Question of the month


         This months question comes from Esther Drussi of Buffalo, New York in
         the United States...
          "I've recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my lower back
           and knees and I'm eager to try and improve my situation.  I'm
           not interested in using pharmacutical drugs to combat the pain
           as I've had very bad experiences with aspirin and codeine in the

           In doing my research into my natural options, I've come across
           alot of conflicting information about Glucosamine and other
           natural remedies. 

           Can you please help to shed some light on what works and what

          Thanks for your great question Esther. The answer can be complicated
          but there are some key considerations to keep in mind that should make
          it easier for you to navigate your way through the information and
          misinformation out there.  

          I'll narrow it down to the following 3 Simple Points to keep in mind:
    1. Always consider the source of the information and if they have alterior motives.  For example, you'll get potentially biased and slanted information from people that are compensated as a result of sales of a particular product.  The unfortunate part is that self interest is rampant in the industry and includes not only those selling products on the internet, but also health food stores and even medical doctors (who are compensated by pharmaceutical companies) for example.
    2. Many if not all pharmaceuticals have serious side effects, so you need to weigh the benefits against the health costs prior to starting a regimen of prescription or non-prescription drugs.
    3. There is a significant amount of research out there on pharmaceutical and natural remedies and the research findings can be conflicting from one study to another based on...
      • the studies methodology (controls, length of study, size, etc.) 
      • who is funding the study,
      • the goal of the study.
                ... all that to say that you can probably find studies that prove or
                disprove whatever result it is that your looking to find these days.  
                My two key peices of advice on this point are:
      1. Look to the larger more statistically valid studies carried out by 3rd parties - such as the Gait Study and the GUIDE Trial - for more trustworthy information to base your decisions on.  
      2. Search out real world references from people that are actually using products and that can share their good and bad experiences with you.  This is my #1 recommendation but keep in mind that because something work for one person, doesn't guarantee it will work for another - but it's a great place to start!                                   

         Final thought...
         Ultimately Esther, you need to strive to be an informed consumer that
         keeps your guard up while conducting your research.
         Seek advice from users, not purveyors of goods and don't be afraid to
         try different things (as long as they're safe) until you find the one/s that
         works for you.
         As part of your research you may want to consider the following:
    1. Our recently completed and updated 2007 Joint Supplement Product Review.
    2. Our #1 recommended natural Joint Pain Supplement for 2007 - Syn-Flex
    3. The role that exercise can play in reducing your Arthritis symptoms.

        I hope that this information proves to be of value to you Esther.  Please
        be sure to let me know if you have any other questions and how you
        make out.

        Wishing you great health & good fortune,

       Peter Ballantine


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