Arthritis

CBD: An Overview

At Pass Health Foods, we are extremely knowledgeable about CBD and its many benefits. We’ve written many articles on CBD about different aspects of its benefits as well as just additional information about CBD itself and how it works.

We wanted to have a place to put links to all our CBD articles for easy reference. Please see the links below for specific articles, and as always, please feel free to stop by the store for further, individualized attention.

What is CBD

The Many Benefits of Hemp Derived CBD Oil

Why Certified Organic CBD is So Important

Our CBD Product Recommendations

Natural Help for Anxiety: CBD and Theanine

CBD for Pets: Natural Pet Care

See a collection of the CBD Products we have available at the store at the link below. We offer both local delivery as well as shipping anywhere in the continental US. Call the store at 708-448-9114 if you would like to place an order and have it shipped. The product listing below is not a complete listing of the CBD products we carry, but is a collection of our top selling and most recommended CBD products.

CBD Product Catalog

All About Curcumin and Why It's So Great

I wanted to write about curcumin again. It has become incredibly popular for helping with reducing pain and inflammation in the body- and rightly so- it really does work. New research is coming out all the time confirming its many benefits, which go far beyond just pain relief.

Curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, has been said by many to be “the most anti-inflammatory herb on the planet”. It is difficult for the body to absorb, however, and in the past, people needed to consume mass amounts of the strongly pigmented yellow spice to be able to get enough of that beneficial extract, curcumin, to make a difference. I love eating turmeric (turmeric is the yellow spice used in many curries), but ground turmeric root is generally only 4% curcumin, so supplements are the best answer if you’re looking to get the benefits reported again and again in the scientific studies.

Even supplemental extracts of turmeric or curcumin can be difficult for the body to absorb, which is why there are very specific forms that we recommend. The company Solgar has a branded extract that they use which has been scientifically documented to be one hundred and eighty-five times better absorbed than standard curcumin extracts. If you’re interested, you can search go to our website for more information and the links to the study, or go to PubMed.gov, since I fully agree that it almost sounds too good to be true. 

We are all about science at Pass Health Foods. Sometimes I think people have the idea that natural products, vitamins, and herbs are a bunch of “hippie nonsense”, but in our store, the products we recommend are scientifically backed by research. There are times when conventional pharmaceuticals are necessary, but if you can find natural products that legitimately work, without the side effects of conventional medicines, it can be a wonderful thing.

So, back to curcumin: studies have shown again and again its benefit for pain relief, finding it equal to commercially available pain medications and NSAID drugs, but without the strain those medicines have on the liver. Ibuprofen and other drugs definitely do help with pain, but they are not meant to be taken over and over again on a daily basis. Curcumin is a great alternative, which rather than being hard on the liver, it can actually help with liver function.
In addition to pain relief, curcumin supplements have also been shown in research to have impressive results for reducing anxiety and depression, one study even found curcumin supplementation to be as effective as a prescription drug for depression, but without the side effects.

New research has also introduced curcumin as a possible aid to weight loss. One thirty day study followed people who were already on a diet and exercise regimen. They found an increased percentage of weight loss in the group who took curcumin, but even more than that was the reduction of body fat percentage for the people who took curcumin vs. the placebo group. Over thirty days the group who used diet and exercise alone had a .70% reduction in total body fat loss, but the group who used curcumin had an average of 8.43% reduction in body fat!

Curcumin supplementation has also been linked to a reduction in several types of cancers. In the past, the poor absorption of curcumin supplements was a problem for showing results in human studies, but now with newly formulated extracts like Solgar’s Full Spectrum Curcumin, which have significantly increased the body’s ability to absorb the nutrient, that is changing. Curcumin has been shown to inhibit cancer cells, prevent tumor formation, as well as slow cancer progression, and can be a helpful adjunct to traditional cancer therapies (though as with everything, be sure to inform your physician of any natural products you are taking, especially during cancer treatment).

