Monday, November 30, 2015

Researchers Determine Vitamin D Level Necessary to Help Reduce Preterm Births by 50%!

November 30, 2015 | 111,691 views

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By Dr. Mercola
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a wide variety of health problems and diseases, and widespread vitamin D deficiency may also play a role in the United States' abysmal maternal health rating. It has been estimated that if vitamin D levels were raised among the general population, it could prevent chronic diseases that claim nearly one million lives throughout the world each year.
According to the 2015 Save the Children report1 on the health of mothers around the world, the U.S. ranks worst among developed countries.
Shockingly, pregnant American women face a one in 1,800 risk of dying from pregnancy-related complications — a 10 times higher risk than that of women in Poland and Austria, for example.
When all countries of the world are included, the U.S. ranks 33 out of 179, down two spots from 2014. Raising vitamin D levels among pregnant women may curb this trend, and help protect not only the life and health of the mother, but also her child.
If you're pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or know anyone planning a family, the following information is crucial, and I encourage you to share it widely.
Vitamin D Is Crucial for Mother and Child
In the U.S., premature births have risen 36 percent over the past 25 years. Each year, more than half a million preemies are now born in the U.S., and it's the number one killer of newborns.
Research shows that vitamin D optimization could likely prevent half of these premature births. Among African-American and Hispanic populations, as much as 70 to 75 percent of all preterm births might be prevented.
Similar findings have been documented among twin births, which tend to have a higher risk for preterm birth. A 2013 study2 found that women carrying twins who had a minimum vitamin D level of 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/L) in their late second trimester had a 60 percent reduction in preterm births.
Previous research3 has also shown that women with a vitamin D level of 40 ng/ml have a 25 percent reduction in infections, particularly respiratory infections such as colds and flu, as well as fewer infections of the vagina and the gums.
Comorbidities of pregnancy were also reduced by 30 percent in the women who achieved 40 ng/ml, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and pre-eclampsia – a potentially deadly increase in blood pressure and fluid accompanied by low platelets.
A mother's vitamin D status during pregnancy can also have lifelong ramifications for her child. Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy has been linked to childhood allergies, asthma,4,5 colds and flu, dental cavities, diabetes, and even strokes and cardiovascular disease in later life of the child.6,7
40 ng/ml Is the 'Magic Number' for Reducing Risk of Preterm Birth
According to the most recent paper,8 produced by researchers from GrassrootsHealth and the Medical University of South Carolina, women with vitamin D levels of 40 to 60 ng/ml have a 46 percent lower preterm birth rate than the general population.
Women with a vitamin D level at or above 40 ng/ml by their third trimester had a 59 percent lower risk for premature birth than those with levels below 20 ng/ml. Moreover, as noted in a press release:9
"Another key finding was a steady increase of gestation time (how long the baby stayed in the womb) correlating to the rise of vitamin D up to around 40 ng/ml where it reached a plateau.10
The March of Dimes estimates that the annual cost of preterm births in the United States as $12 billion (for 455,918 children).
If approximately 50 percent of preterm births could be prevented in the general population, as this analysis suggests is possible, there could be $6 billion available for other services and, more than 225,000 children and families spared this trauma." [Emphasis mine]

