Key Vitamin Supplements To Prevent and Minimize Knee Pain
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Most of us don’t have to look far to find someone we know who suffers with chronic knee pain. For many, the culprit is osteoarthritis (OA), a chronic condition where the knee has lost the cushioning cartilage that protects bone ends and makes walking, climbing stairs stooping and kneeling comfortable. Risk factors include heredity, injury, aging, inactivity and over-use of joints. If you have pain or stiffness in your knees after periods of inactivity (for example, sitting quietly through a movie), or after excessive use (for example, after a longer than normal walk on a lovely spring day), you may have OA. Almost half of all adults will develop OA of the knee at some point in their life; for those who are overweight or obese the risk is dramatically higher. After age 50, more women than men are affected by OA. Because exercise and physical activity is a key component to managing diabetes and heart disease, OA also often complicates these conditions.
From a practical standpoint, no one wants to hurt all the time. So, what should someone with OA do to manage their condition?
Glucosamine is an amino sugar that is the fundamental building block of the molecules that attract and hold water in cartilage. Amino sugars are the basis of all connective tissues and lubricating fluids in the body. Although the body makes glucosamine, injuries and aging may result in a deficiency. Supplemental glucosamine has been shown to be a successful treatment of OA by effectively controlling pain and halting or reversing the progression of the disease. Several studies have shown that besides stimulating the production of cartilage, glucosamine helps to reduce pain and improve joint function in those with OA.
Chondroitin sulfate helps promote water retention in the cartilage, which is essential for shock absorption. It has been reported to maintain joint viscosity, stimulate the mechanisms for cartilage repair and inhibit enzymes that break down cartilage. In the early stages of joint disease there are changes in chondroitin that affect the response of the chondrocytes (cells that form cartilage) to damage in the cartilage that surrounds the joints. When taken orally, chondroitin provides the necessary compounds for the formation of healthy tissue that otherwise may not be available due to the joint disease.
Researchers at the University of Sydney followed 605 participants (aged 45-75 years old) reporting chronic knee pain for two years in a double-blind randomized placebo controlled clinical trial.
Group 1: 1,500 mg glucosamine sulfate
Group 2: 800 mg chondroitin
Group 3: 1,500 mg glucosamine sulfate and 800 mg chondroitin
Group 4: Placebo
Group three, who received both glucosamine and chondroitin supplements on a daily basis for two years, had a statistically significant reduction (0.1mm) in joint space narrowing (JSN) when compared to the placebo group and the groups taking either glucosamine or chondroitin.
Cooper Complete Joint Health provides both glucosamine and chondroitin. Each four-capsule serving of Cooper Complete Joint Health contains 1,500 mg glucosamine and 1,200 mg chondroitin. Because these ingredients take time to work, we suggest that you take the product for two months and then evaluate if the product is providing the desired relief.
Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 is another supplement that we recommend for pain relief. Omega-3 fatty acids were originally added to our product line because EPA and DHA, the compounds in the fish oil, working together provide great heart health benefits. However, in addition to heart health benefits, studies show that omega-3 fatty acids are also a great overall inflammation fighter.
Each two-softgel serving of Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 provides 760 mg EPA and 240 DHA. Our general recommendation for people experiencing pain is to double-up the normal serving and to take four softgels daily for a few weeks to see if that provides relief. After relief is achieved, an attempt can be made to go back down to the two softgels daily and see if pain relief is maintained.
Manage a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things we can do to prevent illness and disease, enjoy a higher quality of life and live longer. Researchers have calculated that losing one pound results in a four pound reduction in knee-joint load for each step. And the long running Framingham study has found that each 11-pound weight loss (approximately two BMI units on the Body Mass Index) reduces the risk of OA by 50 percent. If you have knee pain and a body mass index of 25 or higher, losing a little bit of weight could make a big difference.
This health guideline is what makes Cooper Aerobics, Cooper Aerobics. We recommend engaging in moderate physical activity, a collective 30 minutes a day, five days a week. By “moderate intensity” you should be able to carry on a conversation, but not sing-a-song while exercising. If you talk on the phone while exercising, the person you’re talking with should be able to hear you “huffing and puffing” and that you are winded. The 30 minutes of activity can be all at once or in three blocks of 10 minutes each. Thirty minutes, five days a week is 150 minutes—which is the magic number scientifically shown to reap the benefits of heart health, prevent diabetes, cancer and other diseases, and improve quality and quantity of life. If walking on grass or a cushioned surface is uncomfortable, try an elliptical or gazelle-type machine. If an elliptical is uncomfortable, try water walking, swimming or water aerobics.
Osteoarthritis Fact Sheet, Arthritis Foundation
Weight Loss Reduces Knee-Joint Loads in Overweight and Obese Older Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis, Medscape
Glucosamine and Chondroitin for knee osteoarthritis, Annals of Rheumatic Diseases
Article provided by Jill Turner, President of Cooper Complete®.