arthritis

  • Advice For Healthier Joints

    Arthritis is a real pain in the joints — and nearly 30 million Americans have to deal with it.

    Twenty-seven million of us deal with pain and stiffness from the wear-and-tear of osteoarthritis, where the cartilage that covers and cushions the ends of your bones becomes thin or disappears, and your bones rub together and hurt.

    Another 2.5 million endure the red, hot, swollen and painful joints of rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to mistakenly identify your cartilage and bones as foreign invaders (like viruses)— and attack them.

    Arthritis isn’t an “equal opportunity annoyer.” It picks on seniors (65 percent of people over 65 have osteoarthritis) and on women (seven out of ten people with rheumatoid arthritis). With so many folks afflicted, you’d think modern medicine would offer some good, safe solutions for arthritis pain. Think again.

    The most common class of pain-relieving drugs—nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—hospitalizes more than 100,000 Americans a year from bleeding ulcers, and kills more than 16,500!

    Adding joint insult to digestive injury, NSAIDs don’t slow the progression of arthritis—and may even speed it up! The best advice? Take steps to optimize joint health, so you can minimize the chances of developing joint problems in the first place. And there are three easy ways to do just that.

    Joint-Optimizer #1: Feed Your Joints

    There are several nutrients and natural compounds that are uniquely effective for promoting healthy joints.

    Glucosamine Sulfate: Feeding Your Cartilage
    Glucosamine is a component of cartilage. When you take a glucosamine-containing supplement, the compound is incorporated into your cartilage molecules, which helps repair joints and reduce the pain that can result from overuse. I recommend the sulfate form (not glucosamine hydrochloride), because sulfate also promotes healthy joint function. The standard dose is 750 milligrams, two times daily, taken with or without food. After six months, you may find that you don’t need to take the supplement daily; at that point, you may choose to take it only when your joints feel like they need help.

    Chondroitin Sulfate: More Cartilage Support
    This compound also helps create, maintain and repair cartilage. One downside is that only 10 percent is absorbed. To improve absorption, use the “low molecular weight” form of chondroitin. (Look for those words on the label.) The standard dose is 400 mg three times daily, or 1,200 in a single dose.

    MSM: Sulfur, a Surprisingly Important Nutrient
    MSM is an abbreviation for methylsulfonylmethane, a sulfurcontaining compound that gives your proteins a key building block needed for tissue repair. Research show that MSM, chondroitin and glucosamine work well together. It is reasonable to take all three of these daily for the first six to twelve weeks after you begin the regimen. This will lay a solid nutritional foundation The best advice? Take steps to optimize joint health, so you can minimize the chances of developing joint problems in the first place from which you can begin to maintain healthy joint function. After that, you can scale back to a lower dose.

    For Nutritional Insurance, Take a Good General-Purpose Supplement
    Dozens of other nutrients are also helpful to promoting healthy joint function—like B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, boron and zinc.)

    Joint-Optimizer #2: Balance Immune Function

    Curcumin and boswellia are two herbs that are particularly good at promoting a healthy and balanced immune system.

    These can be found in a number of good herbal mixes. Both curcumin and boswellia are provided in the supplement Healthy Knees and Joints. Another excellent product that contains a highly absorbable form of curcumin is Curamin. Yet another herbal formula, End Pain, contains boswellia and willow bark (the herbal granddaddy of aspirin). The End Pain can be taken along with either the Curamin or Healthy Knees and Joints. Allow six weeks to see the full effect. You’ll be glad you did!

    Another powerful immune regulator is fish oil. You can eat fatty fish like salmon, sardines, trout or mackerel a few times a week, or take a fish oil supplement.

    Joint-Optimizer #3: Use Them or Lose Them

    If you want to maintain flexible, healthy joints, you need to use them the way nature intended. Namely, you need to MOVE them! I suggest exercising at least 20 minutes daily. Go for a walk outdoors (also great for boosting levels of vitamin D, which supports healthy muscles and joints). Swim or exercise in a heated pool (the buoyancy and warmth make this an ideal exercise for joints that need a helping hand). Yoga, tai chi or any other form of stretching are also good.

    Important: Pain is your body’s way of saying, “Don’t do that!” So if you feel unusual pain while exercising, STOP and DON’T try to push through it.

    Heat and Stretch
    A great way to improve flexibility: use a heating pad or any other kind of moist heat for five to fifteen minutes on an affected joint, then slowly and gently move the bothered joint, gradually reclaiming your full range of motion.

    For joints in your hands, try the herbal-filled “bean bags” you can heat up in the microwave, putting them on your hands. After five to fifteen minutes, gently stretch your fingers.

  • Celadrin for Pet Inflammation and Arthritis

    All pet owners know how terrible it feels when one of our beloved animals is sick or in pain. Unfortunately, osteoarthritis in domestic animals is a common condition. Over 20 percent of dogs over the age of one are suffering from this painful, debilitating condition. The causes of arthritis in pets are very similar to those in humans: poor nutrition, repetitive wear and tear on the joints and hereditary conditions associated with joint destruction. The family pet has also become the latest victim of inactivity and obesity. Overweight animals suffer greater bouts of osteoarthritis.

    Veterinarians very often prescribe NSAID medications. The most common side effect of NSAIDs in dogs is gastrointestinal toxicity, ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to a silent ulcer. Pet owners are leery of these drugs and they should be. There are far more contraindications for these drugs for animals than for humans. This has caused a shift to alternative therapies for the treatment of osteoarthritis in animals.

    A clinical trial using Celadrin for osteoarthritis in dogs was presented at the Experimental Biology convention in 2001. An independent veterinary clinic was enlisted to conduct a study involving 24 dogs between the ages of eight and 13 years. Before beginning the study, the dogs had a physical exam and blood and urine was taken for analysis. Both small and large dogs were included in the study regardless of their current arthritis medication. Daily, each dog was given dog chews containing Celadrin. A standard dose of two chews per 20 pounds was established. The dogs were assessed again 30 days later. Seventy-five percent of the dog owners noted improvement in stair climbing, gait and their pet’s daily life. The dogs seemed more energetic, happier and to have a better temperament. There were no changes in blood or urine analysis. a similar percentage of improvement in therapeutic effects. One week of treatment with a topical cream consisting of Celadrin and menthol was similarly effective for reducing pain and improving functional performance in individuals with arthritis of the knee, elbow, and wrist.

    Dr. Kraemer then performed another study that examined the effects of 30 days of treatment with Celadrin cream with no menthol on the ability to stand and move and pressure on the feet in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of one or both knees. Forty patients diagnosed with knee OA were randomly assigned to receive Celadrin cream or placebo. Assessments included 20- and 40-second quiet standing on a force plate to measure center of pressure, and rear foot and forefoot plantar pressure distribution. This study showed that 30 days of treatment with Celadrin topical cream improved static postural stability in patients with knee OA, presumably due to pain relief during quiet standing. Celadrin is helpful in improving the exercise trainability of people with osteoarthritis.

    Celadrin is not only effective but also safe to take with your prescription medications as no drug-nutrient interactions have been found. Those using the oral form of Celadrin and the cream together have experienced a much faster improvement in pain, swelling and mobility than those using the cream alone.

    Effective Celadrin and Glucosamine Combination
    Glucosamine sulfate, a very popular joint-health supplement, works well in conjunction with Celadrin. Celadrin is effective at halting the joint-damaging process, while glucosamine can repair damage already done to those joints affected. Celadrin works by providing continuous lubrication and allowing the cell membrane to repel inflammatory messengers from the immune system. It also stops the cascade of inflammation and the assaults on the membrane, which cause stiffness. Celadrin helps glucosamine perform faster and more efficiently in building joint cartilage. The dual action of Celadrin and glucosamine will provide rapid joint cushioning, quickly alleviate inflammation, build cartilage and restore the entire joint area. Cartilage repair usually begins within two months. Spectacular results have been experienced by those individuals with rheumatoid arthritis who have adopted the combination treatment

    It is exciting when extensive double-blind, placebo controlled research is performed to confirm the effectiveness of a natural product. With the knowledge that inflammation can shorten our lifespan by promoting many degenerative diseases, it is essential that we use natural anti-inflammatories to reduce our risk. For more information go to www.celadrin.com.

  • Creating Energy to Swing at Life from Any Angle

    Okay, so golf isn’t your game; maybe its tennis, cycling, dancing, or simply a zest to live life to its fullest. Regardless of age, ethnicity, profession, or financial status, quality of life cannot be obtained while experiencing pain and inflammation, pain that affects the life of the victim, family and friends.

    The world of medicine is undergoing a radical upheaval in its understanding of the debilitating, and often life-threatening, diseases of inflammation, including: heart disease, stroke, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, macular degeneration, Crohn’s, allergies, and much more.

    Inflammation is the body’s way of telling us that something is terribly wrong—a basic defense triggered by bacteria, virus, parasites, injury, trauma, surgery, and chemicals (environmental or ingested). If the inflammation continues, pro-inflammatory cytokines are produced by macrophages, which are chemical messengers that attack and clean up cells in the affected area; eventually cytokine production rises, destroying more and more cells, leading to organ damage.

    Structural Remodeling
    Bone, a hard substance forming the framework around which the body is built, is the skeleton containing over 200 separate bones that support and shape to the body and protect its vital organs. The common misconception is that bone is “dead”; on the contrary, it’s a living substance and one of the most active tissues in the body, constantly being broken down and rebuilt by a process called remodeling. Therefore, in order for it to stay strong and healthy, it must have constant nourishment to:

    • Keep the bone cells healthy and active
    • Supply a variety for nutritional building blocks essential to form organic bone matrix
    • Supply complex minerals needed to make up the hardened component of bone known as hydroxyapartite crystals.

    The misconception exists that most mineral supplements are utilized by the body in the same manner. Not so. In my professional experience and research, the supplementation most effective is that derived from goat-milk whey, naturally predigested. This type of whey has been used for decades to promote bone density as well as to relieve aching, painful joints. This highly concentrated food powder contains a broad array of naturally occurring minerals, including sodium, potassium and calcium, in ratios used by the body with ease of digestion and absorption.

    As we age, our ability to absorb calcium and minerals declines, therefore, supplementation must be bioavailable, i.e. easily absorbable.

    With proper full-spectrum nutrition, healthy bones last a lifetime.

    Protecting Your Shock-absorbers
    Joints are designed to allow for smooth movement between the bones and to absorb the shock of jarring and/or repetitive movement. Joints consist of:

      Cartilage—The substance that forms a firm, slippery coating at the end of each bone, cushioning it to allow joints to move easily
      Muscles—Responsible for facilitating the movement of joints and keeping bones stable
      Ligaments—Tough, cord-like tissues connecting bones
      Tendons—Fibrous cords connecting muscles to bones, working with muscles to create movement of the joints.

    According to the University of Florida Division of Rheumatology, there are more than 100 types of arthritis. That said, arthritis and other rheumatic conditions alone affect an estimated 43 million Americans, and that number is expected to climb to 60 million by the year 2020.

    What most Americans reach for to help with pain and inflammation (the external effects) of arthritis, fibromyalgia and other inflammatory disorders are NSAIDs, a class of drugs including aspirin, ibuprofen, Vioxx, and Celebrex. The public was led to believe this class of drug is generally safe to take long-term. We now know different; the death statistics show otherwise. According to The Wall Street Journal (Apr. 19, 1999), every year 20,000 Americans die from the use of these drugs—higher than the number who die from HIV. (12,000 to 16,000 a year). In addition, another 100,000 Americans end up hospitalized with liver toxicity, kidney damage, and intestinal hemorrhage from the overuse of these drugs.

    Painful Reflections
    Unfortunately, this doctor is speaking from experience, after developing leaky gut syndrome as a result of prescribed NSAID use after a life-threatening accident and the subsequent injuries. Yes, NSAIDs are valuable in the short term after an injury, trauma or surgery; however, long-term use sets up the patient for disorders that not only alter their entire life (multiple allergic response syndrome/environmental illness) but also potentially place them in a life-threatening situation far worse than what precipitated the original need for the medications.

    Hopeful Tomorrows
    While prescription drugs provide short-term relief, they do not deal with the underlying causes. It makes perfect sense to look into a safe, effective nutraceutical option that contains comprehensive, time-tested ingredients all in ONE BLEND, as those identified in a blend listed below:

    • Complete bone support formula with a broad array of naturally occurring minerals from goat milk whey to assist in maintaining chemical balance and to keep calcium in solution (fluid)—preventing it from depositing in joints
    • Naturally occurring food-based cartilage building compounds of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates
    • Enzymes, such as protease, bromelain, papain, amylase, lipase and cellulase, known to reduce pain and inflammation
    • Botanicals used for centuries known for their strong anti-inflammatory, alkalizing and antioxidant effects; ginger, turmeric, acerola cherry, cherry juice, valerian, lemon powder, and white willow bark (natural aspirin)
    • Type II Chicken Collagen, a food-based source of collagen—the principle structure of protein in cartilage, possesses no known side-effects and provides maximum absorption for strength, flexibility and joint support. This collagen is derived from free-range chickens; free of growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and insecticides. Many other sources of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates are from marine life (which has a much higher risk of contamination) or from sources that are not free-ranged—adding to the body’s toxic load
    • A natural blend of predigested, bioactivated greens to support joint and cartilage matrix
    • Naturally occurring minerals (including potassium, sodium and calcium) from both predigested and regular goat-milk whey to support joints and bone density
    • Bone-building ingredients, such as calcium phosphate, L-carnitine, oat juice (natural silica) and alfalfa juice (glutenfree)
    • Predigested beneficial microorganisms and active enzymes for gastrointestinal support.

    The important components to achieving both short-term relief and long-term maintenance are to supplement with a natural, comprehensive, bone and joint health formula in order to provide the body what it needs to increase bone density while rebuilding healthy cartilage and connective tissue. Additionally, when it includes whole foods, herbs and enzymes for pain associated with inflammation, you are dealing with the causes of the pain, not merely masking it.

      Alcohol: Depletes B vitamins and magnesium—needed by joint fluid and cartilage for proper function

      Refined Sugar: Depletes B vitamins and trace minerals necessary for healthy joint cartilage and synovial fluid

      Nightshade Foods: Inflame an inflammatory condition, and the symptoms can last as long as six weeks (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers—red, green, yellow, cayenne, and paprika, eggplant, blueberries, huckleberries, okra, and tobacco. For specific dietary information and nightshade-free recipes, refer to my book Pain/Inflammation MATTERS

      Antacids: Depletes and neutralizes stomach digestive acids, which prevents the body from digesting calcium, proteins, and minerals that are essential for bone and cartilage repair.

    No product can possibly guarantee it will allow you to again feel as good as “the good old days” without stiff, achy joints, swollen hands, knees, and ankles. If golfing, gardening, climbing stairs, dancing, or simply bending or walking have become challenging, dietary comprehensive supplement blends are available containing natural ingredients—many of which have been used for decades and present safe and effective quick relief as well as long-term maintenance, naturally.

