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  • FOR SOME ATHLETES, “NO PAIN, NO GAIN” IS THEIR PERSONAL MANTRA. HOWEVER, TOO MUCH PAIN MAY MEAN NO GAIN IF THERE ARE PROBLEMS WITH EXCESSIVE inflammation, and possibly less than optimal repair of muscle, joint and bone tissue. In such cases, prevention is definitely superior to treatment; and the best prevention may be avoiding workout routines that brutalize your body to the extent that you are incapacitated, eating a healthy diet that provides adequate protein and other macro-nutrients, and using dietary supplements to support the maintenance and repair of tissues from muscles, joints and bones; and that also may help reduce excessive inflammation. Following is a discussion of such dietary supplements.

    Calcium and Vitamin D
    Calcium’s role in supporting the maintenance and repair of healthy bone is well established and does not require further elucidation here. Likewise, vitamin D has a long-established role in facilitating calcium absorption; and research indicates that vitamin D supplementation can help to prevent bone loss1,2.

    SierraSil is a naturally-occurring mineral composite found only in the high Sierra Mountains. Research has demonstrated that SierraSil suppresses cartilage degradation and inflammation.3 In an unpublished double-blind, placebo-controlled study SierraSil was evaluated in patients with osteoarthritis. Results indicated that with doses of 2000 or 3000 mg, SierraSil improved joint flexibility and quality of life.4 A previous unpublished pilot study on SierraSil in osteoarthritis patients demonstrated similar results.5 SierraSil has a patent pending for supporting joint mobility, flexibility and active lifestyles.

    Spasov et al6 has reported that standardized extracts of Andrographis paniculata have been investigated in a number of studies, showing significant reduction of major symptoms of common cold and other upper respiratory tract infections. ParactinTM is a patented, standardized extract of Andrographis paniculata which has been shown in preliminary research to stimulate immune response at low doses and to reduce inflammation high doses.7,8,9 It does this by invigorating the activation of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma (PPARΥ), which in turn inhibits inflammatory chemicals in the body such as NFkappaB interferon gamma (IFNΥ), and Interleukin 2 (IL-2). By supplementing the body’s ability to naturally activate PPARΥ, ParactinTM helps promote healthy inflammation response while maintaining normal cellular structure and activity in the joints, bones, and throughout the body.

    Glucosamine Sulfate
    According to the book, The Arthritis Cure, there are three requirements to keep cartilage healthy: water for lubrication and nourishment, proteoglycans to attract and hold the water, and collagen to keep the proteoglycans in place. Proteoglycans are large molecules made of protein and sugar. They trap water like a sponge and make cartilage resilient.10 Glucosamine sulfate figures into healthy cartilage since it is a major building block of the water-loving proteoglycans. In addition, glucosamine sulfate's very presence stimulates the production of more proteoglycans. The fact that glucosamine sulfate increases the synthesis of these key elements of cartilage means that it actually helps repair damaged or eroded cartilage.11 In fact, for many years glucosamine sulfate has been successfully used in the therapy of osteoarthritis, and has met all standards of an efficient and well tolerated drug (albeit a natural drug). This has been demonstrated by experimental as well as clinical studies, in which glucosamine sulfate led to long-lasting pain reduction and functional improvement.12

    Chondroitin Sulfate
    Chondroitin sulfate is the perfect complement to glucosamine sulfate since chondroitin acts like a liquid magnet, attracting fluid into the proteoglycans. This fluid acts as a shock absorber and also brings nutrients with it into the cartilage. Perhaps of greater significance than its fluid-enhancing properties, chondroitin sulfate protects existing cartilage from premature breakdown by inhibiting certain cartilage-chewing enzymes. Furthermore, like glucosamine, chondroitin stimulates the production of proteoglycans and collagen that are needed for healthy new cartilage. As a matter of fact, chondroitin works synergistically with glucosamine.

    Plant Based Enzymes
    Research has shown that certain plant-based (fungal) enzymes were shown to have powerful effects on protein digestion at the University of Rhode Island. Specifically, 300 to 500 mg of these fungal enzymes successfully released 62,000 mg of free form amino acids from protein (in the form of beef steak)¡Xthat's 42 percent more amino acids than stomach acid and enzymes alone, without fungal enzymes. Furthermore, in the laboratory fungal enzymes release branched chain amino acids from beef steak at up to 200 percent the rate of stomach acid and enzymes alone. This is particularly important since branched chain amino acids (BCAA) make up at least 35 percent of key muscle proteins. The results of this research clearly demonstrate that these enzymes cause amino acids in protein to become more bioavailable. This can help to rebuild and repair muscle tissue.


    1. Dawson-Hughes B, et al. Ann Intern Med 1991;115:505–12.
    2. Dawson-Hughes B, et al. Am J Clin Nutr 1995; 61:1140–45.
    3. Miller MJS, Ahmed S, Bobrowski P, Haqqi TM. Suppression of Human Cartilage Degradation and Chondrocyte Activation by a Unique Mineral Supplement (SierraSil™) and a Cat’s Claw Etract, Vincaria®. JANA 2004; 7(2):32–39.
    4. Raut V, Gala J, Dhumale R. A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study to compare two doses of a mineral supplement and a herbo-mineral combination in alleviating the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee. (unpublished)
    5. A pilot study to test the safety and efficacy of the mineral supplement SierraSil™ in osteoarthritis of the knee. (unpublished)
    6. Spasov AA, Ostrovskij OV, Chernikov MV, Wikman G. Comparative Controlled Study of Andrographis paniculata Fixed Combination, Kan Jang® and an Echinacea Preparation as Adjuvant, in the Treatment of Uncomplicated Respiratory Disease in Children. Phytother Res 2004; 18:47–53.
    7. Paractin useful for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, and alzeimer disease by activation of PPAR- Receptor. Juan L. Hancke. Instituto de Farmacologia, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia Chile. Paractin interferes with T cell activation and reduces Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in the Mouse. Iruretagoyena MI, Tobar JA, Gonzalez PA, Sepulveda SE, Figueroa CA, Burgos RA, Hancke JL, Kalergis AM. Uniersidad Austral de Chile. Journal of Pharmacology & Exp Therapeutics, August 26 2004.
    8. Paractin interferes DNA binding of NF-kB in HL-60/Neutrophils cells. María A. Hidalgo, Alex Romero, Jaime Figueroa, Patricia Cortés, Ilona I. Concha, Juan L. Hancke, & Rafael A. Burgos. Uniersidad Austral de Chile.
    9. Theodosakis, J., et al, The Arthritis Cure, (1997) St. Martin’s Press: New York, 203 pgs.
    10. Theodosakis, J., ibid.
    11. Anonymous, Fortschr Med Suppl (1998) 183:1–12.
    12. Theodosakis, J., ibid.
  • Research released by the Women’s Health Initiative ( WHI ) that showed that 1,000 mg calcium and 400 IU vitamin D in healthy postmenopausal women (between the ages of 50 to 79 years) did not reduce the risk of bone fractures. The study did show that the supplementation of calcium and vitamin D, combined with the recommended amount of calcium from the diet, significantly improved hipbone density. This study was a bit discouraging for many women who bank their bone health on just a daily calcium supplement product. There is so much more to do for bone health, including eating a wholesome diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle. In addition, there is a branded ingredient compound called Ostivone®, known in the research as ipriflavone, which when combined with calcium has been shown to significantly increase bone density.

  • Every once in a while you run into a product that solves a personal health issue so radically you want to shout it to the world. Well, this is my story...and I'm shouting. With this Covid-19 situation we are spending a lot of time social distancing. It means limiting your exposure to other people which really curtails your outside activities. I have been lucky enough to be able to ride my bike, a lot. I have traded in my car for a bicycle that I use daily for store trips but mostly just because I desperately need my outside time getting fresh air and exercise. But a problem arose over the last few weeks. I started cramping in my legs. Especially at night. 4 nights ago it was so bad I couldn't get back to sleep after waking up at 3 in the morning to relieve the cramping that just wouldn't stop.

    There are a number of reasons why this condition developed. Not the least of which, I am sure, is because I spend a lot more time sitting working from home, not hydrating enough, and not eating as varied a diet as I would normally, and riding my bike a lot.

    That morning I whipped into my local health food store to find a mineral combination that I felt my body must be lacking. I walked up to the counter in Beyond Nutrition * (shout out to Jonny) and told him I needed the best product to help me beat back my leg cramps. As it turns out there was a bottle of Whole Earth & Sea - Deep Ocean Minerals sitting right there on the middle of the sales counter. I took one look at the ingredients (Contains over 70 naturally occurring trace minerals from a nature reserve such as:chloride, iodine, barium, chromium, copper, iron, lanthanum, lithium, manganese, phosphorus, rubidium, selenium, silicon, silver, strontium, sulfur, thorium, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, yttrium, and zinc.) and said perfect, just what I was looking for. Deep Ocean Minerals is sustainably extracted from deep ocean water protected by a nature reserve. Deep Ocean Minerals contains over 70 essential minerals and trace elements, including magnesium, which catalyzes over 300 enzyme and hormone reactions. These macrominerals and trace elements give structure to our organs, tissues, and bones, and help maintain fluid balance, pH balance, and membrane permeability.

    I took a teaspoon in water as soon as I got home. I woke up that night with leg cramps but nowhere near as severe as the night before. I got up for a 20oz cup of filtered water where I added another teaspoon of the Deep Ocean Minerals. That day I did a long bike ride with the minerals in my water and after the ride I drank another 48oz of water in the next two hours, 24oz at a time. That night I had no leg cramps. First night with no leg cramps in weeks. Next night same. Last night same. No more leg cramps. Thank you Whole Earth & Sea. I'm taking you daily now.

    Here is one of the better articles on Nocturnal Leg Cramps published in Prevention magazine:

    What Causes Leg Cramps at Night

    About Deep Ocean Minerals

    Whole Earth & Sea Pure Food Deep Ocean Minerals (DOM) is an all-natural mineral concentrate in a balance that is natural to the body. It contains over 70 essential minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, boron, and iodine, that give structure to our organs, tissues, and bones, and help maintain fluid balance, pH balance, and membrane permeability.

    DOM is a 100% natural and sustainable product harvested from deep ocean water that is drawn from a depth of 662 m in a pristine location protected by steep mountains. Minerals and trace elements are extracted using a patented production process and fortified with fresh kelp extract to raise the iodine level to 75 mcg per ½ teaspoon. The natural liquid and ionized form increases absorption and bioavailability to the body’s cells.

    This patented production process uses sustainable and environmentally friendly techniques that ensure direct access to deep ocean water that is free from particles. Kelp is also sustainably harvested from the coastal waters of British Columbia and rigorously tested to ensure that it is contaminant free. Deep ocean water is characterized by its cleanliness and mineral density. It is a safe, pure, and infinite resource for replenishing the body’s soluble minerals and electrolytes.

    Recommended use: Source of electrolytes. A factor in the maintenance of good health. Helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Helps in the development and maintenance of bones and teeth, in the maintenance of proper muscle function, and in the function of the thyroid gland.

    Recommended adult dose: Mix ½ tsp to 1 tsp (2.5 mL to 5 mL) daily with water or other beverages (e.g., milk, soya, tea, coffee, juice, etc.) or use as directed by a health care practitioner.

    Cautions: Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Keep out of the reach of children.