The Government’s Plan B guidance encouraged us to work from home once again, but ditching the ergonomic gear for a downgraded workspace may be taking its toll on the nation’s bone and joint health. Sharna Waid investigates what health stores can do to support customers looking to ease their WFH pandemic pains
As the COVID pandemic continues to evolve into a ‘new normal’, ongoing lockdowns have not only had an impact on our mental health but our physical health too. Irrespective of age, lack of physical movement and changes to our work environments have had, and will continue to have, an influence on bone and joint health across the nation.
In fact, a poll by registered charity Versus Arthritis found that ‘four in five (81%) desk workers who switched to working from home in lockdown have since had back, neck or shoulder pain, with a quarter (23%) affected often or all the time’.
Being away from ergonomic office equipment, it’s likely that prolonged sitting positions in
poor home-working set-ups is a major driving force behind sore muscles. The Versus Arthritis study also found that ‘over a third (35%) of workers have not been provided with any home equipment or advice to accommodate home working over lockdown’ – and shockingly ‘big businesses (with 250-499 employees) have performed even worse, with two in five (45%) employees saying they didn’t receive any support at all’.
Dr Emma Derbyshire from the Health & Food Supplements Information Service comments: “The pandemic has had negative impacts on muscle and joint health. In a UK 2020 survey of 678 people with musculoskeletal problems, just over 53% reported that their musculoskeletal symptoms had worsened during lockdown.”
With many Brits experiencing growing health concerns, combined with pandemic-related delays to GP appointments and NHS treatment times, there’s a chance you may find more and more people (of all ages) turning to local health stores for additional support and advice around their bone and joint woes.
Daily dose of vitamin D
In 2021, a Bone Health Accreditation Scheme, offered by the Royal Osteoporosis Society, was launched as part of the organization’s mission to improve the nation’s bone health.
Natural health company Get More Vits was the first to benefit from the new scheme with its Mango & Passionfruit soft drink which offers consumers their daily dose of vitamin D – an important nutrient for maintaining healthy bones.
The International Association of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA), was also tooting the horn for vitamin D in 2021, with a particular focus on the growing number of people staying at home alone. It launched a campaign called Mind the Gap which focuses on the link between vitamin D and a reduction in the risk of older adults suffering from a fall.
Simon Pettman, executive director of the IADSA, comments: “The message of our latest Mind the Gap resource is simple: increasing vitamin D intake is a way to help older adults keep their bones strong and reduce the risk of suffering a fall. With many people becoming less active as a result of lockdowns and self-isolation, the central message of this new story is more important now than ever.”
So, what kind of vitamin D products do retailers need to be looking for? Derbyshire makes the following suggestion: “Products containing ten micrograms of vitamin D, according to PHE recommendations, should be the basic product stocked by retailers. Vitamin D could also be contained in a bone and joint health product containing calcium, magnesium and trace elements important for bone health (eg copper, zinc, manganese). Fish oil supplements and krill oil supplements can also be taken for vitamin D.”
She continues: “There are two types of vitamin D: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (colecalciferol). In supplement products, vitamin D2 is sourced from plants and vitamin D3 is sourced from animals and fish. Both D2 and D3 supplements appear to prevent the wintertime decline in vitamin D levels.”
Don’t forget your vitamin C
Leading nutrition expert Patrick Holford, whose recently published book is entitled Say No To Arthritis, says: “Nutrients such as vitamin C and D are not only totally essential for massively reducing COVID infection and severity, but also really helpful for bones and joints.”
Holford asserts that many people who have followed his advice ‘one gram an hour (or two grams every two hours) of vitamin C on first signs of a respiratory infection’ also reported that their joint problems ‘diminished considerably’.
“Vitamin C is not only an antioxidant, however, it’s also necessary for cartilage and bone formation. Collagen cannot be synthesized without vitamin C, a deficiency of which causes severe signs of osteoarthritis in guinea pigs, who, like us, are not able to synthesize their own vitamin C. Both vitamins C and E help to control the synthesis of proteoglycans, which facilitates the formation of cartilage.”
The wonder spice
Turmeric is sometimes known as the wonder spice, and the natural health world is no stranger to its properties. Studies have shown turmeric’s active compound curcumin has an anti-inflammatory effect which can help provide relief for those experiencing arthritis, easing joint pain and stiffness.
The Turmeric Co is educating the nation on the powerful benefits of turmeric for joints and pain. The brand’s new Turmeric, Vitamin C & D3 shot encompasses all the relevant vitamins, plus curcumin, to support with immunity, inflammation and the formation of collagen.
Holford has also extended his range of natural supplements to include Glucosamine with Theracurmin, formulated to help with sore, arthritictype joints, as both ingredients are known to aid immunity and inflammation.
Prunes for men
But a store’s supplements section isn’t the only aisle in which bone and joint remedies may be found. New research from San Diego State University’s School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences reports that ‘eating prunes daily has a protective effect on bone health in men over 50’. This study is the first of its kind to examine the beneficial ‘prune effect’ on bones in men.
In this randomized-controlled clinical study, 57 healthy men aged 50-79 were assigned to eitherconsume 100 grams of prunes every day or no prunes for 12 months. After one year, those men who had consumed prunes showed significant decreases in biomarkers of bone breakdown, while no changes were observed in the control group [Hooshmand et al 2021].
The study’s authors also reported that the men who ate prunes showed improvements in bone geometry, indicating greater bone strength.
“We’ve already seen significant evidence that prunes have a positive effect on bone health in women, so it’s particularly exciting to find that prunes can also play a beneficial role in men’s bone health. We look forward to continuing to study the ‘prune effect’ on bone and other health outcomes in men,” comments lead researcher Professor Shirin Hooshmand, San Diego State University.
Collagen for women
As for women, recent research has shown the various health benefits of taking collagen supplements to improve bone density and health, especially for women after menopause. Speaking during a digital event hosted by collagen brand Colnatur, Dr Nisa Aslam described collagen as ‘a scaffolding or structure around ourselves that holds things together’. “It helps us move, stand up and really utilize all our core muscles,” she explained.
Dr Naomi Newman-Beinart, nutritionist, specialist in health psychology and expert at CORREXIKO Wild Marine Collagen, says: “Numerous studies have investigated the role of oral collagen peptides and its effects on bone mineral density in post-menopausal women with either osteopenia or osteoporosis (aged approximately 55-70). König and colleagues (2018) found that taking five grams of collagen daily for 12 months improved bone mineral density in the neck and lumbar spine. Clinical research has shown that the peptides stimulate the regeneration of collagenic tissues by increasing the production of collagen, thus providing the body with what it needs to increase collagen levels as they naturally decline with age.”
Newman-Beinart recommends the new CORREXIKO Marine Collagen because it ‘uses the best ingredients sourced from wild-caught deep-sea fish from Canada, which is naturally rich in collagen, and not the cheaper fish scales’.
From vitamin D to collagen, and turmeric to prunes, health stores can stock plenty to help their customers alleviate joint pain and ward off long-term bone problems. Since the wearisome pandemic has gone on longer than anticipated, it’s even more imperative for the natural health industry to come together and offer a helping hand to customers during these unprecedented times.
Deep heat, deep freeze
A recent online event saw a panel of experts, including physiotherapist Sammy Margo, personal trainer Chris Ruxton and Dr Carrie Ruxton, discuss the importance of supporting muscles and joints during all life stages. The talk highlighted that three in five people reported muscular troubles in the last 18 months, and 50% noticed joint stiffness, but it also recorded that one in five sit down for an hour without getting up to stretch.
Ruxton suggested that thermotherapy and cooling topical solutions have been clinically proven to help with pain relief and blood flow, also helping to increase metabolism and elasticity. Heat and cooling patches – such as Deep Heat or Deep Freeze – can be a non-medicinal way to relieve minor aches and pains on the go, at all ages.
Margo concluded: “The cycle needs to be broken, so, even if you’re feeling tired and depressed, try to keep moving, try some stretches and focus on a good posture. Topical solutions can help to target localized pain and the Deep Heat range provides fast, effective targeted relief with the relaxing benefits of heat therapy. That’s why they are my go-to self-care essential.”
FSC Super Cal/Mag
Calcium is needed to develop and maintain healthy bones and teeth and is an important factor in reducing the rate of age-related bone loss. It is also essential for cellular growth, blood clotting, nerve impulse transmission and muscular function. Calcium can compete with magnesium for absorption, so supplemental magnesium is added. Magnesium in association with Calcium is important for bone structure and strength, and for keeping calcium soluble. It is also needed for muscle relaxation and for growth.
Suitable for Vegetarians with no artificial flavours or preservatives. It is recommended to take one tablet daily with food. Available in 30 and 90 tablet glass bottles.
bonebalance™ is a 100% natural Food for Special Medical Purpose (FSMP) supplement approved for the dietary management of osteopenia, osteoporosis and bone mineral density.
It comprises high-quality specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides® clinically proven to help form bone matrix – the tissue that gives bones tensile strength, flexibility and density to absorb impact and resist breaking. It works by increasing the activity of the bone building cells (osteoblasts) while reducing the activity of the bone reducing cells (osteoclasts) and has no known side-effects or contraindications. This flavourless powder is easy to take dissolved in water, juice, hot drinks or smoothies. £39.99.
Pura Collagen Flex+
Get moving with the best collagen powder for joints. Pura Collagen Flex+ targets tendons, ligaments and connective tissue. Each tub contains 28 daily servings of Bioactive Collagen Peptides® plus active supporting ingredients.
Collagen is the key protein in cartilage and connective tissues. It heals and promotes cartilage regrowth. Our ground-breaking Flex+ collagen powder formula helps deliver structure and elasticity to muscles, tendons and cartilage, increasing flexibility.
10,000mg of Flex+ daily can help reduce joint pain and activity-related discomfort in just 6 weeks. Save 20% on your first purchase with special code NAT20 at www.puracollagen.co.uk
The Good Guru
Tel: 020 8773 7830
At the Good guru. A supplement named Organic JointKare has been introduced to take utmost care and replenish the needs of your Joints and Bones with all our thoughtfulness and support. The Good Guru Jointkare contains the best quality herbal ingredients listed below:
Organic Turmeric- Curcuma longa, Organic Aloe vera- Aloe barbadensis, Organic Cat’s Claw-Uncaria tomentose,
Organic Ginger- Zingiber officinale, Organic Cinnamon- Cinnamomum Verum, Organic Fenugreek – Trigonella foenum-graecum
Lamberts® Osteoguard® Advance Calcium & Magnesium Plus Vitamins D3 & K2
Our premium formula provides 250mg of magnesium and 500mg of calcium per two tablets. The form of magnesium is a unique blend of citrate, hydroxide and carbonate, plus calcium as both carbonate and citrate, to support absorption. Calcium and vitamin D contribute to a reduction in the risk of osteoporotic bone fracture and normal bone health.
Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone, MK-7, form) is included at 90µg and is naturally derived from chickpea protein. We have also included 10µg of vitamin D3 as there have been fascinating studies regarding the synergistic effects of vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 for bone health.
Formula CannabiGold Vitamin K2 from Natto, and Formula CannabiGold Vitamin D3 +K2
E-mail: [email protected]
Formula CannabiGold food supplements have everything today’s wellness seekers want… they’re authentic, honest, and made with ingredients from natural sources. All 10 products come in ‘no-pill’ liquid format. Formula CannabiGold Vitamin K2 contains MK-7, the natural and biologically active form of vitamin K2.
Our K2 comes from natto, which is naturally fermented soybeans. Vitamin K helps keep bones healthy and supports normal blood coagulation. RRP £13
Formula CannabiGold Vitamin K2 is also available with Vitamin D3 (from lanolin), which supports the functions of the immune system, the proper functions of muscles, and helps keep bones and teeth healthy. RRP £16
Award winning Helios Injury combines three homeopathic remedies, Arnica, Rhus tox and Ruta grav. These three remedies have a long history of traditional use to relieve pain and symptoms associated with physical trauma such as bruises, broken bones, strains, sprains and arthritic/rheumatic joint complaints. Helios Injury comes in organic sucrose pill form in our easy-to-use, single dose dispenser. For details of Injury and other award winning remedies please contact us. www.helios.co.uk
Osteoflex® Plus – Keeping you Flexible – Osteoflex®Plus tablets, an optimum formulation providing a combination of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, which helps the body repair damaged cartilage and lubricate the joints. Vitamin C and Turmeric are incorporated in the formula for their powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Osteoflex® Plus has the added benefit of Hyaluronic Acid, helps to improve joint health – especially cushioning of the joints and to improve the quality of synovial fluid that acts as a lubricant, shock absorber and helps to maintain the structural and functional characteristics of the cartilage matrix. Osteoflex® Plus retails at £19.99 for 30 tablets. Contact HealthAid Ltd on 0208 426 3400 for purchase and stockist information or visit www.healthaid.co.uk
NutraBone Herbal Tea
NutraBone® by NutraTea® is 1 of 22 herbal remedy teas that have been expertly blended to help strengthen bones and manage inflammatory responses. The complete herbal blend contains 100% active botanicals that have been sustainably sourced including Ginkgo Biloba, Turmeric and Devil’s Claw to help strengthen the body’s locomotor system and maintain healthy bones. Each natural herbal blend is free from flavourings, oils and excipients allowing it to be reused throughout the day for a delicious and convenient way to contribute to joint health and help maintain flexible joints, muscles, and tendons.
Active Collagen is Science-Led and Performance-Driven. A real innovation in collagen supplementation, containing two Bioactive Collagen Peptides® formulated to strengthen and repair connective tissue such as: tendons, ligaments, bones, muscles and soft tissue.
14 x 30ml daily collagen sachets • 8g Bioactive Collagen Peptides® per serving
High protein – 9.8g per serving •Rich in Vitamins B6, B7, C, E, Zinc and Copper.
Boosts immune function, reduces tiredness and fatigue.
Free from lactose, gluten and dairy
No artificial flavours or colours. Sweetened with natural Agave Syrup
100% natural ingredients • UK Manufactured
Co-founder Professor Greg Whyte OBE. Informed Sport tested. Used by Olympic Champions. RRP £31-95 Trade £17-31
Joint & Bone Health from Solaray
Healthy joints and bones allow us to do the things we love, so we can live brighter. Our bestselling soy-free Vitamin D-3 & K-2 formula combines high-potency, natural source vitamin D-3 with vitamin K-2 Menaquinone-7 (MK 7), to provide nutritive support for healthy bones. For joint care our specialist Vegan Joint Formula provides a solution for pain and inflammation, combining shellfish-free glucosamine and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) with naturally-occurring sulphur and non-animal derived hyaluronic acid – a natural lubricant and cushion for joints. Available now from CLF, Tree of Life, The Health Store, Jumla and Independent Irish Health Foods. Solaray.co.uk
Silicea Kollagen Plus
Silicea Kollagen Plus combines the highest quality Verisol collagen with a whopping 150mg of Haplex hyaluronic acid and Silicea’s famous Silica gel all of which have been subject to clinical studies covering, skin elasticity, wrinkles, hair & nail growth, and skin moisture levels.
Collagen and Hyaluronic acid also play an important role in joint health making Kollagen Plus a perfect choice. One of the challenges for any liquid supplement is creating a product which is palatable while avoiding the use of sweeteners, artificial flavouring, or preservatives. Kollagen plus has achieved this by only flavouring and sweetening the product with mango and apple pulp, creating the best tasting product on the market. Available in 15-day and 30-day packs containing 30 and 60 two a day sachets.
Vitamin D3 and K2 Sublingual Spray™
Good Health Naturally’s award-winning sublingual Vitamin D3/K2 Spray™ delivers fast absorption of these essential nutrients. Together, they play a crucial role in the uptake and reabsorption of calcium and phosphorous into the bones and teeth. D3 and K2 also work together to protect the blood vessels from calcification. Plus, a daily dose of D3 is essential for supporting our normal immune response. Delivers 200iu D3 per spray (approx. 220 sprays per bottle), allowing flexible dosing and a convenient and practical solution for the whole family’s daily intake. Spray directly under the tongue or onto food. Suitable for vegans.
NeoCell Super Collagen
NeoCell Super Collagen offers 6600mg of BioActive NeoCell Collagen Type 1 & 3. NeoCell Collagen offers: the highest recommended collagen dosage on the market offsetting collagen loss; collagen standardised to a very low molecular weight (3,000 Daltons) that offers the most efficient absorption rate of 90%; enzymatically hydrolyzed collagen for high absorption and bioactivity. The product is both non-GMO and gluten-free, and does not contain soy, wheat, lactose, starch, yeast or artificial flavourings. NeoCell is the world’s leading collagen brand and also a pioneer in the field of nutritional science, with clinically tested results.