Nutrition


Why It Hurts: Pain and Inflammation
Nutrition
Written by Barry Sears, Ph.D.   
Wednesday, 24 May 2006 11:17

Pain is often the hallmark of disease. Chronic pain, itself, is not a defined medical condition, but rather a symptom in the body that something has gone awry. Pain usually stems from inflammation of the body’s tissues. Although there is no blood test for pain, the patient is acutely aware of its existence.

Throughout the centuries, one of the most pressing goals for medical researchers has been to find more effective ways to diminish pain. As medicine enters the 21st century, we are still seeking a perfect pain reliever with no side effects. After all, end-stage cancer patients are still given morphine, a narcotic drug that was used during the Civil War, to dull their excruciating pain. And experts on pain are sizing up the benefits of marijuana for their patients. Somehow we haven’t been able to develop a pain reliever that’s truly effective and doesn’t cause a drug-induced high.

Sometimes physicians can’t make a definitive medical diagnosis to explain the underlying cause of chronic pain. They may shrug their shoulders or use a term like fibromyalgia, a diagnosis made to describe intense, diffuse pain of unknown origin. Regardless of whether a definitive cause of chronic pain can be found, every patient knows that the pain is very, very real.

The most powerful pain relievers, however, are corticosteroids. They have an immediate effect, but they knock out all eicosanoids*—“good anti-inflammatory” and “bad pro-inflammatory”—indiscriminately. This can lead to severe side effects, such as immune depression, cognitive impairment, and diabetes.

Aspirin, on the other hand, affects a more limited number of eicosanoids (only prostaglandins and thromboxanes) but, at least, it knocks out the “bad” eicosanoids at a slightly faster rate than it knocks out the “good” ones. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Advil) also work like aspirin. In recent years, new and very expensive medications called COX-2 inhibitors were added to the stockpile of pain relievers. These have a little more selectivity than aspirin.

Corticosteroids, aspirin, and other anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit the actions of enzymes that make “bad” eicosanoids, whereas ultra refined high-dose fish oil reduces the actual building block (arachidonic acid) necessary to make the same “bad” eicosanoids. The medications won’t reduce the building blocks of “bad” eicosanoids, so it’s almost as if you’re fighting an uphill battle against pain. Ultra refined high-dose fish oil, on the other hand, reduces the materials necessary to make these weapons of pain. Thus, you’re able to charge downhill to conquer your enemy. This explains why ultra refined high-dose fish oil can so effectively keep inflammatory pain under control.

While medicine has a variety of blood tests to check for heart disease and diabetes, it has virtually none to test for pain. The primary way a physician normally determines the extent of one’s pain is by the patient’s own reporting of symptoms. Medical science has coined a lot of terms to describe the various parts of the body that hurt. Many end in -itis, a Greek root meaning inflammation.

I think you get the picture. Virtually wherever your patient’s pain is, it comes from the overproduction of “bad” eicosanoids like prostaglandins or leukotrienes. Always striving for balance, your body also produces an equally impressive number of “good” eicosanoids that decrease pain.

The trick is to achieve the right level of the “good” and the “bad.”

As you now know, our lifestyles favor an overproduction of “bad” eicosanoids. That’s why patients need to reach the Anti Inflammation Zone: to shift the scales the other way in order to strike an appropriate balance of eicosanoids.

This process will limit the amount of insulin in the blood while providing sufficient levels of ultra refined high-dose fish oil.

Controlling this super hormone known as eicosanoids has 90 percent of the impact on the pain patients feel—compared with a 10 percent impact by insulin (and, thereby, diet). This means that patients need to focus most of their efforts on consuming ultra refined high-dose fish oil, if their aim is to decrease chronic pain.

Besides fibromyalgia, a wide number of painful conditions caused by chronic inflammation can be alleviated once one is in the Anti Inflammation Zone.

Pain is an unfortunate hallmark of nearly every chronic disease. But the fact is that we can control pain much more than we think.

All we have to do is get our “bad” eicosanoids under control.

We can do this by using powerful drugs like corticosteroids, which have some serious side effects, or by choosing my dietary recommendations as the “drug” of choice. I know what I would choose: the option that hurts least.

I’m confident that ultra refined high-dose fish oil, especially when coupled with improved insulin control, will have a significant role to play in the treatment of chronic pain, including arthritis.

