This time of year it gets a little colder and many of us many find ourselves creaking a little more! So lets take a look at some of the best supplements for strong and mobile joints.
Turmeric- This is a fantastic anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant that has gained much coverage in recent years. Turmeric is always a useful addition to the medicine cabinet and the supplement is widely available in a variety of different strengths. There has been many studies about the molecule Curcumin which is found in turmeric which is thought to be responsible for many of this spice's medicinal effects.
MSM- Methyl sulphonyl methane, a sulphur containing compound with a special affinity for the connective tissues, skin, hair and nails. MSM is a popular supplement for joint health and is thought to help prevent the cross linking of collagen and elastin fibres, thereby preventing wrinkles.
Calcium- Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, making up about 1.5-2% of our body weight. Unsurprisingly 99% of the body's calcium can be found in the bone. Bone tissue is not inert, it is continually being built up and broken down to maintain balance between healthy bone levels and the calcium circulating in the blood.
Vitamin K- The protein osteocalcin binds calcium into the bone matrix making it essential for bone formation. Vitamin K is a necessary for the activation of osteocalcin. When there is a lack of vitamin K, Osteocalcin is inactive and cannot bind calcium to the bones. This leads to poor mineralisation of bones and an increased risk of osteoporotic fractures. Studies have shown that levels of vitamin K have been found to be low in patients with osteoporosis.
Devil's Claw (Atrosan)- A useful anti-inflammatory for the winter months, especially for people who find their conditions such as rheumatism become more aggravated with cold, damp weather.
Magnesium- Most of the magnesium in the body can be found in the bones. As in the muscles and nerves, magnesium regulates calcium in the bones and teeth. Magnesium may also increase activity of vitamin D, which also aids calcium absorption. It is generally considered that magnesium is just as important as calcium for bone health. Magnesium is also effective as a muscle relaxer. It is effective at alleviating twitches, cramps and spasms. Magnesium is also one of the minerals most commonly considered deficient in the general population.
Boswellia- This prized Ayurvedic herbal medicine is used to treat inflammatory and spasmodic conditions such as arthritis, bronchitis, bursitis and asthma.
Vitamin D- The major function of Vitamin D is to regulate Calcium and Phosphorus blood levels. Vitamin D is involved in the resorption of calcium to the kidneys and bones and the absorption of calcium from the intestines. This facilitates the healthy calcification of skeletal tissue. It is well known that a deficiency in Vitamin D causes rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Rickets is characterised by softening of the bone tissue leading to bowed legs, slowed teeth formation and bone malformation etc. Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with musculo-skeletal pain. Supplemental high doses have been used to provide anti-inflammatory benefit and relieve pain.
Boron – Boron seems to aid healthy bone formation in two ways. Firstly by improving the utilisation of calcium which is likely to be due to its oestrogenic activity – very important for post-menopausal women concerned with the health of their bones. Secondly it has been suggested that Boron helps convert Vitamin D into its most active form, which is needed for the proper absorption of Calcium.