Joint Pain

A New Favorite: Carlson's Omega 3 Olive Oil

We have a new product in stock from Carlson that I really wanted to highlight- it’s a premium olive oil with added omega 3’s called Olive Your Heart. As many of you know, omega 3s are absolutely crucial to our health- it’s not called an “essential fatty acid” for nothing!  

Omega 3s are important for both children and adults for their many benefits for brain function (including concentration and focus, reducing the symptoms of depression), heart and cardiovascular health (by reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure), arthritis and more. 

Omega 3s cannot be manufactured in the body and must be obtained through diet. If you or your family members are not eating fatty fish or a good amount of flax and chia seeds multiple times a week, a deficiency in omega 3s are extremely likely.

I love this olive oil by Carlson, because it’s an easy way to boost omega 3s in your diet. Even for people who take vegetarian sources like flax or chia I would recommend it since the omega 3s in flax and chia do not contain EPA or DHA, but rather ALA, which the body then converts to the necessary omega 3 forms, EPA and DHA. The trouble with ALA is that not everyone converts it at the same rate, that there’s really no way of knowing how much EPA and DHA you’re getting. This is especially important for brain and eye health, since it’s primarily DHA that gives those benefits. For more information on the differences in various forms of omega 3s, see our article, All About Omegas, here.

When I first heard about this new “fish oil olive oil” by Carlson, I was skeptical, since who wants a fish flavored olive oil, even if you’re a fan of fish?  Well, we tried the Olive Your Heart olive oil and everyone loved it, there was no fishy taste at all. I’m a vegetarian, so I just smelled it, but let me say this- I am extremely sensitive to the smell of fish, and there was no fishy smell at all.

Even though we’re a vegetarian family, I do give omega 3s from fish oil to my second-grade daughter because the research on omega 3 fish oil, particularly DHA for children’s developing brains, is too important and conclusive. When I gave her a bit of Carlson’s Olive Your Heart on her pasta, she thought it was delicious, and didn’t notice any strange smell or taste. Liz, who works at the store, has also been using this omega 3 olive oil with her family (without advertising the fact that it contained fish oil) and they all think it tastes great.

Fish oil supplements can sometimes be a pain to take, so this is a great tasting alternative to omega 3 softgels. Even for people who regularly take omega 3 supplements, it’s a great way to get an extra boost for your health.

Click on any of the above photos to enlarge.

Jarrow's Bone Broth Powder: It's Amazing for Joints, Digestive Issues, and More

We have been searching for a good bone broth powder to carry in the store and have finally found one!  We now have Jarrow Bone Broth Powder for sale in the store, in both beef and chicken varieties. Powdered bone broth is much more economical than buying bone broth liquid (which we do also have at the store), and still makes a delicious, steamy mug.

Bone broth is an incredibly nutrient dense whole food. It is a natural source of type I and II collagen, which is amazing for skin and joint health. The collagen found in bone broth also contains natural forms of glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid- all nutrients which are well known for supporting the cartilage in our joints and helping arthritis-related joint pain.
Interestingly, bone broth is also incredibly healing to the digestive tract, and is something that would be particularly helpful for people with Celiac or any other digestive issues. Drinking bone broth is very comforting to the intestines, and actually helps to supply the body with specific amino acids and other natural compounds which can help to heal and repair the intestinal lining (nutrients not easily found in sufficient quantities in other foods). 

I actually went to a seminar many years ago about natural ways to help people with Celiac, and the speaker recommended simmering a variety of bones and even chicken feet for days, saying that it made a broth which he said was, “The best thing for people with Celiac disease and other digestive issues” due to the types of collagen found in such a broth. I think most of us there thought that sounded a little weird, so it’s funny how that seemingly strange advice is now becoming so well known, and now we’re hearing more and more testimonials of people who have used bone broth with impressive results for their digestive problems. 

In addition to joint, skin, and digestive health, research has even shown that bone broth can help with boosting the immune system, something we could all use as the weather turns colder.

Jarrow’s bone broth is unique in that it also has additional natural calcium and silicon, two other nutrients crucial for bone health. The type of silicon in Jarrow’s bone broth has also been clinically shown to help with reducing wrinkle depth and improving skin elasticity.

