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Supplements for Inflammation and Pain Relief

Pain, Inflammation, Joint disorders | July 24, 2019 | Author: Naturopath

Inflammation, migraine, Pain

Supplements for Inflammation and Pain Relief

Inflammation is not always obvious. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune, arthritis and Irritable bowel disease are all associated with chronic inflammation. Reducing inflammation in the body can help reduce the symptoms of these and other disorders.

There are a number of supplements available but finding the right one (or two) which is right for you can be confusing. Following are some suggestions for the reduction of inflammation.

Boswellia (Boswellia serrata)

Boswellia shows anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties with studies showing its benefits for conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and bowel diseases. Acidic components within the resin contribute to the anti-inflammatory action of Boswellia. Boswellia is often combined with other natural anti-inflammatory supplements. It has been found to reduce pain and increase joint mobility. Look for quality products which state the level of boswellic acid (active ingredient) it contains.

Curcumin (Curcuma longa)

Curcumin is an active ingredient obtained from turmeric which has many studies over many years verifying its  benefit as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidatant. Oxidative stress has been implicated in pathophysiology of chronic disease and closely associated with inflammation. 

Curcumin (Curcuma longa)Arthritis. Curcumin was found to reduce symptoms associated with inflammation and pain in arthritis after 8 -12 weeks of use at 1000mg/day of curcumin.

Metabolic syndrome. In conditions associated with this condition – obesity, insulin resistance, hyperglycaemia, hypertension, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and elevated triglyceride levels, curcumin was found to reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

It achieved this by improving insulin sensitivity, suppressing adipogenesis, reducing blood pressure, inflammation and oxidative stress.  Curcumin was also found to modulate lipoprotein metabolism (balance cholesterol and triglyceride levels). Obesity and being over-weight are associated with low-grade inflammation.

Muscle soreness. Curcumin can help relieve exercise-induced muscle inflammation and muscle soreness.

General Health. Using Curcumin everyday was found to provide health benefits for people without diagnosed health conditions, by supporting the maintenance of health functions.

Curcumin has a high-safety record but some people have experienced stomach upset, nausea, dizziness or diarrhea. This can often be addressed by changing dose or product type. Consumers should adhere to recommended dose of chosen product and check with their healthcare provider for medical/medicine interactions before use.

The following product types have shown the best obsorbency.

  • Curcumin with Black pepper (Piper nigrum). Black pepper contains an alkaloid known as piperine, combined  with curcumin has shown to increase bioavailability.
  • Curcumin in nano emulsion. Nano particles of curcumin Theracurmin (30 mg), when administered orally, resulted in 27-fold higher absorption than that of curcumin powder.
  • Liposomal encapsulation. Liposomes are considered effective drug carriers because of their ability to make soluble normally insoluble compounds resulting in better absorption. Liposomal curcumin was found to have faster and higher absorbency. 

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

Use Siberian ginseng for its anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, anti-fatigue, anti-ulcer properties and  cardiovascular health support.

White willow bark (Salix sp.)

Willow bark contains salicylic acid and its derivative salicin; flavonoids and polyphenols. The anti-inflammatory activity of willow bark extract is associated with down-regulation of the inflammatory mediator’s tumor necrosis factor-α and nuclear factor-kappa B. Willow is beneficial for lower back pain, osteoarthritis and joint pain.

Devils Claw (Harpogophytum procombens)

This herb offers supportive treatment of inflammatory and degenerative diseases of the skeletal system.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)Ginger modulates biochemical pathways activated in chronic inflammation. It can be helpful for relieving skeletal, digestive and menstrual pain and inflammation, and as an adjunct to treatment for migraine headaches.

Really, there are numerous studies on the benefits of ginger and any number of conditions of pain and inflammation may be helped by ginger.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Chamomile is particularly helpful for inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal system. Chamomile contains flavonoids amongst many other active metabolites which help modulate many inflammatory pathways.

Propolis

The biological activity of propolis is attributed to its polyphenols, offering anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. Propolis does show anti-inflammatory properties in both acute and chronic inflammatory processes. Propolis may help with diabetic complications, wound healing and shows antibacterial action against Streptococcus sp and Helicobacter pylori, implicated in stomach ulcers.

Nutrients

Low -grade inflammation and oxidative stress may be reduced by intake of certain nutrients. These include long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and bioflavonoids. Conditions of inflammation and oxidative stress can also be worsened by deficiency of nutrients.

Omega 3

Fish and flaxseed oils are rich in omega-3 PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) with protective functions. The major fatty acids contained in the fish oil supplement are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the long chain members of the omega-3 family. Flaxseed oil is mainly composed of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the parent omega-3 PUFA. Omega 3’s increases the production of anti-inflammatory mediators which help reduce pain and inflammation. PUFAs are slower in action due to their support of cellular phospholipid membranes so are best for use in chronic pain conditions.

Magnesium

Low levels of magnesium in the body has been implicated with many chronic inflammatory conditions. There is convincing evidence that magnesium deficiency contributes significantly to chronic low-grade inflammation which is a risk factor for a variety of pathological conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Obesity and over-weight individuals may require a higher amount of magnesium.

AntioxidantsAntioxidants

A reduced intake or production of antioxidants can result in higher amount of damaging free radicals, and this can lead to various inflammatory associated diseases. 

Free radicals can be produced internally from metabolic processes or externally from environmental sources.

Flavonoids and trace minerals - copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese and selenium are needed for optimal functioning of the antioxidant system in the body.

Supporting the body through antioxidant supplement can help with reducing inflammation.

  • Pycnogenol (Pinus pinaster) extract exerts antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective effects.
     
  • Resveratrol – Low grade inflammation plays a significant role in the development of obesity-related insulin resistance. Polyphenols found in grape products reduced obesity-mediated chronic inflammation to prevent metabolic diseases.
     
  • Green Tea - epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) offers potent antioxidants with supporting anti-inflammatory pathways.
     
  • Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) is polyphenol-enriched with strong antioxidant activity.
     
  • Vitamin C -  can support immune mediators, repair damaged tissue, reduce the inflammation and oxidation.

It is important to check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplemental medicine to avoid possible interactions.

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References

Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcuminoid-piperine combination in subjects with metabolic syndrome: A randomized controlled trial and an updated meta-analysis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25618800

Recent Developments in Delivery, Bioavailability, Absorption and Metabolism of Curcumin: the Golden Pigment from Golden Spice https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3918523/

Boswellia Serrata, A Potential Anti-inflammatory Agent: An Overview https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309643/

A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, cross over study to evaluate the analgesic activity of Boswellia serrata in healthy volunteers using mechanical pain model https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4175880/

Effects of Boswellia serrata gum resin in patients with bronchial asthma: results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-week clinical study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9810030

Molecular targets of the antiinflammatory Harpagophytum procumbens (devil's claw): inhibition of TNFα and COX-2 gene expression by preventing activation of AP-1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22072539

Effect of Zingiber officinale R. rhizomes (ginger) on pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea: a placebo randomized trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22781186

Ginger in gastrointestinal disorders: A systematic review of clinical trials. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30680163

Double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial of ginger ( Zingiber officinale Rosc.) addition in migraine acute treatment. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29768938

Antioxidant Phytochemicals for the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Diseases https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/20/12/19753/htm

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