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Joints & Bones

It's vital to keep your joints and bones healthy so you can continue to lead an active and independent life. The Woods joint and bone range has been specially formulated to increase strength and flexibility to protect against long-term damage and joint pain.
  • 3 Simple Ways to Ease Joint Pain

    Joint pain affects many of us, especially as we age. While the condition can range from a little irritating to completely debilitating, there are many things we can do ourselves to help improve and ease the pain as part of our daily lives.

    Diet

    We all know that a good diet is important for our overall wellbeing, from eating the right foods for the nutrients our bodies need, to helping maintain a healthy weight. A key study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism found that a weight loss of only one pound resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees.

    Inflammation if often a key element of joint pain so including foods that have anti-inflammatory effects can help decreased joint pain and stiffness. These include: -

    • Fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel & sardines.
    • Curry! Most curries contain three important anti-inflammatory ingredients, garlic, ginger and turmeric. See our curry recipe on our Facebook page.
    • Greens such as broccoli and spinach have a vast variety of goodness, including anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Berries contain a ton of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but these bundles of yumminess also help reduce inflammation in the body.

    Exercise

    Low impact exercise is very good way to help keep joints stay flexible and improve muscle strength around the joint helping to support it.  The great thing is that most low impact exercises can be done without needing to spend money on gym memberships or equipment.

    • Stretching
    • Yoga, Pilates & Tai Chi
    • Low impact cardio: Water aerobics, swimming & walking

    Supplements

    Turmeric contains large amounts of an active compound named curcumin (main chemical in turmeric, related to ginger) that is said to have anti-inflammatory effects.

    Vitamin D is a key vitamin for bone and muscle function that is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties helping relieve joint pain.

    Omega-3 Fish Oils  may have beneficial properties which eases inflammation. These supplements can be a great way to top up your Omega-3 especially if you struggle to eat enough oily fish.

    Glucosamine & Chondroitin are both naturally produced in the body, with Glucosamine being one of building blocks of cartilage and Chondroitin is believed to help bring water and nutrients into the cartilage, helping to keep it spongy and healthy.

  • Hydrochloride Vs Sulphate: What is the truth about Glucosamine products?

    Glucosamine products are taken widely and are in fact the most popular supplement taken for joint health in the UK.

    Many people prefer to try a natural alternative ­especially for treating arthritis. Where NSAIDs can only damp down inflammation and pain, food supplements such as glucosamine have the potential to halt the degenerative effects of conditions such as osteoarthritis. It does this by stimulating the formation of proteoglycans (protein molecules) important for strengthening cartilage so it can resist compressive forces; it is also thought to have an anti-inflammatory action. A pivotal trial published in the Lancet showed that taking 1,500mg of glucosamine sulphate per day produced significant improvements in pain and disability, with no significant loss of joint space seen over the three year trial period. In contrast, those taking placebo developed worsening symptoms with increased narrowing of the knee joint space . Subsequently a systematic review of 20 randomised controlled trials found that, in people with osteoarthritis, glucosamine was more effective at relieving pain (28% improvement) than placebo.

    Products are certainly plentiful but how do you know which one is right for you?

    Glucosamine is a product derived from shellfish and used for the repair of damaged joint tissue and reduce the pain associated with it.Glucosamine is unstable by itself and so needs to be partnered with another compound to stabilize it. This is the reason for the use of sulphate and hydrochloride ions; they serve as carrier molecules for the glucosamine to be absorbed. There is some debate over which ‘carrier’ system provides the superior absorption rate. The truth is, clinical evidence suggests that so long as the amount of glucosamine is the same, both forms will deliver the same amount. With the Hydrochloride (HCL) carrier system, less HCL is needed to ‘carry’ the glucosamine than the sulphate version . HCL is slightly cheaper too, making it the carrier ion of choice for some food supplement manufacturers.

    However, it is the Glucosamine sulphate version that has stolen the clinical limelight. It is the more widely tested form and comprehensive clinical trials have shown it to be a highly effective alternative to non steroidal anti inflammatories (NSAIDS) for joint pain and inflammation. Experts also rightly question the therapeutic role of sulphate within a glucosamine sulphate product. Natural forms of sulphate are used by the body for the synthesis of proteins and the regulation of inflammation . Therefore some experts might argue that although it works as a wonderful carrier for glucosamine, the presence of sulphate may in fact enhance the regeneration of joint tissue and reduce inflammation as well. If you chose a Glucosamine Sulphate product ensure it is no less that 20% 2KCL. Anything more than this will dilute the amount of glucosamine in the product.