Dr. Barry Sears is a leading authority on the dietary control of hormonal response, and the author of the #1 best seller on the New York Times book list, The Zone. A former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Sears has dedicated his research efforts over the past thirty years to the study of lipids.

To learn more about The Zone Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle Management program or ultra refined fish oils, call 1-800-404-8171 or visit www.drsearszonefast.com. To find out more about the AA/EPA blood test visit that measures Silent Inflammation, visit www.omega3testing.com/physician.html.

 
Alternatives to NSAID's in the Treatment of Spinal Pain
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Nutrition
Written by David Seaman, D.C., M.S., D.A.B.C.N., F.A.C.C.   
Wednesday, 24 May 2006 11:14

The treatment of pain with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) is big business in America, which leads to a substantial number of deaths and extraordinary costs to treat NSAID-complications. Consider the following facts about NSAID use:

• More than 70 million NSAID prescriptions each year in US
• More than 30 billion OTC NSAID’s sold each year in US
• 5-10% of US adult population routinely takes NSAID’s for pain control
• 14% of elderly US population routinely takes NSAID’s for pain control
• NSAID-associated dyspepsia occurs in 50% of users
• Almost all patients who take NSAID’s long term will demonstrate sub-epithelial gastric hemorrhage
• About 8-20% of long term users will develop frank gut ulceration
• About 3% will develop serious side-effects, which lead to 100,000 hospitalizations and an estimated 16,500 deaths
• Annual cost to treat NSAID complications exceeds $1.5 billion annually

Natural biochemical treatments may be a way to curtail the damage caused by NSAID’s. A recent article published in Surgical Neurology examined the use of fish oil supplements in the treatment of patients with discogenic pain.1 One of the authors is a neurosurgeon who evaluated some 250 patients, none of which turned out to be a surgical case; all were suffering from degenerative disc disease with facet arthropathy in the cervical and/or lumbar spine.

All patients were taking NSAID’s and 75% were on COX2 inhibitors. They were asked to take EPA/DHA from fish oil, at a dose of 2.4 grams for 2 weeks, and 1.2 grams thereafter. Questionnaires were sent to all patients and 125 were returned at an average of 75 days on fish oil supplements. Seventy-eight percent of patients were taking 1.2 grams, while 22% decided to continue with 2.4 grams/day.

A total of 59% of patients were able to discontinue the use of any NSAID’s; 60% reported their overall pain was less; 60% stated their joint pain was improved; 80% stated they were satisfied with their improvements; and, 88% stated they would continue taking fish oil. Only 2 patients reported side effects of any significance: loose bowel movements on 1.2 grams/day.

These positive results should not be surprising, as pharmacology texts tell us that EPA/DHA supplements approximate the potency of NSAID’s.2

The authors of this article mention additional natural anti-inflammatory agents, including turmeric, boswellia, bromelain, white willow bark, and green tea. Ginger is also a popular herb that is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Keep your nutritional approach simple and straightforward. For pain and inflammation, have you patients eat an anti-inflammatory diet as described in my previous articles in The American Chiropractor, and have them take a multi, plus magnesium, EPA/DHA, coenzyme Q10, ginger/turmeric and, if they have joint pain, glucosamine as well. This approach is not typically contraindicated, save for those on anti-coagulants, such as Coumadin. Maroon and Bost indicated that patients taking aspirin are not at risk, if they take fish oil.1

References

1. Maroon JC, Bost JW. n-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain. Surg Neurol 2006; 65:326-331

2. Katzung BG. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology. 8th ed. New York: Lange Medical Books/McGraw Hill; 2001: p.615

Dr. Seaman is the Clinical Chiropractic Consultant for Anabolic Laboratories, one of the first supplement manufacturers to service the chiropractic profession. He is on the postgraduate faculties of several chiropractic colleges, providing nutrition seminars that focus on the needs of the chiropractic patient. He is also a faculty member at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, where he teaches nutrition and subluxation theories. He can be reached by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Preventing Recurring Subluxations with Nutrition
Nutrition
Written by Freddie Ulan, D.C.   
Thursday, 27 April 2006 03:05

As a chiropractor, I have found myself correcting the same subluxations three times a week on many patients. Regardless what technique I used, the relief they experienced was always temporary.

