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Bone and Joint

 –  The average adult has 206 bones in his or her body, and each one plays an important role in the anatomy. Healthy bones and joints allow you to retain mobility and freedom of movement into old age, making it important that you take steps to protect your bones and joints from the effects of aging.
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Your joints are the places where your bones meet. Many function similarly to hinges, allowing your limbs, fingers and toes to bend. Over time, the protective fluids and cartilage that insulate your joints can break down and become worn away, leading to inflammation and pain. This is a condition known as osteoarthritis. Many things can positively improve joint mobility including exercise, medication, weight loss if overweight, and even the use of supportive devices. There are many supplements available to support bone and joint health. While small studies have suggested a role for supplements to promote greater production of cartilage material and reduce the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis, larger studies are needed to validate these claims.

Two of the most commonly used supplements used in association with osteoarthritis are glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine is a natural material found in joint cartilage. Chondroitin is an important component in the structure of cartilage, which helps it to resist compression. It may also have anti-inflammatory properties. While several small studies have indicated that chondroitin sulfate stimulates the synthesis of cartilage precursors, more studies are needed to confirm direct action within joints. Both the American College of Rheumatology and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons are not recommending the use of glucosamine or chondroitin as standard treatment of osteoarthritis. The National Institute of Health conducted a large multi-center trial of both glucosamine and chondroitin, focusing on pain associated with arthritis and, for a small sample of individuals with moderate to severe pain from arthritis, there was statistical improvement of joint pain but they concluded that more studies were needed.

MSM or methylsulfonylmethane is another ingredient used in joint supplements. It is a naturally occurring chemical which if consumed can provide a source of dietary sulfur. It is thought to help with pain and reduce swelling in the joints. Small studies have attempted to establish a role in decreasing joint pain but the results of these have been mixed.

Just like your joints, your bones also change as you age, decreasing in density year after year. This is especially true of postmenopausal women, who are more likely to develop osteoporosis, a condition that causes small holes or pores to develop in the bones. As osteoporosis progresses, the bones become very brittle. These weak bones break easily. Sometimes they can break just from everyday activities. Calcium supplementation may be helpful to promote stronger bones.

Calcium is an essential mineral for developing and maintaining strong bones. It is found in foods like dairy products, dark green vegetables, and nuts. As we age, our body requires more calcium than what some people can consume in their diet. To help such individuals, calcium supplements for bone health are available. Many of these supplements also contain vitamin D, which your body requires to absorb calcium.

If you're unsure which bone and joint vitamin is right for your needs, talk to your doctor about your concerns. Supplements may interact with prescription medications and could have side effects or safety issues particularly for pregnant or breastfeeding individuals. Your doctor can also help you decide the right dose to take since it may depend on your age, gender, weight, diet, and level of physical activity. Once you have his or her recommendation, you can find the perfect supplement from the huge selection of bone and joint supplements here at drugstore.com.

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