  • Help Your Joints with Hyaluronic Acid

    In the past couple of years, oral forms of hyaluronic acid have become available. Oral HA is a nonprescription product that’s sold as a dietary supplement. The benefits of an oral formulation compared to injections are obvious: lower cost, no pain, lower risk, and improved convenience. The positive results for patients have vaulted this product into the limelight.


    The number one cause of disability in America isn’t heart disease or diabetes—it’s arthritis. According to statistics from the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in three adults is now affected by an arthritis-related condition.

    Arthritis is a general term for a group of conditions that cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, sometimes called “wear and tear” arthritis. Most people with arthritis have osteoarthritis— in fact, some 21 million American adults suffer from it.

    People with arthritis often face serious reductions in their quality of life. The pain, stiffness, and inflammation make it hard to stay active, but inactivity can lead to a downward spiral of worsening health. When activity levels drop, depression, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and problems with work and relationships often develop. And inactivity actually makes sore joints even worse, which just accelerates the downward spiral. For most people, life just isn’t as enjoyable with arthritis.

    New Treatment Options
    The good news is the high prevalence of arthritis has led to increased awareness and increased research efforts. The most exciting part about the new treatment options that are now becoming available is they don’t just relieve pain. They actually improve function while also being very safe. Unlike anti-inflammatories such as naproxen (Aleve), for example, treatments such as glucosamine and hyaluronic acid don’t cause gastric bleeding or ulcers, and they don’t raise your risk of a heart attack, stroke, or kidney disease.

    In the 1990s, hyaluronic acid (HA) became available as a treatment for knee osteoarthritis. For people with severe knee arthritis, injecting HA into the joint often provides relief. Injectable HA is a prescription product that has to be administered by a physician. Most patients need a series of three to five weekly injections. Injectable hyaluronic acid is well-established as a safe therapy for osteoarthritis. In fact, it’s part of the American College of Rheumatology guidelines for treating osteoarthritis of the knee. Injectable HA works reasonably well. After receiving the series of injections, over half of all patients have improvements in pain and function that can last for up to a year. Because injectable HA provides long-lasting relief, osteoarthritis patients can often avoid the dangers associated with over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory drugs.

    Injectable HA has some significant drawbacks, however. Receiving an injection directly into the joint isn’t something to take lightly. It’s an invasive procedure that involves pain and a small chance of introducing an infection in the joint. It’s expensive—the series of injections can run to $1,500 and may not be covered by health insurance. It’s also inconvenient to keep going to the doctor for several weeks in a row to receive the full series of injection—or repeat injections, if necessary.

    In the past couple of years, oral forms of hyaluronic acid have become available. Oral HA is a nonprescription product that’s sold as a dietary supplement. The benefits of an oral formulation compared to injections are obvious: lower cost, no pain, lower risk, and improved convenience. The positive results for patients have vaulted this product into the limelight.

    Understanding HA
    To appreciate what a breakthrough oral HA is, it helps to understand the crucial role of HA in joint health. In your body, HA is a naturally occurring family of extremely large molecules that are contained in many tissues, not just the joints. HA is one of the components that give our tissues flexibility. Your eyeballs, for instance, are “squishy” mainly because of their high HA content. The same goes for the cartilage in your joints.

    Joint cartilage (what doctors call articular cartilage) is a glistening, smooth, translucent, whitish-colored living tissue found on the ends of your bones. Joint cartilage caps the ends of the bones in the 230 different joints found in the human body. When it’s healthy, cartilage is extremely smooth. It provides a low-friction environment for easy movement and also acts as a shock absorber to protect your bones and keep them from fracturing with activity.

    Hyaluronic acid is essential for healthy cartilage. It’s the chemical backbone that holds together the molecules, such as chondroitin sulfate, that make up the cartilage and give joint cartilage its special properties. HA is what makes joint cartilage the smoothest and most friction-free substance in nature. Nothing man-made can approach the performance of this remarkable tissue.

    In any joint, the whole structure of bone, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons is surrounded, held together, and protected by a watertight, fibrous joint capsule. Specialized cells called synoviocytes line the interior portion of the joint capsule. They produce the synovial fluid—a thick, clear substance that looks and feels like raw egg white. Synovial fluid fills the space within the joint. It lubricates the articular cartilage, much as grease lubricates the ball joints of your car. Synovial fluid also increases the effectiveness of shock absorption in the joint, much as hydraulic shock absorbers smooth out the ride of your car. Because joints don’t have a blood supply of their own, the synovial fluid also carries nutrients into the joint and carries waste products out.

    Osteoarthritis and HA
    Where does HA fit into joint health? It’s the principal functional component of synovial fluid. HA is what makes synovial fluid thick and viscous—and it’s these properties that are vital to normal joint function. But when osteoarthritis strikes, the hyaluronic acid in the joint is affected. Here’s how it happens: The joint cartilage on the ends of the bones slowly erodes, the bone underlying the cartilage changes (leading to bone spurs and pain), and the synovial fluid in the joint changes in character. Specifically, the amount of HA in the joint drops. In severe osteoarthritis, the level of hyaluronic acid in the joint fluid may decrease by 75 percent or more. Because HA serves as a shock absorber and lubricator, it’s no wonder that a big decrease in such an important molecule results in adverse consequences. When HA levels in the knee drop, for instance, the result is a creaking or grinding sensation, pain, and often a condition called “movie-goers knee.” It may sound funny, but movie-goers knee is no joke. It’s a real medical condition that occurs after someone with knee osteoarthritis sits with the knee bent at a sharp angle for a prolonged period of time—such as sitting through a feature movie or driving a car for a couple of hours. Upon arising, a sudden, sharp, stabbing pain occurs in the knee. The pain usually goes away after walking a few steps, as the remaining fluid in the knee coats the surfaces of the cartilage and cuts down on the friction.