Researchers Call for Vitamin D Testing As Part of Standard of Care for Pregnant Women
As a result of these findings, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has updated its standard of care for prenatal patients to include vitamin D testing, and if necessary, vitamin D3 supplementation.
Pregnant women are typically given 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day to start, with the aim of getting their serum levels to at least 40 ng/ml by their third trimester. According to Dr. Roger Newman,11 Director of Women's Health Research at MUSC:
"We have been aware of the vitamin D deficiency state in the vast majority of our Caucasian patients and almost all our Black patients for far too long. Now the evidence has accumulated of the high price we pay in terms of prematurity and other obstetrical complications from our failure to systemically address these deficiencies in maternal vitamin D levels. It is time to change, to get ahead of the curve."
Co-author Carole Baggerly, director of GrassrootsHealth said:
"We applaud the Medical University of South Carolina for taking action to implement both the ethical and practical vitamin D methodology – they lead the way with moving research into practice through this Protect our Children NOW! project. Other medical centers are already on board to implement the new standard of care."
I join Carole in applauding MUSC for taking the lead on this issue. They're the first in the nation to take proactive steps to improve the health and safety of pregnant women and their babies by adding vitamin D testing and supplementation into their standard practice for ALL pregnant patients.
They're not waiting years for the approval of various institutional bodies and oversight groups. Rather, they've reviewed the evidence, found it to be solid, and are moving forward in the best interest of women and children, and for that, they deserve some serious accolades.
At this point, there's little doubt that maintaining a vitamin D level of 40 to 60 ng/ml during pregnancy is one of the most important things you can do, both for your own health and for the health of your child. The science is done. Now it just needs to be put into practice. I cannot think of any other measure that can reduce pregnancy complications, deaths, and future health problems for less money, and be as safe and risk-free.
So please, if you're pregnant, make sure to get your 25-hydroxy D levels checked. Research indicates that 50 percent of women can achieve a level of 40 ng/ml with 4,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day during pregnancy, and 6,400 IUs for nursing mothers. Regular testing is important to see what your level is so you can adjust your dosage to fit your body's requirements. The NOAEL (No observed adverse effect level) specified by the Institute of Medicine is 10,000 IU/day.12
The actual dose required to achieve the 40 ng/ml level should be below that.
How to Enroll in Protect Our Children NOW!
Physicians across the nation are encouraged to enroll their pregnant patients in the Protect Our Children NOW! project, which seeks to resolve vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women and children, and raise global awareness about the health risks associated with vitamin D deficiency. The project was initiated by Carole Baggerly of GrassrootsHealth,13 which has a panel of 42 vitamin D researchers that provide scientific advice.
The project seeks to engage women in "a value changing project of Good Health vs. Treating Illness." In other words, optimizing your vitamin D status helps improve your health and prevent disease, which is a lot easier and less expensive than waiting for something to go wrong and then trying to treat the problem.
If you are 12 to 17 weeks pregnant, at least 18 years of age, and currently reside in the U.S., you may enroll in this fully sponsored project at no cost to you. Participation in the program includes:
  • Free vitamin D blood tests
  • Your and your newborn's new questionnaire entries
  • Reporting of results directly to you
  • Free vitamin D supplements

Vitamin D — A Simple, Inexpensive Way to Improve Your Health
The science is quite clear: To protect yourself and your child from pregnancy complications, you need to maintain a vitamin D level of 40 to 60 ng/ml. According to the featured study, the "magic number" is 40 ng/ml, after with the benefits plateau. I strongly suggest taking this information to heart, and to share it with anyone that might benefit. Optimizing your vitamin D is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to reduce your risk of complications and premature birth.
Ideally, you'd want to optimize your levels before getting pregnant, but if this is news to you, and you're already pregnant, do make sure to get tested, and take steps to optimize your levels accordingly. The vitamin D test you're looking for is called 25(OH)D or 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
This is the officially recognized marker of overall D status, and is most strongly associated with overall health. The other vitamin D test available, called 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D (1,25(OH)D), is not very useful for determining vitamin D sufficiency.
While sunlight is the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D, winter and work prevent more than 90 percent of those reading this article from achieving ideal levels without supplementation. Just remember to also increase your vitamin K2 intake, either from food or supplements.
The Medical University of South Carolina starts their prenatal patients on 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. Regular testing helps determine whether this dose is sufficient, or how much more you might need to reach a serum level of at least 40 ng/ml by your third trimester.
Last but not least, please consider making a donation to the Protect Our Children NOW! project, to help keep this critical program going.

healthy desserts

Sunday, November 29, 2015


A DEFICIENCY IN THIS CRITICAL nutrient makes you twice as likely to die as other people, according to a study published in The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine.(i) It also accounts for a long list of symptoms and diseases — which are easily helped and often cured by adding this nutrient. In fact, in my practice, this nutrient is one of my secret weapons against illness. Yet up to half of Americans are deficient in this nutrient and don’t know it.

  • I’m talking about magnesium.
    It is an antidote to stress, the most powerful relaxation mineral available, and it can help improve your sleep.
    I find it very funny that more doctors aren’t clued in to the benefits of magnesium, because we use it all the time in conventional medicine. But we never stop to think about why or how important it is to our general health or why it helps our bodies function better.

    I remember using magnesium when I worked in the emergency room. It was a critical “medication” on the crash cart. If someone was dying of a life-threatening arrhythmia (or irregular heart beat), we used intravenous magnesium. If someone was constipated or needed to prepare for colonoscopy, we gave them milk of magnesia or a green bottle of liquid magnesium citrate, which emptied their bowels. If pregnant women came in with pre-term labor, or high blood pressure of pregnancy (pre-eclampsia) or seizures, we gave them continuous high doses of intravenous magnesium.
    But you don’t have to be in the hospital to benefit from getting more magnesium. You can start taking regular magnesium supplementation today and see results.
    The Relaxation Mineral
    Think of magnesium as the relaxation mineral. Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff — whether it is a body part or an even a mood — is a sign of magnesium deficiency.

    This critical mineral is actually responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues — but mainly in your bones, muscles, and brain. You must have it for your cells to make energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilize membranes, and to help muscles relax.
    When was the last time you had a good dose of seaweed, nuts, greens, and beans? If you are like most Americans, your nut consumption mostly comes from peanut butter.
    That is why the list of conditions that are found related to magnesium deficiency is so long. In fact, there are over 3,500 medical references on magnesium deficiency!
    Even so, this mineral is mostly ignored because it is not a drug, even though it is MORE powerful than drugs in many cases. That’s why we use it in the hospital for life-threatening and emergency situations like seizures and heart failure.
    You might be magnesium deficient if you have any of the following symptoms:
    • Muscle cramps or twitches
    • Insomnia
    • Irritability
    • Sensitivity to loud noises
    • Anxiety
    • Autism
    • ADD
    • Palpitations
    • Angina
    • Constipation
    • Anal spasms
    • Headaches
    • Migraines
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Chronic fatigue
    • Asthma
    • Kidney stones
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity
    • Osteoporosis
    • High blood pressure
    • PMS
    • Menstrual cramps
    • Irritable bladder
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Reflux
    • Trouble swallowing
    Magnesium deficiency has even has been linked to inflammation in the body and higher CRP levels.
    In our society, magnesium deficiency is a huge problem. By conservative standards of measurement (blood, or serum, magnesium levels), 65 percent of people admitted to the intensive care unit — and about 15 percent of the general population — have magnesium deficiency.
    But this seriously underestimates the problem, because a serum magnesium level is the LEAST sensitive way to detect a drop in your total body magnesium level. So rates of magnesium deficiency could be even higher!

    The reason we are so deficient is simple: Many of us eat a diet that contains practically no magnesium — a highly-processed, refined diet that is based mostly on white flour, meat, and dairy (all of which have no magnesium).
    When was the last time you had a good dose of sea vegetables (seaweed), nuts, greens, and beans? If you are like most Americans, your nut consumption mostly comes from peanut butter, and mostly in chocolate peanut butter cups.
    Much of modern life conspires to help us lose what little magnesium we do get in our diet. Magnesium levels are decreased by excess alcohol, salt, coffee, phosphoric acid in colas, profuse sweating, prolonged or intense stress, chronic diarrhea, excessive menstruation, diuretics (water pills), antibiotics and other drugs, and some intestinal parasites. In fact, in one study in Kosovo, people under chronic war stress lost large amounts of magnesium in their urine.
    This is all further complicated by the fact that magnesium is often poorly absorbed and easily lost from our bodies. To properly absorb magnesium we need a lot of it in our diet, plus enough vitamin B6, vitamin D, and selenium to get the job done.
    A recent scientific review of magnesium concluded, “It is highly regrettable that the deficiency of such an inexpensive, low-toxicity nutrient results in diseases that cause incalculable suffering and expense throughout the world.” (ii) I couldn’t’ have said it better myself.
    It is difficult to measure and hard to study, but magnesium deficiency accounts for untold suffering — and is simple to correct. So if you suffer from any of the symptoms I mentioned or have any of the diseases I noted, don’t worry — it is an easy fix!! Here’s how.
    Stop Draining Your Body of Magnesium
    • Limit coffee, colas, salt, sugar, and alcohol
    • Learn how to practice active relaxation
    • Check with your doctor if your medication is causing magnesium loss (many high blood pressure drugs or diuretics cause loss of magnesium)
    Eat Foods High in Magnesium
    Include the following in your diet as often as you can:
    Kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, brazil nuts, dulse, filberts, millet, pecans, walnuts, rye, tofu, soy beans, brown rice, figs, dates, collard greens, shrimp, avocado, parsley, beans, barley, dandelion greens, and garlic
    Take Magnesium Supplements
    • The RDA (the minimum amount needed) for magnesium is about 300 mg a day. Most of us get far less than 200 mg.
    • Some may need much more depending on their condition.
    • Most people benefit from 400 to 1,000 mg a day.
    • The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, or aspartate, although magnesium bound to Kreb cycle chelates (malate, succinate, fumarate) are also good.
    • Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide. They are poorly absorbed (and the cheapest and most common forms found in supplements).
    • Side effects from too much magnesium include diarrhea, which can be avoided if you switch to magnesium glycinate.
    • Most minerals are best taken as a team with other minerals in a multi-mineral formula.
    • Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is a good way to absorb and get much needed magnesium.
    People with kidney disease or severe heart disease should take magnesium only under a doctor’s supervision.
    So if you’re coping with the symptoms here, relax! Magnesium is truly a miracle mineral. It is essential for lifelong vibrant health.
    Now I’d like to hear from you…
    Do you suffer from any of the symptoms I’ve mentioned?
    Do you currently take a magnesium supplement? What results have you noticed?
    Which of the tips mentioned above do you plan to try?
    Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
    To your good health,
    Mark Hyman, MD
    (i) Tong, GM and RK Rude. 2005. Magnesium deficiency in critical illness. J Intensive Care Med 20 (1):3-17. Review.
    (ii) S. Johnson. 2001. The multifaceted and widespread pathology of magnesium deficiency. Med Hypotheses 56(2): 163-70
    This article was republished with permission from
    Image Source:

    Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rimpoche


    Folks, I hope those of you in America had a bountiful Thanksgiving Holiday. I went to our yearly vegetarian potluck where I brought the last of the season tomatoes made up in a delicious snappy and raw Gazpacho soup. Now its time to turn back to matters at hand.
    New information about vaccines and a new potential link to autism, as well as a potential huge religious conflict. Dr. Theresa Deisher, is a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology from Stanford University. She is the first person to discover adult cardiac derived stem cells. Now she has determined that residual human fetal DNA fragments in vaccines may be one of the causes of autism in children through vaccination.
    She writes: “It is possible that these contaminating fragments could be incorporated into a child’s genome and disrupt normal gene function, leading to autistic phenotypes.”
    Her research strongly suggests that our cells can take up foreign DNA intact. And, inflammation might increase that uptake.Vaccines have foreign DNA, inclusive of animal DNA and for some people here, DNA from a worse source – aborted human fetal tissues. This foreign human DNA can be taken up by normal cells and alter that cell’s function to that of the foreign DNA coding. I’ll copy and paste her article below. But I have some comments first.
    There is always an interplay with the environment. Many people eat animals, so they might be exposed to DNA by ingestion. We are also exposed to the body fluids and DNA of our loved one. We exchange DNA during sex. Our bodies are designed for oral ingestion. We have enzymes which break down the DNA into constituent nutrients for assimilation.
    We now know that compounds in seminal fluids are actually absorbed into women through the vaginal wall. On the spiritual side of me, I believe that might help us actually draw closer to the one we love. Our Creator designed us this way. But I don’t know of any logical connection of this biological process to being needle injected with foreign DNA. Sorry pro-forced vaxxers. I don’t equate a needle injection of foreign DNA into an immature baby with a sexual (or pregnancy) transmission of DNA into adults who have fully mature cells. I am certainly willing to allow some of my beloved's DNA into my system, as I am sure you all are as well. We would not be here if we were not so willing. That said, I am not willing to be injected with someone else's DNA.
    I don’t consider this, or any one thing, as “the cause”. But all the insults to our babies together might be acting synergistically to create the current autism and immune system nightmares our younger generation faces. I can certainly and strongly consider that the uptake of another human’s DNA into a young child’s system might be another significant cause of significant cellular dysfunction. We just don’t know.
    I conclude with my personal feelings that it is abhorrent to force vaccinate children when questions like this, and other questions we’ve considered here, remain unanswered.
    From the report:
    “Cellular and nuclear DNA uptake in human foreskin fibroblast (HFF1) cells and in NCCIT cells suggests that embryonic and neonatal cell are more susceptible to DNA uptake than cells from a more mature source. These results indicate the need for further study of DNA incorporation from exogenous sources to compare the susceptibility of infants and toddlers versus teens and adults. Increased DNA uptake after LPS activation suggests that systemic inflammation or immune responses could increase susceptibility for exogenous DNA uptake. Human diploid cell produced vaccines are contaminated by exogenous DNA fragments and a retrovirus, and vaccines elicit systemic inflammation and immune activation. Our future research goals are to localize the sites of DNA integration, to demonstrate phenotype changes caused by foreign DNA integration in factor dependent cell lines, and to determine the biological and/or pathological activities of Human Endogenous Retrovirus K (HERVK) fragments in vaccines.”
    “Not only damaged human cells, but also healthy human cells can take up foreign DNA spontaneously. Foreign human DNA taken up by human cells will be transported into nuclei and be integrated into host genome, which will cause phenotype change. Hence, residual human fetal DNA fragments in vaccine can be one of causes of autism spectrum disorder in children through vaccination. Vaccine must be safe without any human DNA contaminations or reactivated viruses, and must be produced in ethically approved manufacturing processes.”

    PS Thanks to Facebook family member Mary-Lis Uruena, for alerting me to this work.

    Knee Surgery No Better Than Placebo

    Posted on:
    Wednesday, November 18th 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Surgery probably won't help you with chronic knee pain.  But here are 10 proven ways to get you safely back in the swing of things.
    Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee affects over 12 percent of people over 60 years old.[i]  It's a degenerative disease that causes pain, swelling, abnormal bone growth and spurs, and loss of mobility. Cartilage becomes thin and irregular, resulting in joint pain and stiffness.
    More and more doctors offer surgery as the solution.  Over 700,000 knee arthroscopies (a type of keyhole surgery) are carried out in the US and 150,000 in the UK each year on middle aged and older adults. But a new study finds surgery doesn't help and may be harmful.
    Researchers from Denmark and Sweden reviewed the results of 18 studies on the benefits and harms of arthroscopic surgery for middle aged and older people with persistent knee pain.[ii]
    Their results were published as part of The BMJ's "Too Much Medicine" campaign.  The campaign highlights the threat to human health and the waste of resources caused by unnecessary medical care.
    The researchers found that arthroscopy of the knee was no better than a placebo.  It had a small but significant effect on pain at three and six months following an operation. But beyond that timeframe, it had no benefit over other treatments.  And they found no significant benefit on physical function. 
    On the other hand, knee surgery carried significant downsides.  The most frequently reported adverse event was deep vein thrombosis (DVT), followed by infection, pulmonary embolism (blockage of the main artery of the lung), and death. 
    The authors concluded that their findings "do not support the practice of arthroscopic surgery as treatment for middle aged or older patients with knee pain with or without signs of osteoarthritis."
    What are the alternatives?  Here are 10 proven ways to relieve chronic knee pain naturally:
    1. Practice Tai Chi.  Tufts University researchers compared the effectiveness of tai chi and physical therapy for OA of the knee.[iii]  A group of 106 patients with knee OA completed 12 weeks of classical Yang style tai chi twice a week.  A second group of 98 patients completed physical therapy twice a week for six weeks followed by six weeks of monitored physical therapy exercises at home. 
    Researchers measured changes in pain and functioning, depression, quality of life, and pain medication usage. Patients also assessed their own pain and functioning, and completed two-meter and six-minute walking tests.
    Tai chi participants were able to reduce their pain medications, and had improved pain and functioning, comparable to the physical therapy group.  But in subjective reporting, tai chi participants also noted significant improvements both in pain and depression. 
    2. Eat More Turmeric. A study in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine found the curcuminoid extract of turmeric reduced inflammation in patients suffering from knee OA. The researchers compared the curcuminoid extract to diclofenac sodium, an NSAID drug. 
    Subjects took either 30 mg of curcuminoid three times daily or 25 mg of diclofenac sodium three times a day.  After 4 weeks there was no significant difference between the turmeric compound and the drug. Both significantly decreased the secretion of the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme. But turmeric had no side effects while diclofenac has been linked to increased cardiac mortality, miscarriage and seizure.
    Another study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found 2,000 mg of turmeric extract was as effective as 800 mg of ibuprofen in reducing symptoms of pain and inflammation.[iv]
    3. Drink Tart Cherry Juice. According to researchers from Oregon Health & Science University, tart cherries have the "highest anti-inflammatory content of any food" and can help osteoarthritis patients manage their condition.[v]  They asked 20 women aged 40 to 70 with inflammatory osteoarthritis to drink tart cherry juice twice a day.  After three weeks, the women had significant reductions in inflammation.
    In a prior study, the same researchers found that runners who drank tart cherry juice reported significantly less pain after exercise. 
    Scientists at Baylor Research Institute also found that a daily dose of tart cherry extract helped reduce osteoarthritis pain by more than 20 percent.[vi]
    And a 2001 cell study found that anthocyanins from cherries were as effective as ibuprofen and naproxen at suppressing the COX enzymes associated with inflammation.
    Make sure you look for tart cherries (e.g., Montmorency and Balaton) and not sweet cherries (e.g., Bing, Lambert, Rainier), although both varieties have healing benefits.
    4. Stop the Statins. A study in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases set out to prove that statins reduce the incidence and progression of knee OA. To the surprise of researchers, they instead found that statin use was linked to worse pain and poorer physical function of the knee.[vii]

    5. Eat More Sesame Seeds. A study in Iran found that eating sesame seeds was superior to taking Tylenol for OA of the knee.[viii]  One group of knee patients took 40 grams (about four tablespoons) of sesame seeds per day.  A second group took 500 mg of Tylenol twice a day as well as 500 mg of glucosamine once a day. 
    The sesame seeds were found to be just as effective as Tylenol and glucosamine for reducing the intensity of knee pain.  And of course, sesame seeds don't have the dangerous side effects of Tylenol.
    6. Cook with Ginger.  In a head to head match-up of ginger extract with the anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin, ginger proved to be just as good without side effects.[ix] Indomethacin has been linked to renal insufficiency, jaundice, headaches, and liver damage. 
    7. Eat more Pineapple.  The fruit and core of the pineapple are rich in bromelain, a digestive enzyme with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.  In one study, bromelain was proven to reduce mild acute knee pain and improve well-being in a dose-dependent manner.[x]
    Volunteers were randomly given either 200 mg or 400 mg per day.  The lower dose reduced symptoms by 41% while the higher dose reduced them 59%.  Bromelain also improved stiffness, physical function, and general well-being.
    8. Take Rose Hip Extract.  Danish researchers tested an herbal remedy made from a subspecies of rose hip (Rosa canina) against a placebo in patients with OA of the hip or knee.  In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover trial, 94 patients were given five grams of the rose hip remedy daily or a placebo. The rose hip treatment significantly decreased pain, stiffness, disability, and global severity of the disease.  It also allowed the patients to significantly reduce their pain medications.[xi]
    9. Use Comfrey Root Extract Ointment. Rubbing painful knees with an ointment of comfrey root extract has been shown to reduce pain, improve knee mobility, and increase quality of life.
    In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, patients with painful OA of the knee applied two grams of a comfrey root extract ointment or placebo to their knees three times a day.  After three weeks, symptoms improved 58% in the comfrey root group compared to 14% for the placebo group.[xii]
    10. Take Some Castor Oil.  A randomized, double-blind, comparative clinical study found that castor oil was just as good as the drug diclofenac sodium in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
    Three times a day patients took either a 0.9 ml castor oil capsule or a 50 mg capsule of diclofenac sodium for four weeks. Both treatments were significantly effective in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.  But adverse drug reactions were high with diclofenac sodium.  There were none with the castor oil. The authors concluded that castor oil can be used as an effective therapy in primary knee osteoarthritis.[xiii]
    For more information on natural ways to relieve knee pain visit GreenMedInfo's research page on osteoarthritis of the knee at

    [ii] J. B. Thorlund, C. B. Juhl, E. M. Roos, L. S. Lohmander. "Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee: systematic review and meta-analysis of benefits and harms." BMJ, 2015; 350 (jun16 3): h2747 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.h2747

    [iii] American College of Rheumatology (ACR). "Tai Chi found to be as effective as physical therapy for knee osteoarthritis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2015.

    [iv] Vilai Kuptniratsaikul, Sunee Thanakhumtorn, Pornsiri Chinswangwatanakul, Luksamee Wattanamongkonsil, Visanu Thamlikitkul. Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Int J Mol Med. 2010 May;25(5):729-34. PMID: 19678780

    [v] Sleigh, AE, Kuehl KS, Elliot DL . Efficacy of tart cherry juice to reduce inflammation among patients with osteoarthritis. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. May 30, 2012.

    [vi] Baylor Health Care System (2009, March 21). Can Cherries Relieve The Pain Of Osteoarthritis? ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2013, from­ /releases/ 2009/03/ 090319164327.htm

    [viii] Bina Eftekhar Sadat, Mahdieh Khadem Haghighian, Beitollah Alipoor, Aida Malek Mahdavi, Mohammad Asghari Jafarabadi, Abdolvahab Moghaddam. Effects of sesame seed supplementation on clinical signs and symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

    [ix] Anousheh Haghighi et al. "Effects of ginger on primary knee osteoarthritis." Indian Journal of Rheumatology, June 2006 Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 3–7.

    [xi] K Winther, K Apel, G Thamsborg. "A powder made from seeds and shells of a rose-hip subspecies (Rosa canina) reduces symptoms of knee and hip osteoarthritis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial." Clin Biochem. 2010 May;43(7-8):650-4. Epub 2010 Feb 18. PMID: 16195164

    [xii] B Grube, J Grünwald, L Krug, C Staiger. "Efficacy of a comfrey root (Symphyti offic. radix) extract ointment in the treatment of patients with painful osteoarthritis of the knee: results of a double-blind, randomised, bicenter, placebo-controlled trial." Phytomedicine. 2007;14(1):2-10. PMID:17169543

    [xiii]B Medhi, K Kishore, U Singh, S D Seth. Comparative clinical trial of castor oil and diclofenac sodium in patients with osteoarthritis. Phytother Res. 2009 Oct;23(10):1469-73.