12 Good Reasons to Use Turmeric
*Turmeric should not to be given to dogs prone to kidney stones. Turmeric isn't suppose to be given with blood thinners.
We do not recommend taking turmeric with other NSAIDS, including aspirin.
Curcumin or Turmeric?
I'm confused about curcumin and turmeric. I have the impression that curcumin, not turmeric, has been studied and that you can't cook with curcumin, but you can get it as a supplement that costs about the same as turmeric supplements. If you're going to supplement, which do you recommend, turmeric or curcumin? And why?
In addition to its use as a culinary spice, turmeric has been used traditionally in India as a disinfectant and treatment for laryngitis, bronchitis, and diabetes. Turmeric is derived from the rhizomes (underground stems) of the plant Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family. It is responsible for the yellow color of Indian curry and American mustard. Curcumin, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is the most active constituent of turmeric.
Population studies have shown that elderly villagers in India appear to have the lowest rate of Alzheimer's disease in the world, and researchers have speculated that the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin may be partly responsible. (Alzheimer's begins as an inflammatory process in the brain, and Indians eat turmeric with almost every meal). So far, however, I've seen no evidence of benefit from curcumin supplementation in Alzheimer's patients.
Other studies of turmeric and curcumin have shown the following benefits:
· Turmeric extract worked as well as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee in a study published in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
· Laboratory studies suggest that curcumin acts as a weak phytoestrogen and seems to have cancer protective effects.
· Lab studies have also shown that curcumin induces programmed death of colon cancer cells, and clinical trials are investigating the use of curcumin in treatment of colon cancer.
· Curcumin suppresses microinflammation in the GI tract associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
I frequently recommend turmeric supplements, and I believe whole turmeric is more effective than isolated curcumin for inflammatory disorders, including arthritis, tendonitis, and autoimmune conditions. Take 400 to 600 milligrams of turmeric extracts (available in tablets or capsules) three times per day or as directed on the product label. Look for products standardized for 95% curcuminoids. Neither curcumin nor turmeric taken orally is well absorbed unless taken with black pepper or piperine, a constituent of black pepper responsible for its pungency. When shopping for supplements, make sure that the one you choose contains black pepper extract or piperine. (If you're cooking with turmeric, be sure to add some black pepper to the food.). Be patient when taking turmeric supplements: the full benefits may not be apparent for eight weeks.
Don't use turmeric if you have gallstones or bile duct dysfunction. Pregnant women shouldn't use it without their doctors' approval. In rare cases, extended use can cause stomach upset or heartburn. (Note that piperine can slow the elimination of some prescription drugs including phenytoin [Dilantin], propranolol [Inderal], and theophylline.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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Chondroitin is a molecule that occurs naturally in the body. It is a major component of cartilage, the tough, connective tissue that cushions the joints. Commercial chondroitin comes from natural sources, such as shark and bovine cartilage, or synthetic production. Chondroitin helps keep cartilage healthy by absorbing fluid (particularly water) into the connective tissue. It may also block enzymes that break down cartilage, and it provides the building blocks for the body to produce new cartilage.
A number of scientific studies suggest that chondroitin may be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a type of arthritis characterized by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage, either due to injury or to normal wear and tear. It commonly occurs as people age. In some studies, chondroitin supplements have decreased the pain of OA. Not all studies are positive, though, and several have not shown any beneficial effect from taking chondroitin. It is not clear why the studies have different findings, and experts disagree on whether chondroitin is helpful in treating OA.
In the past, some researchers thought chondroitin may actually slow progression of the disease, unlike other current medical treatments for OA. (Many people take either acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, for OA pain). So far studies have not shown conclusively that chondroitin helps repair or grow new cartilage, or stops cartilage from being further damaged. Chondroitin is often taken with glucosamine, another supplement that has been studied along with chondroitin for OA. Like chondroitin, glucosamine also has conflicting results.
Results from several well-designed scientific studies suggest that chondroitin supplements may be an effective treatment for OA, particularly OA of the knee or hip, though one recent review of several studies found no benefit from use of chondroitin alone. In general, findings from these studies suggest that chondroitin:
However, the largest clinical trial so far, the 2006 Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, showed conflicting and somewhat confusing results. The study of about 1,600 people with OA of the knee found that glucosamine and chondroitin did not reduce pain in the overall group, although it did appear to reduce pain among those with moderate-to-severe OA of the knee. The study has raised questions for further research. Since glucosamine and chondroitin were combined in this study, it is not possible to determine the effect of chondroitin alone. In addition, researchers are now studying whether the glucosamine chondroitin combination may help those with more severe OA.
