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The Best Way to Juice Your Joints
By Catherine Guthrie
If your portfolio’s gone south, you could do worse than put your money into one of the companies that make arthritis supplements. Consider the numbers: 35 million people in the United States have osteoarthritis—a term describing the wear and tear that causes aches and pains in aging joints—and they plunk down more cash for arthritis supplements than for any other malady. Last year buyers spent $790 million just on pills that contained glucosamine, chondroitin, and/or MSM, three of the most popular choices.
Figures like these mean hundreds of joint remedies will continue to jostle for shelf space in supplement aisles. So where do you start? Your sister-in-law raves about ginger capsules, but will they work for you? And a friend claims fish oil cured her dog’s arthritic limp. Bully for canines, but where does that leave an achy-kneed human?
Meet Jason Theodosakis, a physician in Tucson, Arizona, and author of The Arthritis Cure. That’s the book that put glucosamine and chondroitin on the map, and although these supplements continue to garner praise from experts and patients alike, Theodosakis isn’t done yet. A medical gumshoe, he is absolutely unrelenting in his pursuit of the best arthritis supplement. Not only does he devour the latest studies and interview scientists and supplement makers, he buys every tablet, capsule, and cream on the market to test the validity of their claims. Over the past decade, he has spent more than $60,000 of his own money putting arthritis remedies to the test.
His motivation? Disgust with standard arthritis treatments. “I was frustrated with the poor safety record of anti-inflammatories,” he says. “Sixteen thousand people die each year from these drugs alone.” Not to mention the millions who suffer from varying degrees of stomach trouble.
Also, anti-inflammatories, prescription or otherwise, don’t attack the source of the problem; all they do is alleviate the pain that comes with arthritic joints. That’s why Theodosakis continues to recommend glucosamine and chondroitin, and why he’s very excited about a newcomer called avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU for short). These three, he says, are the only ones that are scientifically proven to treat the disintegration of cartilage that actually causes osteoarthritis.
Below is the latest on Theodosakis’s top picks, including information on dosage and side effects. Don’t be discouraged if your pain doesn’t disappear quickly: Because cartilage doesn’t have nerve endings, pain isn’t an accurate measure of how well cartilage-building supplements work, says Theodosakis. Indeed, in several studies, some volunteers didn’t get any pain relief, but X-rays showed that their bodies had, in fact, added cartilage.
You should feel better eventually, but in the meantime, consider adding another anti-inflammatory supplement for pain relief. Theodosakis recommends an extract of the philodendron plant, called Nexrutine; take 250 to 500 milligrams two o...
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