What follows is a guest blog by Water for Health.
As someone who came through rheumatoid arthritis naturally, clean, filtered water, turmeric and fish oils were all things that contributed greatly to my remission, but their quality is of paramount concern – you can’t just get any old supplements – which is why I was only too happy to have Water for Health contribute a guest blog for Organic Spoon.
I have been using their alkaline ionising jug – the Biocera jug – and have seen the difference in the taste and feel of the water. Unfortunately, unlike most machines that do not offer reverse osmosis (highly expensive), it does not filter out the fluoride. Luckily, the water in my area stopped being fluoridated a while ago. Check your local water supplier to be sure. Without spending thousands on a reverse osmosis system, this really is the next best thing. Check out their video on the product here.
With regards the turmeric and fish oils recommended, I haven’t personally taken them yet, and have to stress that. But after extensive research and reading on their products, I am more than happy to promote them to my followers as I believe they are of the purest and healthiest quality and I will be taking them myself as soon as they arrive!
I hope you enjoy their post about turmeric and fish oils:
Turmeric and Fish Oil: An Anti-Inflammatory Match Made in Heaven? – By Water for Health
In the world of natural health, you’ll struggle to find two dietary supplements with as much scientific weight behind them as turmeric and fish oil. With consumers increasingly turning to non-pharmaceutical alternative treatments for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, it’s worth assessing the benefits these natural therapies can provide. Particularly as a means of managing chronic pain and tamping down inflammation but also protecting the liver from damage caused by regular ingestion of drugs (steroids, painkillers).
Fish Oil: Liquid Gold for Treating Inflammation
Let’s start with omega-3 fish oil, which derives from fatty fish such as mackerel, anchovy and herring. Known for maintaining healthy blood pressure and triglyceride levels, not to mention brain and heart function, the essential fatty acids in fish oil make it one of the most beneficial natural supplements out there.
There are many clinical uses for fish oil. One, understandably, centres on heart health: the American Heart Association actually published guidance last year stating that “fish oil supplements prescribed by a healthcare provider may help prevent death from heart disease in patients who recently had a heart attack and may prevent death and hospitalisations in patients with heart failure.”
DHA, which along with EPA is one of the key essential fatty acids, also contributes to the healthy brain and visual development of the foetus and breastfed infant. This is why pregnant mothers are often advised to eat some oily fish each week.
For the purposes of this article, though, we want to focus on inflammation and how omega-3 fish oil can be of benefit. According to a 2017 meta-analysis published in the peer-reviewed Biochemical Society Transactions (1), “EPA and DHA are capable of partly inhibiting many aspects of inflammation including leucocyte chemotaxis, adhesion molecule expression and leucocyte-endothelial adhesive interactions, production of eicosanoids like prostaglandins and leukotrienes from the n-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.”
Furthermore, “EPA and DHA give rise to anti-inflammatory and inflammation resolving mediators called resolvins, protectins and maresins.”
If this all sounds like rather a lot of gobbledegook, don’t worry: the key take-home message is that omega-3 fatty acids are of clinical relevance to those battling chronic inflammatory conditions due to the biological actions of EPA and DHA.
Given that many naturopathic doctors make inflammation Public Health Enemy No. 1, the usefulness of omega-3s should not be underestimated. Particularly since fish oils are generally accepted to help with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis rather than being a natural product promulgated only by the anti-pharmaceutical crowd. As noted by Arthritis Research UK (2), “evidence suggests that supplements were generally well tolerated and significantly reduce joint pain; the duration of morning stiffness; fatigue time; the number of tender or swollen joints; the use of painkillers.”
Trials used daily doses between 1.6 and 7.1g omega-3s, though with most supplements you can expect a more modest dose: usually between 500 and 1000mg per capsule. Just be sure to scrutinise the Supplement Facts label to determine how much of the fish oil is actually omega-3. It is worth experimenting with dosage and monitoring the results, and as ever it’s a good idea to consult a naturopathic doctor or dietitian.
Turmeric: Nature’s Most Potent Anti-Inflammatory?
What about turmeric then, the spice widely used in Asian cuisine for generations? Let’s be clear, when discussing turmeric we are in essence discussing curcumin, the spice’s primary active curcuminoid. Curcumin is the molecule which gives turmeric its colour, and it’s also the substance we have to thank for turmeric’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
The therapeutic properties of curcumin are similar but not identical to those of omega-3s. A number of studies underscore the molecule’s ability to suppress inflammation via multiple pathways, including by regulating transcription factors, pro-inflammatory cytokines, adhesion molecules, redox status and enzymes which have been linked to inflammation. There is also evidence showing that curcumin mediates against a number of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases (3).
Again, turmeric is not a panacea pushed by natural health nuts. A cursory glance in Google’s News section shows that people are very much sitting up and taking notice of its healthful properties. Headlines range from ‘Turmeric may help fight disease’ and ‘Is turmeric more effective than popular painkillers?’ to ‘Turmeric could improve memory’ and ‘Turmeric is more effective than paracetamol.’ It’s not so difficult to see which way the wind is blowing.
That first headline, incidentally, concerns a recent Italian study which assessed turmeric’s potential for easing the pain of sports injuries among rugby players. Researchers learned that the Indian spice was every bit as effective as paracetamol or ibuprofen for treating ‘painful osteomuscular conditions associated with intense, high impact physical activities.’
What’s more, it was pointed out that ingesting turmeric did not entail the same potential side effects as the painkillers, namely gastrointestinal complications. The study additionally showed that those supplementing with curcumin were more likely to continue with their treatment regimen.
A separate study published last year, also Italian, proved that turmeric could help build and repair bone mass in elderly individuals. Indeed, supplementation with turmeric improved bone density by as much as 7% in a relatively short space of time (six months).
For people who are reticent about taking pharmaceutical drugs to treat every little symptom of ageing, the ancient herbal remedy seems like a no-brainer.
Turmeric and Fish Oil: Supplement Options
Technically, you do not need to supplement to get omega-3 fish oil and turmeric into your diet. However, achieving a so-called therapeutic dose is a little more tricky.
In a typical 3-ounce serving of salmon, for instance, there is between 1.1 and 1.9g of omega-3 (source: AHA). We are advised to eat two portions of oily fish per week, meaning you’ll get between 2 and 4g of omega-3 if you follow these recommendations. The aforementioned fish oil studies, however, used daily doses in excess of 1.5g. To manage this, you would have to eat oily fish every day – and contend with the consequent contamination risk given the pollution of our oceans. And this is to say nothing of the expense!
Incidentally, the European Food Safety Authority has concluded that consuming up to 5,000mg of omega-3 per day is safe. Furthermore, Norwegian authorities found no adverse effects with levels as high as 6,900mg per day. Again, there is no firm established guidance on a daily dosage; if consuming omega-3s for inflammation, it may be best to start with 1g per day and monitor the results, paying particular attention to joint pain and stiffness. Physicians can also measure your blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker linked to inflammation.
As for the ideal daily dosage of turmeric, it’s a similar grey area. According to Robin Berzin, MD, you should consume 500-1,000mg per day to enjoy the anti-inflammatory effects. To put this into context, a single teaspoon of turmeric contains around 200mg of curcumin. If you can incorporate 3-5 tablespoons of turmeric in your daily diet, more power to you: but most people will find that a struggle, even if they’re crazy about the spice and a dab hand in the kitchen.
For those with chronic pain, such as from osteoarthritis, many naturopathic practitioners will recommend between 1,000 and 2,000mg per day, divided into several servings.
Although no firm consensus has been established, it is almost always recommended that treatment continue for at least a month or two, if not longer, to yield the best results.
Two supplements you might want to consider are UnoCardio 1000 (4), a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil and vitamin D complex, and Maximized Turmeric 46x. UnoCardio 1000 is currently ranked the world’s best fish oil by independent supplement assessor Labdoor, a position it has held since 2015. Of the 54 products tested, it was one of two to be awarded an ‘A’ for quality and one of a handful to gain an ‘A’ for value. It also has a five-star rating from the International Fish Oil Standards Program, attesting to its purity, high concentration (95% omega-3) and lack of contaminants like heavy metals or PCBs.
UnoCardio 1000 provides 1280mg of fish oil per softgel, including 675mg EPA and 460mg DHA. There’s also 1,000 i.u. of Vitamin D, which may have its own anti-inflammatory benefits (5).
Vibrant Health’s Maximized Turmeric 46x (6), meanwhile, helps one overcome curcumin’s notoriously poor bioavailability (7). It does so by pairing 500mg of CurcuWIN, a patented extract shown to be 46 times more absorbable than 95% curcuminoid extract (hence the name), with 5mg of BioPerine, a component of black pepper which enhances the intestinal absorption of curcumin with no adverse effects. This raises an interesting point: if you’re cooking with turmeric, you’d do well to add black pepper to the recipe!
The maximum-strength turmeric supplement is an excellent joint health aid and a possible adjunct or alternative treatment to traditional pain-relief medication for inflammation. There is, of course, no reason why you can’t combine cooked turmeric spice with curcumin supplementation, just as there’s little reason to avoid oily fish if you’re also taking an omega-3 supplement.
However you manage inflammation, know that there are natural compounds which can help: turmeric and fish oil are but two of them. Eating a healthy anti-inflammatory diet is the best thing you can do to tackle inflammation and improve quality of life (energy levels, sleep quality etc). Food, as they say, is medicine!