Read these 7 Joint Health Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Vitamin tips and hundreds of other topics.
By now you've become wary of all those commercials...you know, the ones where the women frolic through a field of flowers because they're free of asthma, or a couple shares a romantic moment because of Cialis. Then comes the lawyer-mandated list of side effects. Now you're pondering hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and chondroitin for joint stiffness and pain, arthritis, the whole works. Can you afford the side effects? Actually, the biggest side effect of all these joint health supplements is...that you will frolic through a field of flowers. Your love life may even improve. Naturally, glucosamine isn't recommended for anyone with diabetes -- choose hyaluronic acid instead. Minor side effects of glucosamine and chondroitin include stomach problems, heartburn and diarrhea. Hyaluronic acid side effects are mostly unknown, although some people have reported a skin rash like chicken pox.
Hyaluronic acid sounds to you like: a) an alternative rock group b) a new form of "slime" your boys play with c) something you hope your kids will never take Actually, your kids will be better off taking hyaluronic acid when they're older. Hyaluronic acid may not be alien ammo for your boys, but it's ammunition that you can use along with glucosamine and chondroitin to promote joint health. As for rock and roll, hyaluronic acid can help you and your kids rock on. Hyaluronic acid is used in anti-wrinkle injections, but it's also thought to be effective as a skin moisturizing ingredient and an antioxidant. What does this have to do with joint health? Hyaluronic acid builds up the collagen that in turn keeps your joints from sounding like that alternative rock band or a bizarre space alien. And when you're promoting joint health to your kids amid the electronic synthesizer background noise, just mention that you dropped acid in the '70s and '80s. Honesty is the anti-drug.
Your joints will feel better, the doctors say, once you take hyaluronic acid every day. But how much hyaluronic acid do you take? Of course, you take a joint health supplement with zinc and magnesium, which refresh your body's hyaluronic acid supply. Many of these joint health supplements we've seen have 150 mg of hyaluronic acid. Huh? You're supposed to take 2,700 mg of glucosamine and chondroitin combined. The instructions on the bottles of some hyaluronic acid liquid supplements direct you to take seven drops a day, although some merchants claim you can actually take a hundred times that amount without toxic side effects -- but this is not something you should try! The normal capsule dosage is 20 to 50 mg, and you can take one to four capsules a day. Just be sure to eat a balanced meal and drink plenty of fluids. Maybe our new slogan should be, "A hyaluronic acid capsule a day keeps the doctor away."
MSM. Isn't that the stuff in Chinese food you should avoid? MSM. Aren't those the pyramid schemes you get in your e-mail when you're trying to complete a client proposal and the kids are yelling? MSM or methylsulfonylmethane is an organic source of sulfur, one of the major building blocks of joint health as well as a component of the healthy skin, nails and hair you need to make a good impression on your clients and not scare your kids. Combine MSM with glucosamine and what do you get? Glucosamine, like chondroitin, supports your cartilage and acts as a lubricant like oil. Your joints are getting stiff from building a business and being a work-at-home mom. You may not have to gas your car, but you need to fuel your joints so they keep working. So what do you get when you combine glucosamine with MSM? Strong joints and replenished cartilage that allow you to dive into both new client accounts and piles of leaves with your kids!
You're on Sugarbusters. You're more afraid of sugar than you are fat. So when you heard the word glucosamine, you said that you didn't care about joint support and joint health--you're taking hyaluronic acid, after all, slathering on creams and taking supplements. You don't need no steenking sugar! News flash: Some sugars, such as amino acid sugars, are good for you. Your body makes them, after all--and you lose them after you get older. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM restore what you lose. And actually, glucosamine and chondroitin come from shellfish, not white sugar. Have you ever seen a crab or lobster get stiff joints? You're a little crabby from not getting your sweet fix, so it's fitting to take glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to revive joint health so you can at least pretend to bounce off the walls like your three-year-old granddaughter who's not on Sugarbusters. Both of you will be naturally healthy and happy--just don't crab to her parents about feeding her too much candy!
Okay. You're not eligible for AARP discounts yet, but you played basketball in college and you had some joint damage. Your doc, who also played b-ball, recommends glucosamine with chondroitin. How much do you take so you can get your game back on? A study by the NIH recommends 1,500 mg of glucosamine per day and 1,200 of chondroitin sulfate. Typically, most vitamin manufacturers will combine both substances, often with MSM, so that you get the required dosage in three tables that you take with meals. Some supplements will include Vitamin C and manganese, but all your joint health formulas should contain the prescribed amount. After all, you want to practice your jump shot with your kids. You may not be in the NBA, but you can enjoy fresh air and exercise without joint pain. We recommend hyaluronic acid too.
You've always heard it said that you are in charge of your own health. Your mom says that. So does your aunt. Of course, they chain-smoke and complain about their stiff knees. During your weekly lunch, you bring up hyaluronic acid as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. Impossible, your mom says. We're just getting old. It's true that women over fifty like your mom and aunt have half the hyaluronic acid they did in youth. Hyaluronic acid lubricates the joints. Unfortunately, large doses of it are difficult to inject or swallow. We told you so, your mom says. You advise that the three of you take a walk in the park next week. Pack a picnic lunch and a bottle of hyaluronic acid. Getting the joints moving (and eventually, persuading your aunt and mother to quit smoking) will help them slide more easily, so the hyaluronic acid can work faster to un-stiff those knees. Plus, your mom and aunt might want to drink more water--if your skin is moist, your joints will be moist too. Also, bring calcium supplements--calcium helps keep your joints flexible. You are in control of your own health. Fortunately, you can have some say in your mom's and aunt's health too.