GLUCOSAMINE AND HEALING
Anyone involved in regular workouts or someone who simply tries to pick
something up that puts a strain on their body knows the all to familiar pain involved with
joints. Mainly the complications associated with joint pain result in development of
arthritis. The majority of the population has lower back pain. But within the fitness
community (or just about anybody doing a repetitive movement), joint pain and stiffness
can also include the neck, ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows, and hips. Every joint has a
tendency to take some wear and tear from constant overuse. Muscles have a tendency to
heal rather quickly. The surrounding tissues, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments can only
take so much pressure before one of them gives out entirely forcing the individual to take
some time away from physical activity to allow proper rest. Natural supplementation for
the prevention and reduction of inflammation to the joints and the surrounding tissues is
on the rise. Introduction to Glucosamine and the ability to heal is gaining popularity
amongst gym goers and the medical community due to its prevention against overuse and
degenerative joint diseases, such as Osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis of the hip or knee is a chronic condition mostly treated with
analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Long-term use of these drugs can
cause gastrointestinal distress. In contrast to NSAID, there are no serious or fatal side
effects that have been reported for Glucosamine. Throughout the world for the past 10
years, the cartilage constituents chondroitin and Glucosamine have been increasingly
recommended in guidelines, prescribed by general practitioners and rheumatologists, and
used by patients as over the counter medications to modify the clinical and radiological
course of the condition. (2).
Glucosamine supplementation aids in the dense connective tissues
consisting of cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. The process of repair and rebuild of the
connective tissues is an on-going process. Glucosamine reduces inflammation, helps
rebuild connective tissue, maintain cartilage and connective tissue elasticity, and keeps
your joints lubricated if your body is properly hydrated and the right macronutrients are
included in the diet. Glucosamine is an amino sugar, formed in the body as Glucosamine
6-phosphate from the combination of glutamine to modified glucose. A building block for
the glycosaminoglycans that are part of the structure of cartilage. Glucosamine is an
amino-monosaccharide naturally occurring in the human body therefore its production
within the body is produced naturally in the body by Chondrocytes in cartilage to help
maintain and build healthy joint tissue.
Glucosamine’s main basic purpose is to create long chains called
glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which the joints and cartilage require for repair. There are
four main types of glycosaminoglycans: chondroitin sulphate, hyaluronic acid, keratan
sulphate and, dermatan sulphate. The GAGs, formerly known as muco-polysaccharides, are long chains of modified disaccharides and are the main component of proteoglycans
(PGs). These, along with chondrocytes (responsible for the synthesis, maintenance, and
regeneration of cartilage) and collagen, make up cartilage. Proteoglycans form the
collagen and help to retain water within the joint to support flexibility and resistance to
outsides forces placed upon the joint, which is why joints are referred to as shock
absorbers. GAGs bind to water form proteoglycans, which in turn, form the necessary material which bind the cartilage.
Ingested chondroitin and Glucosamine are both partially absorbed in the intestine,
and it has been suggested that some of the ingested amount reaches the joints. The more
readily available Glucosamine, which can be required in supplement form, since the body
has the ability to produce it, the better chance of eliminating or decreasing joint pain
caused by insufficient lubrication to the joints which can cause poor shock absorption.
Glucosamine is used as a preventative measure against overuse and degenerative
joint disease, such as Osteo-arthritis, is largely associated with its ability to increase the
synthesis of new protoglycans and inhibit protoglycans degradation. Osteoarthritis is
caused when cartilage becomes worn and bones become exposed with the reduction of
cartilage, and began to rub against each other. Leading to painful and inflammation of the
joints, the reduction of the cartilage within the spine can become very painful and also
dangerous for nerves, when the bones start to rub against the spinal column. (1).
High cholesterol concentrations and insulin resistance (insulin resistance is when
normal insulin levels are needed more than is required to reduce blood glucose, insulin
transports nutrients into cells) are both recognized risk factors for the development of
atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Given that most people who choose to
supplement Glucosamine do so over long periods of time, the effects of Glucosamine to
raise insulin resistance and/or cholesterol could result in increased atherosclerosis
development. The recommended daily dose is 1500mg and a study was conducted
indicating that short term Glucosamine use does not in fact cause insulin resistance (6).