I was prosperous, but unfulfilled. Yes, I could sell lots of adjustments to my patients; they loved me and kept coming back. I could earn an income that justified my education. I could reduce pain and symptoms for brief periods.

But, chiropractic is about health, not just back or neck pains. I hadn’t studied all those years to provide temporary pain relief. I was well on the road to “chiropractor burnout.”

Years later, I developed a serious physical illness. I was going to a really good chiropractor, who gave technically perfect adjustments. But sometimes my subluxations would recur, literally within minutes of leaving his office. After a while, I was so sick that not even repeated adjustments made any difference.

Because of my own illness, with no relief from anything I tried, I spent much of my time studying and researching the possible causes of these problematic recurrent subluxations. This search lead me to the works of the founding fathers of clinical nutrition, geniuses of the 20th Century, Dr. Royal Lee, Dr.Weston Price, and Dr. Francis Pottenger and their discoveries concerning the relationship of nutritional deficiencies to overall health. The theory and practice of Nutrition Response TestingTM emerged from this research.

Nutritional Imbalances and Deficiencies Are the Cause of Chronically Recurring Subluxations

Nutrition Response Testing revealed the nutritional imbalances and deficiencies that were keeping me from getting well. I went on a program of designed clinical nutrition and correct dietary guidelines, and I adhered closely to it.

The improvement in my health, gradual at first, has been dramatic and lasting, and continues to this day.

Once the exact clinical nutrition formulas started to work their way deep into the tissues of my body, improving function and health, my neck no longer needed three adjustments a week to be free of constant pain. These days, I’d have to do something really “macho” (like lift a piano) to throw my neck out. But my adjustments now “hold” or stay put. Chronic recurring subluxations are no longer a constant part of my life. What a true validation of chiropractic!

Since then, I have assisted countless patients who were still under the care of a  chiropractor for their chronically recurring subluxations. Once I found and corrected the underlying nutritional imbalances and deficiencies—almost inevitable in today’s world of poor diet, fast foods and toxic chemical overload—the subluxations began to stay fixed. It became standard procedure to look for the underlying nutritional cause of any subluxation that recurs more than three times—quite a change from the 12 to 16 weeks of 2-3 adjustments per week I used to consider necessary just for stabilization.

How to Correct Nutritionally Caused Subluxations

More often than you might imagine, the chronically recurring subluxation is simply the effect of a “viscero-somatic reflex.” In other words, an organ with an energy problem is causing the subluxation. With Nutrition Response Testing, you can find out which organ it is, determine the exact deficiency or imbalance, and correct that through specifically designed clinical nutrition. Now you can perform corrective spinal adjustments that really hold.

Contrary to the lessons of science taught so thoroughly in chiropractic colleges, the offending organ is not always the one with the nerve supply from the same level of the spine. While recurrent cervical problems commonly trace to an active thyroid reflex, so does low back pain in some cases. Similarly, I can’t tell you how often I have found an active prostate reflex in relation to overall spinal stiffness or upper neck pain, in addition to the more routine findings in low back cases.

Through years of working with Nutrition Response Testing, and now teaching it as a full time activity, I have learned that “anything can cause anything.” I accept the answers Nutrition Response Testing reveals, get the patient doing the correct nutritional program, and the patient experiences relief and improved health.

The spine stays properly aligned, flexible and in balance. The result is delighted, grateful patients who vigorously refer their families and friends.
The key to Nutrition Response Testing is its assessment of the autonomic nervous system. This is the critical step that has been neglected in muscle testing in the past. It is vital to check the body’s ANS or “innate intelligence” to do a proper assessment. The case that receives the exact right program and/or chiropractic adjustment, yet worsens, “roller-coasters,” or makes no change at all, has not been properly assessed for autonomic integrity related to the case. These patients used to be the ones that kept me up at night—until I solved this using Nutrition Response Testing.

By properly assessing the status of the autonomic nervous system, through a set of simple, yet highly sophisticated procedures that take less than a minute to perform, and delivering the appropriate nutritional support in conjunction with the correct chiropractic intervention, I achieved consistent results and total certainty that I can make people well—helping a greater abundance of not only routine chiropractic patients but my entire community as a whole.

