Almost all people over the age of 40 have some chronic degenerative changes in their joints. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy states that osteoarthritis becomes universal by age 70. Knees, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, ankles, bones in the feet and the over 200 bone surfaces in the back are all prey to degenerative changes in the joints. This is a huge problem and yet there are many things we can do to prevent and even reverse osteoarthritis.
Commonly prescribed over-the-counter medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs provide temporary relief, but many people don’t know these drugs have dangerous side effects. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, joint and liver problems, and even death. 16,500 people die each year from the negative side effects of taking NSAIDs. On the other hand, the nutrients suggested by Dr. Godo provide a variety of positive side effects and in some cases are cardio (heart) protective.
Healthy joints mean healthy cartilage. We have cells in our cartilage called chondrocytes, and these cells build new cartilage but at the same time chew or break down the damaged /aged cartilage. So growth and destruction are taking place simultaneously. It’s a healthy balance. But when the destructive phase exceeds the growth phase there is a greater amount of damaged or aged cartilage present; friction occurs, pain is experienced and ultimately degeneration.
Normally, cartilage is slippery. It is valuable to assure your bones glide easily across each other. Cartilage is also a shock absorber to protect you from injury. To imagine how slippery the cartilage between your joints can be, think of 2 perfectly smooth, slightly wet, ice cubes rubbing together. They effortlessly glide quickly and easily without catching or tearing. Now imagine a substance 5-8 times more slippery than ice. That’s your cartilage. No man made substance can compare to the low-friction and shock absorbing properties of healthy cartilage.
Clinicians use many effective strategies to treat osteoarthritis. Some recommend minerals, antioxidants, fish oil or even hormones. But here, I’d like to focus on how you can feed your joints with purified chondroitin sulfates. The beauty of using a Wellness approach is that when we feed our joints we are also feeding other areas of our body. I know we are talking about osteoarthritis; but often when we feed the body in one way, we inadvertently support other organs.
Dr. Lester Morrison used purified chondroitin sulfates for patients with documented heart disease back in the late 70’s. He was interested in the effects that purified chondroitin sulfates had on certain fractions of cholesterol and was hoping he could help patients increase their cardiovascular health. In a six year study, Dr. Morrison using purified chondroitin sulfates showed significant results in coronary health involving 120 patients with arteriosclerosis.
Let’s look at the results. Of 60 patients that were treated with purified chondroitin sulfates, only 6 suffered coronary events resulting in 4 deaths. A comparable group, also of 60 people using “conventional” medical therapy, resulted in 42 coronary events and 14 deaths. These are dramatic results, and they were achieved by using purified chondroitin sulfates daily. Imagine taking a supplement for your joints and your arteries become more flexible.
We use the term “purified” because most other forms of chondroitin available are from beef trachea and contain collagen, making it difficult to digest, which will limit its absorption significantly.
Studies like this are exciting because they highlight the willingness and ability of the body to repair itself. When Dr. Godo makes nutrient recommendations, realize the benefits are far reaching; for example by supplementing with essential fatty acids to reduce pain, chances are you will probably find your skin improves. Fix your digestion and you will notice your hair and nails have new luster. The same is true for supplementation to feed your joints. Daily use of purified chondroitin sulfates, while highly effective for improving joint health, support coronary health and other areas of your body as well.
Dr. Jason Godo, DC