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Home  > Articles on Health  > Dr. Atkins on Glucosamine

Dr. Atkins on Glucosamine

The following article is an excerpt from Dr. Atkins' Vita Nutrient Solution:

Glucosamine: Osteoarthritis’s best treatment

"Progress toward my goal – making natural healing mainstream – is made when a book achieves enough popularity to create demand for a specific treatment. I must confess that I hope this book will do that."

"The next nutrients I will describe to you are examples of just how that can happen."

"Glucosamine sulfate is considered by complementary doctors to be the treatment of choice for osteoarthritis not only because we have all had long successions of satisfied patients, but because it can boast an array of impressive clinical studies attesting to its effectiveness."

"But virtually no mainstream rheumatologist prescribed it until they were inundated by their own patients asking for it and demanding them to read a best-selling book by Dr. Jason Theodasakis, The Arthritis Cure."

"Glucosamine works because it provides the building blocks for new cartilage, the protective joint padding that prevents bones from scraping against each other as we move but gets worn away by this common form of degenerative (wear-and-tear) arthritis. It enables us to treat this illness effectively, possibly for the first time in history."

"For the thirty million Americans with osteoarthritis, medicine’s preferred treatment is long-term use of short-term painkilling medications. These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) don’t heal osteoarthritic joint damage. Many of them, including aspirin, accelerate the deterioration and stop the growth of cartilage."

"Though NSAIDs can be used for temporary relief, habitual use is ruinous, for these drugs kill more than pain. Every year about twenty thousand people die from using NSAIDs. Hundreds of thousands of others develop bleeding ulcers and liver damage, to name two of the drugs’ notorious side effects. Some people end up on kidney dialysis."

Joint Resolution

"Healthy joints make their own glucosamine, an essential building block for cartilage. The body manufactures cartilage, but only if glucosamine is plentiful. When production of the nutrient falters, joints begin to lose cartilage, bones erode as they grind against each other, and osteoarthritis sets in. As the painful condition progresses, glucosamine output may cease entirely."

"According to head-to-head research comparisons, taking supplements (which appear to trigger the joints’ own production of the nutrient) will dampen osteoarthritic pain and increase joint mobility better than taking pharmaceutical pain relievers. The nutrient therapy also displays some anti-inflammatory action."

"Glucosamine’s relief and rejuvenation aren’t immediate. Although some people with osteoarthritis do notice an improvement within a few weeks, some of my patients had to take it for as long as six months to feel an effect. But the relief is definitely worth the wait. In an eight week study that pitted glucosamine against ibuprofen, a common painkiller for osteoarthritis, participants reported that they initially felt greater relief with ibuprofen. But by the end of the experiment, the glucosamine users felt far better. Cell samples from their joints offered visible proof: the degenerating joints were in fact healing – something never before observed in ibuprofen users."

Supplement Suggestions

"Different glucosamine formulations are available, and while all of them are helpful, some debate exists over which works the best. Glucosamine sulfate, backed by more than twenty solidly conducted studies on people, is probably the best for osteoarthritis relief. It is now ubiquitous in health food stores. Glucosamine hydrochloride (HCL), shown to heal cartilage in animal studies, is the least expensive. N-acetyl glucosamine, yet another formulation, will not deliver as much of the active ingredient to joints as its two competitors."

"Whichever preparation you select, the usual dose is 500 mg three times per day. It’s safe and, except for some minor digestive upset, free of side effects. However, I see no reason not to give 3,000 mg daily or more – safety is not an issue. To enhance its medicinal power, I combine it with chondroitin sulfate, fish oils, bovine or shark cartilage, sea cucumber, cetyl myristoleate, and the antioxidants. Anyone over forty years of age may want to use it preventatively against osteoarthritis, which most of us will develop, to some degree, as we age. Taking 500 mg twice daily may delay what could otherwise be inevitable."

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