Tag Archives: science

What even does an expiration date mean?

What does an expiration date mean? It means after that date the supplement (or medicine) isn’t as potent as advertised. Why? Well because over time, nutrients in supplements (and food) break down into their component chemicals. While this isn’t always harmful, it does alter the supplements makeup and often contributes to the stale flavor, or weird smell.

Cool, so how is the expiration date calculated?

One way to determine how long something lasts is to take a bunch of samples, store them, and open them at regular intervals. At each opening, you test the sample, and measure the nutritional composition of said item. This gets a tad unwieldy when you are talking about multi-year expiration dates. After all, how do you determine how often to open a sample, and if something goes bad between the second and third year, you don’t really have a really accurate expiration date; you only have a general idea. And spending three years to get a semi-precise answer seems like WAY too much work for not nearly enough information.

Alternatively, in the case of supplements, you could take a look at each individual ingredient’s shelf life (which is just another way of saying how long it lasts without putting a precise date on it). Often, individual ingredients have been extensively studied, and you could theoretically take the shortest shelf life ingredient and use that as a rough guide to how long your supplement will last. Not as accurate, but this would only take a few hours of research. So the cost/benefit here is a little more worth it.

The downside with that method is that anytime you combine multiple ingredients, the result will be more than the sum of their parts. Like adding frosting to cake extends the life of both. That anecdote aside, it is always better to test the combination of ingredients to determine how long they will be effective. That is where stability testing comes in.

Stability testing is a fancy way of accelerating the aging process. Similar to how car tires are tested on treadmills (rather than actually driving 100,000 miles) new supplement formulas are stability tested in specialized chambers.

Getting To A Shelf Life.

Shelf life is commonly estimated using results from both real-time stability and accelerated stability tests. In real-time stability testing, a product is stored at recommended storage conditions and monitored until it fails to meet product specifications.

Accelerated studies utilize higher temperature and humidity to expedite interactions between ingredients. These studies are based on the proposition that one week represents one month under such conditions. This then gives an indication of problem without wasting months or years with unstable formulations.

Full On Stability

Fully Human just completed stability testing for Freedom, and it has a shelf life of three years. Seems reasonable enough. But here is the thing: most of its ingredients don’t have a shelf life that long. So how can Freedom last longer than its components? To be 100% honest I don’t know and am researching this. But until I get an answer, we are keeping Freedom’s advertised shelf life as two years.

While I don’t have the actual answer, here are my current theories:

Laziness
  1. The ingredients aren’t tested for a shelf life longer than two years. This is actually the most plausible explanation. Stability testing takes time. And any time your product is in testing, it isn’t making you money. It is really fast and easy to get your product tested for a 1 year shelf life (takes between 1-3 months). But to get a three year stability test often takes about a year. So instead of absorbing the cost of a longer test, why not just stick with a one year expiration date (which isn’t true, but also isn’t harmful)? Makes fairly solid economic sense because then you are forcing customers to re-buy your product more often.
Oops Probably Should Leave This Option Out
  1. Freedom’s stability test was messed up. While highly unlikely, it is possible that the testing of Freedom was messed up in some way. It isn’t likely that Freedom’s shelf life is less than its components. And because of that we kept its official expiration timeline of two years. To rule that out we are looking into running another stability test.
The One Tim Wants It To Be
  1. The final theory is that the ingredients  not only support your body in reducing inflammation, but also work together to slow their decomposition. Stick with me for a second. Decomposition and ‘going bad’ are just two ways of talking about the oxidative process. Oxidation is when oxygen molecules interact with other molecules, damaging them through the release of free radicals. Antioxidants are molecules that keep oxygen from interacting with stuff around it. How does this relate to Freedom? Well, almost all of its ingredients are antioxidants of one sort or another. So, it may be that the interaction among these different types of antioxidants are slowing their aging processes to the point where they literally are lasting longer together than they would on their own.

The Lesson Here

Regardless of the reason why Freedom’s stability testing came back a little odd, the important thing to know is that for at least two years Freedom will retain its potency within standards set by the National Science Foundation (ingredients can’t decompose more than 5%). So you can be confident that Freedom, like your Nyquil, and milk, is going to be good to go for at least as long as the date on the bottle says….well unless you are mixing all of those together…then you are on your own.

Load Up

If you have spent time around gym rats or marathon runners, you might have heard them reference ‘loading’. Typically, this is either carb loading before a race or creatine loading before a ‘bulk’ phase. But other than that, this concept isn’t widely used in nutrition. That is in part because loading takes a lot more thought and intention than just forming a daily habit (which isn’t exactly simple either).

Ok So What Is Loading?

