Natural medicine’s “hit or miss” pain relief scandal

I’ve spent most of this week sounding the alarm bell over NSAIDs. As you’ve seen, they deserve every bit of criticism thrown at them. But if we’re really going to take an honest, in-depth look at the topic of pain and pain relief, natural pain remedies also need to be put under the microscope.

And the fact is, far too often, natural pain relievers are “hit or miss” in terms of effectiveness. But when you’re in pain, you can’t afford to be on the “miss” end of that equation. Which is one of the reasons why so many are quick to turn to Tylenol or Advil.

Take glucosamine and chondroitin, for example. They’ve been around so long, even most mainstream doctors will give their patients a green light to try them for joint pain. The only problem is, I have yet to meet anyone who really got any major arthritis relief using them. There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first reason is that, unfortunately, supplements don’t always contain what they say they do.

For instance, last year, the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA) recalled a “3-in-1 Joint Complex” that contained 1/3 less glucosamine and 30 mg less chondroitin than the label claimed.

Why is this important to you? Because it also happens here in the U.S.. All the time. And it’s important for you to know about. So you can be vocal about having the best quality nutritional supplements. And also so you know what to look for (and what to avoid) when purchasing them.

Unfortunately, this scourge on the supplement industry runs deep. And in part, it explains why supplements often get accused of “not working.” It’s not that the ingredients don’t work…it’s that you may not actually be getting the amount you need to see (or feel) a benefit.

But there’s also another reason natural arthritis remedies, in particular, may not have worked for you before. I’ll tell you more about that next week.

In the meantime, I’m telling you this not to discourage you from taking supplements. Quite the opposite, actually. While I don’t want to be a doctor who simply doles out pills all day, I do want to be the doctor who helps you make educated decisions. About the food you eat. About the exercise you do. And about the supplements you take. What I know, I want you to know.

That’s why I bring you well-documented, clean, unadulterated product recommendations when I talk about anything. And why I only recommend dosages that were used in actual studies. And why I almost always rely on human, not animal, studies before I recommend anything.

It’s also why I developed my NuLogic Nutritionals line of supplements. That way, I can be absolutely certain my patients — and you — are getting quality, science-backed ingredients from a source you CAN trust.

I know you always want to do what’s best in terms of your health. And I am completely aware of how expensive nutritional supplements can be. But this is one area where you truly can’t afford not to know what you’re getting.

The fact is, our parents’ old adage “You get what you pay for” is often true when it comes to supplements. (It’s also true for shoes…but that’s a different topic altogether.) It’s why I am always on the lookout for the “best” and not the “cheapest.”  Sometimes those two are the same, which is always a great thing…but that’s often not the case.

When it comes to your health — and getting the relief you need — a good buy is anything but a bargain in the long run.


“CAFIA constantly detects adulterated food supplements with lower content of effective substances,“ Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Agency, 7/17/14(