However, approximately 30,000 men still die every year secondary to the disease. To that end, dedicated research has sought to examine possible ways to prevent this cancer. Over the past few decades, there has been a prevailing belief that vitamin supplementation will improve our health by increasing vitality, decreasing cancer risk and helping to fend off other common health problems. In the U.S.
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Herbal Supplements: Are You Getting What You Pay For?
Some studies report that glucosamine may elevate blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, so patients should consult their primary health care provider prior to using supplements that contain glucosamine.5-9 Some studies report, however, that for most diabetic patients taking glucosamine, routine blood glucose testing appears to be an effective monitoring parameter to detect elevated blood glucose levels.5-9 In addition, because glucosamine supplements are often derived from shells of shrimp, lobsters, or crabs, patients with seafood allergies should avoid the use of these supplements.5-9 Chondroitin Chondroitin sulfate is classified as a glycosaminoglycan that is normally present in cartilage.7 Chondroitin acts as a building material in cartilage production, stimulates chondrocytes to produce cartilage, and serves as a sulfur donor, which is a key function in the synthesis of cartilage.7 As a supplement, chondroitin is utilized primarily for treating OA and promoting joint health; it is marketed to reduce pain and inflammation, improve joint function, and slow the progression of OA.9-11 Usually, chondroitin is found in products that contain glucosamine as well. In supplements, chondroitin is usually derived from bovine trachea or pork by-products.7,9-11 The typical dose of chondroitin is 1200 mg once daily or in divided doses.7 Many clinical studies have concluded that this supplement needs to be taken for 2 to 4 months before patients experience any health benefits.7,10 If no relief is observed after 3 to 5 months, many health experts advise discontinuation of therapy.7 Common adverse effects include nausea and mild gastrointestinal upset.7 Chondroitin should be taken with food if upset stomach occurs. Chondroitin use should be avoided in pregnant or lactating women due to lack of clinical safety data in these patient populations.7 Patients should be advised to consult their primary health care provider before taking chondroitin because it may interact with anticoagulants.7,10 Chondroitin is not recommended for use in children. Recommendations The Arthritis Foundation recommends that individuals with knee OA discuss the use of glucosamine and chondroitin with their physicians to ascertain whether these supplements would be appropriate and beneficial to their treatment plan.12 In addition, the American College of Rheumatology 2012 guidelines for hand and knee OA do not recommend the use of these supplements for initial management in individuals with knee OA. The current guidelines can be found at http://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Guidelines/Osteoarthritis/ .13 New joint health supplements include Osteo Bi-Flex Triple Strength (Rexall Sundown, Inc; which contains chondroitin, MSM, and 5-LOXIN Advanced) and Osteo Bi-Flex Joint and Energy (Rexall Sundown, Inc; which contains 5-LOXIN and B vitamins). 5-LOXIN is concentrated extract of Boswellia serrata, which is used to manage joint flareups.13 Other new supplements include Flex A Min Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM Triple Strength (United States Nutrition, Inc) and Schiffs Move Free Ultra Omega (RB, LLC).
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Joint Health Supplements
In the same New York Times article he indicated that it was flawed because the bar-coding technology could not always identify herbs that have been purified and processed. As some background when specific extracts are derived from plants (as in the case of curcumin extracted from the herb turmeric), the herb may undergo processing to allow the extraction process. He added that Over all, I would agree that quality control is an issue in the herbal industry. But I think that whats represented here is overblown. I dont think its as bad as it looks according to this study. What You Can Do to Ensure Quality Herbal Products: Remember that herbs were the primary medicine of humans for thousands of years. A study of 44 products from 12 companies is too small to rely on for valuable herbal recommendations.
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