(NaturalNews) For quick relief, people reach for pain medicine to treat headache or joint pain. However, recent evidence suggests they may damage hearing. Fortunately there are more effective, natural, and safer alternatives.
Unheard of pain
Hearing loss is the sixth most common disease burden in high-income countries, affecting over 50 percent of U.S. adults by the age of 60. Now, a recent study found an increased risk of hearing loss in women who took ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The more drugs taken, the higher the risk, especially in younger women. Acetaminophen depletes glutathione, the body's major antioxidant, leaving the inner ear susceptible.
A staggering 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain at an annual cost as high as $635 billion a year, which is more than the yearly costs for cancer, heart disease and diabetes. A majority of sufferers opt for over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen, Tylenol and aspirin, which can have serious side-effects, like gastrointestinal bleeding, liver toxicity and allergic reactions. Now, add loss of hearing.
An earful of alternatives
It's time to consider exploring other, safer alternatives. Many anti-inflammatory nutrients can be effective, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, C, D and E. Herbs and spices on this list include capsaicin, aloe, arnica, boswellia, bromelain, chamomile, Devil's claw, ginger, ginseng, glucosamine, grape seed, Holy Basil, olive leaf extract, red seaweed extract, tart cherries, turmeric
and white willow bark. Anti-inflammatory foods include whole citrus, celery, green pepper, apples and onions. Conversely, don't overeat or overcook foods, and restrict refined sugar, trans fats, and processed foods.
Curcumin and boswellia
High-bioavailability curcumin extract may be the remedy of choice for pain. It proved superior to arthritis drugs without adverse effects, decreased joint pain
in osteoarthritis subjects, and reduced markers of inflammation. Curcumin protects joint cartilage by reducing inflammation, inhibiting inflammatory cell growth, and inhibiting cartilage-destroying enzymes.
Curcumin has also been explored for other inflammatory diseases. It dropped inflammatory cytokines by 62 percent in colon cancer victims, and reduced obesity-associated inflammation. A soy isoflavones:curcumin
combination significantly reduced prostate specific antigen (PSA) and inflammation in men. Curcumin may represent a more effective and safer modality for pain management.
Boswellia also exhibits significant anti-inflammatory properties and treats pain without side-effects. In one study, boswellia
reduced the pain index by 90 percent, with a dramatic increase in function. Asthmatics showed improvement in symptoms and lung function, and reduced allergic blood cells. Nearly 70 percent of ulcerative colitis patients went into remission with boswellia, compared to only 40 percent on standard meds. Osteoarthritis patients showed superior benefits from a combination of curcumin and boswellia compared to CelebrexR.
The connection between good nutrition and health is undeniable. Some nutrients may also safely reduce pain. With so many people affected, pain management is a major public health issue and a tremendous burden on healthcare. Natural anti-inflammatory foods and supplements not only help relieve pain, but may also prevent and/or heal the underlying condition, to significantly reduce healthcare costs.Sources for this article include
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Weisberg SP, et al. Endocrinol 2008;149:3549-58.About the author:
Dr. Phil Domenico is a nutritional scientist and educator with a research background in biochemistry and microbiology. Formerly an infectious disease research scientist, he now works as a consultant for supplement companies and the food industry. Visit Dr. Phil's blog at: http://thescienceofnutritiondotnet.wordpress.com/
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