Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis


Also known as osteoarthrosis, degenerative arthritis, and degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is a gradual wearing down of cartilage – the firm, elastic tissue that connects bones with muscles and protects the joints. This can cause swelling and inflammation of the joints, reduced mobility, and muscle spasms. Simple movement often causes pain, which is usually characterized by either a sharp ache or burning sensation. Painful bone spurs – abnormal growths of bone – can form as well. It is most likely to occur to the hips, knees, spine, feet and hands.

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis affects more than 20 million people in the United States. It usually begins around middle age. Sufferers tend to feel best in the morning, with symptoms becoming progressively worse as the day continues. Osteoarthritis is irreversible, so treatment aims to reduce pain and improve mobility.

Supplements to treat osteoarthritis

• B-complex vitamins – take a multi-vitamin.
• Boron
• Chondroitin sulfate
• EPA/DHA (fish oil) – choose a source that contains vitamin E to prevent oxidation.
• Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) – it is important to maintain the proper ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids.
• Ginger – do not take with Coumadin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications (NSAIDs)
• Glucosamine – don’t take if you are allergic to shellfish. Consult use with your healthcare provider if you have diabetes because glucosamine can alter blood sugar levels.
• Manganese
• Methylsulfonyl-methane (MSM) – when beginning supplementation, ingest with meals to avoid possible heartburn. May cause stomach upset when taken in large doses.
• Quercetin
• ultralnflamX – metagenics product. Do not use if taking a diuretic.


Osteoporosis is a progressive disease in which the bones become porous and brittle, making them susceptible to fractures. It is the cause of approximately 1.2 million cases of broken bones each year in the United States. Although one-third of the cases involve men, osteoporosis occurs primarily in postmenopausal women. In most cases, the bone loss does not cause any symptoms, so the condition usually goes unnoticed until a break occurs.

Osteoporosis tends to occur more often in small, fine-boned individuals, rather than those with larger, denser bones. It is particularly threatening to women after menopause because that is when the ovaries stop producing estrogen, which helps maintain bone mass. Other causes of osteoporosis include calcium deficiency and a deficiency in vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. If the body does not get a sufficient amount of calcium through foods and/or supplements, it will rob this essential mineral from the bones. Other dietary factors that increase the risk of osteoporosis include excessive intakes of protein, salt, sugar, caffeine, and carbonated soft drinks. Foods containing oxalic acid, such as spinach, Swiss chard, beet and dandelion greens, rhubarb, asparagus, and chocolate, which bind with calcium and decrease its absorption, should also be avoided. Smoking and alcohol consumption are additional risk factors, as are a number of medications, including certain blood thinners, steroids, seizure medications, chemotherapy drugs, lithium, and tetracycline. Abnormal cortisol (a stress hormone) levels can also lead to bone loss.

A diet high in calcium and vitamin D is suggested to help prevent bone loss. Also recommended is regular weight-bearing exercise, especially walking, which helps maintain strong bones.

Supplements to treat osteoporosis

• Boron
• Calcium – use calcium hydroxyapatite or calcium citrate. Do not use calcium carbonate. Although most people are deficient in calcium, there is a danger in taking too much calcium. Do not ingest more than 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium a day.
• Copper – you copper-to-zinc ratio is very important for your health. Also, do not take copper supplement cupric oxide, which has a very low bioavailability.
• EPA/DHA (fish oil) – choose a source that contains vitamin E to prevent oxidation.
• Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
• Lpriflavone
• Potassium – consume foods high in potassium
• Vitamin B9 (folic acid) – high doses can deplete your body of other vitamins in the B complex
• Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) – high doses can deplete your body of other vitamins in the B complex
• Magnesium – consult healthcare provider for dosage if you have kidney disease. Discontinue use and see your doctor if you experience abdominal pain. Take a lower dose if it causes diarrhea.
• Manganese
• Vitamin C – do not take high dosages if you are prone to kidney stones or gout.
• Vitamin D – have your blood levels measured by your healthcare provider, who will then determine proper dosage.
• Vitamin K – high dosages can cause toxicity. Consult your healthcare provider before taking if you are on an anticoagulant. K2 is particularly effective at maintaining bone structure.
• Zinc – the best zinc supplements are zinc picolinate and zinc citrate. If you are taking zinc and iron supplements, take one in the morning and one in the evening.

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