The available research on vitamins and other nutrients continues to grow rapidly. That means the scrutiny continues to escalate as well. This is a good thing, as the cream of the crop will continue to rise to the top. And the nutrients I tell you about are among the cream that stands out. One of the nutrients that's really getting high praise these days can provide significant relief for joint pain.
The nutrient is Devil's claw. We've known for years that this African plant has amazing medicinal value. Before studies proved its pain-relief abilities, the native people of the Kalahari Desert often used its roots as a remedy for pain and indigestion. But today, many studies have found that it's not just folklore.
In fact, one recent study shows that this plant can withstand the scrutiny of scientific investigation with flying colors. In this study, researchers isolated the main active constituents of the hairy root part of the Devil's claw plant. Then they turned these into extracts to test.
The study looked at the extract's ability to affect nitric oxide (NO) levels, cytokine release (which help with cell signaling), and the expression of COX-1 and COX-2. The researchers found that the extract had strong anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, the extract was "comparable to or even higher than that of pure harpagoside (a major anti-inflammatory constituent of intact Devil's claw tubers)." The authors of the study concluded: "Thus, they have potential as new anti-inflammatory agents."
We've known since at least 1970 that the roots of Devil's claw have anti-inflammatory abilities. The people of Africa have known it for centuries. This study will undoubtedly increase the scrutiny of Devil's claw for use in pain-relieving drugs. That's why these researchers wanted to know if the extract would work as well as the intact root.
But there's no reason to wait for a drug and its probable side effects. You can use Devil's claw right now — without any side effects — and you'll see the same pain relief. You'll find Devil's claw in most health food stores and online.
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Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.