A second phase of the study in 2008 looked at some participants who continued with the study for another 28 months. They were tested to see whether glucosamine or chondroitin (together or alone) slowed the loss of cartilage in their knees. They showed no difference in cartilage loss compared with people who took placebo. But all groups, those taking placebo, those taking both supplements, and those taking only one supplement, lost less cartilage than expected.
Results continue to be mixed. One analysis of a number of studies found smaller trials tended to find that chondroitin was effective, while larger, more thorough studies tended to find that it was not.
Most studies show that chondroitin needs to be taken for 2 to 4 months before subjects experience benefits, although you may notice some improvement sooner. Glucosamine and chondroitin can be used along with NSAIDs to treat OA.
Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found in pineapples (Ananas comosus) that digest protein (proteolytic). Pineapple has been used for centuries in Central and South America to treat indigestion and reduce inflammation. Bromelain, which is derived from the stem and juice of the pineapple, was first isolated from the pineapple plant in the late 1800s. The German Commission E approved bromelain to treat swelling and inflammation after surgery, particularly sinus surgery.
Bromelain can be used to treat a number of conditions. But it is particularly effective in reducing inflammation from infection and injuries.
Surgery, Sprains and Strains, and Tendinitis
Although studies show mixed results, bromelain may reduce swelling, bruising, healing time, and pain after surgery and physical injuries. It is often used to reduce inflammation from tendinitis, sprains and strains, and other minor muscle injuries. Studies of people having dental, nasal, and foot surgeries found it reduced inflammation. In Europe, bromelain is used to treat sinus and nasal swelling following ear, nose, and throat surgery or trauma.
Wounds and Burns
Studies in animals suggest that bromelain, when applied to the skin, may be useful in removing dead tissue from third-degree burns, a process called debridement. One preliminary study of a debridement agent that is derived from bromelain to treat people with second- and third-degree burns showed a benefit. Severe burns require a doctor's care. Do not apply bromelain to broken skin.
Studies show mixed results. But one study suggested that a combination of bromelain, rutosid, and trypsin worked as well for reducing knee pain from osteoarthritis as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are commonly used pain relievers. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and diclofenac (Voltaren), among others.
Preliminary research suggests that bromelain has anti-tumor properties, and may enhance the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy drugs. More research is needed.
Bromelain is found in the common pineapple plant, but not in high enough doses to act as medicine
Green Lipped Mussel/Perna
Perna canaliculus, or green-lipped mussel, is an edible shellfish found off the shores of New Zealand. It has been commercially available as a food supplement in the United States since 1975. Perna mussel, was for centuries, a major part of the diet in local populations of New Zealand. The reported incidence of arthritic and rheumatic disorders was extremely low among coastal New Zealanders compared to those living inland.
Published reports are consistent in their findings that Perna mussel produces an anti-inflammatory response. A Clemson University study found that Perna was effective in reducing the onset of rheumatoid arthritis as well as reversing it in mice and rats. Out of eighteen test animals with arthritis that were fed Perna mussel, only three developed arthritis compared to 10 out of 15 in the control group. Another study found that the green-lipped mussel was effective in reducing pain, swelling, and stiffness in 60 human patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. A French study using 53 patients suffering from osteoarthritis in the knee reported that the Perna extract was "well tolerated by the participants with no adverse conditions reported."
Ongoing research in both humans and animals continue to show that the use of green-lipped mussel is, when used as directed, an effective supplement for the management of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Perna mussel has been successful in managing degenerative joint diseases and arthritis in both human and veterinary health fields: it contains natural anti-inflammatory agents and many essential building blocks needed to rebuild the necessary components in joints. It also is reported to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation associated with arthritis and improve joint mobility.
Key Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid Supplementation
Hyaluronic acid is to ease the flexing of joints, knees and fingers, by restoring cushioning to the joints.
Basic Functions of Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic Acid is present in every tissue of the body. It is most concentrated in the synovial fluid which bathes the joints, in the vitreous fluid in the eye, and in the skin. Retention of water is one of the most important biological functions of hyaluronic acid,1 second only to providing nutrients and removing waste from cells that do not have a direct blood supply, such as cartilage cells. With a lower than adequate amount of hyaluronic acid, nutrients cannot be moved into these cells and waste cannot be eliminated from cells. Hyaluronic acid is sometimes abbreviated as HA.