Short term use was defined as three weeks taking the supplement. Its not necessary to cycle on and off with Glucosamine. Other side effects of supplemental Glucosamine are reduced liver glycogen production, and reduced glucose uptake by cells.
Studies have been conducted that suggested use of Glucosamine efficiently
prevents the long-term progression of osteoarthritis. Before taking any supplements
especially ones suited for a medical condition that might not be as beneficial for the role of joint integrity, its best to consult with a physician to better understand and evaluate the condition. You only have one body, why would you take a chance with a still unproven supplement. Whether it’s a test of strength, a physical demanding job, being a weekend warrior, a runner or the ability to sit through a repetitive process, such as typing, the list goes on and on, its best to take time away from any constant activity to allow proper recuperation.
Some of the benefits associated with taking Glucosamine are: The reduction in
joint tenderness and swelling. Increased flexibility including range of motion, health and
physical performance improvements, slow the degradation of tissues, increases bone
healing and repair. Better cushioning of the joints and superior shock absorption (then
without supplementation), increased stability of the joints and overall joint strength. And
of course aids and/or assists as an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis.
1. (Kelly GS. The role of Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfates in the treatment of degenerative joint disease. Altern Med Rev 1998; 3 (1): 27-39).
2. (Annual nutrition industry overview. Nutrition Business J2005;X:6-7).
3. (Glucosamine Supplementation Accelerates Early but Not Late Atherosclerosis in LDL Receptor–Deficient Mice. 2006 American Society for Nutrition J. Nutr. 136:2856-2861, November 2006).
4. Effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, or placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of hip or knee: network meta-analysis. BMJ 2010; 341:c4675 doi: 10.1136/bmj.c4675 (Published 16 September 2010).
5. Structural and Symptomatic Efficacy of Glucosamine and Chondroitin in Knee Osteoarthritis. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:1514-1522.
6. Short-Term Glucosamine Infusion Does Not Affect Insulin Sensitivity in Humans
(J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2001 May;86(5):2099-2103)
The good Ole Detox diet. Now before you go waste your money on whatever somebody is trying to sell you, remember that any weight loss you lose from this is not from fat. It comes from gastrointestinal bulk, nutrient storage, and water. Anything longer than four to seven days is unnecessary. Besides all the blah-blah of what the individual says, the rebound for all the weight and additional gains will happen, this is known as the rebound. Detox is simply a starvation method. Method being that you aren’t supplying your body the nutrients it normally gets (what you have been eating on a day to day basis). Now I am not a nutritionist or Dietician, but the simple and cost efficient way to do this, drink pure juice from frozen concentrate (check the ingredients most of them will contain corn syrup), get a decent multi-vitamin.
A traditional method of purifying the body is fasting (detox). Many report feeling so much more vital after fasting testimony to the fact that making energy is as much as a result of improving the body’s ability to detoxify as it is about eating the right foods. Detox is a first step to eating a healthy diet. Detox regimes tend to use modified fasts in which the person is given a low-toxin diet, plus key nutrients needed to speed up the body’s ability to detoxify. You do this once a year, for a week. A simple plan is outlined below taken from “The New Optimum Nutrition Bible” by Patrick Holford.
The Seven-Day Detox:
-Begin your detox at the weekend or during a time when you don’t have too much going on.
-Walk for at least fifteen minutes every day.
-Drink at least two quarts of water a day: purified, distilled, filtered, or bottled. You can also drink dandelion coffee or herb teas.
-have half pint of fruit or vegetable juice a day: either carrot and apple juice (you can buy these two separately and combine them with one-third water) with grated ginger or fresh watermelon juice. The flesh of the watermelon is high in beta-carotene and vitamin C. the seeds are high in vitamin E and the antioxidant minerals zinc and selenium. You can make a great antioxidant cocktail be blending flesh and seeds in a blender.
-Eat abundance: Fruit- the most beneficial fruits with the highest detox potential include fresh apricots, all types of berries, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, kiwi, papaya, peaches, mangos, melons, and red grapes. Vegetables - especially good for detoxification are artichokes, peepers, beets, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, red cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, kale, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato, tomato, watercress, and bean and seed sprouts.
