Glucosamine is an aminopolysaccharide (a combination of the amino acid — glutamine and a sugar — glucose). Glucosamine is concentrated in joint cartilage where it is incorporated in longer chains known as glycosaminoglycans and finally into very large structures known as proteoglycans. Glucosamine is naturally produced by the body and is a key component of cartilage. Glucosamine supports healthy joint function and promotes the normal production of synovial fluid, which lubricates your joints and regenerates cartilage. There are numerous European studies showing a clear benefit of glucosamine supplements for promoting joint health.
Regular sunlight exposure is the primary means of attaining vitamin D. Food sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, fatty fish like salmon, egg yokes, liver and Vitamin D-fortified milk. Vitamin D supports the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and promotes the production of several proteins involved in calcium absorption and storage. Vitamin D works with calcium to promote hard, strong bones. It promotes the normal transport of calcium out of the osteoblasts into the extra-cellular fluid and in the kidneys and promotes calcium and phosphate re-uptake by renal tubules. Vitamin D also promotes the absorption of dietary calcium and phosphate uptake by the intestinal epithelium.
Around 90 percent of vitamin C in the typical diet comes from fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the best sources are peppers (sweet green and red peppers and hot red and green chili peppers), citrus fruits and juices, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collards, mustard greens, broccoli, spinach and strawberries. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that promotes the normal growth and repair of tissue and supports adrenal gland function and gum health. It enhances immune function, supports the normal absorption of iron and supports cardiovascular health. It has been shown to operate as a signaling molecule to support the normal regulation of the synaptic efficiency of neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamic acid.
The richest dietary sources of manganese include whole grains, nuts, leafy vegetables and teas. The efficiency of the absorption of manganese is low — around five percent. It may also help to alleviate some PMS symptoms and mood swings. Low levels of manganese in the body can contribute to weakness. Manganese deficiencies are considered rare since it is relatively easy to obtain adequate amounts of manganese through the diet.
Interestingly, some experts estimate that as many as 37 percent of Americans do not get the recommended daily amounts of manganese in their diet. This may be due to the fact that whole grains are a major source of dietary manganese, and many Americans consume refined grains more often than whole grains. Refined grains provide only half the amount of manganese as whole grains. Additional benefits of manganese includesupporting calcium absorption, helping to maintain healthy blood pressure, promoting the normal formation of bones, supporting fat and carbohydrate metabolism and promoting the normal formation of sex hormones.
The boswellia plant produces a resin that has been used in traditional Indian medicine as a support for joint health. The plant has a long history of safe and effective use for promoting joint comfort. It supports normal mobility. Boswellia resin contains active boswellic acids which have been shown to support healthy cartilage and joint health.
Scutellaria is also called scullcap and is a member of the mint family. There are more than 100 related species of scutellaria throughout North America, Europe and China. In traditional Chinese medicine, scutellaria has been used for supporting healthy joints. Three bioactive flavonoids — baicalin, baicalein and wogonin — have been extracted from scutellaria and are thought to contribute to the major activities of the plant. All three flavonoids have been shown to support healthy joints.
Oleanolic acid is found in numerous herbs used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Oleanolic acid is isolated from the seeds of the plant randia dumetornm (rubiaceae). The compound promotes healthy joints.
Hops (humulus lupulus) have long been associated with beer and ale, but the beverage originally called ale in English was made from fermented malt only and contained no hops. Although hops’ confirmed value lies in its use for sleep aid, this herb has also been used to stimulate the appetite, support the flow of digestive juices and promote bone health.