The topic of supplements, and whether supplementation is necessary, provokes lots of discussion in the health industry. I’ve studied vitamins, minerals and subsequent supplements not only in my recent Advanced Diploma in Nutrition, but also through my own research. I’m never going to say that the following post is gospel, but this is what works for me body and its particulars.
Healthy Bones and Joints
So, in addition to having joint hypermobility syndrome, I also have a vitamin D deficiency and bone demineralisation. More on that later, but along with the supplements that I’ve been advised to take by my GP, this post is going to cover the extras I’ve chosen to take, and how I find them to be beneficial. Having a joint condition whereby my joints are too supple, the common Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements ‘healthy, supple joints’ seen in stores are no good for me!
Now, it’s known that many people in the Northern Hemisphere are lacking in vitamin D (love the British summer) due to lack of exposure to the sun resulting in suboptimal levels in the blood. I was given a big vitamin boost from my doctor last year following blood tests, and advised to continue supplementing my vitamin D in the future. Vitamin D aids the absorption of calcium, essential for strong bones and teeth, and there is also evidence to suggest it helps to protect the body from certain cancers and multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D also helps to regular the body’s insulin levels, helping in the management of type 1 diabetes^.
It’s thought that 800 IU of vitamin D per day reduces the risk of fractures by 20% in the elderly and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Bearing in mind that osteoporosis and arthritis runs in my family, and I have the addition of early bone demineralisation, it’s super important for me to supplement my vitamin D. It’s a fat soluble vitamin which should be taken with a fat containing meal.
Poliquin D3 Excellence – tiny soft gels that are easy to swallow. At 5,000 IU per tablet, it’s a high dosage that I only take 3 times a week.
WHC UnoCardio & Vitamin D – at 1,000 IU this is a supplement that can be taken daily and remain under the upper level recommended, which is 4,000 IU per day^. This also combines the vitamin D with fish oil and Omega-3 fatty acid for a more varied supplement.
I can’t really talk about vitamin D without talking about calcium too! Although this is easier to find in food, and I am not deficient, I do take a small supplements, especially as I have had a fair few bone fractures in my time! Typically found in dairy produce, it’s also present in broccoli, spinach and nuts as well. Although calcium is usually associated with bone health, it also plays a role in muscle contraction, including the heart muscle, and blood clotting.
Poliquin Calcium D-Glucarate – 500mg of calcium per tablet is 50% of the recommended daily intake, as it’s so prevalent in food, supplementing any further isn’t needed unless the diet is low in dairy (vegan for example) or the body is deficient in Vitamin D or phosphorus.
ZipVit Calcium & Magnesium – 400mg per tablet and combined with my favourite supplement (up next), these come sin a handy zip lock bag that easy for travelling.
I swear by magnesium! I’ve recommended it to so many people, all of who have reported back having seen the benefits themselves. It’s also a favourite of barrecore founder Niki Rein! Stored primarily in the bones, muscles and soft tissue, magnesium plays an important role in over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Although commonly broken down in the process is wheat refinement, it can be found in wholegrain, oats, nuts and seeds.
Magnesium, amongst other things, is essential for muscle relaxation, neuromuscular transmission and also plays a role in the synthesis of fatty acids and proteins in food. A deficiency in magnesium can result in muscular cramping, insulin resistance, coronary heart disease and other ailments. I take it to help combat the muscle fatigue and nighttime cramps I get following intense weeks of teaching and training. The recommended daily allowance for adult women is between 310-320mg per day.
Simply Supplements – 100mg per tablet with 2-4 tablet taken daily, this gives me the chance to vary my dosage depending on how heavy my week has been. This is my current choice as I do notice a difference in my aches and pains.
Better You Magnesium Oil – this super concentrated spray contains a 31% concentration of magnesium, and direct contact with the skin allows for fast absorption into the cells. Using this as a nighttime massage is great for giving tired legs a bit of a boost.
Realmag Legs – with the addition of Vitamins E and B6, this daily capsule gives not only the benefits of Dead Sea magnesium, but also the metabolism boost from Vitamin B6, and cell protection from Vitamin E.
ZipVit Calcium & Magnesium – with more than 50% of your daily recommendation in one tablet, these zip locked supplements are a good boost while travelling or simply to throw in your gym bag.
Omega 3 Fish Oil
A hero supplement in my eyes, Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential part of human health. They cannot be synthesised by the body and must be found in food or supplementation. Sourced from fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut as well as in algae, krill and some nut oils, studies^ have shown that Omega 3 fatty acids contribute to brain heath and can help with chronic issues such as osteoporosis and arthritis. These essential fatty acids also work to reduce inflammation in the joints. A lack of Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet can result in fatigue, poor memory and skin or heart problems.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, I take Omega 3 supplements on a regular basis. The impact my hypermobility has on my joints and bones means that i do suffer from inflammation, it’s important I keep that at bay as much as I can.
WHC UnoCardio & Vitamin D – a high concentrate of 1,266mg deep sea fish oil with 1,200mg Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, these soft shell capsules are from sustainable fish sources. Compared to other fish oils, UnoCardio contains fish gelatin, instead of bovine gelatin, and a higher percentage of fatty acids.
ZipVit Omega 3 – containing 1,000mg fish oil and a small proportion of Vitamin E, these are also in a handy zip locked bag to keep the fresh and to save space when travelling.
This last supplement I’ve yet to try, and thought I’d share my research with you before I do. There haven’t been a lot of studies with enough clinical trials of rosehip extract to fully assess its benefits, but Arthritis Research UK believe it can ease inflammation, joint pain and join damage. Rosehip extract contains polyphenols and anthocyanins, and it also rich in vitamin C. These two combined can override harmful molecules (free radicals) which can cause tissue damage or disease. Other studies have found that rosehip can reduce the production of specific enzymes that break down cartilage. As someone who’s has a fair amount of cartilage damage in my knees, hips and spine, I’m really intrigued to try rosehip!
Simply Supplements Rosehip Extract – Arthritis Research Uk recommends 5g per day and at 2,000mg per capsule, just 2-3 of these is all you need.
As a complementary supplement, it’s always worth remembering that there is not a lot of research or clinical trials for rosehip and what works for some might not work for others. If unsure, speak to a specialist.
Remember, these are the supplements I take for my joint conditions, if you’re living with a chronic condition, it’s always wise to consult a qualified nutritionist or doctor before supplementation. Together Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium and Omega 3 Fish Oil reduced my pain, inflammation and discomfort. It’s by no means a quick fix, and nothing can replace a good diet, but a little helping hand is useful for me!
Thanks to Simply Supplements, Entice Communications, ZipVit and Realmag Legs for the samples. Poliquin and Better You purchased myself. All words my own, research sources below.