So to sum up, while curcumin is best known for reducing joint pain and inflammation, it has many other scientifically documented benefits. Not all turmeric or curcumin supplements are equal in how well they are absorbed, so at this time, the only curcumin product we truly recommend is Solgar’s Full Spectrum Curcumin, for the simple reason that it has been shown to be so much better absorbed than any other. Since it’s a product we recommend so highly, we were able to work out a deal with the company to be able to offer 25% off on our Solgar curcumin on an everyday basis at Pass Health Foods. Stop by the store for more information, we’d love to help you further.
  

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Natural Remedies for Gout Pain

Gout is extremely common, particularly among men. Gout occurs when uric acid accumulates in the blood and eventually crystallizes, most commonly in the joint of the big toe, which causes pain and inflammation. When crystallized, uric acid takes on the shape of a needle, literally jabbing into the joints.

Uric acid is a byproduct of many foods, so gout in most cases is directly linked to diet- rich foods and alcohol are the main culprits, though it can also be brought on by stress, certain medications, crash dieting, or injury to the joint.

Getting a 100% conclusive diagnosis for gout can be difficult since the symptoms occur inside the joints. Other conditions can mimic the symptoms of gout are rheumatoid arthritis and infections (one way to get a definitive diagnosis is for a physician to insert a needle into the affected joint to test the fluid for uric acid crystals- something that people usually avoid).

Luckily, there are some simple natural products that work very well for reducing uric acid in the body and the symptoms of gout. Both cherry fruit extract and celery seed can be extremely helpful for breaking up and reducing uric acid buildup in the body. 

There is one supplement in particular that we recommend for gout at Pass Health Foods, and that is something called Go-Out Plex. It’s a combination of two types of cherry extract- tart cherries and black cherries- both of which work slightly differently for reducing uric acid and inflammation. It also has celery seed extract, another supplement that is very effective at reducing uric acid buildup in the body. Along with those uric acid fighters, Go-Out Plex also has anti-inflammatory ingredients to help in reducing pain and redness from gout.

It’s a supplement we definitely recommend since the ingredients are backed by research, but also because we have a lot of customers who have had relief after using it. Go-Out Plex can be used preventatively if you’re prone to issues with gout, as well as in larger doses if you’re in the middle of an attack.

Some other dietary guidelines for gout would be to limit rich foods, alcohol, and sugars. Foods rich in purines, which form uric acid in the body, including anchovies, shellfish, asparagus, mussels, sardines, peanuts, and meat in general, especially bacon, turkey, and organ meats.

When experiencing an attack of gout, eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables can help, especially blueberries, cherries, and strawberries.

If following these natural remedies for gout does not seem to help, it might be a good idea to see your doctor since the symptoms you may think of as gout might actually be something else. It’s always a smart idea to keep your physician aware of any issues you may be experiencing.

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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.

 

 

A Pass Favorite: Magnesium Oil Spray

I wanted to write about a new favorite of ours at the store- magnesium oil spray and magnesium flakes for soaking. Our new LifeFlo brand magnesium oil spray and flakes are from the Zechstein Seabed- an ancient geological formation of pure magnesium, unspoiled by pollution or chemicals.

Magnesium is great for the muscles, and using magnesium topically (whether through a magnesium oil spray or soaking in magnesium flakes) is especially effective.

I tried some for the first time recently and was kind of amazed, to be honest. It is absolutely wonderful for sore muscles. I’ve been using it when I have sore legs before bed and can’t believe how well it works for soothing and relaxing the muscles. I’ve also been using it on my daughter’s legs when she complains of “growing pains”. Liz, who works at the store, has a son who plays hockey, and he’s been using it after practice to help with sore muscles and is impressed with how well it works.

Even though we’ve primarily been using it for muscle aches, many of our customers have found it to be very effective for arthritis and joint pain as well.

The nice thing about magnesium oil spray and magnesium flakes for the bath (or a foot soak) is that there is really no downside, they can only help. I’d really recommend giving them a try!

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: 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

Q:

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.

A:

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!