March 9, 2011

063 Combining Remedies [17 May 2010]

When looking at several different remedies for a health problem, we are faced with the question of choosing one or more. There is rarely a problem with interaction between natural health products, but will taking more than one provide a significant benefit?

Glucosamine is a natural remedy shown to help with osteoarthritis (OA); Omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) help both OA and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They work in different ways – glucosamine by providing the raw material to build new cartilage, and Omega 3s by reducing inflammation – so it would make sense that taking the two together would provide more benefit than either alone.

That was the conclusion of a recent study which looked at the combined effects of glucosamine sulfate and omega 3 EFAs (EPA and DHA from fish oil) on pain and stiffness in patients with osteoarthritis. Group A was given both and was compared to Group B which had glucosamine alone. The same number of both groups reported at least a 20% improvement, but significantly more from Group A reported an 80% improvement or better. This shows that there can be benefits from taking different remedies at the same time.

A popular form of natural product is the complex whose formulas contain many different ingredients, each with some evidence of helping a particular condition. Be aware that some complex formulas may not contain an effective dose of some ingredients. Choose a complex from a reputable brand that has a sufficient dose of all ingredients, or take the desired ingredients separately.

Beneficial diet and lifestyle changes will make any natural health program work better. Continuing with RA, in addition to Omega 3s some suggestions would be:
• maintain serum vitamin D levels at 55-60ng/ml
• take a hyaluronic acid supplementation
• eat unprocessed high quality food
• eliminate sugar and most grains
• avoid heavy coffee consumption
• exercise regularly

I still recommend customers try one product at a time to see if it is helping. Then if there is still room for improvement, they can add other items, again one at a time.

This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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