Joint Builder ULTRA: A combination supplement for joint health

We recently heard from two NYBC members who have found Jarrow’s Joint Builder ULTRA very effective in supporting healthy joint function. Indeed, they were quite pleased with improvement in joint function within a few weeks to a month of starting to take this combination supplement. So we thought we’d review this formula a little more thoroughly.

First, here’s the list of ingredients, together with the supplier’s recommendation on dosage and how to take:

Ultra Joint Builder (Jarrow) Each bottle, 90 tablets. Each tablet, 500 mg glucosamine sulfate, 500 mg MSM, 167 mg Yucca juice extract (Yucca schidigera, 4:1), 34 mg ApresFLEX (Boswellia serrata extract, 20% 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid); 13.3 mg hyaluronic acid, 1 mg boron (citrate). Suggested use is 3 tablets per day. Studies for inflammation suggest 1.5 grams per day. Start slowly and build up the dose over a few days.

Glucosamine is the most familiar part of this formula, and plays an important and well-documented role in the body’s production of the connective tissue around joints, and the production of synovial fluid (the lubricant in joints, basically). Glucosamine thus has the potential to offset the destructive effects of arthritis and osteoarthritis. MSM, a supplement providing sulfur, also plays a role in these joint supportive processes.

The Jarrow combination also includes two botanicals that have long been used for their anti-inflammatory effects. Yucca schidigera is a medicinal plant which may have beneficial effects in the prevention and treatment of arthritis. Boswellia serrata has a long tradition of use for arthritis in the Ayurvedic tradition; some recent Western study of its effectiveness has suggested benefit, but other research has been less clear.

Note that Vitamin C is another important joint-supporting supplement, since it is required for the synthesis of collagen and cartilage; be sure that your intake of this Vitamin is adequate.

For best results with Joint Builder ULTRA, some suggest also using Jarrow’s Biosil, containing the biologically active form of silicon.

See further information in the NYBC catalog:

JOINT BUILDER ULTRA (JARROW)

and

Biosil

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Broccoli compound may help prevent or slow progression of osteoarthritis

A study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism concludes that sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, may slow the progression of osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis. Stemming from the breakdown of cartilage and bone in the joints, osteoarthritis can cause pain in the spine, hips, knees, hands and feet, and is one of the most common kinds of debility in aging populations.

The British researchers who are authors of this study noted that, while previous studies have investigated the anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties of sulforaphane, theirs is the first major research into the compound’s effects on joint health. A principal achievement of their research was to identify the mechanism by which sulforaphane blocks the enzymatic processes that are linked to the destruction of cartilage in the joints. Future clinical studies can be expected to focus on the effect of sulforaphane in the diet of those susceptible to osteoarthritis.

Note that NYBC has stocked the Jarrow product Broccomax for the past several years, particularly because of ongoing scientific interest in the potential health benefits of sulforaphane:

BROCCOMAX

The Versatile Vitamin C

Most people associate Vitamin C with help in reducing cold symptoms. Indeed studies have shown that taking high-dose Vitamin C (500- 1000mg every hour) at the first sign of a cold can shorten its duration by one-third, helping to relieve symptoms faster. Vitamin C revs up the immune system by increasing the body’s production of antibodies, white blood cells, and interferon (a natural antiviral), and so it may be effective against many infections.

But that’s not the only way Vitamin C can keep you healthy. Here’s another major benefit of this versatile vitamin:

Joint health. Vitamin C’s anti-inflammatory properties help the body maintain cartilage, the all-important connective tissue that keeps your joints working smoothly. It’s also important to note that NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), a whole group of drugs commonly used for arthritis pain, regularly deplete Vitamin C, so anyone taking these medications (which range from aspirin to prescription items like Celebrex) absolutely needs to replace the lost Vitamin C. In short, supplementing with 1000-3000mg of Vitamin C per day is essential if you’re also taking NSAIDS.

For some Vitamin C supplement choices, see NYBC’s descriptions of:

C1000- Ascorbic Acid Plus Olea

Vitamin C – Buffered

C-Esterol (Allergy Research Group)

The New York Times on turmeric (curcumin) for joint pain

Our hometown newspaper, The New York Times, has featured a report on turmeric (also known by its most active medicinal ingredient, curcumin) for joint pain. The recommending physician is Dr. Minerva Santos, director of integrative medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York:

“I use a lot of turmeric in my practice,” she said. “It’s an amazing spice. Usually what I do is I make sure nothing else is going on, that it’s just plain old inflammation from wear and tear.”

While many people may encounter turmeric only in curry dishes and South Asian restaurants, Dr. Santos advises her patients to find it in health food stores in pill or capsule form. She recommends a dose of 1,000 milligrams a day. The benefit of buying it in a bottle, she said, is that it’s usually combined with a compound called piperine, which aids absorption.

NYBC stocks Curcumin (Jarrow) in two formats:

Curcumin 500mg/60

Curcumin 500mg/120

As new studies of Curcumin have emerged, NYBC also began stocking additional forms from Vibrant Health, which add bioperine (black pepper extract) for enhanced absorption:

Curcuminoids 1000 mg/30c w/bioperine

Curcuminoids 1000 mg/60c w/bioperine

Read the full story at http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/19/the-doctors-remedy-turmeric-for-joint-pain/?hp

Adverse effects of NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

As Dr. Hyla Cass points out in her excellent book Supplement Your Prescription: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know about Nutrition, NSAIDs (including older ones such as aspirin, as well as newer ones like Celebrex), which are very widely used for arthritis pain, have the unfortunate side effect of inhibiting the enzymes needed to create cartilage. “Essentially,” she writes, “this means that the drugs used to relieve arthritis-related discomfort accelerate the progression of the disease.” (p. 86)

Indeed, as Dr. Cass goes on to note, there’s a study showing that people taking NSAIDs on a regular basis to relieve knee arthritis pain actually have a greater risk of worsening the disease over time than people who take a dummy pill! Moreover, another study showed that people taking NSAIDs for knee arthritis were at higher risk for developing arthritis in the hip or in the other knee, compared to people who did not take these drugs.

Just another reason to consider use of the supplement glucosamine chondroitin to support joint health. See additional information, including dosage recommendations, at NYBC’s Glucosamine Chondroitin entry.