Nutritional loading is simply a nutritional strategy to increase a nutrient in your body above its normal amount. This is typically done over multiple days to maximize the ‘load level’. This is a similar concept to the cleanse strategy. But instead of attempting to ‘reset’ your nutritional levels, this focuses on trying to store a bunch of good stuff.

This strategy is not widely used because it is hard enough to build a daily supplement / nutrition habit. Asking people to introduce variability just ends up causing everyone involved more trouble.

The reason this strategy works in weightlifting and running communities is because of built-in accountability mechanisms. Gym bros love their bulk cycles, and running gals live for those few days pre-race when they can eat whatever they want. Keeping each other accountable is what separates serious runners eating alfredo and me from eating pizza (namely that I just keep eating the pizza even though there isn’t a race coming up).

What Does Loading Have To Do With Inflammation?

Well because nutrition loading has a use outside the gym, namely, to jump start a reduction in chronic inflammation.

How so?

the goal of taking supplements is to see a decrease in inflammation the longer you are taking them

Well, lets think about your chronic inflammation as a debt to your body. Everything you do throughout the day adds to or reduces that debt. Eat candy – increase inflammation. Drink a kale and blueberry smoothie – decrease inflammation. The problem for a lot of people suffering from chronic inflammation is that they have the equivalent of decades of credit card debt. Making the minimum payment everyday isn’t going to cut it. It’s going to take something dramatic to turn things around.

That is where nutrient loading comes in. Think of anti-inflammation supplements as deposits into a high-interest savings account. You make enough deposits in a row and the compounding interest turns tiny amounts of money into piles of cash, given discipline and time.

Supplements are not your rich uncle offering you a gift. They are not a cure all. Instead they are an important tool in your fight against inflammation debt. And of all the tools, they probably require the least effort.

Why Are We Talking About Loading Here?

This article is meant as an introduction to nutrient loading because Freedom is meant as a loading supplement – when you take it three timesupplement loading is just one of the many tools available to combat inflammations a day. Depending on your personal situation – that loading process may take months.

The majority of the research (435 studies and counting), follow patients over a multi-week treatment regime that closely mimics a traditional ‘loading’ cycle. Patients take supplements multiple times a day and the results are cataloged.

For the most part, there aren’t follow up studies to see how many people stick with their routines. But in general, people are bad at sticking with any high-maintenance habit, so my money is on those people not following through. Heck, my dentist begs me to brush two minutes twice a day. In reality she wants me to brush after every meal/snack/drink; but that isn’t happening.

It’s the same way with supplements. We all want a one-a-day pill that fixes everything (I sure do!). But realistically, we need to get out of inflammation debt before we can transition to a more routine form of inflammation management.

What’s Next?

Over the next few weeks, we will be talking more about Fully Human’s new inflammation management system. This will include a maintenance cycle supplement, more personalized subscription recommendations, and an increased focus on the non-supplement side of fighting inflammation.

We recently contracted with a fitness instructor and health writer (you can see her first post here) to write about how to manage inflammation in your daily life. Whether talking about exercise, diet, or lifestyle changes, Katie is the Health Nut who is going to partner with you to bring your full self to life.

black pepper extract

Black Pepper…A Booster For All

The Short Version

Black pepper…yes…the spicy ingredient made of ground (or I suppose technically whole) peppercorns. And peppercorns are the small, dried, unripe fruits of the black pepper plant. In addition to flavoring food, it’s commonly used as a medicinal agent, a preservative, and in perfumes. Research has shown that piperine, the main active ingredient in pepper, will increase the absorption of nutrients while also appearing to reduce inflammation associated with chronic diseases like asthma, arthritis, and chronic gastritis.

The Science

Black pepper contains the bioactive compound piperine, which is an alkaloid like capsaicin, the active component found in chili powder and cayenne pepper. Like capsaicin, piperine helps moderate nausea, headaches, poor digestion, while also reducing chronic inflammation.

Those good things aside, piperine’s most significant benefit is its ability to boost the absorption of nutrients. Piperine does this in three steps:

mechanisms of action

First

It increases the absorption of nutrients by ‘modulating efflux mechanisms’. I should note, that ‘modulating efflux mechanisms’ is just a fancy way of saying changing the way the body’s cells shield themselves. Without going into too much more detail, all our cells use efflux pumps as quasi-shields to control what gets in and out. Under normal circumstances this is a good thing; but when germs, and inflammatory cells use these pumps it can prevent drugs and supplements from working.

Piperine works by essentially ‘lowering the shields’ of cells (especially ones trying to protect themselves from inflammation) for a short time. Therefore, pairing piperine with nutritional supplements allows those other nutrients to ‘sneak’ past what would otherwise be guarded cells.

