Saturday, September 7, 2013

Natural Supplements to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, the Underlying Cause of Most Chronic Disease

Inflammation is the underlying cause of most of the chronic diseases of modern society:   conditions like chronic pain, arthritis, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression, cancer, and even ADHD and autism.  A study of a generally "healthy" elderly population found that those with the highest levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin 6 (two markers of systemic inflammation) were 260 percent more likely to die during the next 4 years. The increase in deaths was due to cardiovascular and other causes.

There are many traditional herbs and treatments used throughout the world that scientific studies have shown to have anti-inflammatory affects.  There are many that are not listed here, but these are some of my favorites.

The most common natural anti-inflammatory used in Germany is Proteolytic enzymes, including protease, bromelain from pineapple, and papain from papaya, and have long been used to reduce inflammation and promote tissue healing. They appear to down regulate the activities of several chemical mediators of inflammation and pain transmission, including PGE2, bradykinin, , and substance P.  Studies show their use helps reduce swelling and edema associated with arthritis, injuries, and other inflammatory conditions. To achieve the best effect they must be taken between meals.

Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme produced by bacteria in the gut of silkworms and is used to digest their cocoons.  It has been used in Europe and Asia for over 25 years. Because the enzyme digests or dissolves all nonliving tissue, including blood clots, cysts and arterial plaque, it is used to treat a variety of conditions, including sprains and torn ligaments, postoperative swelling, venous thrombosis (clots in the legs), ear, nose and throat infections and atherosclerosis. Studies show that it may reduce pain and inflammation by:   1. thinning the fluids formed from injury, and facilitating the fluid’s drainage. This in turn, also speeds tissue repair, 2. inhibiting the release of pain-inducing amines called bradykinin, and 3. It may enhance cardiovascular health by breaking down the protein by-products of blood coagulation called fibrin. Conveniently, Serrapeptase is able to dissolve the fibrin and other dead or damaged tissue without harming living tissue. This could enable the dissolution of atherosclerotic plaques without causing any harm to the inside of the arteries.

Tumeric has a long history of use in Asia as a spice and for medicinal uses. It contains a polyphenolic compound called curcumin that exerts widespread modulatory activity on NF-κB, TNF, COX-2, IL-1, IL-6, and a number of other inflammatory mediators. It has been shown to reduce Cardio-CRP, a blood marker of inflammation in the vessel walls which correlate with heart disease risk.

Galangin is a dietary bioflavinoid which is found in the medicinal plant Alpinia officinarum and in propolis, a natural beehive product.  It down regulates the expression of interleukin-6 and TNF-alpha, potent pro-inflammatory cells.  Galangin has shown anti-cancer activity in vitro in several studies, causing the hypothesis that it may also prevent cancer.  Galangin also prevented rise in plasma glucose, insulin and triglycerides and improved insulin sensitivity, one of the causes of inflammation.

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is one of nature’s richest sources of sulfur. Sulfur is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, stored in every cell with the highest concentrations in the skin, hair, nails and joints. Sulfur is necessary, along with Vitamin C, for collagen synthesis. Studies have reported reduced pain and improved physical function in osteoarthritis.

Phenylalanine, an amino acid, has been shown in studies to assist in relieving both acute and chronic pain.

Goji berry extract increases the body’s own Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), which is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Mangosteen extract contains xanthones, which have been shown to be direct COX-2 inhibitors.

Nopal cactus pear contains betalains, which may be potential COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors, and has been shown to reduce c-reactive protein (CRP).

Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, has long been recognized as an herb with anti-inflammatory properties. The gum resin of boswellia contains boswellic acids, the most potent being AKBA, which inhibids 5-LOX activity, downregulates TNF-induced gene expression and blocks the activation and nuclear translocation of NF-κB. In 2 separate double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, Boswellia extract significantly reduced pain and stiffness and improved joint function in persons with osteoarthritis of the knee. Clinical trials also showed symptom improvement in inflammatory bowel disease and in asthma.

Rutin is a flavonoid found in foods such as buckwheat, asparagus, tomato, carrot, sweet potato, berries, citrus fruits and black and green tea. Rutin might be therapeutic for varicose veins, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions associated with inflammation, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune diseases by inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokine production.

Holy Basil Leaf is a tropical herb used in ayurveda. Research shows that holy basil contains powerful anti-inflammatory agents which significantly reduce inflammation and enhance detoxification. It is considered a sacred plant to the Hindus.

Green tea (decaffeinated) contains the polyphenol EGCG, which has been shown to significantly downregulated inflammatory mediators IL-8, macrophage inflammatory protein-3α, and PGE2. It has also been shown to inhibit NF-κB activity.

Devil’s claw, native to southern Africa, has been used for thousands of years by the Khoisan peoples of Madagascar and the Kalahari Desert to treat pain and inflammation. Scientific evidence supports the use of devil’s claw root to help relieve pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis and other pain. In a study on mild-to-moderate back and neck pain it was shown to be equivalent to Celebrex in symptom relief.

Capsicum, red pepper, has been shown through studies to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects.  It has been used as a digestive aid to ease intestinal inflammation, stimulate protective mucus membranes of the stomach, and also relieve pain caused by ulcers.  It is commonly used to buffer pain from other ailments, including arthritis, varicose veins, headaches, menstrual cramps and respiratory conditions such as asthma.  Capsicum is also used, through its circulatory effects, as a catalyst to increase the effectiveness of other herbs.

Trace minerals—it has been shown in studies that abnormal distributions of trace minerals may aggravate oxidative damage and inflammation. The dynamic equilibrium that takes place with liquid ionic minerals and trace minerals has created the same basic balance in sea water that is found in healthy blood plasma and lymphatic fluid and is necessary for proper cellular function.

Piper Nigrum extract is from Black Pepper. It has been shown to increase the bioavailability of other nutrients, in this case the curcumin from the turmeric.  It also has shown anti-inflammatory effects.

Homeopathic cell salts are a group of 12 homeopathic remedies made from minerals which are important constituants of human cells and enzyme activity.

Astaxanthin is thought to be one of the  most powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in nature, and only a low dose is needed for its effect.  It crosses the blood brain barrier to reduce inflammation in the brain, and the blood retinal barrier to affect the eyes.  It absorbs UVB and reduces DNA damage.  Astaxanthin suppresses a variety of inflammatory mediators—including tumor necrosis factor alpha, a major prostaglandin and a major interleukin, nitric oxide, COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. It takes longer to produce effects than NSAIDS, but this means it doesn't result in the dangerous side effects.  

We are proud to announce SpringTree Health’s new and improved Pain and Inflammation.  Pain and Inflammation may be one of the most potent natural products for pain or inflammation on the market, with good levels of all of the ingredients above.  The supplements in this product have been shown to deal with inflammation not only in acute injuries and problems such as tendonitis and arthritis, but also in chronic inflammation which may be causing chronic disease.

Taking the recommended dose of Pain and Inflammation along with the recommended dose of SuperMulti Plus gives a potent 6 mg of astaxanthin.  SuperMulti Plus also has high levels of anti-oxidants to reduce the effects of inflammation.  Together, they provide a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-aging combination.  

Yes, this is a shameless sales pitch, but the reason I developed this product is because I believe reducing inflammation to be an extremely important part of disease prevention and treatment.  The majority of my patients who have used this product notice a definite difference in their pain levels when they use it.  If you are using chronic anti-inflammatory medications, it may be worth it to see if you can reduce the amount you take by using these healthy, natural and reasonably priced products.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi


Linda S Anderson said...

Dr. Moore, thank you for these posts you have written. I plead with you to read this letter. I saw you about three years ago, and I very much wanted to make appointments with you again for myself as well as my 17-year-old daughter. But because I was originally seen in Riverton rather than Midway, I am considered a new patient, and your staff was firm in stating that you are not taking new patients.

We have been and are having some serious problems, and I’m especially concerned about my daughter. She is delightful, talented, devoted to God and family and friends, and has amazing plans and potential. I need to find help for her. And to help her, I also need to be in good order. Based on our dental symptoms and other things we’ve told him, our holistic dentist suspects hypothyroidism in both of us. We have had physicals and obtained blood tests, but the results aren’t definitive. Based on our previous sensitivities to foods, supplements, etc., I am hesitant to just start experimenting to see what works; I want to be relatively sure we are beginning where we should, and to do that we need guidance from someone with more knowledge. Currently neither of us takes any medications except the occasional ibuprofen, and I don’t want to chance making things worse instead of better. We are very careful about our diet and lifestyle, enabling us to function, but I know we need more help.

My daughter’s major symptoms: Coldness – basal body temperature averages 96.3; wears multiple pair of pajamas and uses multiple quilts every night, even when environmental temperature is warm. Digestive – frequent stomachaches, some very severe, constipation. Seems to have serious lactose intolerance. Teeth – didn’t develop properly, have needed much work and straightening, weak enamel, much decay. Skin – serious acne on face; hands very dry, cracked. At the exam, her weight was 117; height 5’6”; BP 112/70; pulse 88; temperature 98.3; oxygen 99.

My major symptoms: Cold most of the time, especially feet and hands – basal body temperature averages 97.3. Heart irregularities and chest pain. Eyes severely dry. Weak digestion, constipation, lactose intolerance. Foggy thinking. Fatigue, loss of energy, sleepiness. Teeth weak, yellowed. Hair loss, grayness. Dry, cracked skin. Unsteadiness, lightheadedness. Headaches. Joint and muscle pain. Perimenopausal. I am 54 years old. At the exam, my weight was 137; height 5’5”; BP 116/75; pulse 68; temperature 98.0, oxygen 99.

Something that might enter into this: In 1986 I was living in West Berlin, Germany, 800 miles from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. I miscarried twins 6 months later, after which I began noticing heart abnormalities. (I also had two additional miscarriages, one earlier and one later.) I have 5 living children, two born after Chernobyl; this youngest daughter I am concerned about was born 10 years after my exposure.

Family history: I believe my mother suffered from hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency most of her life. She had rheumatoid and osteo arthritis, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, and many other symptoms. My father was on thyroxin before his death in 1985 at age 64 from a massive heart attack. Three of my nieces have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, and thyroid cancer.

I wanted to include all of our blood test results, but there is a size limit to these comments. Please let me know how I can forward them to you.

I sincerely appreciate any help or guidance you can give us, and we would be happy to compensate you financially. If you cannot guide us, would you please recommend someone with whom we could consult?


Linda Anderson, Box Elder County, Utah

Dr. Judi said...

My practice is full right now, but my associate, Dr. Tineke Malus, is an excellent physician and can take care of the issues you and your daughter are having. Make an appointment with her at our office and I'm sure she can assist you.

Linda S Anderson said...

Thank you, Dr. Moore. Is it possible for me to ask Dr. Malus a few questions before we make the 110-mile-one-way drive through the mountains?