Vitamin For Joint Support from Revitol is a natural vitamin and supplement that combines biotins and other nutrients to help maintain healthy joints, promote mobility, and ease joint pain. Have you ever taken vitamins? Or do you avoid taking them because you think it’s a waste of your money? This article will teach you about the importance of vitamins.
Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D after being exposed to sunlight, but if you live in a climate where it’s cloudy or rainy most of the year, or like most of us, spend most of your time indoors, then you may not be getting enough. And when you’re missing out on this essential nutrient, your joints can suffer.
Vitamin For Joint Support
Vitamin D helps maintain cartilage and other connective tissues in our bodies, which are essential to joint health. Without enough of it, our joints become stiffer and less flexible; this can lead to pain and even arthritis. It can also lead to muscle aches and weakness—and who doesn’t want more energy? Vitamin D boosts the immune system by helping us fight off infection and disease (like colds), so having enough in your system can help keep you feeling great throughout the day.
The best way to get more vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight—so go outside! But if you live in a cloudy climate (or just don’t have time for that), then talk with your doctor about adding a supplement into your diet—you’ll be glad you did!
Several nutritional supplements have shown promise for relieving pain, stiffness and other arthritis symptoms. Glucosamine and chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, SAM-e and curcumin are just some of the natural products researchers have studied for osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Some of these natural remedies may offer arthritis symptom relief, especially when you use them in conjunction with traditional treatments. Here’s the evidence on some of the most popular supplements used to treat arthritis, and how they work.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the most commonly used supplements for arthritis. They’re components of cartilage—the substance that cushions the joints.
Research on these supplements has been mixed, in part because studies have used varying designs and supplement types. A large National Institutes of Health study called the GAIT trial compared glucosamine and chondroitin, alone or together, with an NSAID and inactive treatment (placebo) in people with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Glucosamine improved symptoms like pain and function, but not much better than a placebo. Yet a 2016 international trial found the combination to be as effective as the NSAID celecoxib at reducing pain, stiffness and swelling in knee OA.
Studies have also differed on which form of the supplements is most effective. Some evidence suggests glucosamine sulfate is best. Others find glucosamine hydrochloride to be more effective. One study that compared the two forms head to head showed they offered equivalent pain relief. Mayo Clinic researchers say evidence supports trying glucosamine sulfate – not hydrochloride – with or without chondroitin sulfate for knee OA.
The polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids found in fish have potent anti-inflammatory properties. “Omega-3 fats seem to work better for rheumatoid arthritis than for osteoarthritis, most likely because rheumatoid arthritis is mainly driven by inflammation,” says Chris D’Adamo, PhD, director of Research & Education at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Integrative Medicine.
A 2017 systematic review of studies found that omega-3 supplements reduced joint pain, stiffness and swelling in RA. Taking these supplements might help some people cut down on their use of pain relievers — and avoid their side effects. “For mild cases of arthritis, it may be better to reach for the supplements before you go for the ibuprofen,” says Farshad Fani Marvasti, MD, MPH, director of Public Health, Prevention, and Health Promotion at The University of Arizona. Omega-3s have the added benefit of protecting against heart disease and dementia, he says.
Plant-based sources such as flax and chia seeds also contain omega-3s, but in the form of short-chain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). “It’s the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids — eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — that have the majority of the health benefits,” D’Adamo says. When you buy fish oil, make sure the supplement lists the EPA and DHA content, and that you take at least one gram each of EPA and DHA, he adds. Vegans can get these omega-3s from an algae-based supplement.
S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM-e) is a natural compound in the body that has anti-inflammatory, cartilage-protecting and pain-relieving effects. In studies, it was about as good at relieving OA pain as NSAIDs like ibuprofen and celecoxib, without their side effects.
SAM-e has a bonus benefit, too. “The supplement is most useful when you also have depression, because it has a mild to moderate antidepressant effect,” Marvasti says.
The typical SAM-e dose is 1,200 mg daily. If you plan to try this supplement, be patient. “It’s going to take a few weeks to see the full effects,” D’Adamo says.
