.  To keep prices low, many fish oil suppliers get their stock from the cheapest possible sources.  Other manufacturers use unstable commodity oils that begin to oxidize – or rot – as soon as they’re exposed to oxygen, light, and heat.  That’s why so many fish oil supplements may give you an upset stomach or that uncomfortable fish burp after taking them.
 
The richest sources for essential EPA and DHA are small cold water fish such as anchovies, mackerel and wild sardines. These small fish contain the ocean’s highest natural oil content. Plus, they are usually free of the pollutants and toxins found in larger species of fatty fish.
 
Also, make sure the fish oil you buy includes antioxidants to help maintain stability and protect against a fishy aftertaste.
 

 

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Natural Pain Relief

by Health News

We all suffer from pain occasionally, whether it’s a headache, menstrual cramps, arthritis or an injured limb. Occasional pain is manageable, but what about chronic or recurrent pain? If you suffer from chronic or recurrent pain, it’s important to consult with your healthcare professional and get a diagnosis and treatment plan. Once you know what’s going on, perhaps you will be interested in natural, everyday things you can do to help minimize chronic pain and even improve your health along the way. Here are some natural pain relievers you might not know about:

Natural Pain Relief

Reclining. Make sure you have an office chair that allows you to recline backward slightly instead of sitting up perfectly straight or slouched forward. This position takes pressure off of the muscles, ligaments and tendons that support your upper body. If you can’t adjust your chair, roll up a towel or strap a lumbar pad to your chair to create the same effect.

Don’t sit for too long. If you have a desk job, it’s very difficult to remember to take regular stretch-and-walk breaks. But to minimize the chances developing or exacerbating stiff, strained muscles and joints, it’s essential that you take these breaks. Set a timer on your computer or phone to go every 30 minutes to remind you to get up and move. Take a bathroom break, get a cup of coffee, file papers, etc.  Even moving around for just 60 seconds each time stretches and loosens tight muscles.

Smell some lavender. According to Hyla Cass, MD and author of Eight Weeks to Vibrant Health, “When this aroma reaches the brain, it stimulates production of calming, pain-soothing alpha waves.”

Try some meadowsweet tea. Meadowsweet tea is rich in salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin. But it won’t upset your stomach like aspirin as it contains a unique blend of stomach-soothing mucilage and tannins that prevents the common side effect of an upset stomach. You can find meadowsweet tea in most health food stores.