    The prevailing theory of how HA works is that the molecules attach to binding sites on cells within the joints. Once the attachment is made, it triggers a complex cascade of events within the cells. One of the things that seems to happen is the HA molecules inhibit some of the enzymes that help break down the cartilage matrix in the joint. HA also seems to inhibit some of the natural chemicals, such as interleukin-1b and prostaglandin E2, that create inflammation in an arthritic joint. The anti-inflammatory mechanism of HA isn’t fully understood, but we do know it’s quite different from that of anti-inflammatory drugs. HA molecules also appear to disrupt some of the nerve impulses that transmit pain signals from the joint to the brain. Importantly, HA molecules can stimulate the cells that line the joint capsule and trigger them to manufacture even more hyaluronic acid—something highly desirable in osteoarthritic joints.

    When there’s not enough HA in a joint, all the things it does to maintain pain-free normal function don’t happen as well— that’s where supplemental HA comes in.

    Choosing the Best HA Supplement
    As researchers learn more about the HA pathways in the joints, they continue to discover new ways in which HA helps relieve pain and improve function in patients with osteoarthritis. One of the things they’ve learned is oral HA supplements can be very effective—but only if they’re a high-quality product that closely mimics the body’s own HA.

    Today the oral forms of hyaluronic acid sold as dietary supplements come from three general categories: low-purity animal extractions mixed with large quantities of (relatively inactive) collagen; fermentation from bacteria; or concentrated extraction from avian cartilage. The original pharmaceutical forms of injected hyaluronic acid were all derived from the avian cartilage, so it makes sense this is also the optimal form for dietary supplements. Low-purity animal extractions mixed with collagen are undesirable because of two reasons. To get an adequate quantity of hyaluronic acid from these supplements, you’d have to take them in very large amounts. Also, it’s questionable whether the biologic activity of this source of hyaluronic acid compares with the others.

    Hyaluronic acid derived from bacterial fermentation may also be less functional and it doesn’t have some of the natural active components found in the concentrated extractions from avian cartilage. Perhaps this helps explain the results of an internal study comparing the effectiveness of fermented HA to a concentrated extract from avian cartilage. When a culture of living synovial cells was exposed to the avian extract, the cells were stimulated to produce twice as much HA as when they were exposed to the bacterial HA—even though the concentrations of each product was the same (200 mcg/ml ).

    It’s also important to note that concentrated avian extracts have been used in most of the important worldwide research that has been done on HA. The concentrated extractions have been utilized extensively in the clinic and in large human studies (some of long duration) sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry.

    Hyal-Joint® Oral Hyaluronic Acid Supplements
    Hyal-Joint oral hyaluronic acid supplements appear to be the best available product. This product is a concentrated HA extraction from avian cartilage and also contains other naturally active components such as vital glycosaminoglycans. Hyal-Joint has been studied in a number of laboratory experiments, animal studies, and in a human clinical study. Even more research is underway. The studies suggest that Hyal-Joint raises HA levels in the joints and, just as important, also stimulates the body to produce more of its own natural HA. In the first human study, the participants took only 80 mg of Hyal-Joint a day, an amount that fits into a small capsule or tablet. This daily dosage delivers approximately 48 to 54 mg HA, 4 to 12 mg other glycosaminoglycans, and 16 to 24 mg collagen. A clinical trial is underway now using a smaller dose of just 40 mg, and some supplement manufacturers are considering adding 20 mg of Hyal-Joint to existing joint health formulations containing other active components such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

  • Sierrasil, A Joint Pain Product That Works, Naturally

    Results from a clinical trial published in the international Journal of Inflammation demonstrate that SierraSil®, a powerful, uniquely balanced blend of numerous naturally occurring macro and trace minerals, is safe and effective for significantly decreasing pain and inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis.*

    Mark Miller, Ph.D., and Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences and Pediatrics at Albany Medical College (NY), supervised the study and was instrumental in the in-depth analysis of its data. “SierraSil,” said Miller, “may offer exciting new approaches to limiting the joint destruction and lack of mobility associated with arthritis.”

    The SierraSil product for this study was provided by Sierra Mountain Minerals, Inc. Michael Bentley, the company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, is more than pleased with this latest testament to the effectiveness of SierraSil.

    “We know from past trials, patient testimonials and reports from physicians that SierraSil improves joint mobility and flexibility,”* said Bentley. “Now, we see how important it can be as a support to those suffering from the pain of osteoarthritis.”*

    An emerging supplement in the battle against inflammation, SierraSil is found only in the high Sierra Mountains.