Hyaluronic Acid is Found in Synovial Joint Fluid
Joints (like the elbows and knees) are surrounded by a membrane called the synovial membrane, which forms a capsule around the ends of the bones. This membrane secretes a liquid called the synovial fluid. Basically, the synovial fluid is found in joint cavities. It has many functions, including serving as a lubricant, shock absorber and a nutrient carrier. The fluid protects the joints and bones. Cartilage is immersed in the synovial fluid and is a fibrous connective tissue. Cartilage is avascular, meaning it contains no blood vessels. This is why the synovial fluid is so important. Synovial fluid is the only way in which nutrients can be carried into the cartilage and waste can be removed.
Hyaluronic Acid is a Key Component of Cartilage
Cartilage is a specialized form of connective tissue. Hyaline cartilage is the most predominant form of cartilage in the body. It lends strength and flexibility to the body. A key component of cartilage is hyaluronic acid. Cartilage is also avascular – with no blood vessels. Nutrients are brought by the synovial fluid, which is rich in hyaluronic acid to the cartilage, which is also hyaluronicacid rich.
Physicians have injected hyaluronic acid directly into the synovial fluid in the knee as a treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee for the past 20 years. There are many peer-reviewed articles written on the use of hyaluronic acid extracted from rooster combs for this purpose.
Read about MSM here
The natural anti-inflammatory herb is ideal for stiff joints. Health care providers use Devil's Claw root to treat loss of appetite, rheumatism, arthritis, fever, myalgia, tendonitis, gastrointestinal problems, and liver and gallbladder problems.
There is a great range of dose with Devil’s Claw, and I tend to start low and work up. Most owners use a standardized extract, and my recommendation if using one of these is start with a 250 mg capsule for a small dog, 500 for a medium and up to 1000 daily for a giant breed dog. Side effects if giving too much can include diarrhea, but I have yet to see that at these levels.
Many dog lovers are aware of the great value Devil’s Claw has as an anti-inflammatory agent , in osteoarthritis. But it’s uses go beyond this to include all types of muscle pain,and some forms of digestive upset – although it should not be used with ulcer, it is a bitter tonic and can help dyspepsia and inappetance related to GI upset or chronic pain. Not THE most versatile herb; just one of the best at what it does. It helps your dog feel better without NSAIDs. It works, and it’s safe. Some drug contraindications apply – cardiac medication and anti-arrythmics in particular, but also anticoagulants; check with your vet if your dog is on any of these.
Yucca is an all-natural steroidal supplement. Its therapeutic components include saponins which are anti-inflammatory agents that act through specific receptor proteins in the cytoplasm of responsive cells. Yucca reduces pain with minimal gastric side effects. It is used for arthritis and other joint problems, soft tissue swelling, and certain digestive problems. Yucca also is said to promote circulation through damaged tissue, reducing waste build-up while also helping in the removal of waste from the liver and kidneys. The increased circulation also provides more tissue-repairing nutrients.
Boswellia has been studied alone and in combination with another potent anti-inflammatory herb, curcumin, for osteoarthritis. In a September 2011 study published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, boswellia and curcumin were compared to the prescription arthritis drug celecoxib (one brand name is Celebrex) in individuals with osteoarthritis. The herb combination provided better pain relief and distance walked without pain, and equaled the drug for improving joint flexibility.
Boswellia has also been shown in preliminary research to be effective at reducing swelling around brain tumors, most recently in an August 2011 study published in Cancer.
Activates genetic expression
Research has shown that age and environment can cause certain genes in the body to go to “sleep.” Some of these genes direct the body to suppress tumors (cancer). That is why cancer risk increases with age—some of the body’s defense mechanisms are inactive. One group of researchers from Baylor University presented a study at the International Meeting of the American Gastroenterological Association in May of 2011 demonstrating that boswellia “wakes up” these sleeping genes.
A study performed in 2004 shows that boswellia is an herb that lives up to its reputation. In Switzerland 24 dogs with chronic joint pain were administered a dose of boswellia once a week for 6 weeks. After just a couple weeks 71 percent of the dogs showed improvement. The researchers noted that improvement was gradual but boswellia did seem to help reduce local pain and stiff gaits. Dog owners should be wary of supplements not backed by research, but boswellia is one herb that seems to work.
