Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vitamin D Deficiency Increases Risks has written before about the necessity for Vitamin D at much higher levels than previously thought to support a healthy immune system. In fact, one of our auto responders when you sign up for more information from this site, is on the effects of Vitamin D to combat oxidative stress which often manifest itself in joint pain as well as many other symptoms of degenerative disease. I take 3,800 IU's of pharmaceutical grade Vitamin D daily.

Published study, although it gets a little technical, showed that adults with low vitamin D levels had more than double the risk of pre-hypertension and pre-diabetes than adults with higher vitamin D levels.

Pre-diabetes and pre-hypertension have been associated with low vitamin D levels. In a recent issue of the journal Diabetes Care, scientists report a correlation between reduced vitamin D levels and pre-diabetes and pre-hypertension in adults. Both pre-diabetes and pre-hypertension are estimated to exist in at least one-fourth of disease-free adults.

Researchers analyzed data from 898 men and 813 women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2001-2006. Blood pressure measurements were obtained during examinations conducted upon enrollment, and blood samples were evaluated for glucose, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and other factors.

Pre-diabetes was defined as having a fasting serum glucose of between 100 and 125 milligrams per deciliter, and pre-hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 89 mmHg. Pre-diabetes was 33 percent higher among those with vitamin D levels of 76.3 nmol/l (30.5 ng/ml) or less compared to those with higher levels. Pre-hypertension was evident in 61 percent of those with the lower vitamin D levels. Participants with undiagnosed diabetes and untreated hypertension had even lower vitamin D levels on average. Serum vitamin D levels tended to decline with increasing age and body mass.

When the risk of having both conditions was considered, those with low vitamin D levels had 2.4 times the risk of that experienced by subjects with higher vitamin D levels.

It is reasonable that among those with pre-diabetes or pre-hypertension, vitamin D supplementation resulting in increased serum vitamin D levels may help reverse subtle changes in fasting serum glucose and resting blood pressure that may lead to more advanced disease states.

Source: Pre-diabetes and Pre-hypertension in Healthy Adults Are Associated With Low Vitamin D Levels. Diabetes Care March 2011 vol. 34 no. 3 658-660, Alok K. Gupta, MD, Meghan M. Brashear, MPH and William D. Johnson, PHD.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Questions on Hydrotherapy received a question from Angel: My friend has extreme knee pain and has had to give quit running and using the stair master. Another one of our friends is an advocate of doing exercise in a pool. Apparently there are a lot of older people with joint problems now using pools to run or exercise in. Do you think this is a good idea?

Yes, great idea, especially if you have joints or muscles to rehabilitate, but also very good for just plain aerobic exercise as well. Buoyancy of the human body, which can be enhanced with a life preserver or other flotation device, greatly reduces the gravity and weight on the body, muscles and joints. Try swimming or exercising in a pool for 45 minutes and see if you think it is a workout! You can even put a stationary bicycle in a pool and use it,… long as your head is above the water, ha ha.

However, this is only one aspect of a healthy life,…..remember the four legs to the Chair of Health? A person still needs to eat good foods and minimize bad foods; take high quality supplements because even the best foods won’t give you all your nutrients; and, protect themselves from a toxic environment.

In my experience, older people with degraded joints which comes from aging, can benefit very much from nutritional supplements and adding Glucosamine as a optimizer. I’m a walking, riding, stair climbing and running example of that. An Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acid supplement often also helps.

My suggestion that adding pool work would be a great idea. Try it for a few weeks and see what if does for you. Good luck.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Thanks for the Glucosamine - But Love the Phyto-Estrogen received the following e-mail from a client: Just wanted to drop you’re a note and tell you how the products are helping my wife and I. If you don’t remember me, we connected on e-mail, then on a phone call. I’m the guy who said “I’m tired of feeling sick and tired.” And you replied “hey, I use that quote all the time as a question.” You also sent me a document with the supplement ranks. Whether you remember or not, I started the products. I’m taking the adult formulation and I was able to get my wife, who tends to be a non-believer in nutritional supplements, to take the daily supplement for teenagers. I actually forgot to order the Glucosamine, but included it on my second order. Now we have been taking the daily supplements for four months and my knee pain is gone. I walk stairs at work and going downstairs hurt worse, but now can do it without any pain. I have been meaning to write but felt obligated when I found out my wife also ordered the Phyto Estrogen product (she is 48 years old) and was experiencing hot flashes and mood swings. She tells me she started out taking one tablet a day and hasn’t felt the need to take the recommended dose of 3 pills day. Do you think there will be point when I can stop taking the Glucosamine, or should I just plan on taking it forever? Thanks, Jeff, South Carolina.