    References:
    Reginster jy et al. 2001. long-term effects of glucosamine sulphate on osteoarthritis progression: a randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial. lancet 357(9252):251-6
    Towheed te et al. 2005 glucosamine therapy for treating osteoarthritis. cochrane database syst rev. (2):cd002946.

  • The Lowdown on Collagen

    Your body needs collagen. It makes the connective tissue in our skin, keeping you looking youthful; the ligaments, cartilage and muscles, keeping us agile; and the bones and teeth giving us structure. In essence it works like glue, supporting, shaping and bulking. Your body is constantly manufacturing collagen to maintain and repair connective tissues lots to daily wear and tear.

     

    Its own structure is similar to that of three thick chains twisted around each-other into a triple helix. This helix is made up of other nutrients called amino acids (found in protein foods). You may not know this but there are in fact over fourteen types of collagen but the most common ones are those who have probably heard of already:

    • Type 1: This type of collagen makes up the fibres in the connective tissues of the skin, bone, teeth, tendons, ligaments.
    • Type 2: Type 2 collagen forms the fibres found in cartilage.
    • Type 3: This form also makes up the connective tissue but this time to give strength and structure to organs such as heart, liver and the kidneys.
    • Type 4: Collagen type 4 forms the sheets that lie between the layers of blood vessels, muscle and the eyes.

    As mentioned previously, your system can produce its own supply of collagen. However, as you age our production decreases beyond the age of 30, by 1.5% in fact. To add to this, exposure to environmental damage such as sunbathing, pollution and poor diet increase free radical damage and raises your body’s requirement for collagen. Eating a diet that includes daily amounts of good quality protein such as fish, eggs, pulses and poultry can supply the amino acids needed to make it but often demand can still outweigh supply. Supplementing the diet with Collagen can be an effective way to bridge this gap if you feel you need extra support. Research has shown that taking it in supplement form is well tolerate and digested as well as supporting some health conditions.

    Vitamin C, lysine, Vitamin B3, iron and copper are key nutrients required for the production of collagen. Vitamin C combines with the amino acids to form pro-collagen which then goes on to form collagen in tissues around the body. Without sufficient Vitamin C production of collagen is reduced and a catalogue of health conditions can begin. So where do you benefit the most from Collagen?

     

    The Joints and Bones
    According to statistics over six million people suffer from osteoarthritis and half a million suffer from rheumatoid arthritis in the UK. Osteoarthritis is where the wear and tear of every day living has worn away the cartilage in the joints, leaving bone grinding against bone. This causes great pain, inflammation and most commonly restricted movement. Rheumatoid arthritis on the other hand is a chronic inflammatory disorder typically affecting the small joints in the hand and feet. Unlike the wear and tear in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.

    Studies have shown that collagen is essential for optimum joint health. It keeps bones strong and cushions the ends of the joint to prevent bone rubbing against bone. Research has shown that collagen taken orally accumulates in cartilage, assisting in stability, repair and regeneration of vital tissue around the joints. In essence your joints need it to work smoothly and for you to feel comfortable and mobile.

     

    Skin

    The top layer of the skin, the epidermis, is the first line of protection against the environment. Collagen is found in the thickest layer of the skin below this known as the dermis. The dermis regulated temperature and supplies the epidermis with nutrients and a healthy blood supply. Collagen provides this layer with the strength and resilience it needs to support the epidermis and its protective effects against damage. It aids repair if damage occurs and supports elasticity. It is this layer that gives you that ‘youthful’ appearance of healthy skin.

    With a healthy supply of collagen the skin remain solid and intact but with age, free radical damage from a poor diet or sun exposure, the skin begins to lose its strength and stability. Where young skin quickly heals, older skin (above 30 !) is not as resilient and can appear wrinkled or saggy. The collagen that once plumped up the skin is in low supply and lines can form. Supporting the supply can encourage the skins flexibility, smooth appearance and even moisturise dry skin.

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