Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
27 Feb

Dear Mark: Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM; Iodine for Thyroid

Today’s edition of Dear Mark is a relatively focused one, with just two topics. I spend the bulk of my time discussing the merits of glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane supplementation when it comes to treating osteoarthritis. This is a tough subject, because while these joint supplements are some of the most commonly taken, the evidence for their efficacy is mixed. It seems like people have one of three reactions to these particular supplements. Either they find them completely and utterly indispensable, completely and utterly useless, or kinda sorta helpful in a “but I’m not too sure” kind of way. Next, I discuss whether or not iodine supplementation is required on a Primal Blueprint eating plan.

Let’s get going, shall we?

Mark,

I’ve searched through the site and surprisingly I’m hitting a wall while trying to find any information in regards to Glucosamine and Chondroitin, MSM. I did find a few bone health articles where you suggest using it, but do not go much further with details. Can you give us the ins and outs of these supplements? I’ve heard quite a bit about the benefits of each, however I’ve also heard quite a bit in regards to this being some kind of placebo effect that is doing nothing to improve joint function. I would love to hear your take on this.

Alan

Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM are all separate compounds, though they are grouped together in supplements so often that the names kind of blend together. Let’s go over each of them.

Glucosamine is a structural component of bone, exoskeletons, shells, and fungi cellular walls.

Chondroitin is a structural component of cartilage.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organosulfur compound (remember those?) found, in limited quantities, in certain plants.

Most of the studies are either inconclusive or indicate that neither glucosamine, chondroitin, nor MSM have much, if any, effect on humans with osteoarthritis. The latest one said as much. That’s it, then, right? It doesn’t work. And if it does work, it’s a placebo. Period. Throw away your supplements and start mainlining liquefied NSAIDs. How could anyone be so stupid as to use a supplement?

Eh, not so fast.

Some animal studies suggest that glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM might work pretty well. And although animals are smarter than we often credit them, dogs, horses, and rats don’t get placebo effects. When I give Buddha a pill surrounded by raw ground beef, he’s just happy to eat some meat. He has no clue that I’m secretly giving him a glucosamine tablet, and even if he saw the tablet, he wouldn’t be affected by a “placebo” effect. For a placebo effect to occur, the patient must be aware of treatment. Dogs don’t really get the idea of treatment or medicine. They might enjoy and benefit from your hand rubbing their necks while they take a pill or get treated by the vet, but it’s not the same thing.

Let’s talk about humans, though. The main study cited in meta-analyses that conclude neither glucosamine nor chondroitin sulfate do anything for human osteoarthritis is the GAIT trial, a multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Overall, the GAIT trial found that neither supplement, whether alone or in concert, performed better than placebo. However, in the “moderate-to-severe pain subgroup” of patients, a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate was far more effective than placebo at reducing osteoarthritis-related pain. But because the subgroup was relatively small, its results weren’t enough to affect the overall conclusion.

If glucosamine works, how does it work? The popular conception is that it, being a raw building block of bone, gets directly incorporated into damaged connective tissue. You eat the stuff and it somehow magically makes it to the afflicted areas. That’s how detractors eager to combat a strawman put it, but the funny thing is that the “strawman” might actually have some merit. A study found that 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate crystalline powder taken orally appeared in the synovial fluid (a fluid found in joints that has a yolk-like consistency; scrambled synovia, anyone?) of osteoarthritic patients. Since synovial fluid provides lubrication and nutrients to and removes waste from articular cartilage, having higher levels of glucosamine (a precursor for the glycosaminoglycans which make up cartilage) could prove useful and even increase glycosaminoglycan production. Another interesting piece is that a later study found that glucosamine sulfate was more effective than glucosamine hydrochloride at showing up in synovial fluid after oral dosing. Perhaps if the GAIT trial had used glucosamine sulfate instead of glucosamine hydrochloride, the effects would been more pronounced.

Another idea is that glucosamine works by binding to free tissue transglutaminase (tTG) in the gut, thus preventing plant proteins (like gluten) from joining with tTG to form harmful inflammatory compounds that induce autoimmune disorders (like arthritis). This study seems to suggest that glucosamine can actually bind to lectins. Maybe it’s gut-mediated. Interesting stuff.

As for chondroitin sulfate, it’s usually paired with glucosamine, but there was a recent randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study that used only chondroitin sulfate. It found that patients with osteoarthritis of the knee experienced a reduction in cartilage loss and bone marrow lesions after just six months of chondroitin sulfate supplementation. They used 800 mg of chondroitin sulfate daily, and the results were confirmed via MRI. Pretty neat.

As for MSM, the evidence is mixed, but it appears at least mildly effective on knee osteoarthritis. It sounds like if it does work, it works best in conjunction with glucosamine.

In my experience, G/C/MSM (I’m getting tired of writing the full names) can work on humans, but not every one of them in every situation. People are unique. People’s contexts are unique. Their reasons for having knee pain are unique. Is it physical wear and tear from improper movement causing structural damage? Is it increased inflammation from grains and refined sugar? Is it a deficiency in micronutrients? How bad is it? Mild, moderate, severe? These all matter, but the studies won’t really tell you how.

Although the clinical evidence for G/C/MSM is equivocal, I still think it’s worth trying. I’ve seen it work for some but not for others. Since osteoarthritis really, really stinks, especially when it occurs in a joint attached to a prime mover, like the knee, located on a prime mover, like a Primal enthusiast, I say go for it – even if the evidence is mixed. And if you’d rather not spend money on more supplements, you could always eat connective tissue, make stock, and gnaw on joints. This “treatment” works for dogs, too.

I am new to the Primal lifestyle (2 weeks to the day) and have already obtained energy and lost weight. I’ve just started reading The Primal Blueprint and so far really enjoyed it. I was told by some others, who eat very similar, and they advised me to start taking Iodine for my thyroid to help metabolize the fats that I now consume. I just wanted to know what your take on take this was?

Your newest primate-

Mason

I’ve always wanted a pet primate.

Well, iodine is a vital component in the production of thyroid hormone, and thyroid hormone in part controls your metabolic rate as well as energy metabolism. So in a roundabout way, yes, iodine can support the metabolism of fats (as well as other forms of energy, like protein and carbohydrate) by providing the substrate for production of thyroid hormone. But just because you went Primal doesn’t mean you need to start popping iodine.