Second

Piperine alters the liver’s metabolism, through an alteration of the enzymes the liver uses to flush excessive nutrients. If you have a normal liver, it will process what it can and discard the rest. Ultimately it tries to do its best to keep the bad stuff from getting to your blood. With a few different anti-inflammatory nutrients, curcumin and boswellia being the top 2, the liver ends up preventing them from being absorbed sufficiently.

The net effect of adding piperine to any of the following extracts, vitamins or minerals is a minimum of 30% increase in nutrient absorption.

Third

Piperine increases the rate your body generates energy through increasing cellular thermogenesis. While best known as a weight loss technique, thermogenesis is also useful in accelerating absorption of nutrients.

When your body goes into thermogenesis, your cells signal they need extra energy (calories) AND fresh nutrients. At low levels (e.g. not sitting in the sauna or doing high intensity training), thermogenesis doesn’t increase caloric metabolism enough to cause weight loss. But because the amount of fresh nutrients your body needs are tiny, a small increase can make a huge impact.

This tiny increase with huge impact is best seen in a clinical study demonstrating a 2,000% increase in curcumin absorption after combining it with piperine.

The Bad Parts

While piperine does slow the metabolism of some drugs, extensive research has shown this becomes a concern at doses exceeding 10mg per pound. Working through the math, I will need to take 1.75 grams of piperine a day to reach that level. Most supplements use between 5-10mgs of piperine per dose (or roughly 0.06 mg per pound).

Fully Human’s Way

We use an extract of piperine called BioPerine®.  Freedom uses a 10mg dose, standardized to 95% piperine. We chose this version because it is the most potent, and most researched version of piperine. Find out more about our inflammation support supplement here.

Don't eat this white willow...please....

White Willow Bark

The Short Version

White willow bark, the bark of several varieties of willow tree, has been used for centuries as a pain reliever. It’s active ingredient is called salicin. Some people use willow bark as an alternative to aspirin, particularly those that experience chronic headaches or back pain. When taken in moderation, willow bark does not appear to have negative side effects.

The Science

While most varieties of willow bark have some medicinal value, white willow trees are the most common source for herbal supplements. The bark of white willow contains salicin, which is a chemical like aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). In combination with the herb’s powerful anti-inflammatory plant compounds (called flavonoids), salicin is thought to be responsible for the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of the herb.

In fact, in the 1800s, salicin was used to develop aspirin. Aspirin only ‘won’ out as the most famous NSAID because it provided rapid relief, while salicin took about 20 minutes longer to kick in. This slower uptake ends up allowing salicin to provide relief for longer because the body doesn’t metabolize it as quickly.

Salicin, when converted to salicylic acid, inhibits the activity of cyclo-oxygenase 1 (COX-1) and cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2). These are the same enzymes targeted by NSAIDs to alleviate pain and inflammation.

While salicin is willow bark’s most active ingredient, the accompanying flavonoids and plant particles might be part of what makes willow bark effective. For this reason, some people prefer to chew on the unprocessed bark of the willow tree. As you might expect, it is difficult to determine how much salicin you are getting from each piece of bark, so this method of consumption should be approached with caution. And even if you are fine with not knowing how much salicin per dose, chewing on tree bark is fairly high on the list of activities your dentist will not approve of.

The Good Stuff

The current body of evidence suggests that willow bark may be most effective in treating acute low back pain, with results reported as quickly as the first week. Willow bark can also be used to relieve menstrual cramps and bring down a fever.

Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of willow bark, it may be especially effective in combating joint pain as well. In the largest study to date, willow bark alone was roughly half as effective at reducing joint pain as the strongest anti-inflammatory drug on the market, but without any of the side effects.

The Bad Stuff

When taken in moderation, willow bark does not appear to have negative side effects. Oral doses of up to 400 mg per day are considered safe and effective. Too much willow bark (more than about 2 grams a day), however, can cause stomach cramping and bleeding. An allergic response to willow bark is also possible, especially in those with a known allergy to aspirin.

Fully Human’s Way

Here at Fully Human we use white willow bark, extracted at 25% salicin, in our anti-inflammation supplements. This potency level is roughly double that of most salicin sources. Thereby making it significantly easier to process when compared to chewing on willow bark. This high potency translates to faster absorption into the bloodstream giving you rapid relief. Find out more about the rest of our inflammation fighting blend here.

Cinnamon as an arthritis supplement

Cinnamon…The One Spice To Rule Them All

Heard of the cinnamon challenge?

No?

Oh, well good. It was a fad going around the internet a few years back where teenagers would post videos of themselves trying to eat a tablespoon of cinnamon without water/other liquids. Turns out a tablespoon of really fine powder is hard to swallow, and if you can then at least a bit of it ends up in your lungs. And…shocker…that is bad for you.

But while inhaling cinnamon is harmful, the herb itself contains a lot of manganese, iron, dietary fiber, and calcium, making it one of the healthiest spices out there. The antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help lower your risk of disease.

