- Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Although the book title is a bit of a misnomer, The Arthritis Cure details the importance of glucosamine and chondroitin to the health of cartilage. Glucosamine can be purchased over-the-counter at health food stores, pharmacies, and discount stores as glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine HCl, often in combination with chondroitin sulfate.
The labelling often recommends an initial dose of 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate and 1200 mg of chondroitin sulfate for 60 days, then a maintenance dose of 500 mg of each daily following that.
Some have argued that chondrotin is a very large molecule and may be difficult to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Because glocusamine is a sugar, some have suggested large doses may increase your risk of developing diabetes. Also, if your cartilage is severly damaged, added nutrients may be akin to throwing fertilizer on the sidewalk and expecting grass to grow.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These are natural inflammation fighters and can be obtained from fish, either through eating 2-5 fish meals per week or a teaspoon of fish oil per day. Fish oil is also widely available in an encapsulated form if you do not find the taste palatable.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a well known anti-oxidant and aids in fighting inflammation.
Taking excessively high doses of vitamin C may lead to a rebound effect if the extra vitamin C is removed.
Calcium is a well known nutrient for bone growth and maintenance of bone density. Besides natural sources in dairy products, leafy green vegtables, and yogurt, calcium may be supplemented using calcium carbonate (as in Tums), or in calcium citrate in products such as Citracal. Studies have shown that calcium in calcium citrate is more easily absorbed, though that is a more expensive product.
Recently some concern has been raised over the possibility of high lead levels in calcium carbonate supplements, so expect to see some labeling soon certifying certain brands as “lead free”.