Search This Blog

Monday, January 22, 2007


One of the three elements of Arthritis Rx (see this post) is the use of supplements. The author has developed his own supplement, combining glucosamine, chondroitin, and ginger extract. No other joint health compounds include the ginger, which has been shown to be a good pain reliever (see this article). I am not buying his supplement because I am a vegetarian and want vegetarian supplements. Fortunately, vegetarian versions of glucosamine and chondroitan do exist, and I found one at Trader Joe's yesterday. TJ's did not have a ginger supplement, however. I am sure I can find one at the more extensively stocked New Frontiers market in town, though.

The above article specifically notes that a ginger product named Zinaxin, produced in Australia, was used in the story - it is formulated from ginger varieties with the greatest anti-inflammatory effects and is enclosed in a capsule that arrives intact in the bloodstream and can be delivered directly to the joints.

Further investigation into the ginger study led me to this site:, a Canadian site that tries to expose quackery. The writers of the articles on Zinaxin are apoplectic over the claims its makers make, based on the above study. Their complaints are two:
  1. Health Canada has not yet studied this supplement and therefore cannot determine if the claims are valid; and
  2. The study was conducted for only six weeks, and it appears to healthwatcher that that is not long enough for a disease like osteoarthritis.
These concerns do not in themselves negate the possible benefits of the supplement. For my part, I'm willing to take a chance. I think a great part of the issue for healthwatcher is that many of these supplements were advertised heavily around the time that Celebrex was getting such bad press, and the ginger supporters were suggesting its use as an alternative. Frankly, it seems like a good idea to me. There are side effects, mainly stomach discomfort, not considered serious. Other than possibly spending too much on the supplement I am having a hard time seeing the downside of giving it a try.

No comments: