- Do you know why my inbox exploded about this topic?
- Are you safe taking these two common arthritis remedies…
- …and do they work anyway? Discover the facts here
Every so often my email inbox explodes with questions relating to a similar topic.
When it is something that I have written about I kind of expect it – like the response I got to the coffee newsletter last week!
Invariably I get people who write in to agree with me or add to the points I was trying to make, or (more typically) I get a furious response from folk who think I have got it all wrong.
Like I say I expect this when I raise a topic…
…but why am I getting so many emails asking about Glucosamine and Chondroitin for arthritis, and especially whether the latter is safe to sue as it has been linked to prostate issues.
Has someone else been writing about this? Did I miss something on the TV or radio?
Well, if there is a demand to find out what I know who am I to disappoint!
Are there side-effects to these arthritis remedies?
They are natural substances found around the cells of cartilage.
Researchers believe these substances may help repair and maintain cartilage. While glucosamine is said to stop inflammation and help cartilage cells grow, chondroitin strengthens cartilage.
That’s really it in a nutshell. And it’s not hard to see why this could come in useful for sufferers of arthritis.
But what of this link between chondroitin and prostate cancer?
Now, as always, I suggest that you talk to a medical professional about taking dietary supplements, or if you’re worried about a serious disease.
But here’s what I think…
It’s claim versus counter-claim.
As you’ve seen from my many Good Life Letters, there seems to be an argument for and against almost EVERYTHING these days.
…Chocolate is good for you, chocolate is bad for you… red wine is good… red wine is bad…
…High carb is good, high carb is bad.
…Eat raw vegetables, DON’T eat raw vegetables… organic is good, organic is bad…
soya is good, soya is evil… and so it goes on.
It’s a minefield.
I completely understand your confusion and annoyance with the mainstream media. It’s hard to get a straight answer out of scientists too.
Two equally qualified and experienced scientists in the same year can come up with entirely different conclusions about the same substance.
If you read the medical reports, it’s always a case of ‘could’, ‘may’, ‘might’ and ‘evidence suggests’.
There are no absolutes. It’s life. And it’s a pain in the proverbial.
(Although that’s what makes it interesting and challenging!)
So how are YOU supposed to make decisions?
My role in these free emails is to present you with as much information as I can find. I’m like your runner, tearing through magazines, papers and websites to find as much juicy titbits and bring them to you on a plate.
You get to sit down, have a cup of tea, and read… while I collapse in a corner, panting.
As you know, I like to say it how I see it.
I break the medical gobbledook and waffle down into simple facts, cut out the jargon, and put it in plain language.
I’m not trying to thrust any hardcore politics down your throat, and I’m not fighting for any particular side.
I started this email service because I want to help you make your own decisions about your own health…. to take control of your destiny… to know what’s out there.
And to arm you with knowledge, inspiration, and ideas. This way you can more easily talk to your doctor or dietician about the options open to you.
Chondroitin MAY and MAY NOT have a link.
In the case of these two anti-arthritis supplements, it’s not a matter of ‘chrondroitin causes prostate cancer.’
It’s that Dr Charles E Myers Junior, who is a leader in prostate cancer research, believes chondroitin may have a link to the spread of prostate cancer.
This is according to his report, ‘Chondroitin Sulfate for Relief of Osteoarthritis Symptoms in Prostate Cancer Patients.’
But in my experience, lots of things MAY have links to lots of other things. It doesn’t stop them being useful remedies for those who really suffer.
Literally MILLLIONS of people use supplements containing this substance to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
They are repeat customers who keep coming back because they notice an effect.
They’re not stupid. They may even know that in some quarters there’s a suspected link to prostate cancer, but they’re making their choice.
Look at the benefits for instance…
A study by Timothy E. McAlindon, DM, published in the March 15, 2000, issue of the JAMA says that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate ‘may have some efficacy against the symptoms of osteoarthritis this most common form of arthritis.’
He recommends that additional studies be done, as do many people.
The thing is, if you’re suffering, you can either wait for future trials, counter-trials and all sorts of poking and prodding…
Or you can give the supplements a try.
Again, it’s entirely up to you
With regard to chondroitin, the American Mayo Clinic have published a patient information leaflet stating:
‘There is limited long-term safety data on chondroitin, although it appears to be well tolerated in most trials.’
Another review of glucosamine by the Northern and Yorkshire Drug and Therapeutics Centre reported that ‘glucosamine was well tolerated in short-term trials.’
There doesn’t appear to be any evidence that glucosamine helps the progression of prostate cancer.
And look at the other side of the evidence…
Many clinical trials have shown that glucosamine really can help your joint cartilage stay nice and thick, which slows the progression of osteoarthritis.
So… to have, or to have NOT?
I hope I’ve given you a lot more information about these supplements. More honestly and directly than you’ll find trawling through books and magazines.
Apologies if you’re one of those who wrote in recently, and to whom I couldn’t reply directly.
Please understand that I get a lot of emails. I’m not a medical professional and can’t provide one to one medical advice.
I can, however, pack as much as a way of reply as I can into these letters. So please keep reading…
And if you can… keep laughing, singing, loving, and living, too!