    The human body can make many vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids and their derivative molecules, but it cannot make a single mineral. Due to mineral depletion in soil, some doctors say people cannot rely on getting all of these necessary nutrients from food. Also, when minerals are not consumed in adequate amounts, the body will resort to stealing minerals from its fluids, soft tissues and bones.

    That’s why many health professionals advise people to use supplements rich in macro and trace minerals. SierraSil is considered an excellent mineral supplement because it is comprised of numerous naturally occurring macro- and trace minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, vanadium, chromium, boron and molybdenum in a form that possesses unusual health-promoting properties.

    SierraSil helped pro golfer Ken Venturi. A former US Open Champion and 1964 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, Venturi gave up playing golf due to hand injuries. Finally, after a distinguished 35-year career of broadcasting as CBS Golf Analyst, Ken is playing golf again—thanks to SierraSil. Venturi says, “I believe in this product so very much that I’m willing to endorse it. It can help you, because it helped me. And what it’s done for me most of all, it’s given me back the game of golf, which I love so much. Without it I wouldn’t be able to hit golf balls.”

    Is Ken alone in his discovery? Absolutely not! Al Stonehouse, Senior Men’s Captain at Kelowna Golf and Country Club read about Ken’s success with SierraSil and gave it a try. “I have achieved remarkable success with SierraSil,” Stonehouse said. “Normally I am very reluctant to try any form of drug or supplement but after reading about the success achieved by Ken Venturi, I decided to give it a try. Within days I noticed improved flexibility with my golf swing, increased driving distance and reduced carpal-tunnel pain in my hands. It’s great to be able to play three to four rounds a week and not have to go through the pain and suffering that I had been accustomed to for the past few years. I’m hitting the ball further than ever! I have had no hesitation in recommending SierraSil to my golfing friends. Thanks for making golf the pleasurable experience it should be.”

    SierraSil is completely natural and vegetarian. It contains no glucosamine or chondroitin and exhibits beneficial properties even in small amounts. Only two to three grams a day are needed. Unlike other well-known joint support supplements, like glucosamine and chondroitin, which reportedly take up to three months to work, many SierraSil users are reporting noticeable benefits in less than two weeks.*

    The past Vioxx recall led a number of health care professionals and consumers to take a closer look at natural approaches to joint health. Even the Arthritis Foundation, which only twelve years ago discouraged the use of supplements, is now encouraging its members to explore exercise, a healthy diet and dietary supplements. “Dietary supplements present a safe and effective long-term option, and consumers have a wide range of options when deciding which approach is right for them,” said James LaValle, R.Ph., N.D., an expert on naturopathic medicine. “The Vioxx recall should serve as a wake-up call. The truth of the matter is that in some cases there are serious side effects with prescription drugs,” Dr. LaValle said. “The good news is that there are safe and effective dietary supplements that are a better first choice for improving joint health.”

    For more information please visit www.SierraSil.com.

    The complete clinical trial report is available at the Journal of Inflammation's website:
    www.journal-inflammation.com/content/2/1/11/abstract.

  • SierraSil: A New Joint Pain Solution

    Some diseases, or health conditions, seem to be women’s issues. Arthritis and osteoporosis are in that category. Although men also struggle with joint inflammation and bone loss, the literature focuses on women. Are women at greater risk? According to the research, they are. Over 50 percent of women will suffer an osteoporotic bone break, while just one in eight men will experience an episode of fracture due to bone loss. Arthritis statistics are similar. While younger men are more likely to experience arthritis, due to accidents and injuries, the disease is three times more prevalent in women after the age of 45.


    The bones and joints are not the only parts of the body affected by inflammation. Research now correlates chronic inflammation with obesity, hypothyroidism, heart disease (yes, heart disease is a woman’s issue), diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. It is clear, then, that if women are to thrive through their senior years, they must develop a strategy for dealing with “the body on fire.”

    Fortunately, minerals from the rocky reaches of the Sierra Nevada mountains provide an excellent way to dampen the fires of inflammation, wherever they occur in the body. SierraSil® is a blend of over 65 naturally-occurring minerals that have been shown, in both in vitro and human studies, to “shut off the genetic switch to inflammation.”

    What Is It About Minerals?
    When we discuss chronic inflammation, we seldom mention minerals, but these essential nutrients play a vital role in bone and joint integrity, and they confer powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. The research community is just now delving into the world of minerals and beginning to understand their diverse and complex roles in the human body. They participate in the structural integrity of the body and catalyze enzymatic reactions. They help regulate the pH of the body.

    One of the most important tasks of minerals, particularly the unique blend of minerals in SierraSil, is that they help regulate the genetic expression of inflammation. To understand how this works, Sierra Mountain Minerals embarked on a series of human studies to assess both the safety and efficacy of SierraSil. One hundred twenty study participants were asked to answer the following question: Is SierraSil safe, and is SierraSil effective in reducing osteoarthritis symptoms?

    The treatment protocol lasted for eight weeks, and at the conclusion of the trial, researchers and patients found that every marker of arthritis (pain, stiffness and function) was greatly improved. Equally important, SierraSil was completely safe.

    SierraSil has been used clinically to relieve the pain of injury, fibromyalgia, colitis, and many other sources of pain. Benefits generally appear within seven to ten days, and without side effects. The recommended dose is three capsules each morning on an empty stomach.