Nutrition Response Testing Can Turn You into a Whole Body Natural Health Expert

It takes a thorough understanding of Nutrition Response Testing, including knowledge of the anatomy, along with basic physiology and biochemistry of the body to become great at this work.  It can be learned easily by any qualified health practitioner. By attending Nutrition Response Testing seminars and workshops, studying the DVD’s, and with a dedication toward achieving a high level of professionalism, you can become the best that you can be relatively quickly. Your practice becomes a joy, and your clients appreciate you and tell all their friends. You start thinking of yourself more and more as a healer. Life is good.

Dr. Freddie Ulan is chairman of the newly established Ulan Nutritional Systems, Inc., where he and a team of highly qualified expert practitioners are actively involved in teaching Nutrition Response Testing Workshops sponsored by Texas Chiropractic College, Post Graduate Division, as well as Advanced Clinical Training and the Secrets of Nutritional Patient Management.  For more information, visit www.unsinc.info/dvd, www.unsinc.info, or call 727-442-7101 and ask for Dory.

 
Brain Drain Due to Silent Inflammation
Nutrition
Written by Barry Sears, Ph.D.   
Thursday, 27 April 2006 03:03

The mind is the last frontier of medical science. Your brain contains thousands of unexplained mysteries. Researchers remain humbled by its complexities as they try to pinpoint the exact areas of the brain responsible for how you speak, experience love, learn to hate, and express creativity.

Because of the complexity of neurological function, your brain is very sensitive to silent inflammation. Since the brain has no pain receptors, silent inflammation could transform into full-blown inflammation (enough to cause pain in other parts of your body), and you would still never know it. That’s what makes neurological disease so terrifying. You may have no idea your brain is under inflammatory attack until it’s too late, and irreversible disease has set in. The dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease, for instance, currently cannot be reversed once the damage is done. New medications may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, but still can’t return the brain to its normal functioning state.

Your best defense against the brain drain, therefore, is a strong offense. That means keeping silent inflammation under control on a lifetime basis.  High-dose fish oil is your primary anti-inflammatory “drug”. Unlike pharmaceuticals that have a difficult time crossing the blood-brain barrier, the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have no problem crossing that barrier. In fact, sixty percent of your brain’s dry weight is fat, and much of this comes from DHA. This DHA is a critical component necessary for nerve conduction, visual fidelity, and energy production. This is why your grandmother often referred to fish oil as brain food.

If fish oil is so important, then isn’t it possible that a lack of fish oil in the diet will compromise your brain function? Wouldn’t you be more prone to neurological disease due to silent inflammation? The answer to both questions is a resounding, “Yes!”.

Previous population studies have pointed to the fact that people who live in countries where fish consumption is very high (such as Japan) have the lowest rates in the world of heart disease and neurological disorders like depression. Yet, the amount of fish oil in the American diet has been steadily decreasing over the past century. It is estimated that our consumption of EPA and DHA is only five percent of what it was 100 years ago. During the same time period, we have had a dramatic dietary increase in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats coming from vegetable oils. This fact, coupled with a dramatic increase in our insulin levels, should not make it too hard to figure out why our rates of neurological disease are skyrocketing. We simply have much more silent inflammation in our brains than we had in the past.

With the recent advent of ultra-refined EPA/DHA concentrates, we now have the ability to safely raise our levels of DHA and EPA in our brain. If we can raise these levels of anti-inflammatory fatty acids high enough, we should be able to lower our risk of developing mental disorders caused by silent inflammation. More importantly, we may finally have the power to reverse the effects of these conditions, if they’ve already debilitated our mental function. So, this is really the defining moment for these new purified grades of patented fish oil. We now finally have a product that we can take in high enough amounts to combat silent inflammation in the brain. Just like elderly people who can regain their lost muscle mass by working out with weights, I believe people with brain disorders can regain their brain function by following my dietary recommendations to reach the Anti-Inflammation Zone.

Attention Deficit Disorder

In recent years, attention deficit disorder (ADD) has received national attention as the condition has become an epidemic in the United States, afflicting an estimated three to five percent of our children. Although there are six different types of ADD, including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I have grouped them all together as ADD. One factor common to all ADD patients is a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Drugs such as Ritalin, which increase dopamine production, are commonly prescribed to bring these conditions under control. Since high-dose fish oil also increases dopamine levels, it would make sense that it should help alleviate ADD—without the need for drugs.