Of course, since you’re no longer eating processed food rich in iodized salt, which is where many people get their iodine, you may be missing out. And if you’ve switched from iodized table salt to unrefined sea salt – as many Primal eaters do – you’ve just removed another rich source of iodine in their diets. Instead of popping iodine or going back on the junk food, just eat foods rich in iodine. Seaweed, shellfish, and other seafood, seeing as how they spend most of their waking lives fully immersed in iodine-rich sea water, are excellent sources of iodine. Vegetables and the animals that eat them can also be good sources of iodine, but if the soil is iodine-depleted, so is the food that grows and eats there. The sea will most likely always be a good source.

Unless you’re actually hypothyroid and are working with a practitioner, I wouldn’t launch right into iodine supplementation. If you’re doing well on the Primal lifestyle, eating iodine-rich foods like seaweed, fish, shellfish, and pastured eggs, and you seem to be handling your dietary energy with grace and aplomb, I doubt you need to supplement. If you’re suffering and you don’t feel like your metabolism is able to handle the food you’re throwing its way, then it might be worth getting a thyroid panel done. While you’re at it, test for iodine deficiency.

And if you determine that iodine supplementation is right for you, make sure to get enough selenium before you begin supplementing, as selenium is also required for thyroid hormone synthesis. Get your selenium from foods like Brazil nuts (just one or two a day), wild salmon, kidneys, crimini and shiitake mushrooms, lamb, turkey, shrimp, cod, halibut, and egg yolks. For more info on selenium and thyroid health, check out Chris Kresser’s recent (and awesome) post on the subject.

Let me know how it goes, Mason!

Well, that’s it for this week’s installment of Dear Mark. Keep sending in the questions and I’ll do my best to get to them. Thanks for reading!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I have a question for you all…

    Do you eat seaweed? If yes, where do you buy it and then how do you prepare it?

    Primal Toad wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • I do – we have a huge Asian market outside of Austin that has an enormous selection of seaweed. Even made seaweed cookies – sounds crazy but they were delicious.

      Abel James wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Try ‘Seasnax’ – just seaweed and olive oil – Costo/Amazon have them.

      Resurgent wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Asian markets sell it dried in bags of all sizes (you soak it to rehydrate it). Wakame is my favorite along with Nori. Near NW Chicago there is Asi Plaza and Super-H Mart. Here’s my fav quick salad idea:

      1/2 to 1 ounce dried wakame
      3 tablespoons
      3 tablespoons rice vinegar
      2 tablespoons sesame oil
      2 scallions, thinly sliced
      1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
      1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
      As much cucumber as you like (cut super thin or spiral cut in a slice)

      Soak the dried wakame in warm water for about 5-8 minutes then drain it. Dunk into a bowl of cold water to shock it for a sec then quickly remove and put in a bowl.

      Dressing: Mix vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, and ginger in a bowl. Mix wakame and cucumber and dressing together. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions and eat!

      Can get creative with a splash of orange or any other flavor you’d like. If you like it sweeter add a drop of agave or a pinch of stevia.

      Enjoy :)

      NicoleK wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • I ♥♥♥ seaweed salad!

        peggy wrote on February 27th, 2012
        • I also love the seaweed salad that most sushi restaurants serve and would love to find a recipe to replicate it at home..anyone have one???

          Chris wrote on February 27th, 2012
        • Seaweed salad is one of the greatest things in the world but I have only enjoyed it once in my life… just after Primal Con was over last year!

          Primal Toad wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Natural food stores have bags of seaweeds in the Asian section. I also found a mix of sea salt and kelp flakes (from Maine) for the salt shaker.

      I munch kombu kelp (in moderation) and nori sheets right out of the bag.

      oxide wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • If you are in Chicago, there are Korean markets. Go there! There are three main types – pre-roasted nori sheets in full size for wrapping sushi or salted and cut snack size. The snack size ones are the ones that have made an appearance at Costco and Trader Joes.

      There is big thick pieces of seaweed used for stock – you add it to water with some dried anchovy to make a seafood-based broth. Then you can either discard it or eat it.

      Then there is the smaller pieces for seaweed soup, a favorite of all Koreans. This is first pre-soaked, then choped up and used in a soup with itself as the broth flavor, or with added beef brisket.

      If you go to the market, ask someone to show you which is which. Search for Korean seaweed soup on Youtube for step-by-step recipes. I don’t want to link here cuz link screening takes too long.

      HillsideGina wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • I may very well be staying in Chicago starting in March for a few weeks or so. There is a Trader Joe’s within a mile from my brothers place whom lives in Wrigleyville. I’ll have to look there and checkout an Asian market as well since they are all over I am sure.

        Do you live in Chicago? Are you a member of the Primal Chicago meetup group?!

        Primal Toad wrote on February 27th, 2012
        • I don’t but I saw you mentioned Chicago. The Korean markets will have lots of premade salads and other foods in their deli section – no need to make your own seaweed salad – it’s always there!

          HillsideGina wrote on February 27th, 2012
        • out here in the napervillearea there is super-h mart they have a lot of seaweed based foods. They even have seaweed noodles in a bag that have made an occasional pasta substitute.

          kiran wrote on February 29th, 2012
    • I buy 50 lb. bags of organic, feed grade kelp for my cows. I keep a jar of it in the cupboard and eat a spoonful most days. Much cheaper than the little kelp pill supplements.

      garth wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • do like I did… marry a Okinawan girl and let her get the good seaweed. Down side to this approach and primal life is the arguments over rice… epic… Wakame soup is great … or you can get the dry sprinkles to put on salads … Furukake

      Daniel-O wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • When you’re at the Asian stores in the seaweed section (it also goes by the names kelp and laver and nori), try the pre-roasted, seasoned, and cut packages of nori. Mostly from Japan and Korea, they’re usually treated with sesame oil and sea salt and are awesome when you want something salty. I’m addicted to them. For some reason, kids really dig them, too.

      vanessa wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Every Friday is my “cheat” day where I get sushi for lunch. I avoid feeling guilty about the rice because of the fish and seaweed ;)
      Also, anywhere you can get sushi you can typically buy seaweed salad as well. So yummy!

      FoCo wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • I get it at the asian grocery store, and to prepare it I say “Look out, here I come.”

      conrack wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • Hee hee!

        Kelly wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • :-)

        rarebird wrote on February 28th, 2012
    • Our whole family have shredded kelp ‘pepper’ on our food a few times per week, which is harvested locally, and dried in the sun. We live in New Zealand, which is mostly devoid of Iodine, and Selenium. The standard way around this is to take iodised salt,but as we don’t eat salt, the kelp pepper is the best way to go. Goitre is very common here, so we wish to avoid that if at all possible.