Jeff, thanks for writing. I don’t often hear from people. I still see their orders clear, so I am thinking they are doing well on the products, but I appreciate the direct feedback. My wife too, uses the Phyto Estrogen product and takes only one tablet. She had previously taken estrogen pills and creams to no effect. She says her mood swings are gone and still has the occasional hot flashes but won’t increase her dose. Women!,…if you figure them out, drop me a line,…..and some instructions.

I also experienced more pain going down stairs or down hill. I think the momentum of your body carrying forward as you plant your foot stresses the knee joint and especially so when it is un-healthy. My knee pain, when going uphill, is completely gone but occasionally I get a twinge stepping down stairs but nothing near like it was.

The Glucosamine is not intended to treat the symptoms of pain from the joints pain, but rather to provide nutrients to cartilage, so even length of time you stay on the Glucosamine will make provide the nutrients intended for joint cartilage. I like the results so I will most assuredly stay on the product as long as possible. And the Comparative Guide on Supplements was an eye opener, wasn't it.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Herman's Back Pain

I recently had a prospective client, Herman who is 30 years old, come to me complaining about back pain. Herman wanted to know if the pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine would help his back. Apparently, Herman suffers from lower back pain, not constant nor chronic, but just time to time.

On a hunch I asked Herman he had regular bowel movements or was routinely constipated. Herman said that when he flies, which he does about three or four times a month, he gets constipated but did not link back pain with being constipated. I told him that sitting for a long period of time in those ridiculous airplane seats is not good for you, nor is the fact that we tend to drink much less fluids, like water, when we travel by air.

Harold told me that he has about two bowel movements a week. I about fell out of my chair. Now Herman is not a really skinny guy, so it’s not like he is only eating once a week, but I told him that he needed to have a bowel movement at least once a day. Colon impaction and toxic buildup can bring about back pain as often as sitting like a school marm in a straight backed chair.

So, rather than put Herman on our high quality Glucosamine, I gave him an information paper on Digestive Health; told him he needs about 25 grams of quality dietary fiber per day; told him that Pro-biotics and Digestive Enzymes were probably a good idea – I take both.

I also told Herman that Colon Cancer is the third most common cancer in men AND women, and just because he was only 30 years old did not mean he could not be at risk. I mentioned that there are some good foods related to colon health:

Whole grain pasta and breads. Not the white enriched stuff, but the actual whole grain product, preferably without preservatives. These are high in fiber which of course move food through the digestive track faster. These foods also have anti-oxidants which can help battle oxidative stress and therefore degenerative disease.

Strawberries. What a great little snack they are also high in fiver, Vitamin C and Folate. These nutrients are thought to also reduce colon cancer risks.

Dairy Products. Because they are high in calcium, dairy products, especially milk and yogurt are thought to help colon health. Yogurt is also a source of pro-biotics for the stomach.

Broccoli and Cauliflower. I love Broccoli, but can do without that white vegetable known as cauliflower, but these cruciferous vegetables are thought to reduce colon cancer risks.

Spinach and Asparagus.Not my favorites, but both these cruciferous vegetables are high in folate.

If anybody would like a copy of the Digestive Health article that I gave to Herman, just e-mail me and ask for it and I’ll reply back with a pdf copy.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Question About Electrical Stimulation Machines for Pain Management received a question from a reader on electronic therapy devices,……What do you think about electrical pain control machines? A friend of mine told me that her friend uses one and it helps with her back pain? I have knee pain and do not want to take any pain killers. Thanks, Teresa.