    One medical doctor in Canada is testing C-reactive protein levels (a marker for inflammation) in his pain patients who have been using SierraSil for several years, and finds that their inflammatory markers are low, a sign that the inflammation, wherever it has lodged in the body, is abating.

    What else can women (and men) do to improve joint and bone health? Remove inflammatory foods like red meat, sugar, alcohol, and grains from the diet. Red meat contains a fatty acid called arachidonic acid, a precursor to pro-inflammatory hormones called eicosanoids. Grains, sugar and alcohol are highly acidic foods; low pH levels are associated with inflammation. Grains, particularly wheat and corn, are problematic in terms of allergies, an inflammatory process.

    An anti-inflammatory diet provides seven to eight servings of fresh vegetables per day, plenty of oils like fish, flax and olive oil, and good sources of protein like organic poultry, wild-raised seafood and lamb (preferably organic).

    Lifestyle factors can be either pro- or anti-inflammatory as well. Get plenty of sleep; it is during the dark hours of the night that the body repairs itself and the bones are built. Stress can heighten inflammation. Women often juggle two full-time jobs: employment outside the home and the care of the home and family. Since they seldom take time to rest and recover, the continual stress can cause pain.

    Restoring the integrity of the bones and resolving joint inflammation starts with diet and lifestyle, but well-chosen supplements are a vital part of the diet. Since both osteoporosis and arthritis share a common link in inflammation, as well as the other “illnesses of inflammation,” it makes sense to supplement with an anti-inflammatory mineral blend like SierraSil.

  • What is MSM?

    MSM is a naturally-occurring nutrient, a sulfur compound, found in normal human diets and the diets of all other vertebrates. Sulfur is an element present in all living organisms. It belongs in the same chemical family which includes oxygen. For organisms living in environments where there is no oxygen, sulfur often replaces oxygen as the source of chemical energy that drives life. It is not a pharmaceutical drug but a dietary supplement.

    Sulfur, the eighth most abundant element in the human body, has a long history as a healing agent. For centuries mankind has soaked in sulfur-rich, mineral hot springs to help heal a variety of ailments. While sulfur’s natural anti-inflammatory properties have shown benefits for a range of health problems, including arthritis, muscle and joint pain, much is still unknown about precisely how it works in the body.

    Without sulfur, life as we know it would not exist. Some of the essential functions that make sulfur possible for us to live include maintaining the structure of the proteins of the body, helping in the formation of keratin, which is essential for hair and nail growth, aiding in the production of immunoglobulin, which maintains the normal immune system, catalyzing the chemical reactions which change food into energy and neutralizing or eliminating toxins from the body. (Sulfur is needed to create/hold the molecular structure, particularly the sulfur amino acids: methionine, cysteine, taurine.)

    MSM and its related compounds provide the source of 85 percent of the sulfur found in all living organisms. The cycle of these naturally-occurring sulfur compounds begins in the ocean where microscopic plants called plankton release sulfur compounds. These salts are transformed in the ocean water into the very volatile compound dimethyl sulfide (DMS), which escapes from the ocean water as a gas. It then rises into the upper atmosphere where in the presence of ozone and high energy ultraviolet light, the DMS is converted into its cousins DMSO and MSM. Unlike the DMS, both DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) and MSM are soluble in water and when they return to the surface of the earth it is as rain. Plants take MSM rapidly into their root systems and concentrate it a hundredfold. MSM, and the sulfur it contains, is incorporated into the plant’s structure. Through plant metabolism the MSM, along with other sulfur compounds that it has spawned, is ultimately mineralized and transported back to the sea. Then the sulfur cycle beings again.

    Almost everyone in our modern society is deficient in MSM but with age the deficiency grows even more pronounced. What’s happening in our lives today is that we’re processing too many foods. The highest concentration of MSM is found in milk. MSM is a natural component of many fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat. However, heat and processing reduce the MSM in foods. Onions, garlic, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are sulfur-rich foods, but not as rich as eggs and red peppers. Food preparation, like washing and steaming, also reduces the levels of MSM.

    The most efficient way to assure sufficient levels of MSM in the body, or to benefit from the therapeutic benefits, is to include it as a staple of one’s daily nutritional supplement program. MSM is available in capsules that can be taken with meals or in crystal form for mixing with drinks. It can also be purchased as a cream, lotion or gel and applied directly to the skin for additional relief from pain and inflammation.

    Although MSM is commonly characterized as a breakthrough remedy for people with osteoarthritis, its benefits extend beyond the treatment of chronic illnesses. In fact, in recent years athletes and fitness enthusiasts have begun to rely on MSM to reduce the pain, soreness and inflammation associated with injuries, strained or cramped muscles and over-extended joints. Many use MSM in ointment form to alleviate the pain of sprained ankles, elbows and shoulders, strained muscles and ligaments and tendon injuries.

    Experience shows that MSM is often so effective for pain relief that doctors are able to lower the dosage of medication they prescribe for patients. The end result is relief with fewer or no side effects that are frequently caused by prescription pain medications. It is also important to understand in that MSM is a naturally-occurring sulfur compound found in the body, it is not similar to inorganic sulfides, sulfites and sulfates to which many individuals are allergic.

