4 of the Best Natural Supplements That Reduce Inflammation & Pain
When you’re in pain, you want something that works fast. You want relief that does more than simply mask pain, but also stops inflammation without risks to your kidneys, stomach, liver, and heart. Inflammation is the root of all pain, triggered by damage to your body and the subsequent release of hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins, especially PGE2, and is sustained by the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme. If it were possible to inhibit the COX-2 enzyme, it would be possible to control inflammation and possibly even cancer (cancer cells are surrounded by abnormally heavy concentrations of COX-2 enzymes). Typically, when we think of inflammation we think of heat, redness, swelling, and pain – a necessary evil for when you have an injury such as a sprained ankle. Chronic inflammation that lasts and lasts, however, is not normal and is, in fact, a disease. This type of inflammation is at the root of arthritis (more to come on that subject) and almost all serious illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Here, we look at four of the best natural ingredients for reducing inflammation and relieving pain by inhibiting COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2) and 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) enzymes - without dangerous side effects. And we’ll recommend a product that contains all of them: Curcumin (with Turmeric) We’ll start with curcumin - a compound from the herb turmeric that’s extremely effective in relieving inflammation. To ensure it absorbs effectively into the body, curcumin must be re-blended with the essential oil of turmeric for greater absorption and blood retention time at meaningful levels. That’s why curcumin products all mention turmeric. Boswelia This is another strong, traditionally used botanical that works extremely well with curcumin. It is especially effective at reducing joint pain associated with arthritis by inhibiting the inflammatory enzyme, 5-LOX. DLPA (dl-phenylalanine) This contains two forms of the amino acid phenylalanine. The “l” form improves mood-elevating chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. The “d” form of phenylalanine appears to block a nervous system enzyme (enzyme carboxypeptidase A) that intensifies pain signals. DLPA helps prevent the breakdown of enkephalins, one of the brain’s natural pain-killing substances, which are in the same family as endorphins. DLPA supplements combine the “l” and “d” forms of phenylalanine, which work synergistically to reduce chronic pain and improve mood – two concerns that are interconnected. Of note, DLPA is found abundantly in fish, yogurt and tofu. Nattokinase The fourth heavy-hitter is the enzyme nattokinase, which helps to carry the other ingredients through the bloodstream so they can get to where they are needed most – including your sore muscles and joints. Nattokinase also helps reduce circulating fibrinogen - a compound that causes stiff muscles and can, over time, actually damage muscle and joint tissue when present in elevated amounts. Product Recommendations For the best combination of these four ingredients and strong ability to relieve inflammation (and pain), we recommend CURAMIN all-natural Pain Relief – available in different blends for different needs. We also recommend two products from Bio-Essence International that are herbal and all-natural, so they’re not hard on the stomach: Pain Relief formula, and Turmeric Combo blend.