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The Truth: OA, Curcumin & Green Lipped Mussels

The Truth: OA, Curcumin & Green Lipped Mussels

Hi friends, it’s Mark here. Thank you for stopping by the site today!

I wanted to let you know about some research I did while studying all types of Arthritis so that you can see why I decided to create each of Outback Pain Relief’s unique products. Specifically, today, I want to talk to you about Curcumin and Green-Lipped Mussel Oil, because I want you to be able to select the best options for your health.

But, beyond the superficial modifications that our bodies can go through – and which are hardly fought against, especially in women cases – there’re some changes in the inside that can affect our daily living for the long play. Type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and osteoarthritis are chronic diseases consequences of those changes.

What is Osteoarthritis?

The osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease leads to pain and loss of function in and around joints. It is estimated that 20% of adults in North America and Western Europe will develop OA by 2030. An as the life expectancy of the population increases, the prevalence of OA will also be higher.

In OA, the articular cartilage and a sclerosis of the bone beneath begins to degenerate. This degenerative process affects the ligaments and the synovial membrane covering the joint and the muscles near to it. All these changes bring a functional decline and a loss in the quality of life as consequence.

The common joint most affected is the knee. The hip, shoulder, spine, hand, and toes are less frequently damaged. In the spine, the mid and low cervical vertebras, together with the lower lumbar spine, are the areas with higher incidence of OA.

Which are the symptoms?

It’s important to know the symptoms of OA. It’s possible that you know someone who already has the disease, and over time, they will help you to detect its onset. The OA is characterized by:

  • Joint pain. This pain relates to activity in most of the cases and, in advanced stages of the disease, it becomes a constant. Is common for the person with OA to feel that the pain never goes away, only soften with rest.
  • It can be heard and felt. The joint 'cracks' when it’s moved, it doesn’t matter if its move actively by the person or during a physical examination.
  • Tenderness. This tenderness is a consequent of the permanent inflammation process in the joint.
  • Stiffness. It’s mostly present after periods of rest, especially in the mornings.
  • Limitation of movement. The limitation provoked by the other symptoms affects the general function and generates disability. So, you might not be able to do your daily activities as before.

If you have two or more of these symptoms and suspect an OA diagnose, you should consult with your physician. That way you can clear all your doubts and – in the case of a positive diagnose – you can start taking measures to avoid its progression.

Risk factors for developing OA

As we said before, the OA is predominant a degenerative disease. Therefore, the age is the main factor related to OA development. Before the age of 40, the prevalence of OA is lower and, in most cases, related to trauma. After 40 years, the prevalence increases and becomes linear when we passed 60. According to a study, have +50 years is a risk factor for hand, knee, and hip OA.

Also, women are more propense to develop the disease. Even though the reason for it is unclear, appears to be related with the female hormones and its effects on articular chondrocytes. The chondrocytes are a type of cell present in the cartilage.

Obesity and being overweight are risk factors for the apparition and progression of the OA too. Both increase the stress and load in the joints, especially in the weight-bearing ones.

Lastly, excessive join stress is also related to OA. Repetitive actions regarding occupation that involves load-bearing activities can contribute to the apparition of OA.

About the diagnosis

Normally, the diagnosis is made through the observations of radiographic changes and clinical guidelines related to the joint affected. The physician asses the patient signs and symptoms, together with the morphological changes that may be present in the X-ray: subchondral bone sclerosis, intra-articular loose bodies, joint deformity or misalignment, chondro-osteophytes and others.

Can Curcumin Help Soothe OA?

Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid component of Turmeric. Curcuminoids are anti-inflammatory compounds discovered in Turmeric around the 70’s and 80’s. There are +100 clinical trials about the effects of curcumin in various diseases.

Inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, cancer, type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and of course, OA, are some of the chronic diseases where the curcumin can be a therapeutic agent because of its interaction with other molecules and enzymes in a cellular level.

