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Supplements For Healthy Joints!

Well, I have been really busy the last three months. I had to deal with a minor stomach problem, (that thank God is over now), I had to interview many great bodybuilders, and also I had to take care of many other things.

By: John Stamatopoulos

Hello dear friends. It's been a long time since you have read my last article and I want to thank all of you for the hundreds of emails that you have sent me all these months, asking me when you will read my next article.

Well, I have been really busy the last three months. I had to deal with a minor stomach problem, (that thank God is over now), I had to interview many great bodybuilders, and also I had to take care of many other things. But I hope that at least all of you were enjoying the EXCLUSIVE interviews that I have taken so far from great bodybuilders, such as Ronnie Coleman, King Kamali, Garrett Downing, Mike Mentzer, Mike Francois, and also from Shawn Ray's seminar. Tthere are many more still to come!

Well what matters most is that I am back now and you will continue to read my articles for a long time from the number 1 site for bodybuilding: Bodybuilding.com!

Support Yourself With Supplements

So let's get down to business again. Do you know that you are only as strong as your weakest link? Today I will talk about the best supplements that can help you to stay injury free forever! So let's see the best supplements on the market.

Note: Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist about any health problem before using any supplements making any changes in prescribed medications.

1. Glucosamine Sulfate

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound that provides joints with the building blocks they need to repair damage caused by osteoarthritis or injuries. Specifically, glucosamine sulfate provides the raw material needed by the body to manufacture a mucopolysaccharide (called glycosaminoglycan) found in cartilage.

For a very long time, biomedical scientists have struggled to find a readily absorbed form of cartilage which might aid people with joint problems. Many studies have suggested that glucosamine sulfate is one such building block for cartilage. Glucosamine sulfate is absorbed quickly and easily.

Lab tests show it is 98% absorbable, and because the molecules are small and simple, they actually penetrate the cartilage, where they can help build the special proteins that keep cartilage strong and healthy.(1) And if some of you are very skeptical about Glucosamine's efficiency, check out the following paragraph.

A double-blind study done on 178 Chinese patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee found that 1,500 mg per day of glucosamine for four weeks was more effective and much better tolerated than the conventional drug ibuprofen. (2)

Side Effects: Some Glucosamine is processed with sodium chloride (table salt), which is restricted in some diets (particularly for people with high blood pressure). Glucosamine Sulfate's toxicity has been limited to mild reversible gastrointestinal side effects, but people with peptic ulcers and those taking diuretic drugs are more likely to experience side effects. (3)

Recommended Dosage: Take 500mg 3 times per day. (For a total of 1500mg per day).

2. Chondroitin Sulfate

Chondroitin sulfate consists of repeating chains of molecules called mucopolysaccharides. Chondroitin sulfate is a major constituent of cartilage, providing structure, holding water and nutrients, and allowing other molecules to move through cartilage, an important property, as there is no blood supply to cartilage.

In a few words, Chondroitin Sulfate is another biological polymer derived from connective tissue. It acts as the flexible connecting matrix between the tough protein filaments in cartilage to help give it both strength and elasticity.

Animal studies indicate that chondroitin sulfate may promote healing of bone, which is consistent with the fact that the majority of glycosaminoglycans found in bone consist of chondroitin sulfate.(4)

In addition, chondroitin sulfate may lower blood cholesterol levels. Older preliminary research showed that chondroitin sulfate may prevent artherosclerosis in animals and humans and may also prevent heart attacks in people who already have atherosclerosis. (5) (6) (7)

Side Effects: Nausea may occur at intakes greater than 10 grams per day. No other adverse effects have been reported.

Recommended Dosage: 200-300mg 3 times a day (for a total of 600-900mg per day) with meals.

3. MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

Like Glucosamine and Chondroitin, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), may provide raw materials the body needs in order to make cartilage in the first place.

MSM is a pure, organic, non-toxic, non-metallic element that occurs widely in nature. It's a metabolite of the compound dimethysulfoxide, and by weight is 34% elemental sulfur, making it one of the richest sources of sulfur. As the eighth most abundant element in all living organisms, sulfur is found in more than 150 types of bodily compounds, from enzymes and tissues to hormones and antioxidants.

It's also a component of structural protein, the type found in hair, skin, and joints. Sulfur also occurs in connective tissue, in a key structural component called collagen. (Collagen helps form cartilage). Researchers predict that MSM will soon be proven effective not only in the treatment of various types of arthritis (including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis), but also in other conditions that involve connective tissue degeneration. (8)

Side Effects: No side effects have been reported with the use of sulfur.

Recommended Dosage: 1-2 grams per day.

4. Calcium

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. Of the two to three pounds of calcium contained in the average body, 99% is located in the bones and teeth.

Calcium is needed to form bones and teeth and is also required for blood clotting, transmission of signals in nerve cells, and muscle contraction. The importance of calcium for preventing osteoporosis is probably its most well-known role. So for strong and healthy bones you need Calcium.

Side Effects: Bloating, gas and constipation are sometimes reported with the use of calcium supplements. (9)

Recommended Dosage: For ages 19 to 50, calcium intake is recommended to be 1,000 mg daily. For adults over age 51, the recommendation is 1,200 mg daily. The most common supplemental amount for adults is 800-1,000 mg per day. (10)

5. Vitamin C

Probably the most important role of vitamin C is as an antioxidant, (protecting the watery substances of the body, such as blood, from free radical damage), but it can also maintain healthy connective tissue including tendons, ligaments, bones, joints and skin.