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Easing Joint Pain
Sea cucumber is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a number of health problems, including fatigue, impotence and joint pain. Sea cucumber contains high levels of chondroitin sulfate, a major component of cartilage. The loss of chondroitin sulfate is associated with arthritis and taking sea cucumber extract may help to reduce the joint pain associated with this condition.
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Some laboratory tests show that feverfew can reduce inflammation, so researchers thought it might help treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, a human study found that feverfew did not work any better than placebo in improving RA symptoms.
Scutellaria baicalensis , also called Chinese skullcap, is a member of the mint family and has long been used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine . Chinese skullcap has been incorporated in herbal formulas designed to treat such widely varying conditions as cancer, liver disease, allergies, skin conditions, and epilepsy. The root is the part used medicinally.
Note: Chinese skullcap is substantially different from American skullcap ( Scutellaria lateriflora ).
What is Chinese Skullcap Used for Today?
The root of Chinese scullcap contains the flavonoids baicalin, wogonin, and baicalein, and most studies have involved these substances rather than the whole herb.
Highly preliminary evidence suggest that baicalin can enhance the activity of antibiotics against antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. Other highly preliminary evidence suggests that baicalin, wogonin, and baicalein may have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, liver-protective, anti-anxiety, and antihypertensive effects.
Cetyl myristoleate (cmo)
Cetyl myristoleate (CMO) is the common name for cis-9-cetyl myristoleate, a relative of the Omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil. It is a completely natural medium chain fatty acid found in certain animals, including cows, whales, beavers, and mice -- but not in people. It has multiple biological properties, including as an anti-inflammatory and a pain reliever, as well as being an immune system modulator.
CMO was discovered in 1972 by Harry W. Diehl, Ph.D., a researcher at the National Institutes of Health. At the time, Dr. Diehl was responsible for testing anti-inflammatory drugs on lab animals. In order for him to test the drugs, he first had to artificially induce arthritis in the animals by injecting a heat-killed bacterium called Freund's adjuvant health supplement. Dr. Diehl discovered that Swiss albino mice did not get arthritis after injection of Freund's adjuvant health supplement.
Eventually, he was able to determine that cetyl myristoleate was the factor present naturally in mice that was responsible for this protection. When CMO was injected into various strains of rats, it offered the same protection against arthritis. In fact, there have been three notable studies on humans.
The first double blind study was conducted in 1997 under the auspices of the Joint European Hospital Studies Program. Of the 106 people who received cetyl myristoleate, 63% showed improvement VS just 15% for the 226 people in the placebo group.
Cetyl Myristoleate is a unique fatty acid ester that is incorporated into the lipid layers of the cell membrane. Cetyl Myristoleate is often referred to as nature's WD-40 for joints because of its lubricating qualities.
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White Willow Bark
White Willow Bark is an analgesic. In dogs, white willow bark can be used for the control of pain and inflammation.
In 1828, European chemists extracted the substance salicin from white willow, which was soon purified to salicylic acid. Chemists later modified salicylic acid (this time from the herb meadowsweet) to create acetylsalicylic acid, or aspirin. Willow bark contains salicin and can be considered a natural form of aspirin. It is used for pain relief and anti-inflammatory action. In people, the tea seems more effective than the powdered herb. Salicin is converted by the body to salicylic acid, which means that the side effects of chemically produced aspirin (specifically gastrointestinal ulcers) could occur with willow bark. However, a very large amount of the herb is required to get the same dose of active ingredient. Also, white willow is reportedly not particularly hard on the stomach. This may be due to the fact that most of the salicylic acid in white willow is present in chemical forms that are only converted to salicylic acid after absorption into the body. Salicin is slowly absorbed in the intestines. This means that it takes longer for relief to occur after taking willow bark, but that the effects are longer lasting than salicylic acid.
Arthritis is an affliction that generally manifests as inflammation of the joints that occurs when the cartilage that protects the bones wears down. The two major causes for arthritis are caused by wear and tear of the cartilage through constant use or trauma which is generally known as osteoarthritis, and also through inflammatory immune responses (rheumatoid arthritis). Both types of arthritis result in pain, swelling, and general stiffness.
Those who are diagnosed with arthritis, are often offered over the counter medications which can help the patient reduce feelings of pain and inflammation. Sometimes, certain prescription medications may also be prescribed. Exercise and physical therapy is also another common way to help reduce pain and stiffness. Unfortunately, most types of arthritis have no cure, however, research has uncovered some natural methods of helping to better deal with cases and symptoms of arthritis.
A Natural Supplement for Bones & Joints
Sarsaparilla is a natural source for rich nutrients such as vitamin A, B-Complex, C, and D as well as minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine, and amino acids as well as fatty acids. Additionally, sarsaparilla roots are known for having excellent anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce some of the inflammation and pain related to arthritis.
An important thing to remember is that flax is made up of mostly ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which is an omega 3 fatty acid.
While that might sound good, it’s not so good for your dog because his body has to work twice as hard to convert ALA to EPA and DHA in order for him to take advantage of it’s benefits, and unfortunately, this is not easy for dogs.
Flaxseed can also cause allergic reactions. It's ok if used in combination with other herbs, fish oils and supplements, do not give this alone.
Ginger's antispasmodic property makes it a good herbal pain remedy for stomach pain, and lower back pain. Used topically, ginger can be made into a poultice for the treatment of muscle pains and strains. Ginger is also a blood thinner, which which may help reduce angina episodes by lowering cholesterol. The increase in blood flow helps relieve abdominal cramps and open the pelvis to bring on menstruation. Ginger can be used safely to treat a wide range of health problems, from simple nausea to arthritis. The aspect I most appreciate about ginger is what a good supporting player it is in herbal formulas. Ginger combines well with many herbs, improving taste and potency. Ginger speeds up the delivery of healthy plant chemicals into the bloodstream.
Amalaki (Embilica officinalis) is a potent rejuvenative that nourishes the tissues and gently removes toxins. It is generally taken in place of Triphala by those with excess heat in the digestive tract. Amalaki's cooling action removes excess pitta from the GI tract, supporting a healthy stomach lining and the proper function of digestive acids. It also cleanses the colon, eliminating excess toxins and heat while supporting healthy bowel movements. Amalaki is a highly concentrated source of antioxidants and is deeply nourishing to the body tissues. It promotes healthy eyes, bones, blood, teeth, hair and nails, while supporting the proper function of the liver, spleen, pancreas, heart and lungs.
Corydalis ambigua- corydalis is a herbal remedy that comes from the system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) where it is known by the name Yan Hu Suo and is widely used for pain relief. Corydalis is traditionally used as a blood stimulant and analgesic for the relief of pain from injury.
Manganese is necessary for enzyme utilization, lactation, normal reproduction, bone, cartilage and collagen growth, fat and protein assimilation, blood sugar regulation, healthy nerves and immune systems, and normal functioning of the pituitary gland (that regulates all of the other glands).
It is needed for utilization of thiamine and vitamin E.
Small amounts only needed.
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The primary use for BioPerine is as a catalyst for essential nutrients. BioPerine speeds up the gastrointestinal process, enhancing the beneficial effects of supplements and herbs. Research indicates that in small doses, BioPerine is nontoxic and safe for use in canines.
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme that repairs cells and reduces the damage done to them by superoxide, the most common free radical in the body. SOD is found in both the dermis and the epidermis, and is key to the production of healthy fibroblasts (skin-building cells).
Studies have shown that SOD acts as both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in the body.
Superoxide Dismutase has also been used to treat arthritis, prostate problems, corneal ulcers, burn injuries, inflammatory diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, and long-term damage from exposure to smoke and radiation, and to prevent side effects of cancer drugs. In its topical form, it may help to reduce facial wrinkles, scar tissue, heal wounds and burns, lighten dark or hyperpigmentation, and protect against harmful UV rays.
SOD is found in barley grass, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, wheatgrass, and most green plants. The body needs plenty of vitamin C and copper to make this natural antioxidant and this substance must be absorbed in the small intestines, so it is important to choose oral supplements that are either enteric coated or sublingual in order to bypass the stomach acid that destroys SOD before it can be absorbed by the body.
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**Canine Arthritis And Joint is intended for informational, educational and entertainment purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or treat any health condition. You should always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect your pet might have a health problem. The opinions expressed by Canine Arthritis And Joint are not to be replaced for medical care. This website and the information contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and opinions on Canine Arthritis And Joint are not intended and cannot be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This applies to people and pets!
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