Many of my insights into ADD have come from my associations with two colleagues, Ned Hallowell, one of the most respected leaders in the treatment of ADD in children, and Dan Amen, who did pioneering work with brain scans to identify different types of ADD by determining differences in blood flow to the brain (using a specialized imaging technique called SPECT). The fact that blood flow is also altered in ADD makes this condition a much more complicated disease than simply a decrease in dopamine levels in the brain. It appears that certain areas of the brain have an increased blood flow, giving rise to “hot spots” of increased activity. Here’s another interesting observation: The severity of ADD is directly linked to the level of silent inflammation in the blood, as measured by the Silent Inflammation Profile blood test.

Children with ADD have a much higher Silent Inflammation Profile than normal children. Therefore, the problem of ADD is much more complicated than simply the lack of dopamine in the brain.

Currently, the treatment of ADD has focused on drugs, such as Ritalin, that increase the levels of dopamine.  But what if this apparent lack of dopamine were a secondary symptom of increased silent inflammation?  It is also known, from animal experiments, that long-chain omega-3 fatty acids also increase dopamine levels and the number of dopamine receptors in the brain.  This would indicate that ADD may be more connected to a nutritional deficiency (lack of dietary EPA and DHA) than to any underlying medical or psychological condition. This hypothesis correlates well with animal studies that indicate, after three generations of deficiencies in the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, that significant behavioral and cognitive defects appear in their offspring.  Today’s children represent the third generation of Americans who have been exposed to a dramatic decrease of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. Initial published studies indicate that, if you give small amounts of EPA and DHA, there is a trend toward improved behavior in the children with ADD.  In my initial pilot studies of children with ADD, I often needed to give them up to 15 grams of EPA and DHA per day to bring their Silent Inflammation Profile to a measurement of 2 (Ideal ratio is 1.5-3). Once they reach that level, their behavioral disorders become controlled to the same extent as by taking Ritalin. But, unlike Ritalin, which only treats the symptoms of ADD, high-dose fish oil appears to treat the underlying cause—silent inflammation.

The reason that children with ADD need so much EPA and DHA is that they probably have the same accelerated metabolism of omega-3 fatty acids as found in Alzheimer’s patients. Recent data has confirmed this hypothesis in children with ADD.

One major caveat: Once you reduce the fish oil intake, the Silent Inflammation Profile will probably increase again, and all the behavioral benefits quickly erode.

Summary

Reaching the Anti-Inflammation Zone is the best way to ensure that your brain is not under constant inflammatory attack. Since you won’t have any outward signs of “pain in the brain,” you won’t know you’re under the brain drain until it’s too late. That’s why you need to get a measurement of your Silent Inflammation Profile to see where you are, and to do periodic measurements to ensure that you’re staying in the Anti-Inflammation Zone. It’s your best shot at avoiding those diseases you fear most—the ones that not only drain your brain, but also drain life of its maximum potential.

The Secret that Saved Randal McCloy’s Life: High-Dose Fish Oil Supplied by Dr. Barry Sears Linked to Miner’s Amazing Recovery

Danvers, MA:  Randal McCloy was the only man pulled out alive from the Sago Mine disaster in January. He had massive and critical organ failure. His doctors worried about keeping him alive. Serious brain damage was likely, even if he did survive.

Many consider it a “miracle” that Randal McCloy returned home recently. Dr. Julian Bailes, McCloy’s neurologist, gives much of the credit to high dose fish oil developed by Dr. Barry Sears. The fish oil was administered to McCloy as a crucial part of his treatment.

“Dr. Sears is our hero,” said Dr. Bailes, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery of the West Virginia School of Medicine. “For me, Barry is the main reason I got interested in the whole essential fatty acid area. I was convinced that DHA (an active component of fish oil) could play a role in McCloy’s recovery.”

Dr. Sears suggested administering 30 grams per day of fish oil concentrate that provided 18 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) via tube feeding. For the next several months, Sears provided the fish oil that was an integral daily part of Randal McCloy’s treatment.

Because this was a very high dose of EPA and DHA, McCloy’s blood levels were constantly monitored to ensure that the levels of EPA and DHA fell within a certain therapeutic range. Bailes said the blood test numbers were “right on the money.”