Teresa, first of all, good for you not wanting to take pain killers. I refuse to take even NSAIDS like Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen.

I think what you are thinking about with the electrical therapy devices that blocks pain is actually called a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS for short. These devices send electrical impulses through electrodes placed over your area of pain. TENS is very safe and has not side effects. And if a TENS unit works for you or anybody else and can keep you from taking pain killers, then drive by all means use it.

A decent TENS unit is designed to do several things: to work by three different methods:

- The electrical current is thought to stimulate the body's release of pain reducing endorphins.

- The electrical current is thought to intercepts pain signals before they reach the brain.

- The TENS increases blood flow in the local affected area thereby thought to increase recovery and healing time. I know a weight trainer who tells me that it helps drive lactic acid out of his muscles.

Most of the manufacturers of TENS units will tell you that you should not use the device if you have heart problems; using a pace maker; are pregnant; have seizures; or have ear hair,…..just kidding about the ear hair.

I have used a TENS quite regularly with Chiropractic care, however in the last five years I have not had the need to see my Chiropractor so I am out of the loop on the newer TENS devices.

I believe the electrical stimulation of my back muscles with the constant contraction and extension help relax my back to keep from tight muscles affecting my spinal alignment and therefore the pain. The increase blood flow to that area is sufficient reason in my mind to use a TENS.

Most people will find that 10-15 minutes a day or just a couple times a week will help. However, the TENS device is really not providing other than temporary relief. I still suggest the people take high quality nutritional supplements that can treat the cause of your pain, which in many cases is the damage from oxidative stress.

One of the high rated TENS unit is the AuraWave units (pictured above), available on-line, at K-Mart or from below.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Cactus Juice? Yeah, Right!

I recently saw a television infomercial on a cactus juice a company is marketing to reduce inflammation the root cause of many illnesses’ and diseases, including knee, back and other joint pain. While inflammation, caused by free radicals associated with oxidative stress do cause many degenerative diseases, cactus juice or any juice for that matter offers problems for the consumer. Namely, required refrigerated storage to maintain any potency and viability (bio availability and efficacy) of the product. You are still getting a food grade product that while may be manufactured under Good Manufacturing Practices it is still not a pharmaceutical grade product.

Anyway, what I found funny about the product was that is was made from Prickly Pear Cactus (called Nopol) and the infomercial showed Saguaro cactus (picture above) on the screen. These are two greatly different cactus species. The infomercial also stated that the Cactus juice was great because the cactus endures all sorts of environmental conditions,…from extreme heat to extreme cold,…..alluding to that the cactus would also do the same for humans.

The Prickly Pear or Nopol cactus is the least hardy of the cactus species being very susceptible to extreme heat and cold. In fact, a couple large Prickly Pear batches out in front of my house dies during our earlier sub 10 degree temperature.

Anyway, do I need to say it again?......Let the Buyer beware. I’m sticking to pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements because of their science and their guarantee.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Natural Foods for Joint Pain? received the following question: My friend and I are both women in our late 40's and have been working out in a gym for the past month. Neither on of us is much overweight, but can't we all lose a few pounds? I do mostly cardio and some really light weight workouts. My knees in particular are hurting for a couple days each time I use the treadmill. Another woman at the gym mentioned that there are some foods I should eat to reduce the knee pain. What do you think about that? Is there some natural foods I can eat to help my hurting knees? I'd rather not take pills. Kathy J.

Kathy, this reply will be a repeat of what I sent you on e-mail yesterday. Yes, there are some foods you can eat that may help a little with your knee pain,...not because these foods specifically target knee or other joint pain but because these foods are high in nutrients which you body needs to have a healthy immune system to fight off oxidative damage which can manifest itself in knee pain, joint pain or many other problems. And in fact eating healthy is one of the legs of the Chair of Health.