      Andy Cragg wrote on February 28th, 2012
  2. One word…..sushi!

    Wrap sashimi in a seaweed cone and go to town.

    PrimalPatti wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • i use kelp(atlantic kombu) in long-cooking soups and stews. it dissolves into the broth and no one knows its there…good for family members who wouldnt go for the idea.

      HopelessDreamer wrote on February 27th, 2012
  3. I’ve been eating primal for 2 months now and don’t used iodized salt (I use sea salt). I had my thyroid levels checked a week ago and everything was normal. I don’t feel the need to supplement. As for the Glucosamine, I’m really glad someone asked this question bc my husband takes this. I’ll have to let him know about using glucosamine sulfate. Thanks for the info!

    Laura, RD wrote on February 27th, 2012
  4. A caution to those with hypo thyroid problems….Be careful taking iodine, kelp, lots of seafood, etc. That can contribute to an autoimmune response that aggravates the thyroid and raises inflammation and antibodies. Iodine is no friend to those with Hashimoto’s!

    Jan J wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • iodine doesn’t have a negative affect in the presence of sufficient selenium. Kresser’s updated stance is pretty cutting-edge.

      tess wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • An example of the positive side of selenium’s ability to lower antibodies produced with auto-immune thyroid disorder.

        rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • Kresser does say that there are some autoimmune thyroid patients who can’t tolerate iodine at all, though, even with selenium, so some caution is warranted.

        Erin wrote on February 27th, 2012
        • Caution is always warranted. There are some people even with normal thyroids who can’t tolerate iodine/iodide. Any substance is capable of producing allergies/tolerance issues in some people.

          rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
  5. Good information Mark, I have experienced personal success using Glucosamine Sulphate powder for an arthritic soccer toe.

    I would add that MSM’s sister compound, DMSO should also be included in your article as it has many great effects including pain relief, is anti-inflammatory and is a strong anti-oxidant with low toxicity (to name a few). It is an excellent transdermal carrier and ironically because of this should also be treated with respect (as contaminants can also be carried through the skin if application is not aseptic and controlled).

    sjmusic2 wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • I’m glad you added that last bit, because we use DMSO as a solvent in my lab and “treat it with respect,” as you say, for that reason.

      abigail wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Good addition – DSMO. I don’t know about the current status – but I had DMSO therapy when the only FDA approved usage was for interstitial cystitis. Turns out, that diagnosis was wrong – but I did get great symptom relief when it was badly needed until I got the right diagnosis and treatment.

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Do you also take it internally? After I read your post, I looked it up and saw many pros and cons with using DMSO. I am tempted to try it but would be curious about your input.
      Thank you,

      Lynn

      Hatsunohana wrote on March 2nd, 2012
  6. Thanks for publishing a post on g/c/msm Mark.

    My left knee has been falling apart over the past few months – from high-school football injuries – and while it looks like I may not be able to avoid surgery on it after all, I’m happy to keep taking the g/c/msm supp I started taking a few months ago, at the very least for my non-injured knee which is supposedly low on synovial fluid.

    — Anthony

    Anthony wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Yep. The non-injured knee needs support as it will often compensate for the other knee. It may eventually be the one with functional issues/pain without adequate support.

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • You might ask your ortho about Hyalgan injections. I had a synovectomy 10 years ago, and have pretty much no cartilage left in either knee at this point. I had a round of five done on each knee last July. combined with some pretty intensive PT to make sure everything was in the right place while the injections were settling in, I was able to subsequently do activities pain-free that I didn’t think I’d be able to, like hiking with notable elevation gains (I hadn’t been able to do this because coming down I’d have to sidestep the whole way because I couldn’t do the deep knee bends required to step down) and skiing bumps and crud. A month after my injections, I was not only able to do those down steps, I was able to jump down steps of 18 inches to 2 feet with no pain, which was something I hadn’t been able to do in several years.

      The injections are just starting to wear off (they’re supposed to last 6 months to 2 years, and since I beat the crap out of my knees on a regular basis I’m feeling lucky to have gotten 8 months pain-free), but I still have much better pain relief in my knees than I had before the injections. I think I’m going to try to hold out to have my next round right before ski season starts so I can ski through the whole season with no pain.

      The injections HURT – there’s no getting around that – but the relief is tremendous.

      I’m also considering Regenexx-SD. Regrowth of meniscus tissue using your own stem cells, yum!

      Alice H wrote on March 5th, 2012
    • I know this is a little old, but if you need more synovial fluid, the thing to try is hyaluronic acid, available as a supplement, and also sublingual liquid. It’s the same stuff the inject into knee cartilage (or near it) during surgery.

      Kelly wrote on March 27th, 2013
  7. A few months ago I read an article in “Natural Awakenings”, a health food/holistic health magazine, discussing a link between Glu/Chon supplements and certain types of cancer. I didn’t delve any further into the topic, but it was an interesting find.

    San Fermin wrote on February 27th, 2012
  8. I have bursitis in my hips. Glu/Chon is the only help I’ve found for the inflamtion/pain.

    Susan wrote on February 27th, 2012
  9. I always knew that hormones and the endocrine system were complex topics. I’m also discovering that iodine/iodide supplementation is a surprisingly complicated and controversial topic in and of itself.

    There doesn’t seem to be a consensus amongst experts – medical or naturopathic practitioners or research scientists – on this topic.

    For instance, some claim that any form of iodine/iodide is absolutely contraindicated for anyone with – or genetically at risk for – auto immune thyroid. Chris Kresser would belong to this group.

    Other practitioners, such as Dr. David Brownstein, take a very different approach to iodine/iodide supplementation. Brownstein has successfully treated patients with autoimmune thyroiditis – Hashimoto’s – with iodine/iodide supplementation.

    Then there is the issue of organic iodine as compared to inorganic iodide. Iodized salt has potassium iodide, btw. There is some concern about sea kelp being contaminated by the industrial halides (bromide, fluoride, etc) that block iodine uptake. I am currently searching to find information about testing of kelp for human consumption.

    Some practitioners, like Brownstein, advocate a specific ratio combination of iodine and iodide supplementation, along with selenium and vitamins C and B2.

    Selenium can interfere with antibody production involved in autoimmune thyroiditis, thus producing a false negative diagnostic test result. In other words, selenium can lower the antibody count to the normal range even when the person DOES have auto-immune thyroid disorder. So, this person will be then told that they have a normal, heathy thyroid when they don’t.

    Interpreting a thyroid panel is as much a art as a science – and not all labs employ the same ranges and not all doctors follow the same interpretation protocols. Moreover, no single test or panel interpretation has proven to be truly useful in and of itself to date. Diagnosis involves many sources of data, including self- report and basal temp.

    Plus, any inquiry into thyroid function that indicates a disorder also needs to include evaluation of adrenal function. Medication and supplementation for thyroid function is impacted by adrenal function as well – and vice versa.

    Iodine/iodide supplementation can potentially support both the thyroid and the adrenals – as well as many other body systems. For example, breast tissue utilizes much more iodine than the thyroid. A deficiency in iodine can lead to fibrocystic breasts. The same thing happens with the ovary.

    As I said, the subject is complex and controversial.

    rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • i was going to mention that MANY tissues need adequate iodine, not just the thyroid, but rarebird beat me to it. :-) if i remember, EVERY cell has iodine receptors….

      Kresser, btw, USED to be opposed to iodine supplementation for Hashis’ sufferers, but since Mario contributed his outstanding articles, he has moderated his opinions. he realizes that selenium inadequacy wasn’t addressed in those studies which showed negative affects of iodine supplementation.

      tess wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • Thank you so much for updating and elaborating on my comment. There is so much to stay abreast of on this topic, isn’t there?!

        You are right, every cell has iodine receptors – they are just concentrated in the glands. Another area of higher concentration – although not as high as the glands – is the mucosal linings of the GI tract. And, these receptors can all be blocked by the other halides – thus limiting iodine uptake.

        Reversing this process by increasing iodine results in detoxing the cells – flushing the other halides and pollutants like mercury out of the system. That’s why vitamins C & B2 are used – to help reduce the detox symptoms.

        Also, some practitioners utilize the titration method rather than starting with a single high dose and letting the body work things out. The starting dose is about 1/4 what the final dose will usually be and is increased one month at a time.

        rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • Btw, I am glad to learn that Kresser has moderated his opinion this way. That was the same conclusion that I had come to, regarding the selenium. Will revisit this topic on his site.

        Eventually, after a lot of thought and reviewing my own medical history, I concluded that I was most likely running an iodine deficit much of my life – even with the supplements and dietary efforts that I had made. They were necessary but not sufficient.

        My current/local doctor does not do iodine testing. I debated about having the testing done anyway and/or seeing Dr. Brownstein, who is located very near to my home in Michigan. I may see him eventually.

        But, I opted for doing the titration method and monitoring how my body responded. That’s the bottom line anyway, after all else is said and done.

        I made this decision after satisfying myself that my adrenal function is fine. I am still in the first month of iodine/iodide supplementation – but so far its been interesting.

        The first few days I felt a bit nauseous and tired. Then, those feelings cleared and I started feeling distinctly better than before. More energy, more focus, and a bit warmer.

        I tend to run a low normal basal temp – have my whole life – and don’t mind that. The cold doesn’t bother me and my extremities don’t feel cold to the touch. But, the slightly increased sense of internal warmth was nice – not harsh like a hot flash. My basal temp went up a little – about .4 degree. Now, this status is like a new norm.

        Still low normal metabolically overall. But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Evidently people who live long lives tend to be low normal metabolically. See Nora Gedgaudas, and others, on that topic.

        rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
        • Rarebird:
          I last saw Dr. Brownstein, last month, and as of then they were not taking new patients. I tried to get my nephew in.

          Ellen wrote on February 29th, 2012
    • I am a patient of Dr. Brownstein’s (who pretty much advocates a primal lifestyle without labeling it as such). I have read his book on iodine and I take Iodoral, as prescribed by him, along with some other complementary supplements, monitored by Dr B. Before taking the iodine he did extensive testing, including checking iodine levels. While he believes iodine is very important for a lot of us (especially in the Midwest, aka the goiter-belt), I believe he would say good health is achieved by a combination of things (diet being foremost), not by taking whichever one or two “supplements/superfoods” that are popular at any given moment. I have been guilty of this.

      Dr. Mercola interviewed Dr. Brownstein about iodine supplementation shortly after last year’s earthquake/tsunami in Japan. It may still be on Mercola’s web site.

      Brownstein frequently tests any supplements his office carries for contaminants, and since the Japan disaster there have been some concerns, of the general supplement-taking public, about supplements and foods from Japan, including seaweed. I was at Whole Foods awhile back wanting to get some kombu, and stopped myself knowing that the brand I usually get is from Japan. I talked with one of the employees, wondering if they had heard anything about seaweed coming out of Japan, if they test, etc. The store clerk didn’t know but the conversation made me think twice, and grab a different brand, one from Iceland. I’m not saying that the stuff from Japan is contaminated, or the stuff from Iceland is pristine but I think we need to not go overboard on anything, including what we think is healthy, and to ask a lot of questions about food sourcing.

      Ellen wrote on February 29th, 2012
      • Hey, Ellen –

        Its great to hear from someone with first hand experience with Dr. Brownstein and with iodine supplementation (among other things). I also saw your note to me about his not taking any new patients as of a month ago. I would not assume that about any doctor anyway and would call first – even though his website does say they are taking new patients. At this point, I am not planning to see him or any doctor for this issue anytime soon. I am also considering doing independent lab testing on my own first. But, now may be a good time to check on future availability regardless.

        Thanks

        rarebird wrote on February 29th, 2012
  10. So funny, I started reading the line about the placebo effect and immediately thought of my rottweiler, who had surgery on his leg at 6 yrs old to remove an osteosarcoma tumor and developed very bad arthritis as a result. Glucosamine/condrotin had him good as new and that was clearly not a placebo effect!

    My dad also swears by the stuff, he had bad knees his whole life, but after falling off a roof at 52, he was unable to do most of the things he loved, like biking, tennis anymore. Lots of surgeries and PT later, one of the theraists suggested glucosamine and he hasn’t missed a day of tennis since and routinely does biking tours involving 75+ miles in the saddle (he’s 66 now)

    Kate wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • So happy for both of them that they benefit this way!

      My old mastiff-rottweiler mix (120 lbs, 11 years old) has long standing serious joint issues, especially in his elbows. He had them when we adopted him as a rescue. His radiographs would break any dog lover’s heart.

      His vet says that many dogs would not even attempt to use a limb that involved. Yet, for years he was active and reasonably pain free with only salmon oil, glu/chon, and a heated bed. He doesn’t seem to tolerate MSM very well.

      He has only recently needed a low dose of an NSAID – and only once a day not twice. He also has had low grade Mast cell cancer for 9 months, so I don’t think that palliative care is a bad idea anyway.

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • Rarebird, hello again: Have you tried the Migun heated mats for your dog? They use a far-infared source of heat (like the far-infared saunas that are popular with us health conscious. This is supposed to better than a regular heating pad. I have the Migun mini-mat for my 14+ year-old dog. There’s a Migun center in Ann Arbor (used to be one in West Bloomfield, by Dr. B, but I don’t know what happened to it.)

        Ellen wrote on February 29th, 2012
        • Hey, Ellen –

          Thanks again. No, I haven’t tried a far-infared mat for my dog. But, I have used that therapy myself. Have Ceragem massage beds – so I know how much it helps. The small dogs and cats love to get on the Ceragem with me – its a joke in our house. All I have to do is to say the word “Ceragem” and they come running.

          Anyway, he LOVES his bed – its a super large bed with extra thick orthopedic foam with sensor controlled heat – it only heats in response to pressure and focuses the heat on the joints that tend to be pressure points. He knows how to use it to his advantage. When he gets too hot – heavy double coat – he gets up and lays on the area rug next to his bed.

          I’ve been wondering what I’d do if I ever had to replace that bed since its not being made any more. Now, I have my answer :-).

          rarebird wrote on February 29th, 2012
        • Ellen – it sounds like you and I are neighbors. Do you use the forum here? I’d like to visit with you there more privately if you are willing.

          rarebird wrote on February 29th, 2012
      • Rarebird: I would be happy to try communicating with you on one of the MDA forums if I can figure out how to use them. Just tell me which one.

        Ellen wrote on February 29th, 2012
        • There’s just one forum. Click on the “forum” link on the menu bar above. You’ll need to register as a new user. Then, the netiquette is to make an intro post in that thread. Mark has also provided a “start here” section with some guidance.

          Here is the link to the iodine discussion. Once i see you posting on the iodine discussion I’ll “friend” you. We’ll both have to figure out how to use that part of the forum format – but maybe someone there will help us out.

          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread45205.html

          rarebird wrote on February 29th, 2012
        • There’s just one forum. Click on the “forum” link on the menu bar above. You’ll need to register as a new user. Then, the netiquette is to make an intro post in that thread. Mark has also provided a “start here” section with some guidance.

          The original version of this comment is awaiting moderation due to an included link to the iodine discussion at the forum. If you go to the next page on this article, you’ll find the same link shared by Grizz. When I see you post to the iodine thread I’ll reply and we’ll do the “friend” thing.

          rarebird wrote on March 1st, 2012
  11. …and i need to point out, the salt in processed foods is usually NOT iodized — so people who think they’re getting iodine in their chips and soups, AREN’T.

    tess wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • So true! Add to that the increased amount of iodine blocking halide pollution over the past 30 years and we can see why iodine deficiency is on the rise.

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
  12. Had anyone ever supplemented the soil in their garden to increase the iodine in their vegetables? I’m getting my garden ready right now, and if that’s a possibility, and since I still need to add some compost, it would be the perfect time.

    Sandy wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • YES! I use kelp in my garden and it makes a noticeable difference in the plants. It increases many trace elements besides iodine. Kelp sold for soil amendment is usually sold by the bale or large bag and is much cheaper than food grade.

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • Ah, fabulous. I’ll pick some up then, definitely.

        Sandy wrote on February 27th, 2012
  13. I took high grade/high dose glucosamine and chondroitin supplements – both with and without MSM – for many years after they first hit the market.

    I have multiple old joint and spine injuries, including a knee that is a potential candidate for surgery. I was trying to prevent/avoid osteoarthritis, pain, and surgery rather than to reverse them.

    When I started having acid reflux problems – after taking these supplements for years – I stopped all supplements for a period of time. I then reintroduced them one at a time, based on their supposed tendency to cause GI issues. The glu/chon really tore up my stomach so I never resumed them.

    I also don’t take MSM as a general rule anymore but keep it around for any inflammatory issues that may arise. MSM was a great help when my husband developed plantar fasciitis – oral and topical MSM and a change of footwear was all that he needed.

    I haven’t noticed that stopping the glu/chon has made any difference for my own joint health. But, I also have always had a diet naturally high in these items so maybe I get all that I need that way.

    And, btw – the placebo effect involves more than expectations of efficacy. It can also involve an element of simple attention – which dogs do benefit from – even if they don’t have efficacy expectations.

    rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
  14. i took Cosamin DS (brand name) for a while, and i went Primal and lost weight, all about the same time. my joints dont hurt, and are not swollen anymore. i’m not sure what helped the most, but i am just glad not to take that expensive supplement anymore!

    HopelessDreamer wrote on February 27th, 2012
  15. I was just trying to explain Glucosamine to my MIL yesterday…actually all weekend. She’s got horrible joint pain in her should and all down her arm, she won’t try Paleo but I did get her to agree trying some Cod Liver Oil and a G/chrondroitin/MSM supplement.

    Nion wrote on February 27th, 2012
  16. Regarding osteoarthritis, I have been reading a lot lately about the relationship of proper posture and muscle imbalances causing muscle and joint pain. I think there is a lot to it.

    I’ve tried to be a barefoot runner for years, but I’ve been unable to increase miles much due to knee, hip, and IT band pain. I have come close to completely quitting running a few times, but then I read a new article about running and I get excited and try it again. I’ve been slowly giving up all hope of ever being able to run again, at 29 years old.

    Recently, I was diagnosed with an impinged rotator cuff after doing a kettlebell workout. This is the second time my rotator cuff has acted up. After trying physical therapy was worthless, again, I found a book recommended by Pete Egoscue called Pain Free. The basis of it is that joints and muscle pains are quite often due to opposing muscle groups, and even uneven posture from the left to right and front to back, that starts a cascade of problems inculding joint pain, limited range of motion, and muscles that have been inactivated due to poor posture and lack of use.

    I only mention it because the obook is fascinating, and claims it can “fix” everted feet, which are a sign often of hip dysfunction from sitting too much. Glucosamine may help rebuild cartilidge, but wouldn’t it be best to not lose cartilidge in the first place? There are several clinics throughout the country and even online that can show you the problems with your posture, and recommend daily exercises to fix them. They claim a 95% success rate. The biggest problem seems to be the amount of time the exercises take a day (could be an hour or more).

    I hate to sound like an infomercial, but just wanted to pass the info along in case it could help someone as much as it has already helped me.

    DonDraper1963 wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Thank you for sharing. Will look at the book. What you say makes a lot of sense to me – based on my own experience. I had tried several different approaches to PT over a period of decades – with varying degrees of success – before finally finding a PT who used a method aimed at making the corrections that you describe. Worked wonders even for my middle aged body.

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • My husband is a chiropractor who is certified in Muscle Activation Technique. It’s designed to fix exactly what your talking about. It helps restore range of motion, and corrects inhingement issues and muscular imbalances. You can’t really perform it on yourself so you need to find a qualified practicioner, but it’s definitely worth it. My husband has had patients improve ROM by 50% in one treatment and many rate their pain as a 0 or 1 (from a 6-9 range) after only one session as well.

      Decaf Debi wrote on February 28th, 2012
      • I just looked at the MAT online and found that it has a lot of similarity to the PT that I mentioned above. My PT is also a Stotts Pilates instructor and she is the director of a sports medicine facility that focuses on biomechanics.

        I had her design an exercise program for me – was mostly but not exclusively pilates mat based – to work with the other PT treatments. The other treatments were mainly traction and deep tissue massage, with occasional moist heat.

        I was not trying to “fix” an acute injury but to restructure my biomechanics and to educate myself about the best form of exercise for my age and goals. I got exactly what I had hoped for and more – and also want to continue to learn about new techniques and exercises.

        I would love to find a local chiro who uses this method.

        rarebird wrote on February 28th, 2012
      • I tried MAT for muscle/joint pain a few years ago. After two sessions I realized it was making me worse! Quite possibly it was the fault of the practitioner who didn’t seem to know much about the anatomy. There are a lot of people out there who jump on the latest bandwagon with the intention of making money, but they lack the proper training (i.e. quacks). Be careful who you go to.

        I’ve also used (and still use) the Egoscue exercises and also the Gokhale posture correction techniques. I’ve found both to be very helpful.

        Shary wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  17. Arthritis and other joint related ailments have long run in my family. A nutrition book I read once recommended that taking daily doses of glucosamine and condroitin would help stave of the onset of these problems before they occur. I discounted the advice but now after reading this I may have to re-think it.

    John wrote on February 27th, 2012
  18. Mark, if you haven’t already I suggest you check out the fascinating findings of the Iodine Project pioneered by Dr. Guy Abraham (much of it is here: http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/opt_Research_I.shtml). This is by far the most extensive and carefully researched experience with iodine supplementation since “iodophobia” virtually drove it out of medical practice.

    This evidence base shows remarkable benefits and very high safety of iodine supplementation at doses several orders of magnitude higher than the RDA, in the context of a holistic nutritional program that includes selenium.

    Bill wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Thanks so much for sharing. Dr. Brownstein follows Abraham’s approach.

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
  19. I don’t have arthritis, as far as I know, but if I don’t take my gluc/cond regularly ski season is a little more painful. I love my teles too much to go w/o!

    peggy wrote on February 27th, 2012
  20. Aside from the question of iodine supplementation, Mason’s question raises the issue of low carb/high fat metabolism in general.

    “I was told by some others, who eat very similar, and they advised me to start taking Iodine for my thyroid to help metabolize the fats that I now consume.”

    Most of us have been indoctrinated with the notion that a high/fast metabolism is desirable. After all, that’s how we stay slim, right?

    Part and parcel of that notion is the justification for eating whole grains. They keep your metabolism “carbed up” – but with a slower burn than simple carbs. Right?

    I recently saw a guest fitness expert on the Dr. Oz show promoting this idea – and Dr. Oz was right there with a strong second on the notion as good for the thyroid.

    Well, its information like this kind that made me hesitant to stop all grains (and legumes). I didn’t have gluten issues, didn’t eat gluten grains anyway, have no known grain allergies, etc. etc.

    I did have a recent diagnosis of mild hypothyroid (NOT the autoimmune form). Have a low normal basal temp and blood pressure, stubborn midsection body fat to lose, and elevating lipids. The LAST thing that I wanted to do was to reduce my thyroid function and/or slow my metabolism. Right?

    Well, I did it anyway. I cleaned EVERY SINGLE grain and legume product out of my house and never touched the stuff again. Period. Only way to get to the bottom of this issue, IMO.

    Its too soon to know all the results of that decision – but what I do know so far indicates that I am moving in the right direction for my health.

    As I read further about primal/ancestral lifestyle, I discover that maybe the Holy Grail of fast metabolism isn’t so important after all. Low carb eating is similar to calorie restricted eating – promotes low metabolism thought to lead to longevity.

    According to Nora Gedgaudas, in “Primal Body, Primal Mind” – one of the factors that centenarians all over the world have in common is low insulin – which is associated with (among other things) “reduced thyroid levels” (pg. 210).

    And, many of my life long questions about my own odd metabolism – as well as about the many long lived family member’s health/metabolism – are starting to be answered.

    What I had most recently arrived at is that while I don’t worry any more about a reduced thyroid function in the conventional sense, I do feel that an iodine deficiency explains a LOT for me.

    Wiping away the high carb/low fat – high metabolism is the Holy Grail – 98.6 body temp is the only way to go – veil of dogma is revealing what for me are the core issues – both pro and con.

    I want to stop fighting against my body’s natural tendencies and to start supporting them instead. That means, in part, increased iodine/iodide and sleeping when I feel sleepy early in the evening – such sleepiness indicating the normal daily cortisol cycles.

    rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
  21. You should not supplement with iodine unless you have been tested to show a deficiency in iodine. Most people can support their iodine intake through seafood. Iodized salt and processed foods of course should not be eaten as the fortification of foods with iodine is not an appropriate source. As someone with hypothyroidism and an iodine deficiency, I take iodine supplements as well as natural thyroid hormones, but only under the care and regulation of a doctor.

    Ransley wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Has your doctor shed any light on the subject/interaction of low carb/high fat diet, thyroid function, and iodine supplementation that might address Mason’s question?

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
  22. We saved ourselves over $5000 by skipping the surgery our vet suggested for our Bichon and using Glucosamine and MSM instead! Her back legs recovered from an “unrecoverable” accident (chasing squirrels – twice) in under a month. She is now almost 12 and runs around like she is a puppy. I’m not sure if this proves anything (except maybe the vet was/is a crook :) ), but it sure is worth a try!

    Mark Cruden wrote on February 27th, 2012
  23. On the seaweed front, I put pieces of dulse in my Big “A” salads. Delicious. It’s usually available in refrigerated bags in the seafood area. Has great shelf life.

    Mark Cruden wrote on February 27th, 2012
  24. I have a question…Has this diet ever cured ANY disease like the Gerson Therapy has? Just curious if anyone can answer that?

    Larry James wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Well, I may regret it – but OK, I’ll bite….one time anyway….

      If the Gerson Institute can actually lay valid claim to any CURE, then why are the Gerson Clinics located outside the US (Mexico & Hungary) while the Gerson HQ is in San Diego?

      Rhetorical.

      If you are genuinely seeking an answer to your question, then you might start by reading the success stories in the archive. You could even start with the story this past Friday – allergies (like Gerson Therapy has).

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • The reason the Gerson clinics are located outside of the United States is because of the fact that it is ILLEGAL to treat cancer with Nutrition or anything other than chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery for that matter (the treatment of cancer being the primary modality of the Gerson clinics/therapy).

        Mike wrote on February 29th, 2012
    • My meat supplier (he used to grow GMO corn, now switched to pastured pigs and cows) had late stage prostate cancer.
      He cured himself with the WAPF diet…but without ANY grains.
      He was/is basically eating Paleo/Primal and doesn’t know it…he followed the WAPF recommendations for curing cancer.
      Weston A. Price Foundation.

      Arty wrote on February 27th, 2012
  25. Another question isn’t anyone worried about the body becoming highly acidic? Then having to leach Calcium to buffer the acids.

    Larry James wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • I use pH test strips for saliva and urine to monitor the effects of any diet – or medication, lifestyle change, etc. I adjust my diet/behavior accordingly to maintain optimal pH. I noticed that I tended to run more acidic systemically on a high carb diet than I do on the primal diet, so far. Still exploring primal cuisine, though.

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • The reason why cows grow a deadly strain of e-coli is because of grains.
      Same goes for humans/dogs/cats…

      The more grains and man-made sugars you eat, the more acidic you become.

      This also sucks bio-organic sodium (alkaline lining of stomach and intestines) off the intestinal walls…the body then has to take this slimey liquid from the joints to make up for the loss in the digestive tract.
      Joints get dry, damage occurs —> arthritis pain.

      Arty wrote on February 27th, 2012
  26. My dog had a little bit of osteoarthritis so I gave him glucosamine which helped. When I switched his food from the processed gluten-filled garbage to a premixed raw meat, liver and a few vegetables his arthritis got better and I noticed it had no effect.

    I think glucosamine and the other lectin binding sugars are only theraputic in this regard. The lectins in wheat, corn and soy bind to glucosamine. What’s worse is glucosamine is part of the bacterial membrane, so these lectins can direct bacteria into the bloodstream and transport them throughout.

    Steven wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • WOW! Now, that’s a thought! Glucosamine as a chelating agent to detox lectins.

      So, if I understand you right, you are saying that endogenous glucosamine act as a membrane transport in the presence of lectins? And, supplementing with exogenous glucosamine acts to draw these lectins away from the membrane barrier?

      Of course, reduce/eliminate lectins and there is little/no need for this action. Might explain some of the individual variation in therapeutic benefit.

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
  27. This may be an urban legend but I’ve heard that shark cartilage is used to make chondroitin. Is this true? If so, considering the current conservation status of sharks, I think it would be a product to avoid (being primal/green/natural etc. all goes hand-in-hand to me). If not then what IS it made from?

    Gidds wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Some chondroitin comes from chitin – found in the exoskeleton of shellfish. That’s why the label on these supplements warns about shellfish allergies.

      But, there are plenty of other sources for chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine besides shark fin – including primal bone broth, soups made with animal joints of any kind – my favorite is traditional chicken stock made with chicken feet. Canned salmon and sardine with skin and bones in.

      Basically what we’re looking for is cartilage and connective tissue, which is why chicken feet are such a good source of both – plus collagen, and various trace elements.

      Besides, what’s greener than utilizing a chicken part that is usually discarded?

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • Opps – need to clarify/correct myself a bit.

        I meant to say that ~glucosamine~ is sometimes derived from chitin. But, its also found in bones and bone marrow.

        Chondroitin sulfate is found in the cartilage and connective tissues.

        When we made bone broth using a knuckle/joint, we get both. Chicken feet are nearly all bone, cartilage, and connective tissue.

        rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
      • I’m sure I read somewhere that chicken necks are the best for chicken bone broth – they usually have the thyroid still attached apparently (not sure what this provides, iodine??), plus they are all fine bone and cartilage and completely break down when they’re boiled up…

        Does anyone know more about necks?

        Hamish wrote on February 27th, 2012
        • Its all good – necks make a good stock, too. Most traditional chicken stock recipes follow the Weston A. Price method of using the head, neck, feet, and wing tips. All high connective tissue ratios, too. You’ll find a number of variations on that theme based on cultural and individual preferences. Stocks made 100% from feet tend to have a different feel – they are the most thick and gelatinous. Properly made, a spoon will stand up in the finished stock.

          rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Oh – and its not an urban legend – shark cartilage is sold as a supplement and paired with glucosamine. I think if you read the label you can avoid products with shark cartilage pretty easily.

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
  28. Be sure to check the ingredients on any seaweed purchased at Asian markets – MSG is common as well as sugar, especially if it is marketed as a snack.

    Dirk wrote on February 27th, 2012
  29. Perhaps all those reported benefits came from the sulphate molecule, not chondroitin or glucosamine?!

    Alex wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Could be. Both chondroitin and glucosamine are sulphates. Probably why they are paired with MSM.

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
  30. Been having various random thoughts for awhile about primal diet, thyroid function, and metabolism. I wondered if one of reasons that some people seem to have more success losing weight on the primal diet is that they eat more foods that contain iodine than they normally do – and that supports thyroid health.

    Another thought was about the improved quality and quantity of protein that comes along for many people on a primal diet. I looked into that aspect and found that the amino acid tyrosine supports thyroid function.

    Tyrosine is synthesized in the body from phenylalanine. Primal sources would include: Chicken, turkey, fish, almonds, avocados, milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.

    rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
  31. Some great info on thyroid and iodine! My friend is having some thyroid issues so I’ll definitely be telling him to read this asap

    Sarah wrote on February 27th, 2012
  32. Warning to those that are insulin resistant – Glucosamine is a protein sugar, and can exacerbate insulin resistance. I used it quite successfully to help reduce my back pain (two herniated discs) and it worked, but not as well as reducing my weight did. Once I’m back down to a good weight, I may use it again to help with the various injuries that happened while being an active youth.

    toddcady wrote on February 27th, 2012
  33. Anyone interested in the iodine topic would be well advised to read Mark’s iodine primer. Its in the “related posts” links above. I just finished reading it and I thought he did a good job of addressing several points.

    rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
  34. I’ve been taking 25mg of potassium iodide every day for a while now. I have experimented with the dose over the past few months. When I first started taking it, I was taking 50mg. I went all in, no gradual ramping up for me. At this dose I would feel very warm inside, but it was summer so it could be a coincidence. I was also losing weight well. People warned me this was too much so I started taking only 12.5mg. I felt colder but it was winter. I hit a plateau on my weight loss at the same time. Recently I started taking 25mg and also adding 200mcg of selenium. It’s still winter but I’m a whole lot warmer. Every night I wake up a few hours after my dose feeling very warm. I’m also losing weight again.

    I’m low carb almost all the time with random spikes in my carbs now and then. I have never been diagnosed with hypothyroid but doctors have always said I am probably hypothyroid. Their tests always come out low normal for whatever they test, which rules out treatment. My temperature is usually only 97.6 at the doctor’s office. I’ve always avoided salt in my diet not for health reasons but because I never liked a salty taste. It’s possible I’ve been deficient in iodine for many years.

    I have heard that uterine fibroids are a symptom of iodine deficiency. I had a hysterectomy 7 years ago for fibroids. I’ve also heard that iodine deficiency leads to a low sex drive. Still waiting on that one. I thought something was stirring a few months ago, but it hasn’t come back.

    I’m happy to have possibly found a way to support my thyroid through diet and supplements. When my KI runs out, I will try a supplement that has both iodide and iodine because I hear that some parts of your body favor iodide and others favor iodine.

    Diane wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • Sounds like 25 mg (with 200 mcg selenium) may be your “sweet spot” :-). As I mentioned below, my supplementation source – a research physician – says that most people do quite well with 25 mg.

      I am seeing surprisingly rapid response to 12.5 mg – warmer and pinker, among other things – and would be surprised if I ever needed more than 25mg. I may actually eventually maintain well on 12.5 mg, after sufficiently clearing my body of toxic halides and other pollutants that block iodine uptake.

      You may also find that in time – after fully detoxing – that 25 mgs gives you all the support that you could wish for, Oh, and don’t overlook that there is more to iodine/iodide supplemental context than selenium. Vit C complex and vit B complex are also helpful.

      rarebird wrote on February 28th, 2012
  35. N-Acetyl-Glucosamine has been researched for gut health. It works better and muscle-tests better on the gut than Glucosamine Sulfate. Check it out.
    Regarding iodine and thyroid, you DO NOT want to supplement with Iodine until you have had blood tests to confirm that you do NOT have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This is extremely common, and is auto-immune thyroid. Iodine can make it flare up badly.

    beverly wrote on February 27th, 2012
  36. If people are looking for solutions to joint issues, something that has done wonders for me is both PRP and Prolo. I used to take all the joint supplements but have since stopped since using this natural treatment. A treatment usually lasts me 6-10 months. These have been done by athletes to get back faster and strengthen joints and it absolutely worked for me!

    Frank Sabia wrote on February 27th, 2012
  37. Great information, as always. Before going primal, I took glucosamine that was a liquid (put it in my water). It worked awesomely but even more awesome was that after a mere two weeks of serious primal eating, my knees and hips quit hurting. The knee was injured when I was 12 (almost 52 now) and I couldn’t even take the steps at work. No longer true! I have been directing everyone to MDA and just told them to search and read. Keeps me from sounding preachy and they know where to find me. Cannot say enough good things about this way of life.

    Sandra wrote on February 27th, 2012
    • We are in a similar boat (14, and 59 – left knee). I notice that while I wasn’t having a lot of joint issues before, that I feel even better in that regard now that I am eating primal.

      Like your approach to directing without being overly directive :-).

      rarebird wrote on February 27th, 2012
  38. This subject is perfect timing for me.

    4 yrs ago I was diagnosed with moderate hip arthrits (I was 54). MRI’s bone scans, the whole bit (was having lots of pain). Dr. also suspected early avascular necrosis and warned that I would eventually have to have a full hip replacement/and or core decompression. Forget that! I started an exercise program (cardio burnout), low fat, high carb (grains etc). Lost some weight, felt better, until 4-5 mos ago. Horrible pain. Dr. started me on Meloxicam which I only took when the pain was really bad because of the side effects. Then he wanted me to start on cymbalta. Didn’t want to go down that path either. Discovered Primal Blueprint about a month ago and have learned so much about controlling inflamation of the joints through elimination of grains and other foods. A friend recommended tumeric as an anti-inflmatory and I don’t know if its placebo or not, but I don’t care but now I’m on no pain meds, no NSAID’s. I just had another MRI done and have an appt with orthopedist on Wednesday. My avascular necrosis (AVN) has worsened. Without the AVN I could probably get by for awhile without surgical intervention as I am feeling much better.

    Steve wrote on February 27th, 2012
  39. I have taken G/C/MSM for many years and I think it helps. I went to a talk one evening where 3 Orthopedic surgeons said G/C does not work and was useless, so I quit taking it for a month or so. Not a good idea. I felt more aches and pains in my knees and back. So I started back on it. My general practice doc says to take it, he says his patients benefit from using it, and take the recommended dose on the bottle. Want to add that with my Paleo diet, I now mostly have NO discomfort in the right knee, and generally feel pretty good most of the time, in regards to arthritis aches. G/C/MSM DOES take 4-6 weeks before you start to notice the benefit.

    Margie wrote on February 27th, 2012
  40. I take MSM, and though I don’t notice any difference in joint pain, it has helped tremendously with interstitial cystitis. If I forget to take the MSM or my high strength B vit complex, I notice a return of symptoms – in fact its how I know I forgot!

    Lee wrote on February 28th, 2012

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