In the inflammation process, pro-inflammatory molecules like cytokines are present. Some of those cytokines are the tumor necrosis factor alfa (TNFα), interleukin-1β and Interleukin-6. In the OA patients, who suffers pain consequent from joint inflammation, the suppression of the inflammatory pathways can lead to an improvement in pain and therefore, the quality of life.

Curcumin can inhibit the production of TNFα and block the cell signaling mediated through it. Also, it can diminish the release of different interleukins though the signaling modification of nuclear factor kappa-B (NFκβ). The NFκβ is a protein complex involved in the transcription of pro-inflammatory genes.

Despite its proven safety, tolerability, and non-toxicity, there’s no consensus about the exact amount needed to obtain the therapeutic effect of curcumin. However, one study found benefits similar to ibuprofen intake in the treatment of knee OA with the administration of 2.000mg/day of curcumin. A higher dose up to 8.000mg/day for three months of curcumin was demonstrated to be safe, but it is recommendable consulting the supplement instructions before taking it.

Curcumin is not the only supplement that can help soothe OA. There’re other non-pharmaceutical approaches to prevent or treat it. Here's one.

Green-Lipped Mussel Oil. Another natural alternative

The green-lipped mussel is a mollusk found in the coast of New Zealand. Its name comes from a bright green lip located in the inside border of the shell. Also, it has some green strips on the outside and is scientifically known as Perna Canaliculus.

The possible use of the green-lipped mussel as a supplement in the treatment of OA came to notice by the scientific community around the 70's. Back then, it was noticed a lower incidence of arthritis in the Maori population living by the coast. The Maori are an indigenous population of New Zealand. The coast-dwelling Maoris usually consume green-lipped mussel as part of their diet.

The green-lipped mussel can be found in two presentations: a stabilized mussel powder extract and a mussel lipid preparation, known as green-lipped mussel oil. The two of them have been studied in the treatment of OA. But it has been suggested a more efficient effect of the lipid composition, due to its higher component of omega-3 fatty acids.

Besides the omega-3 fatty acids, the mussel oil has another type of polyunsaturated fatty acid, known as furan fatty acid. These polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) reduces the oxidative risk of the cellular membrane. So, it has an antioxidant effect.

Also, the mussel oil inhibits the COX enzymes through its PUFAs. The COX enzymes are a type of lipid metabolizing enzymes. In the inflammatory process, the COX enzymes oxygenate the arachidonic acid and generate pro-inflammatory molecules.  So, because of the blockage of the COX enzymes, the production of inflammatory molecules is reduced.

How to use it?

Green-lipped mussel oil has been used as a supplement in the treatment of OA in several clinical trials. It has been taken in doses of 1.050-1.150 mg/day, up to a high dose of 3.000 mg/day. One study found improvements in pain, mobility, and stiffness in the knee OA treatment with the last dose of mussel oil.

Like curcumin, this mussel oil is not toxic. Also, it can decrease the gastrointestinal irritation secondary to the prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Yet, it can have some side effects like itching, diarrhea, and swelling. Therefore, people with fish sensibility must be cautious and ask a physician before taking it.

It’s not all about taking supplements

The usual treatment of OA often involves the treatment of the symptoms, mostly pain. Because of that, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed. But, there’s so much more you can do besides taking medication.

The natural supplements mentioned before are a good option. But you can make changes in your lifestyle to reduce the stress in the weight-bearing joint. For example, eating a balanced diet and exercising can help you avoid the joint pressures of being overweight.

Also, combined with an active lifestyle, you can strengthen your muscles and reduce the percentage of body fat. That way you’ll reduce the joint stress and be able to do your daily activities more easily.

Pool related activities such as swimming, are great for exercise and have a low impact on the joints. Other options are closed chain exercises with low weight. However, we recommend consulting with a physiotherapist or a certified physical trainer to know which exercise is adequate for you.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results not typical. Individual results may vary.


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