Inflammation & Joint Health
Inflammation & Joint Health

Move freer, feel better – how to reduce chronic inflammation

If you’re suffering from arthritis or other joint issues, you could consult your doctor for medications, but there are other measures you can take to improve your symptoms, too.

Those same lifestyle changes can also help the rest of us reduce inflammation – especially if you have a family history of joint issues.

Start on a new anti-inflammatory regime of healthy eating, exercise and considered supplementation and you may see some good results.

For those with problem joints, you’ll feel freer – movement will become looser and more fluid, even after you’ve been lying still for a while.

You may also lose weight and see improvements in your skin – pimples, dry skin, psoriasis, eczema and allergies like hay fever may reduce in severity.

You may find digestive issues clear up, that you sleep a bit better, and that your hair and teeth look better.

Here’s how...

 

Weight loss

It’s often easier said than done, but study after study tells us that for those who are overweight or obese, dropping a few kilos can contribute to their overall health.

That’s probably down to a number of factors, and for people joint issues the physical change is most obviously positive – carry less weight relieves the joints.

Studies around weight loss and the effect on inflammation are promising too – a weight loss of a least 10% seems to do the best job of reducing the chemical causes of inflammation and increasing our body's ability to deal with them.

The good news is that this weight loss can probably be achieved as a side effect of the other lifestyle changes you could make – regular exercise and an anti-inflammatory diet.

 

Regular exercise

It’s probably not news that exercise is good for you.

Moving your body comes with a whole raft of benefits. It makes your brain release all sorts of feel-good chemicals, improves your muscle strength which can protect your joints and back as you age, and boost your endurance with more oxygen and nutrients rushing around your body.

It also makes for better sleep, which can majorly reduce stress and all the illnesses that come along with it.

We now know that exercise can also help prevent or manage a variety of health issues too – and that’s in part because it reduces inflammation in the body.

As you push your body to work harder, you trigger the sympathetic nervous system to increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing.

That also releases hormones like adrenaline and noradrenaline, which hold back the production of inflammatory cytokines.

The extra good news is that you don’t need to be a gym junkie to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits – just take a brisk, 20 minute walk every day.

 

An anti-inflammatory diet

Old wisdom says that food is your best medicine – and we know which foods tend to reduce inflammation

Read the full story on the anti-inflammatory diet here.

 

Clinically researched supplementation

Ticking all the diet and lifestyle boxes may only take you so far, and the reality of modern life means even our best efforts to eat well and exercise will sometimes fall short.

Supplements can often help to fill the gaps. Choose ones that have been widely studied, and come with at least some clinical evidence.

Some studies suggest that the following could play a role in fighting inflammation:

Vitamin D
Curcumin
Alpha-lipoic acid
Omega-3


Green-lipped mussel powder and oil supports joint health

Worth looking at on their own are green-lipped mussels, which have been shown to modulate those inflammatory cytokines.

They also deliver unusual amounts of omega-3 and GAGs (glycosaminoglycans) that are particularly good for joint inflammation.

GAGs act as shock absorbers and lubricant for joints, responsible for keeping cartilage around joints flexible, elastic and strong.

The severity of arthritis is directly related to the loss of GAGs in the joint and surrounding cartilage.

There is also good evidence to show that green-lipped mussels can help in treating osteoarthritis.¹

While you could, in theory, reap the benefits of green-lipped mussels by eating them every day, this is hardly practical.

Some manufacturers have attempted to harness the power of the green-lipped mussel into an effective supplement as an oil or powder capsule.

In oil, some studies suggest the supplements could relieve joint pain and improve arthritic systems.

The powder capsules may trump even that. Two powder capsules, when processed from fresh, rather than cooked mussels, deliver anti-inflammatory properties equivalent to a single oil cap.

Packed in there are also some additional whole-food benefits of protein, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, which are extremely valuable for reducing inflammation.²

 

Your joints will thank you

Whether you’re already suffering from arthritis or just looking for ways to improve the health of your joints and connective tissues, reducing inflammation in your body is a great place to start. You can relieve your symptoms and stress, and live a more comfortable life by losing weight, taking regular gentle exercise, and adjusting your diet to include those healthful, anti-inflammatory foods. Reducing inflammation can also help you live longer, with better health and less chance of developing a whole raft of illnesses. It’s one of the best, simplest things you can do each day to live a healthier, longer life.

 

[1] Ulbricht, C., Chao, W., Costa. D., Nguyen, Y., Seamon, E., Weissner, W., (2009). An Evidence-Based Systematic Review of Green-Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration, Journal of Dietary Supplements, Vol. 6(1)
[2] Goodman, David A. (2010). Green-lipped mussel powder: outlook as a functional food and nutraceutical, Newport Neuroscience Center