The State of Bone and Joint Health in America
With today’s busy lifestyle, many of us don’t think much about bone and joint health unless we experience an injury or the signs of degeneration, where pain is often an indicator. As prevention, postmenopausal women or men over age 50 might take a calcium supplement or get a bone density test. Still, a staggering “140 million adults in the U.S. suffer from some form of joint or connective tissue disorder.1” And 27 million people over 25 already have degenerative joint disease (DJD)—that’s 14% of the American population! What’s worse is that over 34% of those over the age of 65 have DJD.2
So, what can you do if you are already experiencing or have been diagnosed with a degenerative condition? Although there is no known cure for osteoporosis or other degenerative joint diseases, there are several natural ways to support the body’s joint and bone health.
1. Regular Exercise is Key to Bone and Joint Strength
To start, doctors and alternative medical practitioners alike agree that regular exercise is the number one component to maintaining or improving overall bone and joint health.
According to Dr. Axe exercise “strengthens and stretches body parts, boosts circulation, and supports healthy body weight.”
Dr. Axe suggests that for maximum benefits, alternate strengthening exercises and aerobics geared toward your specific state of joint health.2
2. A Whole-Food-Based Diet for Bone and Joint Nutrition
Eating locally grown, whole foods is the best way to receive most of your nutritional needs. A diet in nutrient-rich foods will ensure you are getting maximum whole-food nutrition necessary for healthy joints and strong bones.
Regular intake of foods such as avocado and wild caught canned salmon provide both essential fatty acids (Omega 3s) and calcium. Others like kale, almonds, and sesame seeds are rich in calcium, magnesium, vitamins, and antioxidants necessary for healthy bones and joints.
Many will vouch for the healing benefits of bone broth for a variety of ailments, including reduced length of typical colds or support for bone health due to bone broth containing collagen and gelatin from animals. The process of simmering bones is thought to release many compounds into the broth such as collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine. In addition, bone broth contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and sulfur.3, 4
3. Supplements to Support Bone and Joint Health
Adding collagen and sulfur, increasing antioxidants, and providing structural support are the primary focus areas for supplementation which may complete your efforts to support bone and joint health in addition to diet and exercise.
Collagen and Sulfur Are Important for Bone and Joint Health
Both Collagen and Sulfur play an integral part in bone and joint health, function, regeneration, and maintenance. Supplementing can help offset the normal signs of aging and degeneration related to reduced collagen and sulfur production.*
- Begins to naturally diminish in production at age 25 and decreases to less than 50% by age 60 *
- Found in bones and joints
- Collagen Type 1 & 3 make up part of the bone matrix
- Collagen Type 2 makes up cartilage
- Half of the sulfur in the body is found in muscles, skin, and bones
- A shortage can contribute to stiff muscles and painful joints
- (Methylsulfonylmethane) MSM is an organic form of sulfur
- May improve the ability for cells to absorb Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, amino acids, selenium, calcium, magnesium, and CoQ10*
- Supports oxidative cell damage repair *
Antioxidants and Plants That Support Bone and Joint Health
Our bodies require antioxidants to fight free radicals and counteract oxidative stress. One of the primary issues contributing to the degeneration of joints is oxidative stress cause by enzymes which break down cartilage.
Combine foods rich in antioxidants with antioxidant supplements to help you to maximize and meet your individual antioxidant requirements.
In addition, recent research and studies based Ayurveda medicine practices indicate that certain plant properties, such as those in boswellia and turmeric, can potentially curb the symptoms or age or exercise-related reduction in cartilage or bone density—without the harmful side effects of more common remedies.*
Astaxanthin – Powerful antioxidant supplements such as astaxanthin may reduce free radicals and the oxidative load that may impact joint and tendon health. One of the most potent antioxidant sources, astaxanthin (Haematococcus pluvialis) gives salmon it’s orange color and strength to swim upstream.* For humans, it may provide benefits to the eyes, nervous system, and cellular health in addition to supporting joint health.*
Boswellia – Part of Indian medicine for thousands of years, Boswellia serreta is the plant that produces frankincense and includes healing properties which may benefit many body systems.* It contains glycoproteins and other properties which support joint health and may promote a healthy inflammation response.*
Turmeric (Curcumin) – Numerous research studies indicate the powerful benefits related to use of curcumin (the primary ingredient in turmeric) for relieving symptoms associated with age-related joint issues6.* Though further research is needed on a larger scale, a pilot study revealed significant reduction in pain and swelling for participants with few to no side effects from use of curcumin alone, and in combination with certain NSAIDs. 7*
Vitamin C – When combined with hydrolyzed collagen Type 1 & 3, Vitamin C (known for its antioxidant benefits) supports absorption of collagen and reduces excess levels of inflammation in the joints.*
Structural Support for Bone and Joint Health
Eggshell Membrane – Natural Eggshell Membrane is a natural way to receive chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, collagen and other essential proteins. It contains a combination of nutrients which specifically supports health in joints and cartilage without the side effects of conventional products. Research indicates that natural eggshell membrane may improve joint stiffness and range of motion, and support the production of Type 2 collagen, which is specifically founds in cartilage.8*
Glucosamine and Chondroitin – Glucosamine and chondroitin are both GAGs (glycosaminoflycans) which are important to the processes of joint lubrication and nourishing soft tissue. * They are also sulfates which are helpful to the structural support of joints.* Glucosamine sulfate is absorbed easily and works in conjunction with the lubricating benefits of chondroitin. Combining glucosamine with Omega 3s may also boost benefits9.*
Hyaluronic Acid – With age, studies have shown that HA production may wane due to the natural aging process, repeated injuries, or free radicals.10 Naturally occurring in the body, HA contributes to cell production and distinction, and may reduce factors which impact cells to perform various functions. Hyaluronic acid is a crucial part of maintaining moisture in skin, joints, synovial fluid, and other connective tissues—providing needed hydration for cell health and regeneration.*
Omega 3s and Joint Health – The effects of Omega 3s on joint health have been highly researched and studied for decades. The results suggest that Omega 3s reduce excess inflammation and associated pain in joints that may occur with age or after exercise. *
Vitamin D – Receiving adequate levels of Vitamin D is an essential part of maintaining bone health. With today’s current health risks associated with direct sunlight exposure (the natural method for producing Vitamin D), most health practitioners as well as The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tout that the best way to make sure you’re getting sufficient Vitamin D – specifically D3, is through supplementation.11
Natural Bone and Joint Health Supplements
Ultimately, you will decide the best way to balance lifestyle, diet, and supplementation for your individual needs. Here are a few suggested supplements to get you started.
BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin, from Nutrex Hawaii contains the highest potency of astaxanthin per gel gap available on the market today. It’s 6000x stronger than Vitamin C, 800x stronger than CoQ10, and 550x stronger than green tea catechins. * Sourced from Hawaiian microalgae, it’s non-GMO, and free of yeast, corn, wheat, lactose, and gluten.
Bone Health Advanced from Redd Remedies is a combination formula containing the key ingredients of Eggshell Calcium (ESC®), Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), Vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7), magnesium, and boron. It may support strong bone tissue, bone mineralization, and reduce the risk of bone tissue loss.*
Curcumin C3 Reduct Chewable from Redd Remedies is a cinnamon-flavored, non-GMO chewable supplement which delivers biologically active tetrahydrocurcuminoid. It’s the first colorless, non-staining chewable turmeric on the market and is all-natural, gluten-free, dairy-free, and yeast-free.
Collagen 2 Joint Complex contains Chicken Collagen Type 2 protein which naturally includes hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and chondroitin in Kosher gelatin capsules with no other added ingredients. Created by NeoCell, the number one brand in Collagen supplements, Collagen 2 Joint Complex is non-GMO, and free of soy, wheat, lactose, starch, yeast, gluten, and artificial flavors.
Flexera full-spectrum joint formula combines specific ingredients which may help promote joint health by increasing elasticity, lubricating joints, improving mobility, and supporting connective tissue health.
Joint Burst Chews offer a tangy, juicy option for a Collagen 2 supplement! Hyaluronic acid and turmeric round out each delicious bite and offer support for connective tissues, joint fluidity, and a healthy inflammation response.*
Vitälzȳm+™ professional formula contains the same quality-blend formula of the original powder-based Vitälzȳm hybrid product, with the added health benefits of Magnesium.
Hyaluronic Acid Double Strength from NeoCell contains 120 mg HA and is clinically shown to improve the skin’s moisture content within six weeks.* Found in nearly every tissue in the body, HA is a vital part of skin hydration, eye health, helps maintain joint fluid levels, and can hold 1000 times its weight in water.
Joint Health Advanced combination formula contains Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM®), Boswellin®PS (Boswellia serreta), turmeric root extract, and an antioxidant blend of blueberries, cherries and raspberries. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, and yeast free. From Redd Remedies.
Joint Health is a raw, whole food formula with enzymes and probiotics plus BioCell Collagen II®, Meriva® Turmeric Root, Opti MSM® and glucosamine sulfate for superior joint protection and support.* From Emerald Labs, the “Additive-Free” company, Joint Health comes in a vegetarian capsule, and is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, yeast-free, and non-GMO.
Osteo Bone Health contains ingredients which may support healthy bone density and help to maintain “calcium-favorable” pH levels.* Raw, whole-food formula with probiotics and enzymes plus mineral chelates, potassium, Vitamin K, Meriva ®, and Opti MSM®. Contains no additives, gluten, dairy, soy, or yeast and is non-GMO.
Paractin MSM combines antioxidant benefits of MSM ( methylsulfonylmethane) – from Harmonic Innerprizes, Inc. is a natural sulfur plus Paractin for targeted bone cell support.* MSM may support the formation of keratin, collagen, and elastin while Paractin supports immune health.*
Turmeric Extract Powder, from Ultimate Superfoods contains cold-water extracted curcuminoids, and is easily added to savory dishes, warm bone broth, smoothies or other foods. It’s also raw, vegan, additive-free, non-GMO, and does not contain gluten or soy.
See more JOINT, BONE, and MUSCLE support products.
- Exciting New Breakthrough Treatment in Joint and Connective Tissue Disorder
- 5 Natural Degenerative Joint Disease Treatments that Work (Dr. Axe)
- The Healing Power of Bone Broth…
- Why Both is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin
- Dr. Mercola on the Importance of Sulfur
- The Spice That is Better Than Drugs for RA (Dr. Mercola)
- Phytotherapy Research Pilot Study on Curcumin
- Eggshell membrane: A possible new natural therapeutic for joint and connective tissue disorders. Results from two open-label human clinical studies
- Dr. Mercola on Omega 3 and Joint Health
- Hyaluronic Acid: A key molecule in skin aging (Dermato Endocrinology)
- Sun Exposure and Vitamin D