Saturday, September 12, 2009

Prevent Joint, Neck, Knee, Back Pain- Headaches, Migraines, Tingling, Numbness: Vitamin C, Niacin, Thiamine, and Vitamin D

For many middle aged people, vitamins will prevent debilitating chronic pain. The four most important vitamins are those that prevent scurvy, beriberi, pellegra, and rickets: vitamin C, thiamine, niacin, and vitamin D respectively. If you are just interested in good doses, click here.

I've been shocked to learn how many middle aged people between 40 and 60 years of age contend with chronic pain that restricts activity. People stop taking hikes that involve climbing hills. They stop playing sports. They stop lifting heavy objects. I'm sure they stop hundreds of activities that don't immediately spring to my mind. Our health system tells us this is a normal part of the aging process. I just don't believe it. All around us we see the healthiest 20% continuing with the most brutal contact sports throughout middle age. Those that restrict activity typically tell themselves they have bad genes. This is true. For the specific environment they live in, they have bad genes. What's different about living now, however, is that we have unprecedented control over the environment. We all know that we are what we eat, and that diet has a greater influence over health than any other aspect of our environment. Vitamin C, niacin, vitamin D, and thiamine are the four most important components of our diet.

The farming industry and governments spend billions each year on R&D to improve food crops. The seeds planted on fields around the world have terrific genes. These seeds, however, have terrific genes for the environment they are designed for and no other. Just falling off the edge of a field dooms seeds with the most outstanding genes to a short, miserable life followed by a slow and painful death.

If you are between 40 and 60 and restricting your activities because of chronic pain, the odds are high that it is because of what you have been eating over the years. A simple change in diet that eliminates any chance of subclinical deficiency in vitamin C, niacin, thiamine, and vitamin D is highly likely to halt the steady intensification of the chronic pain you are experiencing. For a more fortunate, substantial percentage, the chronic pain may prove reversible and restricted activities may be resumed.

Vitamin C is the most popular vitamin supplement. None-the-less, there is still widespread deficiency. Niacin, because of side effects, is an unpopular supplement causing widespread deficiency. Along with many other beneficial properties, niacin and vitamin C speed wound healing. Read more here. Unpublished, unproven clinical data strongly suggests that the side effect threshold for vitamin C and niacin rises dramatically when the body has serious wounds to heal. Optimal use of vitamin C and niacin for many people requires departing from the notion of a steady daily dose. Extra vitamin C and niacin speeds recovery from illnesses and injuries. The most remarkable example of this is the use of incredible doses of vitamin C to treat life-threatening burns. Read more here.

We are in the midst of an epidemic deficiency of vitamin D. Vitamin D is not meant to be obtained from the diet. It is meant to be obtained from sunshine. Many aspects of modern culture have cut us off from sunshine. The vitamin D council tracks all the benefits of vitamin D. To learn more about vitamin D side effects and strategies for optimizing vitamin D intake, read more here.

We are also in the midst of an epidemic deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1). This obscure vitamin prevents the deficiency disease beriberi. It is difficult to absorb thiamine rapidly and distribute it throughout the body, so supplements are surprisingly inert. 100 mg tablets are imperceptible. There are no obvious benefits or side effects. Thiamine appears to be particularly important for nervous system health, and modern medicine lacks practical methods to test nervous system health. That said, thiamine deficiency is the proven cause of beriberi, and reports from hundreds of clinical trials attest to its usefulness.

If you are between 40 and 60 and gradually restricting activities that the healthiest of your acquaintances continue to enjoy, there is much to gain and nothing to lose by adding more thiamine, vitamin C, vitamin D, and niacin to your diet. The best way to set expectations is to strive to stop, rather than reverse the decline. There's no problem hoping to reverse the decline and to resume activities, but it's far more important to prevent the further restriction of activities. Nothing stops the march of time.