According to Dr. Sears, the EPA was needed to reduce the inflammation caused by the lack of oxygen within the organs, and the DHA was required to rebuild the brain. The damage to McCloy’s heart, kidneys, and liver has been reversed, and he is home with his family. Perhaps it is a miracle.

Dr. Barry Sears is a leading authority on the dietary control of hormonal response, and the author of the #1 best seller on the New York Times book list, The Zone. A former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Sears has dedicated his research efforts over the past thirty years to the study of lipids.

To learn more about The Zone Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle Management program or ultra refined fish oils, call 1-800-404-8171 or visit www.drsearszonefast.com. To find out more about the AA/EPA blood test visit that measures Silent Inflammation, visit www.omega3testing.com/physician.html.

 
What About the Recent Glucosamine Study?
Nutrition
Written by David Seaman, D.C., M.S., D.A.B.C.N., F.A.C.C.   
Thursday, 27 April 2006 03:01

The February 23rd, 2006, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine published an article on the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee with glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate. Some of the news reports suggested this study demonstrated that glucosamine was ineffective in the treatment of arthritis. A closer look at the article suggests the opposite conclusion may be more appropriate.

Readers should be aware of the acronym GAIT that will be used to describe this study. GAIT refers to the Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Trial. To be specific, this was a multi-center, double blind, placebo and celecoxib-controlled trial. Celecoxib is otherwise known as the now infamous Celebrex.

A total of 1583 patients were followed for 24 months. A total of 1229 patients suffered from mild knee pain due to osteoarthritis, while the remaining 354 suffered from moderate to severe knee pain. The subjects were divided into 5 groups, which received different interventions: placebo, 1500 mg of glucosamine, 1200 mg of chondroitin sulfate, 1500/1200 of glucosamine and chondroitin, and 200 mg of Celebrex.

The primary outcome measure for the study was a 20% decrease in knee pain from baseline to the 24th week of treatment. The first sentence in the abstract conclusion states: “Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate alone or in combination did not reduce pain effectively in the overall group of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.” However, the second sentence states: “Exploratory analysis suggests that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may be effective in the subgroup of patients with moderate-to-severe knee pain.”

The results demonstrated that mild OA pain sufferers responded almost equally to placebo, glucosamine, chondroitin, and Celebrex. However, the moderate to severe pain group did significantly better with the glucosamine/chondroitin combination compared to all other interventions.

From the percent improvement data, it should be clear that 60% of placebo patients with mild OA had, at least, a 20% improvement, which speaks to the power of placebo. Celebrex only performed 10% better than placebo. In contrast, some 54% of placebo patients in the moderate to severe pain group experience, at least, a 20% improvement. The placebo was still strong; however, some 79% of glucosamine/chondroitin subjects reported improvements.

A key issue that went unmentioned in most of the news reports is that the mean age of subjects was 59, of which 64% were female and, finally, the average BMI was 31.7%. In other words, most of the subjects were obese, deconditioned, 60-year-old females. If I were told, in advance, that we were testing glucosamine/chondroitin on obese subjects with OA pain in the knee, I would not suspect much of an improvement over placebo, which was the outcome in the mild pain group; however, it is quite surprising to me that subjects on glucosamine/chondroitin would fare so much better than placebo.

My surprise is based on two issues. First, there is likely to be more stress on obese patients, so I would not expect a single intervention to have much of an effect. Second, obesity is characterized metabolically as a chronic inflammatory state, which would, again, suggest to me that a single intervention would not likely have much of an effect.

The authors of this study made it a point to highlight the fact that the nutritional supplement industry is unregulated, and that assays of various glucosamine and chondroitin products have demonstrated that the actual pill content differs widely from label claims. In the GAIT trial, the authors used glucosamine/chondroitin that was made under pharmaceutical manufacturing standards, which essentially guarantees potency and purity.

Dr. Seaman is the Clinical Chiropractic Consultant for Anabolic Laboratories, one of the first supplement manufacturers to service the chiropractic profession. He is on the postgraduate faculties of several chiropractic colleges, providing nutrition seminars that focus on the needs of the chiropractic patient. He is also a faculty member at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, where he teaches nutrition and subluxation theories. He can be reached by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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