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Question from a reader: Unfortunately, I recently tore my ACL in my knee. Since then, I have done physical therapy and am doing well (without having had surgery) enough to have resumed to moderate activity over the past couple months. However, I am hesitant to get back into a higher level of activity, though my orthopedic doctor said I should be able to. I would like to look into some good vitamins/supplements that support joint health and healing. I’ve heard of glucosamine being good for joints; would you recommend that or anything else? Any input would be greatly appreciated!
Answer: To ease various types of joint pain, check out the following tips… hopefully you’ll be on your way back to regular activity in no time!
1) Like you mentioned above, try taking glucosamine. There is a lot of research out there supporting the use of this supplement for joint health/repair. I looked for a bit to find one without chondroitin, as there is no solid evidence regarding direct health benefits to taking this orally (and they come from bovine or shark cartilage – both not great to consume for different reasons).
The liquid form is most bioavailable if you are taking it orally… This product seems like one of the best on the market (that I was able to scope out – use your intuition to see if it’s right for you!): Liquid Health Glucosamine
You can also purchase topical glucosamine – there’s some evidence that these also work. This one seems to be the cleanest on the market: Life-flo Glucosamine Cream
If you have any allergy to shellfish, beware – glucosamine is typically derived from shellfish! If you are looking for a shellfish-free glucosamine, try this one: Pure Encapsulations Glucosamine
You could try incorporating some of these. Just be sure to check the quality of the product – look out for toxic fillers/binders – you will likely have to look the ingredients up individually to find out if they are problematic and then go with your gut since there will be evidence pointing in different directions…
3) Definitely incorporate an omega-3 supplement into your regimen (fish oil is far more bioavailable than any vegetarian sources). Just be sure that the product is molecularly distilled in order to avoid any consumption of heavy metals and other toxins.
4) Lastly, some things that you can do with your diet to help:
Avoid inflammatory foods. Stay away from too many omega-6s (make sure you have a good 6:3 ratio), gluten, cow dairy, sugar, fried foods, and alcohol. There is some recent and compelling evidence that cutting out these things entirely can help get rid of arthritic pain completely!
Incorporate a lot of fresh fruits, veggies, and fermented foods (as organic as possible, of course!). The following are helpful in reducing inflammation: broccoli, cherries, walnuts, onions, garlic, hemp oil, pineapple, spinach, turmeric, avocados, hot peppers (capsaicin), blueberries, sweet potatoes, ginger, citrus fruits, cacao, cabbage, artichoke, pistachio, green/white tea, flax seeds (must be ground up, can’t digest whole seeds… if ground, refrigerate), if you eat beef – be sure it is grass-fed organic (other types create inflammation in the body).
These tips area also helpful in dogs that are experiencing joint pain… and it beats giving them expensive pain pills that come with a wide variety of adverse side effects!
In health and wellness,