Curcumin is the active compound in the yellow-hued spice, turmeric, which is a staple of Indian curries. In the body, it acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, blocking the same inflammation-promoting enzyme as the COX-2 inhibitor drug, celecoxib.
In a study of 367 people with knee OA, a 1,500 mg daily dose of curcumin extract was as effective as 1,200 mg a day of ibuprofen, without the gastrointestinal side effects. This supplement also appears to relieve RA swelling and tenderness.
One downside to curcumin is that it’s hard for the body to absorb. “You want to take it with a source of fat. Some of the supplements will be in an oil base, which is really important,” D’Adamo says.
Black pepper also increases the absorption. Some supplements add the black pepper extract, piperine. However, piperine could potentially cause liver damage, and it can increase the absorption of medications like carbamazepine (Tegretol) and phenytoin (Dilantin), making them more potent.
Several vitamins have been studied for their effects on arthritis, including the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, and vitamins D and K. So far there’s no evidence that taking antioxidant vitamins improves arthritis symptoms, although eating a diet rich in these nutrients is healthy overall. Vitamins D and K are both important for bone strength, and vitamin K is involved in cartilage structure. Supplementing these two nutrients may be helpful if you’re deficient in them.
When you take supplements as directed and under your doctor’s supervision, they’re generally safe. Yet even though they’re labeled “natural,” supplements can sometimes cause side effects or interact with the medicines you take. For example, high-dose fish oil supplements can thin the blood and may interact with anticoagulant medicines such as warfarin (Coumadin).
Sometimes you can overdo it and take too much, especially when it comes to vitamins. Some vitamins — like B and C — are water soluble. That means if you take too much of them, your body will flush out the extra. Yet fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K can build up in your body to the point where they become harmful, so check with your doctor about safe amounts.
Finally, supplements don’t go through the same rigorous approval process from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as medicines. The FDA has to review and approve every medication to make sure it works and that it’s safe. With supplements, the ingredients listed on the label may not be the same ones that are in the bottle.
How to Take Supplements Safely
If you do want to try supplements, use them as an add-on to arthritis drugs, not as a replacement. They should never take the place of medications, which are the only proven way to slow joint damage.
Always check with your doctor before you try any new supplement to make sure that it’s right for you, and that you’re taking a safe dose. “I do recommend for the consumer who’s anticipating using a lot of supplements either to find an integrative physician who can help them or invest in a [subscription with an] independent testing company like Consumer Labs and check with their physician,” Marvasti advises. Also go through your entire supplement and medication list with your pharmacist to check for possible interactions.
glucosamine for joint pain
If you’re looking for a supplement that may ease your joint pain, glucosamine might be worth a try. Some studies show it gives relief for mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis, and it may work for other joints, too.
What Is It?
Glucosamine is a natural chemical compound in your body. But it also comes in the form of a supplement. There are two main types: hydrochloride and sulfate.
What Does It Do?
The glucosamine in your body helps keep up the health of your cartilage — the rubbery tissue that cushions bones at your joints. But as you get older, your levels of this compound begin to drop, which leads to the gradual breakdown of the joint.
There’s some evidence that glucosamine sulfate supplements help counteract this effect, although experts aren’t sure how.
Some people have also used glucosamine to try to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, chronic venous insufficiency, sports injuries, temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ), and long-term low back pain. So far, though, there’s not much scientific evidence that it works for those problems.
How much glucosamine should you take?
In most studies on treating osteoarthritis, the typical dose was 500 milligrams of glucosamine sulfate, three times a day. Ask your doctor what they recommend for you. Some experts suggest you take it with meals to prevent an upset stomach.
Can you get glucosamine naturally from foods?
Although glucosamine sulfate supplements are often manufactured from the shells of shellfish, there aren’t any natural food sources of glucosamine.
What are the risks of taking glucosamine?
On the whole, glucosamine seems to be a fairly safe supplement. Side effects are generally mild. You’re more likely to get them if you take high doses. They may include things like:
- Upset stomach
Risks. If you have a shellfish allergy, be cautious about using glucosamine because you could have a reaction. Also, check with your doctor before taking supplements if you have diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, bleeding disorders, or high blood pressure.
Interactions. Check with your doctor before you use glucosamine if you take other medicines, including heart drugs, blood thinners, and diabetes drugs. Also, glucosamine isn’t recommended for children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, because there isn’t enough evidence yet about whether it’s safe for those groups.
IMPORTANCE OF VITAMINS
Vitamins allow your body to grow and develop. They also play important roles in bodily functions such as metabolism, immunity and digestion. There are 13 essential vitamins, including vitamins A, C, D, E, and K and B vitamins such as riboflavin and folate. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the best way to meet your vitamin needs is to eat a balanced diet containing a variety of foods. If you can’t meet your needs through food alone, you may require dietary supplements. Seek guidance from your doctor or dietitian before taking supplements, however.
Does Vitamin D Accumulate in Your System?
As a fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin D in excess is not flushed from your body through urine. Although your body can become toxic from excessive supplemental intake, the toxicity does not derive from vitamin D–rich foods or sun exposure, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. The maximum amount of vitamin D that adults can safely obtain from supplements is 4,000 international units (IU) per day. If you exceed this limit, the excess vitamin D stays in your blood, causing adverse effects such as unintentional weight loss, anorexia and abnormal heart rhythms. Excess vitamin D can raise your blood levels of calcium, causing heart, blood vessel and kidney damage. Consuming smaller amounts — for example, 1,000 IU per day — along with calcium in supplement form increases your risk for kidney stones. Sufficient intake of vitamin D for most adults is 600 IU daily from food or supplements.
Does the Skeletal System Produce Vitamin D?
Foods, dietary supplements and sun exposure provide vitamin D. Getting sufficient amounts — 600 IU daily for most adults — is vital for overall health. Your skeletal system requires vitamin D because the vitamin facilitates calcium absorption, a key for healthy bones and development. Your liver, not your bones, produces vitamin D in response to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Valuable food sources of this vitamin include cod liver oil, seafood, such as salmon and tuna, and fortified juices and dairy products. Eggs, margarine and fortified cereals contain moderate amounts.
Is There a Vitamin Good for the Digestive System?
Like the rest of your body, your digestive system requires all essential vitamins and minerals. B vitamins and vitamin C, however, play particularly valuable roles in digestive health, says Dr. Chris Iliades, a physician and contributing health writer for EveryDayHealth.com. The B vitamin folate, or folic acid, is linked with a reduced risk for colon cancer. Vitamin B1, also called thiamine, helps your body convert carbohydrates into energy during digestion. Vitamin B3, or niacin, allows for normal breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and alcohol. Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, promotes protein digestion.The antioxidant vitamin C enhances iron absorption and gum and tooth health. To meet your B vitamin needs, Illiades suggests eating a diet rich in whole grains, beans, seafood, dairy products and leafy green vegetables. To obtain vitamin C, you should consume a variety of fruits and vegetables. Top vitamin C sources include citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, bell peppers and sweet potatoes.
How Long Does a Daily Dose of Vitamin D Stay in Your System?
Vitamin D is present in your body tissues and blood. Although you obtain vitamin D from foods, your body also produces it in response to sun exposure. Vitamin D in your bloodstream appears in blood tests and has a relatively long circulating life of about 30 days, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. In other words, if you consume vitamin D–rich foods or supplements today, a portion will likely stay present in your body for one month. The length of time vitamin D remains in your body tissues remains unclear, however.
How Long Before Vitamin D Gets Into the System?
Vitamin D enters your system at varying rates depending on its source and other factors such as your overall health and whether vitamin intake is paired with other nutrients and foods. Vitamin D researchers estimate that 5 to 30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at least twice per week on your arms, legs or back without sunscreen is enough for your body to synthesize the vitamin D you need, says the Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D from foods and supplements enters your liver and fatty tissue during digestion. Although rates of digestion vary, the entire digestion process takes 24 to 72 hours for most people, according to Dr. Michael F. Picco, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist. Within this time, your body absorbs vitamin D and other fat-soluble nutrients. Consuming vitamin D–rich foods and supplements with fat sources, such as olive oil, salmon or nuts, is important because fat enhances absorption.