When choosing a bone broth, it’s important to use a brand you trust, since I’ve been reading more and more reports about how many bone broths on the market are not much different from regular beef or chicken broth. I trust Jarrow as a company (they make some of my favorite products) and love that they list the actual amounts of nutrients per serving (including the amounts of collagen) right on the label, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Bone broth powder is great mixed by itself with hot water in a mug, but it can even be added to soups or other foods for an added nutrient boost. One naturopath I read an article from recommended swapping a hot cup of bone broth for one’s afternoon coffee or tea- something I think is a great idea!

Jarrow’s bone broth powder is available in both chicken and beef varieties and will be on sale for 25% off for the entire month of November.



Hyaluronic Acid for Joint Pain and Skin Hydration

Hyaluronic acid is an amazing, but little-known supplement that is fantastic for both joint pain and aging skin. Hyaluronic acid is found throughout the body; its main function is to lubricate joints and muscles, but also helps to lubricate the skin as well. Many people begin taking hyaluronic acid for joint pain and find they have the happy “side effect” of a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles on the face.

Hyaluronic acid is helpful for arthritis because it helps to plump up cartilage, giving it extra cushioning and shock absorption. Because it helps to bind water to joint tissues, it can help with reducing joint friction and pain.

Hyaluronic acid is thought of as “nature’s moisturizer” since it works to plump up and lubricate the skin. Hyaluronic acid is effective when taken in pill form for both joint and skin health, but can also be applied topically since it penetrates the outer layers of skin easily, hydrating and restoring the dermal layers.

The amounts of hyaluronic acid the body produces is drastically reduced as we age, so supplementing can definitely help with “turning back the clock” for both joints and skin.

For the month of September, all of our Jarrow Hyaluronic Acid will be on sale for 25% off.

Solgar’s Curcumin Softgels - Now on Every Day Sale for 25% Off

In the past year, turmeric (and its extract curcumin) has gone from being a little-known supplement to one that nearly everyone has heard about. Curcumin is most commonly used for reducing inflammation and pain in the body, but it seems new research on curcumin is coming out all the time for a variety of benefits, including for neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

In the past, one of the troubles with curcumin was that it was difficult for the body to absorb. A new form of curcumin came out last year by Solgar that had been confirmed through scientific research that it is 185 times better absorbed than standard turmeric extract. Because of this, it is the only curcumin supplement we recommend anymore at the store due to its fantastic absorption and effectiveness. For more information on Solgar’s Curcumin, see this article on our website:

Solgar’s New Full Spectrum Curcumin: It’s Pretty Much the Best Thing Ever

Since we sell so much of it (because we really do think it’s the best), we’ve been able to work out a deal with Solgar on their curcumin supplements so that we are able to offer it (on all sizes) at an everyday discount of 25% off!  It’s a pretty big deal, so we’re excited to be able to announce this discount to our ustomers since I know so many of you take it!  

Supplement Spotlight: Solgar's New Full Spectrum Curcumin (It's pretty much the best thing ever)

We have a new curcumin extract from Solgar that I wanted to feature, since it’s really amazing, almost unbelievably so.  Curcumin is the extract, or beneficial component, of the spice turmeric.  Curcumin has been found to be a fantastic supplement for joint pain and reducing inflammation in the body, but unfortunately, it’s very difficult for the body to absorb.

While curcumin is most well known for it's benefits for joint pain, research has also found the benefits of curcumin supplementation to extend to lower risks for heart disease, cancer, and even Alzheimer's disease, and is also considered a potent anti-aging supplement. 

Unfortunately, many people found they would need to take rather high doses of curcumin to find joint pain relief.  Occasionally when people would take those high dosages of turmeric extract, they would experience stomach upset or irritation.  In the past, the high dosages of curcumin were necessary, since the body was only able to absorb a small fraction of the herb.

With the popularity of turmeric extracts growing, due to many people finally finding relief from joint problems after taking the supplement, researchers have been working on ways to help curcumin to be better absorbed, with smaller doses.

