• Louise H Connolly MD

Dampening Inflammation

Let's move on to dampening inflammation. Enough about stinky elevators and broccoli haters. Collagen and sulfur is like a shot of hyaluronic acid in your joint. That was the last post. This post is like the cortisone shot in your joint that doesn't wear off and doesn't have nasty side effects. This is the NSAID effect without all of its drawbacks.


That bright yellow Ayurvedic root, also called turmeric. It has so many uses and so many mechanisms of action that I consider it a core supplement for anybody. But, once again, the devil is in the details. Curcuminoids are large fat soluble molecules and they are very hard to absorb. Even when you can get them in, they just don't last very long. So it needs special preparation and frequent administration.

In Ayurvedic tradition, a substance must have medicinal value for at least a few hundred years to be included in their compendium. Then they refined use of this root for a few thousand years. So let's look at how they prepared it for maximum benefit. First they pounded down the dried root into a powder. Then they mixed in black pepper, then they made a roux with ghee (clarified butter). Then they added some of this roux to every meal. So what does that tell us?

First black pepper. Pepper stops the body from breaking down curcuminoids. So they stick around longer. Pepper also increases absorption a little bit by creating a temporary leaky gut. The active component here is called bioperine. You can look for this on the supplement label. But don't expect to absorb too much curcumin if you don't add some fat to the equation.

Enter ghee. Small molecules of fat get the curcuminoids in to begin with. They won't do your arthritis any good if they can't get out of the gut! So take your bioperine enhanced turmeric with a meal containing fat, or use a fat enhancing formula. Meriva is a favorite, another is Longevida, perhaps the best is Theracumin although it costs more.

The third concept is "two or three times a day". That's every meal. Curcuminoids don't last, even with bioperine. Like Advil, their duration of action is limited to 6 hours. Dose depends on product type: For Meriva containing products, I'd take 500 - 1000mg after a meal containing pepper twice a day. You can start lower but then it may not work.

That's fat, black pepper, high dose, at least twice a day. Got it? If you get no effect, you are not taking enough! Really. Up your dose or upgrade your product.

What's the difference between turmeric and curcumin? Turmeric is the root. The active component in that root is curcumin. But turmeric is only 6% curcuminoids! So if you are taking turmeric, you are not getting enough.

Boswellia Serrata:

This is Frankincense, treasured by the 3 Kings from the Orient, given to the Baby Jesus. The resin of Boswellia species has been used as incense in religious and cultural ceremonies and in medicines since time immemorial. It was revered by ancient Egyptian, Asian and Indian cultures alike. Boswellia sap (the active part) comes from a tree which survives in harsh arid regions. It can impart to you its strength. The active ingredients (AKBA, other boswellic acids and terpenes) inhibit an inflammatory pathway totally missed by our usual modern analgesics! It's called the 5-LOX pathway. Curcumin inhibits the COX pathways (I and 2) Advil hits the COX pathways, causes collateral damage, and misses the 5-LOX. Imagine you have 2 holes in your water pipe, leaking under your floor boards. And the plumber fixes only one. Are you safe from water damage? NO! You need to get them both! Same with inflammation pathways. LOX and COX. Boswellia and Curcumin. The best combination.

Now Boswellia is another compound that needs standardization of compounds and absorption enhancement in order to work properly. This supplement needs both the boswellic acids and the terpenes. The boswellic acids inhibit 5 Loxin. The terpenes inhibit the breakdown of collagen, cartilage, and connective tissues. So it is a must here.


Here's another root spice, contains both gingerols (which decrease nausea) and shogaols, 6 shogaol decreases synovial inflammation, thus protecting cartilage and bone from degradation. Ginger has many studies showing effectiveness comparable to NSAIDS for arthritis. Ginger also has studies showing effectiveness for morning sickness, menstrual cramps, IBS, migraines and more. But the real reason I include it here is because it's good for your gut! A supplement is no good for you if you can't take it. Ginger soothes that nausea, queasy stomach and bloat so many people experience. Thus it's a great mix with Boswellia and Curcumin.

Omega 3's:

Practically all of them! Both plant and animal based. I think the Omega 3's are to inflammation based pain relief and Collagen and Sulfa based nutrients are to joint building blocks. In a later post we will start with Avocado/Soy based O3's, then move into CBD. Then there's the EPA and DHA O3's from fish oil. Which then lead to the Resolvins.

Of course there are others. But the take home here is:

Collagen and Sulfur as building blocks. Curcumin, Boswellia, Ginger and Omega 3's to decrease inflammation. What I like about this approach is that we aren't just masking the pain, we are helping to heal and build back your joints at the same time.

Please feel free to come for personalized recommendations. Or shop my online store.



#arthritis #inflammation #pain

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