-Eat in moderation:
-Grains: brown rice, corn, millet, quinoa, not more that twice a day.
-Fish: salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, not more than once a day.
-Oils: use extra virgin olive oil for cooking and in place of butter, and cold-pressed oils for dressing.
-Nuts and Seeds: one handful a day of raw, unsalted nuts and seeds should be included. Choose from almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds.
-Supplement two multivitamins/ minerals 2 grams of vitamin C, two antioxidant complexes, and 2 grams of MSM (methyl sulfonylurea methane) every day. Also have a shot of aloe Vera juice.
-Avoid all wheat products, all meat and dairy products, eggs, and salt (and any foods that contain them), hydrogenated fats, artificial sweeteners, food additives and preservatives, fried foods, spices, and dried fruit.
-Limit potatoes to one portion every other day and bananas to one every other day.
You might feel worse for a few days, you are eliminating foods to which you might be allergic or dependent on. It is your right as consumer to be made aware of what someone is selling you. Do some research and be cautious that most people are part of the SCAM. Anybody telling you how to lose weight outside of the Allied Healthcare Continuum doesn’t know what they are talking about nor have the credentials to advise you on weight loss. And yes I have the credentials. If you would like to know more consult with a Dietician, some healthcare plans will provide one. Or simply message me. There is Truth.
Warming the Body Up.
Individuals participating in an activity that involve practicing or competition should warm their body up. A well designed warm-up program will enhance you mentally and physically, greatly enhance your performance, reduce your risk of injury, and lessen (not eliminate) the potential for muscle soreness after exercise. The body must be prepared for the demands that they are about to undertake. Warming up, broken down in physiological terms: increased blood flow to active muscles, raising the core body temperature (having a cold body = stiffness) enhancing metabolic functions, and improving your range of motion. Thus the benefits include a athletic performance BOOST by enhancing oxygen delivery, increasing the speed of nerve-impulse transmissions, improving rate of force development, and maximizing Strength and Power. There is a difference between Warming up and Stretching. Warming Up consists of preparatory activities and functionally based movements that are specifically designed to prepare the body for exercise or sport. Stretching is used to enhance Flexibility. A traditional warm-up consists of 5 to 10 minutes of low- to moderate-intensity cardio respiratory exercise, such as jogging or stationary cycling (can’t forgot about walking), followed my several minutes of static stretching. The other component of the Warm Up program are specific movements that are less intense of the activity you are about to perform. Perform basic exercises for the major muscle groups that will increase heart rate, blood flow, muscle temperature, and core body temperature. Me personally I incorporate static stretches at the End of the program, held for about 10-30 seconds to help improve range of motion within joints, enhance performance, and reduce your risk of injury. But if you feel any discomfort during stretching, STOP immediately, and ask your self if you need to see a doctor.
In Summary: Dynamic Warm Up typically involves movements of low, moderate, and high intensity that increase body temperature, enhance motor-unit excitability, develop kinesthetic awareness, and maximize active ranges of motion. (I think I mentioned this three times).
An injury is Not something I wish happen to you, yet at anytime (even sitting at your computer) you could have an accident. Working out and moving about the gym, enjoying yourself, training to meet your goals, having a blast, a hidden occurrence waiting to happen. If you don’t want to get hurt in any way, you’ll just have to stay home away from it all. But even at your place of comfort injury can lurk around every corner. No need to freak out, with a little caution, most accidents can be avoided. Is there a chance you could get seriously injured in a gym? Definitely. Can it be avoided? Certainly.
Sports injuries are described as either Contact (two athletes hitting each other or an object hitting an athlete) or Non-Contact (athlete is injured without direct contact with another athlete or object). When designing (my job and commit to you) an exercise program the needs of the client must be considered. The risk of injury can be diminished through needs analysis, proper programming specific to the client’s goals and needs, and periodization of training programs (this is what I do), but sometimes, Sometimes, injury is unavoidable. Proper form and technique is required when placing loads on the body. Starting with correct posture and movement training will surely eliminate causes but its up to you to be fully aware of your body position and others around you. Oh yes!! People are clumsy. And don’t be checking out the opposite sex while training especially squatting.