I like fresh darker fruits like blackberries, blue berries, dark grapes and fresh vegetables - buy the veggies you like so you'll be more inclined to eat them. Boiling or high heat cooking leaches many of the nutrients out of the fruit or vegetable. It is really hard to buy fresh produce high in nutrients unless you gt to a local farmers market. In some cases frozen vegetables and fruits are better. Some manufacturers freeze the produce right after it is picked therefore controlling nutrient loss.

Foods like olive oil, fish, and some grains like flax have a higher concentrate of Omega 3 fatty acids which is particular good for the joints. Omega 3 is a standard ingredient in my joint pain supplement routine and optimizes the Glucosamine I take daily.

I don't understand why you don't like pills. Did you have a bad experience with a supplement or medication in the past? Do you have a hard time taking pills or tablets? I put one of my clients on our supplements when he had a stomach tube. He crushed up his tablets and got them into his gut that way. He was pretty hard core, refusing additional chemo treatment and determined to make himself healthy in a more natural way.

Since it sounds like your knee pain started when you started at the gym, lasts for a couple days after the exercise that puts the most strain on them, then goes away, I think you would benefit from the pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine and maybe even the Omega 3 fatty acids that I take. I'll never go without them for the rest of my life - that is how much they have changed my life for the better. You may think about ice and heat therapy after your cardio periods as well....but this is more to manage pain then to make those joints better. Anyway - good luck to you.

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Haybert's Diabetes and Bad Knees

A gentleman named Haybert (not his real name) came to see me the other day, telling me that one of my clients, Ron, was telling Haybert he needed to take the Glucosamine product for his knees as Ron started months ago and now has eliminated his knee pain where he can run again.

Haybert asked me about the product, then told me he also has diabetes type II. I told Haybert that his adult onset diabetes was largely a controllable disease and in fact, many, many people have eliminated their Diabetes type II symptoms through good nutrition and life style changes.

Haybert said he wasn't too worried about his diabetes because he gets the appropriate medical support from his medical insurance carrier and a local diabetes clinic.

So I then told him that the same root causes of his knee pain are part of the same problem that brought about his Adult Onset Diabetes, and that root cause was oxidative stress and free radical damage from a poor diet and lack of nutrients to his body.

Haybert said he wasn't interested in "any of that", just wanted to know if the same "knee pain pills" that Ron is taking would help his bad knees as well.

I said yes, the pharmaceutical grade glucosamine would most likely help his knees and was worth the cost (less than $30 a month) to find out in a 30 to 60 day trial. I also said that he can optimize the best results by losing alittle weight (he is about 50 lbs overweight); eating better foods and reducing bad foods, and taking a high quality nutritional supplement so the glucosamine can be optimized and his body can get the nutrients it needs to combat oxidative stress.

Well, what I learned from the exchange with Haybert is that I must have given him too much information and from this he envisioned too big of a change in his lifestyle for his comfort. He said, "well, I'll think about trying the knee pain pills out and get back to you."

I'm not holding my breath. You can only help people who are willing to help themselves.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reader Question on Joint Juice

We received the following question from a reader of this site: Have you ever used Joint Juice? I saw it on Television then researched it on the internet and it seems like it may be a good solution to my knee pain. It is a liquid and therefore better absorbed. Jeff, Tampa Bay , Florida . P.S. Joe Montana is endorsing Joint Juice so it must be good. response to Joint Juice. While I like Joe Montana and use to watch him on NFL Sundays, I doubt very much Joe understands the difference between food grade products and high quality supplements.

Being a liquid has nothing to do with it's absorption rate, as the product consumed is broken down in the stomach and absorbed in the intestines.

Even if the purity, potency, absorption rate (dissolution) and efficacy between products were all the same, and they are NOT, as this is what separates pharmaceutical grade products from all others, the Joint Juice product provides 1,500 mg of Glucosamine and 60 mg of Vitamin C per daily dose compared to what I take which provides 2,000 mg of Glucosamine and 300 mg of Vitamin C not to mention 500 mg of Turmeric Extract which optimizes the Glucosamine.

And if you have been reading this site for awhile you will remember that Vitamin C is an important nutrient for the joints, especially for connective tissue. Good luck to you, but remember,...proof is in the pudding - let the buyer beware.

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