    Another major natural health property of MSM is that it is excellent for preventing allergies. I would say that it is probably the most important substance we have had for the prevention of allergies since the advent of the antihistaminic agents, and that was over four decades ago. People taking MSM orally, or sometimes supplementing that with nose drops, will not have the conventional burning of the eyes or the running nose or the hoarseness associated with allergies to pollens, dust and molds.

    MSM also has anti-parasitic properties. We have studied the two most common parasites in the gastrointestinal tract. The giardia is a parasitic infection of the small intestine which causes poor absorption of nutrition in humans. It is the most frequent cause of water-carried diarrhea in the U.S. MSM is quite effective when taken orally in controlling the symptoms and fighting the invading organism.

    Many women complain of yeast infections, which are caused by a parasite called trichomonas. The symptoms include increased itching and discharge which may be malodorous and discolored. Both the topical and oral supplements are effective therapy.

    MSM helps to control hyperacidity/heartburn naturally. Patients who have used antacids and products like Tagamet™ and Zantac™ make themselves worse by becoming dependent upon them. MSM is a nutritional supplement that has been shown to be more effective in stabilizing the digestive process and environment in doses of 3000 mg per day.

    Researchers at Oregon Health Sciences University studied a strain of mice that were prone to the spontaneous development of joint lesions similar to those in rheumatoid arthritis. They found that animals that were fed a diet that included a three percent solution of MSM as drinking water, from two months to five months of age, suffered no degeneration of articular cartilage. In a control group of mice receiving only tap water, 50 percent of the animals were found to have a focal degeneration of articular cartilage.

    Of the 16 patents granted to MSM, one is for relief from snoring. Research at Oregon Health Sciences University on 35 subjects suffering from chronic snoring has shown that MSM, as a 16 percent water solution administered to each nostril 15 minutes before sleep, provided significant reduction in 80 percent of the subjects after one to four days of use.

    As a control, in eight patients showing relief with MSM, saline solution was substituted for MSM without their knowledge. Seven of eight patients resumed loud snoring. The change occurred within 24 hours of the substitution. After the MSM treatment was restored, these eight again showed a significant reduction of snoring.

    Many years of clinical use at Oregon Health Sciences University has demonstrated that MSM provides the following pain relief and anti-inflammatory benefits without serious side effects:

    • Inhibition of pain impulses along nerve fibers (analgesia)
    • Lessening of inflammation
    • Increase in blood supply
    • Reduction of muscle spasm
    • Softening of scar tissue

    To date more than 12,000 patients have been treated at the university with Lignisul MSM at levels above two grams daily with no serious toxicity. About as toxic as water, even common table salt can be more toxic than MSM, which is a crystalline solid that is odorless, tasteless and readily dissolves in water.

    We completed a double-blind, placebo- controlled, pilot trial showing that 100 percent of the subjects on Lignisul MSM (methyl- sulfonyl-methane) increased hair growth, compared to the group on placebo1. Only one subject on placebo showed an increase in hair length. In addition, 30 percent of the subjects on Lignisul showed improvement in hair brilliance, while none of the subjects on placebo showed such an improvement.

    A second double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot trial, conducted simultaneously, showed that 50 percent of the subjects on Lignisul MSM showed increased nail length and nail thickness growth compared to the group on placebo1. Approximately 10 percent of those on placebo showed increased nail length growth. None of the subjects on placebo showed an increase in nail thickness.

    Based on the results of the two trials, we concluded that oral supplementation with Lignisul MSM is a valuable addition to hair and nail growth. Hair and nail health was significantly improved in a short term of six weeks.

    The hair trial involved a total of 21 patients—16 women and 5 men. Data was collected by certified cosmetologists under my direction. The trial parameters included hair length, brilliance and diameter of the individual hair shafts using industry standard measurement scales.

    The nail trial involved a total of 11 subjects— 10 women and one man. Again data was collected by certified cosmetologists. Trial parameters included nail length, thickness, luster and general appearance using industry standard measurement scales.

    All subjects supplemented with Lignisul MSM were duly impressed with the changes in the health and appearance of their hair. The cosmetologists literally could differentiate which participants were on MSM by the appearance of the hair alone after six weeks.

    While researchers make no claim for cures, as a food supplement or dietary ingredient the following conditions seen in the clinic have responded to oral Lignisul MSM:
    • Allergies
    • Arthritis
    • Acne
    • Cancer: breast, colon
    • Hyperacidity/heartburn
    • Constipation
    • Burns (thermal)
    • Brittle/soft nails
    • Diabetes
    • Eye health
    • Hypersensitivity to drugs
    • Insect bites
    • Lung disease
    • Lupus
    • Mental acuity
    • Muscle soreness/pain
    • Oral/dental health
    • Parasites
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Scar tissue
    • Snoring
    • Skin, hair and nails
    • Stress
    • Sunburn
    • Joint health—MSM combined
    • with glucosamine

    References:

    1. The Effectiveness of the Use of Oral Lignisul MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) Supplementation on Hair and Nail Health

    Additional Reading: