Choosing your Anti-inflammatory Supplement – What are the top picks?


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Thinking of which anti-inflammatory supplement can do the best job tackling inflammation?



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As you know, there is much you can do on the diet and food front when it comes to combating inflammation.  For a discussion of chronic inflammation and what diets and foods are best to manage inflammation check out anti-inflammatory diets for details.  We also mention some of the top inflammation producing foods to avoid in the page on inflammatory foods.

But that still leaves us with the burning question (pun intended) - What anti-inflammatory supplement is best for tackling inflammation?


Top anti-inflammatory supplement picks to deal with inflammation
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Here is a list of several of the best anti-inflammatory supplements for the job. Along with an anti-inflammatory diet, the below in supplement form can go a long way to deal with the multitude of inflammatory conditions that vex modern man and woman.


So if you’re needing pain relief from osteoarthritis; help or prevention for cardiovascular disease; lowering your risk for cancer; help with a sluggish liver; or wanting to avoid the complications of diabetes, the below top anti-inflammatory supplements may help.

 

  • Omega 3s fish oil is an excellent anti-inflammatory supplement, that can help a host of health issues including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer and is readily available in stores.  Many experts are convinced that it is not only the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids you ingest but your ratio of Omega 6  to Omega 3s consumed that can have an important effect on fighting inflammation. You can get your Omega 3s naturally by eating oily cold water fish like salmon, sardines or tuna three times a week, although remember to avoid too much mercury with certain species.  If you can’t get enough Omega 3s from diet alone or you have a specific health condition that requires extra, supplementing fish oil containing both EPA and DPA components of Omega 3 fatty acids is the ticket.  Research shows DPA is particularly effective for inflammation. If you are vegan, cold pressed flax oil or raw ground flax seeds along with pumpkin or hemp seed oils are a good source of Omega 3 oils. Press here for more than you’d ever want to know about Omega 3 fatty acids and the importance of healthy fats as an anti-inflammatory supplement.

 

  • Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that has a strong role as an anti-inflammatory supplement. Controversy continues about how much Vitamin C you need in normal circumstances. Read the benefits of Vitamin C for details on the tortured and sometimes down and dirty debate about how much C is enough. Nevertheless, there is consensus that your need for Vitamin C increases substantially in the face of physical or emotional stress, whether arising from infection, toxins, injury or exercise. The main thing to remember when using Vitamin C as an anti-inflammatory supplement is that your body doesn’t store it and supplies can run low, if you don’t replenish regularly with sufficient Vitamin C rich foods or supplements. Vitamin C is the cornerstone of any anti-oxidant anti-inflammatory supplement program, because of its role in recycling anti-oxidants including Vitamin E, glutathione, lipoic acid and others.


  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplement that has been used to combat arthrosclerosis, heart disease, symptoms of diabetes, skin conditions, and systemic inflammation among other conditions. It is a fat soluble vitamin, so is useful in maintaining healthy cell membrane, which is important for effective intercellular communication including nerve conduction. The most effective supplement form of Vitamin E is alpha-tocopherol, which is also the most common form in the Western diet and is found in olives, corn oil, wheat germ, sunflower and sesame seeds and their unrefined oils as well as beans, tuna, and peas among others plant foods. When buying alpha-tocopherol supplements, ensure you get the natural bio-identical version, namely, d-alpha tocopherol, as opposed to the synthetic version identified with the preface a “dl” – many supplements contain the latter. Other less well studied forms of Vitamin E are the tocotrienols, often sold in supplement form as mixed tocotrienols. Although more expensive and harder to source than alpha-tocopherol, studies suggest that mixed tocotrienols too have potent anti-inflammatory powers that are only now being studied.


  • Borage or Star Flower Oilis a powerful anti-inflammatory supplement. While many Omega 6 fats can promote inflammation by producing the inflammatory prostaglandins, this is not the case with borage or star flower oil which in fact produce the anti-inflammatory types of prostaglandins. This makes borage oil, a great anti-inflammatory supplement especially when seeking relief from muscle and joint pain.


  • Bioflavanoids – are plant-derived compounds that have been linked to lower cancer and cardiovascular disease risk among other health benefits. Their broad ranging anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-viral properties are designed to protect the plants of which they form part; importantly these same bioflavanoids also protect humans who ingest them whether via food or supplements.                  *Quercetinone of the most abundant flavonoids in the Western diet is found extensively in onions, garlic and apples,  and has been linked with substantially reduced levels of heart disease;         *Procyanidins include grape seed extract and pycnogenol (French maritime pine) and resveratrol in red wine are associated with relief of arthritic joint pain, improved fertility and lowered heart attack risk respectively – a surfeit of anti-inflammatory effects.              *Bioflavonoids from hawthorn and yarrow plants are associated with improved blood circulation and improved symptoms of angina. ---- Many of the above bioflavonoids are available in supplement form as individual compounds or in a bioflavonoid complex. Some multi-vitamins, immune or anti-inflammatory complexes supply a mix of bioflavonoids.


  • Curcuminis a powerful anti-inflammatory supplement that is the active ingredient in the Indian spice turmeric. Turmeric, in turn, has been one of the key players in the millennia-old Ayurvedic medical tradition. Curcumin has been used extensively in the case of fighting cancer, arthrosclerosis, arthritis and asthma. It is currently being studied to see if it will combat Alzheimer’s – an inflammatory condition of the brain and leading cause of dementia. While you can obtain curcumin by cooking with the bright yellow turmeric root - (heating turmeric with oil and pepper enhances substantially curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effect) - you can also get curcumin supplements, if Indian food is not your bag.


  • Boswellia, Black Willow and Licorice- These herbs should be on your list of top anti-inflammatory pain killers.         *Boswellia, also known as frankincense and valued even in Biblical times, is an effective anti-inflammatory supplement especially for osteoarthritic joint and muscle pain including that associated with fibromyalgia.                                *Similarly, black willow bark is the bark from which aspirin, one of the most widely used over-the-counter analgesics, is derived. If you use black willow, you can bypass the gastro-intestinal side effects of chronic aspirin use.                    *Licorice root is one of the most widely used herbs linked to helping ulcers, canker sores, acid reflux and eczema among other conditions and, for these reasons, is a stellar anti-inflammatory supplement.


  • Milk Thistle When it comes to the liver, the body’s major detoxification organ as well as its energy production house for carbohydrate metabolism, the bioflavonoid milk thistle (silymarin) is known as one of the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds that targets liver cells specifically.  If you’re liver is not tip top either in its detoxification or metabolism roles, you are at risk for a host of conditions ranging from allergies, immune dysfunction and lethargy. These can cascade into more serious conditions including hormone imbalance, cirrhosis and cancer.  Milk thistle can help ease the effects of liver inflammation (hepatitis) and may slow liver damage from cirrhosis. Milk thistle is the anti-inflammatory supplement of choice when it comes to the liver.


  • Co-enzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) is an anti-inflammatory molecule with a wide range of purported benefits. These include conditions as diverse as gum inflammation, heart disease, high blood pressure, angina, poor sperm motility, immune decline and protection of LDL, the good cholesterol, from oxidation. Because of its effects on cellular energy within the mitochondria itself, Q10 is taken to improve athletic performance and improve energy. While produced in small amounts in the liver, Q10 often is deficient because of the many co-factors needed for Q10 to function decline with age as well as lifestyle factors like alcohol intake. It follows Q10 is a top anti-inflammatory supplement that is available widely.  The best supplement form for Q10 is a gel form of at least 30 mg per day with 90 mg ideal.


Remember that several of the above anti-inflammatory supplements require micro-minerals like zinc, manganese and selenium to do their job.

It follows that a healthy balanced diet is good insurance for any of the above supplements to do their anti-inflammatory task. If you’re unable to get all your micro mineral nutrients from diet – a challenge, if refined foods make up a substantial portion of your diet, a quality multi-vitamin/multi-mineral is a good idea.


Press here to read more about the benefits of supplements and when they can play an effective role in your health.




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Press here to read more about an anti-inflammatory diet and the top anti-inflammatory supplement picks.

Press here to read more about top inflammatory foods to avoid.

Press here to read about anti-oxidants and ORAC values and their importance to your health.

Press her to read about cancer and nutrition.


Press here for more about heart healthy diet fundamentals.

Press here for more about heart attack supplements.

Press here for more about high blood pressure supplements.

 

Press here to read about whether you should take a multi-vitamin supplement.

Press here to read about the  benefits of zinc.

Press here to read about the benefits of calcium.

Press here to read bout the benefits of magnesium.

Press here to read about the benefits of chromium.

 

Press here to read about the benefits of vitamin C.

Press here to read about the benefits of vitamin D.

Press her to read about the benefits of omega 3’s and healthy fats.


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