The Athletic Potential of Vitamin D

It’s the middle of winter, and the days are dark and cold. But you’re still training intensely and eating clean to get ready for your upcoming competition. Unfortunately, there is one vitamin no amount of clean eating can fix, especially in athletes. New research suggests maintaining the right levels of vitamin D may improve several elements of performance, including your VO2 max, sprint capacity, and power production.

A Growing Research Field

Exercise dramatically increases an athlete’s demand for vitamin D, as your muscle, heart, and vascular tissue all contain key vitamin D receptors. Today, studies show more than 50 percent of athletes are low in vitamin D.1 While the direct cause isn’t clear, it’s most likely a combination of things like inflammatory processes, muscular damage, increased protein synthesis requirements, increased immune activity, lack of sun exposure, race, and genetics.2

A clear vitamin D deficiency occurs at blood levels less than 20ng/mL (< 50 nmol/L), while insufficiency for athletes is generally defined at blood levels between 20-32 ng/mL (50-80 nmol/L). Insufficiency simply means you’re not getting enough to meet the demands of your activity. Intense training is demanding. New research suggests that 40-50ng/mL (100-125 nmol/L) seems to be the “sweet spot” for supporting optimal athletic performance, and experts agree the body needs daily replenishment to meet that requirement.3,4

Achieving your ideal vitamin D intake may upgrade six key areas of performance:

  1. VO2 max
  2. Muscular power production
  3. Testosterone levels
  4. Inflammation
  5. Susceptibility to colds and flu
  6. Mood

Let’s take a closer look at each.

1. VO2 Max

You likely spend a lot of time planning and periodizing your training to maximize your efforts, but did you know that not having enough vitamin D could compromise your maximal oxygen uptake, or VO2 max, a classic marker for assessing aerobic fitness? New research in professional hockey and soccer players found a strong correlation between low vitamin D status and VO2 max. If you’re a weekend warrior, this relationship may be even stronger.

Experts will tell you just because there is an association doesn’t mean that increasing the amount of vitamin D in your diet will improve performance. However, a new study in vitamin D deficient rowers found that 8 weeks of supplementation (6,000IU per day) resulted in more than a 10 percent improvement of VO2 max. For elite athletes, improving performance by 2-3 percent is the difference between a podium finish and being in the middle of the pack.5,6,7 Remember, more is not always better. Talk to your doctor and get tested before supplementing with high doses of vitamin D.

2. Power Production

Your muscle tissues have many key receptor sites for vitamin D, and they seem to play a key role in supporting power production. For athletes, increasing power production translates to improved performance on the playing field. Recently, the Canadian Women’s National Hockey strength and conditioning team found athletes with higher power production were more likely to make the final selection for the national team. 

Additionally, a study in soccer players found increasing baseline vitamin D status over an 8-week period resulted in an increase in 10-meter sprint times and vertical jump.8 While not all studies found this relationship, it’s important to ensure you meet the minimal baseline requirements to ensure maximum training benefit.

3. Testosterone Levels

Low testosterone is a common symptom in athletes who are over-reaching and overtraining. Unfortunately, too many people look for a quick fix rather than address why their testosterone levels are low in the first place. Vitamin D is a precursor to testosterone production and may increase the binding efficiency of testosterone to its receptors.4 Low levels are linked to increased protein breakdown, reduced strength, and increased body fat.

If you’re an athlete over age sixty, the connection is even more compelling because low vitamin D levels at that age correlate strongly to low testosterone levels.9 A new study over a 12-month time span found that adding approximately 3,000 IU of vitamin D daily resulted in increased total, bioavailable, and free testosterone.10 For those training through the winter, low testosterone combined with intense training will lead to sub-optimal recovery and increased risk of symptoms of overtraining (i.e., increased muscle soreness, low mood, fatigue, low libido, etc.). This is especially true for athletes who compete in indoor sports year round that limit sun exposure.

4. Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural product of intense training. However, too much inflammation can impair muscular function and future performance. One study showed adding an extra 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily can offset the increased inflammatory reaction with a high-volume training load of 10 sets of 10 reps of compound exercises in men and women.11

Interestingly, the group adding extra vitamin D also noted a mere 6 percent drop in power output over the course of the workout, while the group not supplementing had a 32 percent decrease in power. Amazingly, this deficit lasted for up to 48 hours. If you’re preparing for a competition or the CrossFit Games, maintaining power output during competition is critical to your performance.

5. Colds and Flu

There is nothing worse than catching a cold or flu in the days leading up to a competition. All those hard training days and dedication to be at the top of your game, only to be cut short by a nasty bug. If you’re low in vitamin D, the “foot soldier” immune cells that make up your innate immune system will also be low. If this first-line of immune defense is compromised, you’ll be at increased risk of infection.12

Vitamin D promotes hundreds of anti-microbial proteins in the body that fight off bacteria and viruses and helps keep your immune system robust in the build-up to competition. Research in athletic populations highlights that maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D can reduce common infectious illnesses.13 If your levels are low, your immunity and performance will likely be compromised.

6. Mood

Training intensely isn’t just tough on your muscles and joints. It also takes a toll on your mental game. If you're an athlete, you regularly push that fine line between over-reaching (pushing beyond your limits to grow stronger) and overtraining (pushing too far beyond your limits). Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain a positive mood as you fight through the toughest weeks of your training.

Low levels of vitamin D are consistently associated with low mood and depression, and because many athletes train indoors through the winter months (and sometimes even summer, depending on your sport), deficient levels can impair you sense of well-being.14 Cognitive decline also impacts your decision-making abilities, which are crucial in the heat of competition, yet fatigue and pain make them very difficult.

Sources of Vitamin D

Now that you know vitamin D is key for optimal performance, where is the best place to get it? The sun is far and away your best source of vitamin D. Fifteen minutes of exposure on 5 percent of your skin leads to 10,000-20,000 IU of vitamin D production.4 If you live in a city with a true winter – north of the 42nd parallel – you’ll need more than sun exposure alone to meet your demands, as the sun isn’t high enough in the sky for an adequate dose.

Including vitamin D rich foods in your diet should always be your foundation, and the best dietary sources include egg yolks, pork (yes, bacon!), mushrooms, fortified milk, and yogurt (if you struggle to digest dairy effectively, discontinue).

Of course, if you live in a city with a true winter climate, food alone won’t meet your demands. The general recommendation for supplementing with vitamin D during winter is 1,000-2,000 IU per day. However, this is the case for the general population, not athletes. The research on athletes suggests between 4,000-6,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily is a good bet, however this should only be taken during your intense training phases (up to 8-12 weeks), or from November to March. If you decide to take vitamin D doses greater than 2,000 IU, you must get regular blood tests done with your doctor.

Give Yourself a Winning Edge

Whether your goal for 2016 is achieving a new personal best or finishing on top of the podium, make sure your vitamin D levels are adequate. Assess your vitamin D status, add more vitamin D-rich foods, and find the right supplement strategy to meet your needs.

Intense training requires a robust nutrition plan to meet your body’s demands, and failing to adequately replenish vitamin D can negatively impact too many key systems to ignore. Get your daily dose of vitamin D this winter. The research shows it can make all the difference.

(Read the rest of my article @BreakingMuscle)

Dr. Marc Bubbs ND, CISSN, CSCS

 

References

1. Farrokhyar F, et al., “Prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy in athletes: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” Sport Medicine 5 (2014): 365–78.

2. Willis KS, Smith DT, Broughton KS, Larson-Meyer DE. “Vitamin D status and biomarkers of inflmmation in runners,” Journal of Sports Medicine, 3 (2012): 35-42.

3. Ogan D, Pritchett K. “Vitamin D and the athlete: Risks, recommendations, and benefits,” Nutrients 5 (2013): 1856–1868.

4. Dahlquist D et al. “Plausible ergogenic effects of vitamin D on athletic performance and recovery,” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12 (2015):33

5. Koundourakis N et al. “Relation of vitamin D level to maximal oxygen uptake in adults,” American Journal of Cardiology, 107 (2011):1246–9.

6. Forney L, et al. “Vitamin D status, body composition, and fitness measures in college-aged students,” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28 (2014): 814–24.

7. Jastrz?bski Z. “Effect of vitamin D supplementation on the level of physical fitness and blood parameters of rowers during the 8-week high intensity training,” Facicula Educ Fiz ?i Sport, 2 (2014): 57–67.

8. Close G et al. “Assessment of vitamin D concentration in non-supplemented professional athletes and healthy adults during the winter months in the UK: implications for skeletal muscle function,” Journal of Sports Science, 31 (2013): 344–53.

9. Wehr et al. “Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men,” Clinical Endocrinology (Oxf), 73 (2010): 243–8.

10. Pilz S, et al. “Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men,” Hormone and Metabolic Research, 43 (2011): 223–5.

11. Barker T et al. "Supplemental vitamin D enhances the recovery in peak isometric force shortly after intense exercise," Nutr Metab (Lond), 10 (2013): 69.

12. Youssef D et al. “Vitamin D’s potential to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections,” Dermatoendocrinol, 4(2012):167-75.

13. Larson E. “Vitamin D supplementation in athletes,” Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series, 75 (2013): 109-21.

14. Polak M et al. “Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and depressive symptoms among young adult men and women,” Nutrients, 6 (2014): 4720–30.

Interview With Canada Basketball's Charlie Weingroff (by OmegaWave)

Check out this interview with my colleague Charlie Weingroff for an insight into the work we do with the Canadian men's basketball players as Canada Basketball's Integrated Support Team......

Playing in this past July’s Pan Am Games, the Canadian Men’s National Basketball Team proved the program’s depth and quality by pulling off a dramatic, overtime victory over the United States and winning silver in Toronto, the team’s first ever Pan Am medal. Building off that momentum, this month Team Canada begins preparations for the FIBA Americas Championship, studding their roster with an even greater mix of NBA talent—including 2014-15 Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, sharpshooter Nick Stauskas, and seven-footer Kelly Olynyk—who will represent their country alongside former number-one lottery pick Anthony Bennett and future University of Kentucky freshman Jamal Murray.

As they train for FIBA Americas, Team Canada’s goal is greater than bringing home another medal: playing in Mexico, the team will be competing to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Just before the players returned to camp, we had the opportunity to speak with the team’s strength & conditioning coach, Charlie Weingroff, whose lengthy experience as a trainer, physical therapist, and elite sport consultant has led to positions with the US Marine Corps, the NBA, and his current role with Canada Basketball.

Omegawave: For the Pan Am games, Team Canada suited-up players from a wide spectrum of backgrounds—what specific training challenges arise when you have athletes who range from soon-to-be freshman to guys in their thirties, and players fresh off the NBA grind versus others who’ve been playing in a variety of international leagues?

Charlie Weingroff: As far as training, the bigger challenge has less to do with the players themselves, and more to do with the logistics of our schedule. Because we feel very strongly about our testing program, and we have a fair amount of staff—at a given time there are only a maximum of 15 players and a minimum of 12—we feel pretty strongly that we can tailor individualized preparedness programs for our players. The problem is not so much that there are varying levels of experience, the problem is that we don’t always have a lot of time for general physical preparedness. If Coach (Jay Triano) is going to run two-a-days, what we sometimes do in the afternoon really turns into skills training sessions—the biggest challenge then is trying to find an opportunity to actually train in the afternoon and have a belief that we’re going to get something out of it. In the Pan Am, where we only had one week to prepare, we’re not really going to get anything more than recovery training. So, we’ll get a lot more done during what we do here for FIBA, but the biggest challenge is not the variance of the players—it’s having legitimate time partitioned.

 

Are You Eating Enough Carbs For Optimal Recovery?

carbs-workout-2.jpg

Low-carb and ketogenic diets can be tremendously effective nutrition strategies for weight loss and improving metabolic health. Does this mean they're also suitable for athlete trying to maximize performance and body composition? Not quite. Context matters. When you shift the context from overweight or obese individuals in the general population to high-level athletes pushing themselves hard to perform, the optimal nutritional strategy shifts as well.  

For athletes training to achieve a personal best running a 10k, triathlon, or qualifying for the CrossFit Games, your eating strategy will not be the same as a sedentary person simply trying to lose weight. 

Remember, exercise is a catabolic process, triggering a release of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in order to raise blood sugars to fuel your activity. If you are exercising at a slow pace (less than 65% heart rate) your body has the time to use fat as a primary fuel source. However, as your exercise intensity increases your body quickly shifts to using muscle and liver glycogen (your body’s carb stores) to fuel exercise. You have a limited capacity to store glycogen, which means after about 1-hour of training at a high intensity, you’ll likely have exhausted all your body’s glycogen stores.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH LOW GLYCOGEN STORES?

High-level athletes training hard need carbohydrates to train effectively at high-intensities, Without carbohydrate, training output falls and so too does the adaptive response to exercise. Carbohydrates are also crucial for keeping glycogen reserves topped up, critical for being able to perform in repeated training bouts. That's not all. Carbohydrates are also crucial for supporting nervous system recovery and for preventing suppression of immune system function following a hard training day, week or month. 

The research is clear that if you start your next training session with low or sub-optimal glycogen status, you’ll significantly reduce your capacity to work at high-intensities and your performance will suffer. A recent study of athletes who consumed only 40% of their total calories as carbohydrates and performed “two-a-day” training sessions suffered a significant decrease in their performance during the 2nd session because they did NOT adequately replenish muscle glycogen stores.1

If you are training at high intensity and following a low-carb diet, you are treading a very fine line. Especially if your diet is always low-carb, every single day, no matter what you do in training. Fuel for the required demands; if you're working at high-intensities, restricting carbs will also restrict your ability to perform. If your goal is optimizing your performance potential, eventually you will exhibit signs of overtraining and exhaustion if you're following a 100% low-carb or keto approach.

Overtraining syndrome is when you hit a wall that lasts multiple weeks and even months. You're tired, rundown, unhappy and your numbers in the gym keep sliding backward. This can happen when you train too intensely for too long, with too much volume for too long, or without adequate rest periods or tapers built into your training regime. While you to push yourself hard and train often to be the best (i.e. functional over-reaching), you don’t want to push yourself over the edge into overtraining (or even non-functional over-reaching).

Short-term symptoms of inadequate glycogen repletion include fatigue, reduced work capacity during training, poor recovery and extended delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Long-term symptoms are pronounced fatigue, reduced strength levels, and increased muscular weakness.

HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE RECOVERY AFTER EXERCISE?

To maximize performance during high-intensity training or competition is to ensure you have enough of the right food on board to fuel performance. Before intense training or competition day, you need to ensure your glycogen stores are topped up and you've consumed enough carbohydrate before training, as this is your body's primariy fuel at high-intensity. If you're exercising for more than 60-90 minutes, adding simpel carbs during exericse is a proven strategy to improve your performance.

After training, you want to stimulate the recovery process as soon as possible. The best way to accomplish this is to consume protein + carbohydate in your meal post-exericse. Aim for at least 20-30g of protein and 1-4x the amount of carbs and you'll be ready to attack the gym again the following day.  

If you've got another training bout within the next 4 hours, then consuming high-glycemic index (GI) carbs immediately after training can be very helpful. High GI carbs enter the bloodstream quickly, allowing you to rapidly replenish glycogen stores in the first 30-60 minutes after training when glycogen synthase enzyme activity is elevated and allows for optimal replenishment.(2) In China, a recent study examined the effects of high-glycemic meals after exercise on performance in runners. The results showed athletes consuming high-GI meals post-training had significantly improved work capacity during their subsequent run four hours later.(4)  Root vegetables make a great post-workout carb choice, especially if you bake them, which naturally raises the glycemic index of these foods. Great starchy carb options include sweet potatoes, yams, yucca, plantains, carrots, beets, parsnips, etc.

If you are on the go and don’t have time to sit down for meal, try adding some dried fruit to your post-workout nutritional arsenal. Dried fruit is very high-glycemic, and while not ideal as a midday snack when sitting at your desk, it’s a great option after vigorous activity. Try 2-4 Medjool dates for 36-72g of carbs, or half a pack of dried mangos (1.5oz provides 36g of carbs).

The total amount of carbs you consume post-training depends on a few variables: your genetics, current body-fat percentage, training phase, etc. Aim for one gram of carbs per kilogram bodyweight in the first hour after exercise (divide your bodyweight in pounds by 2.2 to achieve your weight in kilograms).(2,3) This can be repeated every two hours for up to 6 hours post-training for elite level trainees and sports that require two-a-day training, such as triathletes, Olympic weightlifters, and Ironman competitors.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU WAIT TO CONSUME YOUR CARBS POST-TRAINING?

Carbs directly replenish glycogen stores and after exercise your capacity to soak up carbs and top up glycogen is heightened. Research shows that if you wait several hours post-training you will reduce your glycogen repletion rate by as much as 50%(5) Not consuming enough carbs after exercise can also exacerbate inflammation, depress immunity, and lead to prolonged muscle soreness.(6) In real-life terms, the meals you consume over a 24-hour period will be sufficient to top up your glycogen stores. It's only if you're performing two-a-day training sessions, or training multiple times within a 4-6 hour time frame, that you need to really think about loading in high-glycemic carbs to maximize recovery.

If you follow low-carb, high fat (LCHF) or ketogenic diet you can still benefit by incorporating more carbs than normal post-training, without affecting your capacity to burn fat.(7) For most, adding more carbs before intense training, as well as in the post-recovery meal, is a great way to boost performance and recovery. The truth is, during high-intensity exercise the research is clear that LCHF or VLCK diets impair top end performance.(8) Adding more carbs to your nutritional aresnal is likely the added boost you need to upgrade your performance.

Remember, if you’re gearing up for a 10k run, triathlon, CrossFit Games or your competitive season, fatigue is directly related to muscle glycogen depletion when exercising at higher intensities. For optimal athletic performance, refuel with the right amount of carbs post-exercise and take your game to the next level.

Dr. Marc Bubbs ND, MSc(c), CISSN, CSCS

 

Check out more articles in the "RECOVERY" SERIES...

REFERENCES

1. Ivy JL et al. Muscle glycogen storage after different amounts of carbohydrate ingestion. J Appl Physiol. 1988 Nov;65(5):2018-23.

2. Jentjens R, Jeukendrup A. Determinants of post-exercise glycogen synthesis during short-term recovery. Sports Med. 2003;33(2):117-44.

3. Ivy JL1.Glycogen resynthesis after exercise: effect of carbohydrate intake. Int J Sports Med. 1998 Jun;19 Suppl 2:S142-5.

4. Wong SH et al. Effect of glycemic index meals on recovery and subsequent endurance capacity. Int J Sports Med. 2009 Dec;30(12):898-905.

5. Jentjens R, Jeukendrup A. Determinants of post-exercise glycogen synthesis during short-term recovery. Sports Med. 2003;33(2):117-44.

6. Flakell PJ et al. Postexercise protein supplementation improves health and muscle soreness during basic military training in Marine recruits. J Appl Physiol 2004;96:951-956.

7. Burke LM, Hawley JA, Angus DJ, et al. Adaptations to short-term high-fat diet persist during exercise despite high carbohydrate availability. Med Sci Sports Exerc 20002;34:83-91.

8. Antonio J, Kalman D, Stout S, et al. Essentials of Sports Nutrition and Supplements. International Society of Sports Nutritionists. Humana Press, NY 2008.

What's The Best Afternoon Snack?

One of the most common questions I get asked by clients is ‘what should I eat in the afternoon when I get hungry?’ While there are many possible options, let’s first take a look at what people tend to go for.
 
The typical snack is something high in sugar or caffeine - coffee, chocolate, sweets, candy, etc. - because most people are looking for a quick-fix energy shot. While this may help in the short-term, it will cause all sorts of problems in the long-term.  High-glycemic sugary snacks quickly raise blood sugars, inhibiting fat burning and impairing concentration when your levels come crashing back down. This up and down yo-yo effect leads to constant cravings, diminishes productivity at work, and worsens your health.
 
So, what should you eat?

High-protein foods are my number one snack of choice because it helps to keep blood sugars balanced, increases satiety, and naturally raises dopamine levels (your body’s focus and concentration neurotransmitter). A terrific option is grass-fed beef jerky. That’s right… beef jerky! Grass-fed beef jerky is loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which helps fat loss.
 
This is not your dad’s beef jerky. Traditional beef jerky found in convenience stores and gas stations is filled with gluten and soy, artificial sugars and fructose, MSG, and harmful nitrites…not the ideal ingredients for better health and performance!

However, grass-fed beef jerky does NOT contain any of these fillers and additives, and uses only natural sea salt and celery powder as preservatives and flavorings. If you haven’t given grass-fed jerky a try, it’s time to check it out. It tastes great, pairs nicely with veggies or nuts, and can be stored in your gym bag or desk easily. It will definitely tide you over until dinner!
 
Whether you are trying to improve productivity at work, find low carb snacks to improve weight loss, or increase protein intake to improve athletic performance grass-fed beef jerky fits the bill. Try some today and feel the difference for yourself!
 
Dr. Marc Bubbs ND, CISSN, CSCS

Want to learn more? Listen to world expert Dr. Stephan Guyenet PhD talk about "Hyper-Palatable Foods" and how "Snacking" is a major root cause of weight gain on the Dr. Bubbs Performance Podcast...

Got Sore Muscles or Aching Joints?

Joint pain is a growing epidemic that most people simply learn to live with.  Over the years, you start to feel aches and pains in your shoulders or knees and just dismiss it as ‘growing older.’  If the discomfort worsens you look for a quick fix - popping a few Tylenol or Ibuprofen - to stop the pain and get through the day.  Does this sound like a familiar pattern? 

Over time, this can become a potentially dangerous cycle due to the harmful side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.  Botanical (herbal) medicines may hold some answers to help you reduce or eliminate your pain and improve your well-being.

Joint Pain, Arthritis & NSAIDs

Joint pain and arthritis is generally an imbalance between cartilage destruction and repair.  The cartilage tissue is broken down more quickly than the body is able to heal and replace it.  The type of drugs used for pain relief and inflammation are classified as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). Advil, Motrin, and Aspirin are all examples of NSAIDs.  These drugs accomplish their actions by blocking the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2).  By inhibiting COX-2, NSAIDs are able to decrease the body’s levels of chemicals called prostaglandins that cause inflammation.  

Plants Medicines & Inflammation

This discovery was actually first observed in plants, as they too have the ability to block the COX-2 enzyme and therefore reduce pain and inflammation.  Camelia sinensis, commonly known as green tea, is an example of a natural herbal COX-2 inhibiter.  According to the Napralert Database of Pharmeucticals and Botanical medicines, green tea contains over 51 anti-inflammatory compounds.  These compounds work together synergistically to reduce pain and inflammation by directly inhibiting pro-inflammatory prostaglandin synthesis, the same chemical pathway used by NSAID drugs.

Natural COX-2 inhibiting herbs not only inhibit inflammation but they correct the arthritic imbalance by stimulating wound healing.  Collagen is connective tissue made in the body to help build strong ligaments and tendons. It is an essential ingredient for strong ligaments and tendons. NSAIDs inhibit the production of cartilage and connective tissue, actually preventing your tissues from rebuilding themselves.  Obviously, this is not ideal when you are recovering from injury.   This is a very important point.  Herbal COX-2 inhibitors block pain and stimulate tissues and collagen production to build healthy joints.  Although NSAIDs may be a good treatment option with short-term acute pain, chronic use of NSAIDs inhibits collagen production and impairs your ability to heal in the long-term.

Dangers of Chronic NSAID Use

Chronic NSAID use also damages the lining of the stomach wall and intestinal tract leading to the formation of stomach ulcers and intestinal hyper-permeability or leaky gut.   Good digestion is key to breaking down your food effectively, allowing you to fully absorb all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed to help build strong connective tissue and joints. The USDA Phytochemical Database reports that green tea provides anti-ulcer protection, containing fifteen anti-ulcer compounds that help inhibit and prevent ulcer formation.  Recall that anti-inflammatory NSAID drugs actually cause ulcer formation with chronic use! 

NSAID also damage the intestinal villi – small protrusion off the intestinal wall – and therefore compromise your ability to absorb and assimilate your food effectively.  A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Sciences in the United Kingdom highlighted the fact that NSAIDs cause gastrointestinal injury leading to intestinal hyper-permeability or ‘leaky gut’.  If cannot absorb your food properly then you cannot provide your ligaments and tendons with the nutrients necessary to build collagen and thus strong connective tissue. The chronic use of NSAIDs can cause a myriad of detrimental side effects that can put your long-term health at risk. 

There are many natural and powerful anti-inflammatory herbs that can significantly reduce your joint pain and inflammation.  They can provide you with an effective alternative to long-term anti-inflammatory use.  The dosage, form, and combination of herbs used can be specific to site and nature of your pain.

Dr. Marc Bubbs N.D., CSCS

Note: Herbal medicines, although natural, should always be taken under the care of professional physician to avoid any drug interactions or contra-indications.

References:

  1. Haqqi TM, Anthony DD, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1999 may;17(2):159-65

  2. Gupta S, Ahmad n, et al. Semin Urol Oncol 1999 May;17(2):70-6.

  3. Vane JR, Botting RM, et al. Inflamm Res 1998 Oct; 47Suppl 2:S78-87.

  4. Paschka AG, Butler R, Young CY. Cancer Lett 1998 Aug 14;130(1-2):1-7.

  5. Hara y. J CellBiochem Suppl 1997;27:52-8.

  6. Playford RJ, MacDonald CE, Calnan DP et al. Clin Sci (Lond). 2001 Jun;100(6):627-33.