2014 July

Joint Care

By now you are surely into the thick of summer and all that comes with it. If you or your kids are into sports injury might be part of the routine. Hopefully not, but that is a possibility!

Swollen joints may be due to fluid build-up or inflammation due to bacteria, virus or fungus. Swollen joints can stem from simple overuse too.

If you suspect infection, temporary relief can be wrought from a moist heat compress (warm, wet towel put it in the clothes dryer until heated). If swelling is the result of arthritis then heat would work better than cold though one must remember that with more fluid coming to an area, range of motion will decrease initially; mild exercise may also provide relief. Slowing moving the swollen joint in a full range of movement, without straining, may stimulate the muscles to reject the debris caused by inflammation allowing the body’s lymph system to carry it away. Massage can externally stimulate this process as well, if done gingerly and with the sole intent of moving fluid.

New kid on the block, MSM, is a safe and stable form of sulfur that can be immediately absorbed into the body. Sulfur is the fourth most needed element in human nutrition because it is involved in nearly every metabolic process in the body and is essential in the regeneration and nourishment of healthy cells. MSM prevents cells from becoming rigid, promotes elasticity, speeds healing following injury and gives an added boost to regeneration and repair of damaged joint tissues. MSM has also been proven to be a very effective anti-inflammatory.

As always check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new supplementation.

Sunscreen Advisory

FDA studies indicate that a form of VitA, retinyl palmitate, when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions (2009).

This evidence is troubling because the sunscreen industry adds VitA to 30% of all sunscreens because it is an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging. The FDA recently conducted a study of VitA’s photocarcinogenic properties, the possibility that it results in cancerous tumors when used on skin exposed to sunlight. Scientists have known for some time that it can spur excess skin growth (hyperplasia) and that in sunlight it can form free radicals that damage DNA (2000).

In a FDA one-year study, tumors and lesions developed up to 21% sooner in lab animals coated in a VitA-laced cream than animals treated with a vitamin-free cream. Both groups were exposed to the equivalent of just nine minutes of maximum intensity sunlight each day.

This is an ironic twist for an industry already battling studies on whether their products protect against skin cancer. When purchasing, consumers may want to avoid sunscreens with VitA “retinyl palmitate” or “retinol” on the label.

Frankincense (boswelia carterii), a natural anti-inflammatory helps increase oxygen which means more blood flow which means more oxygen available to the muscles, which helps with stamina.

It is a great for the skin due to high amounts of boswellic acid (when distilled properly).

Frankincense shows promising results in helping the body fight against cancer.

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