Previously, all of us at Pass Health Foods would recommend curcumin phytosome as the best form of turmeric extract to take.  Studies showed that curcumin phytosome (also known as the branded name, Meriva), was absorbed twenty times more than standard turmeric extract- a really impressive discovery!

At the store, we always make a point to be on top of the latest supplements being developed and their research.  When I first heard of the brand Solgar coming out with a new water soluble curcumin that was said to be absorbed 185 times more than standard curcumin, I was skeptical, since that number sounded almost unbelievable.  Research has confirmed their claim however (you can read more about the study here)!  They have really discovered a way to make curcumin’s absorption rate to be so much better absorbed!  The researchers even were quoted as saying that this new extract of curcumin was truly “unrivaled” in absorption.  

Because of the science behind it, we really have no reason to ever suggest a different turmeric extract that this new one by Solgar.  Even at a small, one a day dosage, the absorption rate should be significantly better absorbed than any other curcumin supplement on the market.  One other benefit of Solgar’s Full Spectrum Curcumin is that it stays in the body for a full 24 hours from one single pill dose.

Another nice thing is that since Solgar’s Full Spectrum Curcumin is so well absorbed, only a small amount is required, so it should be tolerated well for people with stomach issues who may not have been able to take standard turmeric supplements due to irritation.

For more information on how exactly this new extract is made and absorbed, there's a good article here.

Healthy Q & A: Natural Pain Relief

Q:  Is there anything natural I can take for occasional pain?  I get headaches and muscle aches a few times a week, and I don’t love taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen all the time.  Is there something I can take just when I need it for pain?  I’m not really looking for something that I need to take every day. 

A: Many natural supplements for pain work best when taken every day, though there are some supplements which are effective when taken on an “as needed” basis for acute pain.  Solaray’s IbuActin is a mix of impressive natural anti-inflammatories which work very well for reducing pain, without the side effects of conventional, over the counter anti-inflammatories.  It can be taken every day for chronic pain, but is also effective when only taken when needed.

What makes IbuActin different from other natural anti-inflammatories is its noteworthy formula.  It is the only supplement we’ve found with the specific form of hops extract it contains.  Hops are usually known for their benefits for relaxation and sleep.  What is lesser known about hops is that they have potent pain relieving compounds.  Solaray’s IbuActin contains hops extract which has been isolated for its pain relieving effects, without the sleep inducing effects that hops extract usually has.

That novel pain relieving hops extract is then combined with other natural anti-inflammatories, including bromelain (a pineapple enzyme which reduces inflammation), papain (a papaya enzyme which helps to reduce pain and inflammation), and the inflammation reducing herbs turmeric and ginger.

Solaray’s IbuActin has been shown in a recent study to be as effective as ibuprofen, but without being hard on the liver.

IbuActin comes in two strengths, the original, and a new Super IbuActin, which contains hops extract that is twice as potent as the original.

I really think this supplement is unique, and I would very much suggest giving it a try.  For March we’ve put both IbuActin and Super IbuActin on sale for 25% off.

Healthy Q & A: Corydalis for Pain Relief

Q:  I’ve been hearing about the supplement corydalis and that it’s supposed to be the best thing for arthritis.  I’ve never heard about it before.  Does it really work?


A:  Corydalis is an herb which has been shown in research to help with pain relief.  It works by blocking pain signals in the brain, and can be helpful for people suffering from chronic pain.  It is also not habit forming, unlike prescription pain relievers like codeine and morphine.

Corydalis is an impressive supplement, but since it only blocks pain rather than helping to solve the underlying issue, it is not the first supplement I would recommend for joint pain. 

Herbal anti-inflammatories like curcumin phytosome or blends like Solgar 7 would be the first thing I would suggest, since they would actually help with reducing the pain-causing inflammation.  In the case of arthritis, anti-inflammatories are helpful, as well as glucosamine and chrondroitin, which can help to support and enhance the cartilage in the joints.     

Still, for many people who suffer from chronic pain, corydalis may be of great benefit, especially for people who have tried a number of treatments without success. 

Corydalis should not be combined with sedative medications, certain cancer medications, or drugs for heart arrhythmias.






