Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chaang's Health & Nutrient Special Part 1:

Joint Health:

Areas of concern: Wrists, Shoulders, Elbows, Knees, Ankles

As we all should know by now, cheerleading is one of the more dangerous sport in the market today. Besides training hard, it is also important to maintain and protect your physical health in order to cheer better, happier and longer.

Disclamier: Products recommended in this article are based on my own experience from consuming them over the years. Since they have worked for me, I hope that the same form of supplementation would work for you readers as well. However, these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your doctor for further information.

1) Omega 3 Fish Oil ( source:

Omega 3 fatty acids used for joint health is gaining in popularity as ever more people are opting for healthy, natural remedies over dangerous side effects laden pharmaceutical drugs.

The question is: do omega 3 fatty acids benefit joint health, stiffness, and aches and pains?

Although numerous studies have been done, and not all of them conclusive, overall it appears that omega 3 fatty acids does help alleviate tender joints in people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

This may actually help people who were relying on corticosteroids to reduce what they need to use.

Omega 3 fatty acids, such as those found in high quality fish oils, act as anti-inflammatories which, as anyone with arthritis or stiffness knows, is often caused or worsened by inflammation of the joints.

Even though omega 3 fatty acids used for joint health derived from fish oils can be useful, there is another natural substance that has been proven to be much more beneficial.

Product Recommendation:

There are many omega 3s in the market but many of these supplements may not be as potent as the rest despite their contents being the same. I recommend the following:

a) Bio-Omega 3 from Usana

CR: Highly recommended ! you can feel your joints getting better in less than a wk ! But due to the potency ( and price ) of this product, i recommend that you take 1 pill after lunch and 1 pill after dinner. All omega 3 products must be taken with food.

b) Salmon Oil 1000 from GNC

CR: The potency of this product is not as great as the one from Usana but it works and is definitely much more afforable. Available at all GNC stalls island wide.

2) Glucosamine

As an important constituent of cartilage, glucosamine can be used to prevent cartilage damage by working to build and strengthen new cartilage. This is especially useful for those suffering from age-related degenerative joint diseases. Glucosamine is also used to speed the healing of joint injuries, such as with an ankle sprain. A much less commonly known use of glucosamine is for gastrointestinal health. Studies have shown that glucosamine in the form of N-acetyl-glucosamine can actually improve the status of the GI tract lining, which can really benefit those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Since their actions are different, glucosamine (which rebuilds cartiledge) and chondroitin (which gives cartilage elasticity) are often used in conjunction with each other, such as in Leiner Health Products' Lifesmart Beneflux glucosamine and chondroitin supplement chews.

**Do note that Glucosamine is usually derived from shell-fish and is not suitable for use by vegetarians, people who are allergic to shell fish, and those who adhere to a Kosher diet.

**If you are (or suspect yourself to be) diabetic, consult your doctor before consuming.

Product recommendation :

The glucosamine i bought over the counter over the years were no good. I recommend the following:

a) If you are studying in NTU, the glucosamine from the medical center is good ( and cheap !)
and in case you didn't know, medical consultation in NTU medical center is free for existing students. And you can make a medical claim from the Students Affairs Office so long as this supplementation is prescribed by the doctor due to a school-related-sporting-activity injury. The fees you pay in NTU covers your insurance too you know. =)

b) For non-NTU readers, I recommend that you take clinical glucosamine that is only available by prescription. Poly clinics have good glucosamine. When it comes to glucosamine, it is important to take the good ones or else you will just be wasting your money and your joints will continue to hurt as we speak.

Part 2 on muscle supplementation coming up !

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