Supplement Perspectives

The Benefits of Addressing Joint Discomfort

It is a giant concern, writes Dean Mosca, president of Proprietary Nutritionals, Inc., one that the natural products industry is ready to help with.

The slippery slope for pain relief notably from aging joints frequently starts in pharmacy aisles with over-the-counter NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. Despite major risks associated with these drugsgastric bleeding, anyone?a recent survey shows that 1 in 6 people report taking the maximum dose of these medications, while 3 percent admit to taking as many as needed regardless of the recommended dosage on the package.

Natural ingredients, backed by research, could be an effective way for dealing with these troubling statistics. 

According to David Foreman, R.Ph., known as the Herbal Pharmacist, more than a third of patients do not discuss their aches and pains with a doctor or a pharmacist, resulting in self-overdosing of OTC pain medications. 

On October 12, 2010, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) released results of a poll, as part of its campaign to influence people living with chronic pain to seek solutions. Nearly 70 percent of Americans say that they or someone they care for experienced pain in the previous 30 days, and more than 76 million Americans live with pain every day. Chronic pain affects more Americans than cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined, according to AOA.

In the AOA release, Dr. Robert I. Danoff of Philadelphias Aria Health System says, "Chronic pain is a very serious and unaddressed public health issue, and many people are reluctant to speak to their physician for fear of feeling hopeless, or simply not knowing how to initiate the conversation."

Other survey results include:

--48 percent of respondents don't believe that proper treatment can ease chronic pain.

--41 percent believe pain is a normal part of aging; 10 percent simply ignore the pain.

--36 percent would refuse doctor-recommended or doctor-prescribed pain medication for fear of becoming addicted.

--34 percent believe pain medications that cause side effects are worse than pain itself.

--31 percent would not speak to a doctor about their pain for fear they could not afford treatment.

--Only 18 percent would speak to a specialist if they were suffering chronic pain.

Effective natural ingredients, without the side effects of drugs, are available to deal with joint and muscle discomfort. For instance, a study of hops extract went head-to-head with ibuprofen and the hops extracts exhibited COX-2 inhibition for more than nine hours, equivalent to 400 milligrams of ibuprofen (two tablets), without the gastrointestinal side effects. In another randomized, double blind human clinical study, the hops extract significantly reduced pain in individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee in as soon as two hours after administrating. The hops cones extract was reported to begin relieving minor pain within 30 minutes of ingestion.

The proprietary extract of hops cones is a safe and effective dietary supplement that supports the anti-inflammatory response by reducing the activity pain-causing compounds both enzymatic and non-enzymatic: prostaglandin E2, cyclooxygenase 1 and 2, interleukin 1, isoprostanes, iNOS and nNOS, TNF-alpha, and NF-kappa-B.

Other effective supplements for a successful mobility-support formula would include glucosamine and chondroitin. These two ingredients are still two of the most widely and deeply researched, with an overwhelming number of studies showing positive, beneficial effect in the support of both the structure and function of joints.

Although joint degradation through developing osteoarthritis can never be fully or partially reversed, medical interventions are becoming more sophisticated to replace joints and/or collagen. However, the one constant in any case is the discomfort, which reduces mobility and thus significantly hampers an active lifestyle. Formulating for this market with natural ingredients should keep the discomfort in mind along with the support of joint structure and function. 

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