Vitamin C is needed to make collagen, (the glue) that strengthens many parts of the body, such as muscles and blood vessels. Vitamin C also plays important roles in wound healing and as a natural antihistamine.

Side Effects: Because vitamin C is water-soluble, excesses are excreted in the urine and toxicity is rare. Large quantities (5-10gr per day or more), may reduce the absorption of selenium and copper and may lead to kidney stones, but only in people with kidney disease.

Also people with kidney stones or a history of stone formation should not take large amounts (1 gram per day) of supplemental vitamin C. Significantly lower amounts (100-200 mg per day) appear to be safe.

Recommended Dosage: 500mg-1g per day are well tolerated by healthy people.

6. Silicon

Silicon is a trace mineral. The functions of silicon are not well understood, although silicon probably plays a role in making and maintaining connective tissue. Silicon is present in areas of bone that are undergoing mineralization, which indicates this mineral might be important for normal bone function.

Silicon promotes firmness and strength in the tissues. It is part of the arteries, tendons, skin, connective tissue, and eyes. Collagen contains silicon, helping hold the body tissues together.

Side Effects: A high dietary intake of silicon is not associated with any toxic effects.

Recommended Dosage: If you can't find Silicon as a supplement, you should start eating more whole grains and fresh vegetables or use herbs, such as horsetail, alfalfa or comfrey tablets.

7. Gelatin (Type II Collagen)

Some scientists have speculated that type II collagen may help prevent the degeneration of joints that occurs with weight training exercise and have suggested that supplementing your diet with gelatin may actually allow you to build healthier joints. (In this regard, it seems to act similar to glucosamine).

Recommended Dosage: Purified type II collagen is one of the main ingredients in "Joint Fuel Liquid Concentrate" from Twinlab, and "Elasti-Joint" from Labrada Nutrition, but Gelatin does not exist yet in a supplement that contains it exclusively.

But the next best thing is regular old Knox unflavored gelatin. (Just add a packet of it to a glass of juice or a protein drink).

Conclusion

These are the number 1 supplements to stay injury free for ever, but even if you have some health problems with arthritis, (including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis), Glucosamine and MSM should be your first choices. For people that have osteoporosis, Calcium should be their first choice, and for people that have atherosclerosis Chondroitin seems very promising. For wound healing Vitamin C seems to be the best. Finally, a consumption of foods that are rich in Silicon and Collagen can help you even more to promote and keep perfectly healthy joints.

Remember that any supplement that you take should be cycled every 8-12 weeks. Don't take Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM on a yearly basis. Once every 2-3 months have a 2-4 week break. But with Calcium, Vitamin C, Gelatin and Silicon, since the best sources are from food, you can take them on a yearly basis.

John Stamatopoulos' Ultimate Stack For Healthy Joints!

Well friends, this is what I would do for 8-12 weeks in a row when I would train very hard in the gym and I wanted to try to avoid any injury. This is the ultimate stack for me also, for people that have experienced a minor injury, and they want to get back in the gym as soon as possible!

Glucosamine Sulfate: 1500mg per day
Chondroitin Sulfate: 600-900mg per day
MSM: 1-2gr per day
Calcium: 1-2gr per day
Vitamin C: 500mg-1gr per day
Old Knox unflavored gelatin: 1 packet per day

I hope after you have read the "best 7", you will be able to make the appropriate adjustments to your nutrition and supplementation in order to stay injury free forever. And since summer is almost here, in my next article I will tell you the best secrets to be as good as possible this summer. Stay tuned!

References:

1. Kelly GS. The role of glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfates in the treatment of degenerative joint disease. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Feb;3(1):27-39.
2. Muller-Fassbender H, et al. Glucosamine sulfate compared to ibuprofen in osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2(1):61-9, 1994.
3. Tapadinhas MJ, Rivera IC, Bignamini AA. Oral glucoseamine sulfate in the management of arthrosis: report on a multi-centre open investigation in Portugal. Pharmatherapeutica 1982;3:157-68.
4. Moss M, Kruger GO, Reynolds DC. The effect of chondroitin sulfate on bone healing. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1965;20:795-801.
5. Morrison LM, Bajwa GS, Alfin-Slater RB, Ershoff BH. Prevention of vascular lesions by chondroitin sulfate A in the coronary artery and aorta of rats induced by a hypervitaminosis D, cholesterol-containing diet. Atherosclerosis 1972;16:105-18.
6. Morrison LM, Branwood AW, Ershoff BH, et al. The prevention of coronary arteriosclerotic heart disease with chondroitin sulfate A: Preliminary report. Exp Med Surg 1969;27:278-89.
7. Morrison LM, Enrick NL. Coronary heart disease: Reduction of death rate by chondroitin sulfate A. Angiology 1973;24:269-82.
8. Cronin JR. The biochemistry of alternative therapies. Methylsulfonylmethane: nutraceutical of the next century Alternative & Complementary Therapies Dec. 1999; 5(6): 386-9.
9. Levenson DI, Bockman RS. A review of calcium preparations. Nutr Rev 1994;52:221-32 [review].
10. Heaney RP, Recker RR, Weaver CM. Absorbability of calcium sources: the limited role of solubility. Calcif Tissue Int 1990;46:300-4.

Supplements For Healthy Joints!
giannis@bodybuilders.com

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