Healthy Q & A: Joint Pain


I’ve been gardening since the weather has been beautiful, but this year I’ve found that bending and kneeling are really hurting my joints.  I’d really rather not resort to pain medication every day, so I wanted to see if there was anything natural I could take that would help.


Osteoarthritis affects many of us as we age.  Over time, activities that were once taken for granted can cause more and more pain.  Osteoarthritis is very common, and is basically caused by wear and tear on the joints where the protective cartilage on the ends of bone is worn down over time.  Treatment involves reducing inflammation and pain, and protecting the cartilage left in the joints.


One of the best things for inflammation is the herb turmeric.  It works very well to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints.  It has been researched and found to have a similar effectiveness to ibuprofen, but without being hard on the liver.  It also works very well in conjunction with other herbal anti-inflammatories.  One such supplement is called Solgar 7, a combination of turmeric mixed with several other well researched and effective ingredients for joint pain: boswellia, ginger, and white willow bark, along with type II collagen which helps to promote cartilage health.  The thing I like best about Solgar 7 is that results should be seen within the first week, plus the recommended dose is just one pill a day.


Also, when talking about joints, I would be remiss without mentioning the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin.  For some people, glucosamine and chondroitin can be a difficult supplement to take, since it can sometimes take a long time before results are seen, up to three months.  That being said, I do think glucosamine and chondroitin really work.   Research has linked glucosamine and chondroitin to reduced joint deterioration.  It’s important to take them together, since they work synergistically to aid in joint health.  Glucosamine helps to actually renew and support cartilage, and chondroitin helps to “plump up” cartilage.  Since the two supplements can take some time to work, I’d recommend a supplement like ArthX Relief by Rainbow Light.  It combines the recommended amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin with anti-inflammatory herbs so results are seen quicker (in a two a day formula).


Last, but not least, is exercise.  Exercise benefits joint health and arthritis sufferers immensely.  It seems counterintuitive to exercise painful joints, but in truth, exercise helps to strengthen the muscles around the joints and increase range of motion, while reducing stiffness.   Weight bearing exercise also strengthens bones and aids in weight loss.   Weight loss, even small amounts, makes a huge difference on the wear and tear of joints.  The vice president of the Arthritis Foundation has said, “If a person loses about 10 pounds and keeps exercising, they can cut the pain in their knees by about 50 percent and can even postpone a joint replacement.”  That’s a pretty impressive statement!

Product Spotlight: Curcumin Phytosome


Curcumin (the beneficial extract of turmeric) is a wonderful supplement which is best known for its benefits in fighting inflammation and joint pain.  The only bad thing about curcumin is that it’s very difficult for the body to absorb.


We've recently started carrying a new form of curcumin known as curcumin phytosome which has a much higher absorption rate compared to other forms of curcumin.  Curcumin phytosome is different from regular turmeric extracts because it takes the not very well absorbed curcumin and bonds it to phosphatidyl serine, an essential component of our cells which the body can easily absorb.  This special superior absorbing form is patented and known as Meriva.


One study researched Meriva's superior bioavailability compared to ordinary curcumin.  The study, done not on animals, but humans, demonstrated 29-times greater bioavailability compared to regular turmeric extracts.  The patented Meriva extract resulted in higher blood concentrations of curcumin from a much smaller dose than with ordinary curcumin.

The specialized curcumin extract has been researched with impressive results for joint pain.  A recent study compared 1000mg of the Meriva curcumin phytosome with patients taking the prescription joint drug Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium).  The curcumin phytosome group had the same reduction in swelling as the prescription drug group, but without the side effects present in the prescription group.


Curcumin has a number of other benefits.  One recent study found that curcumin was as effective as Prozac for treating depression.  Curcumin has also been researched as a possible preventative and treatment for Alzheimer’s, since it may help to reduce the amount of amyloid plaque in the brain, a hallmark of the disease.


There is no doubt that Curcumin has a long list of benefits, so we’re excited to offer a new, better absorbing form.  The brand Jarrow has 500mg capsules of the patented Meriva Curcumin Phytosome, which we highly recommend.  I feel like I'm constantly recommending Jarrow, but they really do have singular products that stand out, which is why we recommend them so often.