The Short Version

Cinnamon is high in cinnamaldehyde, which is thought to be responsible for most of the spice’s health benefits. This, and the other active ingredients of cinnamon have proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies have shown a regime of regular cinnamon supplements can improve the quality of life of people suffering from a variety of diseases, ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to diabetes.

Basic Spice

Cinnamon contains derivatives, such as cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, cinnamate, and numerous other components such as polyphenols. The pronunciation and spelling of these components may be hard to understand, but their results aren’t. Early studies have demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and/or anticancer effects from one or more of these components.

There are two main types of cinnamon:

  • Ceylon: Also known as “true” cinnamon.
  • Cassia: The more common variety today and what people generally refer to as “cinnamon.”

The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon are due to the oily part, which is very high in the compound cinnamaldehyde. Scientists believe that this compound is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism.

The Spicy Science

Recent clinical trials have looked at cinnamon in the forms of bark, essential oils, bark powder, and phenolic compounds, and how each of these can improve human health. These trials explored the beneficial effects of cinnamon on Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, arthritis, and arteriosclerosis. New research continues to be proposed and conducted, but evidence is mounting that cinnamon is an herb on par with turmeric in reducing inflammation.

An example of one such study published in early 2018 found that as little as 500 mg of cinnamon, taken twice a day, reduced the serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and diastolic blood pressure in women with rheumatoid arthritis. The women taking the supplement also reported fewer swollen or tender joints, allowing them to move more freely.

The Bad Part

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health warns about taking supplements without first clearing it with your healthcare provider. Cassia cinnamon contains a chemical called coumarin, which may negatively affect your liver if taken in large doses (in excess of 6 grams a day), especially if you already have liver disease. Coumarin can also interfere with blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin).

Fully Human’s Way

We at Fully Human use ceylon, a variation of cinnamon that has ultra-low levels of harmful coumarin. Second – we found the perfect balance between high potency and a manageable dose (500mg / dose). Ensuring your body gets what it needs without any filler. Finally, we blend cinnamon with other powerful anti-inflammatory agents to amplify the positive effects of all of the herbs.

Want to try for yourself? Freedom is a pharmaceutical grade supplement, backed by clinical research, and comes with a 90 day money back guarantee. Try it today!

bromelain comes from pineapples

Bromelain – Pineapple’s Better Half

Bromelain is a natural substance derived from pineapples. It has been studied extensively and may have significant, positive effects on multiple health conditions, including burns, osteoarthritis, and cancer.

The Basics

Not to get too technical too fast, but bromelain is a protein enzyme mixture found in pineapples. What does that mean? Well, for starters it means that unlike most herbal supplements, it isn’t actually an herb. Second, because bromelain is an enzyme it is much easier for the body to absorb when compared to other herbal compounds.

Bromelain is measured in gelatin digesting units (GDUs) per gram. Doses range from 80–400 milligrams of at least 1,200 GDUs per serving, two to three times daily. Your doctor may recommend that you take bromelain with meals in order to aid digestion, or on an empty stomach to reduce inflammation.

The body can absorb a significant amount of bromelain – about 12 grams per day of bromelain can be consumed without any major side effects.

Bromelain’s Uses

Herbalists have used bromelain for hundreds of years in many ways, but all generally revolve around reducing chronic inflammation. Here are a few of the more researched uses of bromelain.

Osteoarthritis

A review of clinical studies found that bromelain’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties make it an effective treatment for the pain, soft-tissue swelling, and joint stiffness associated with osteoarthritis.

The review focused on bromelain’s effectiveness in treating arthritis of the knee and shoulder. The studies analyzed varied significantly in terms of dosage, but patients reported improvements at doses above 400 milligrams of bromelain, taken twice daily.

After six weeks, a regime of bromelain treatments resulted in significant reduction in pain and inflammation.

Heart Disease

An abstract reported that bromelain was effective at treating cardiovascular diseases, such as peripheral artery disease, stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure.

Bromelain inhibits the ability of blood platelets to stick or clump together (aggregation). This may help reduce clot formation and cardiovascular events.

Sinus Swelling

A 3 month pilot study found that bromelain tablets were effective at alleviating swelling, congestion, and other symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis.

Colitis

An animal study found that purified fruit bromelain reduced inflammation and healed mucosal ulcers caused by inflammatory bowel disease in rats.

Burns

study review found that bromelain, when used as a topical cream, was highly effective at safely removing damaged tissue from wounds and from second- and third-degree burns.

Cancer

A 2010 study indicated that bromelain shows promise in combating cancer. Bromelain may have the ability to positively impact cancer cell growth, and it may help to control the key pathways supporting malignancy.

The Bad Stuff

As with all supplements, it’s important to discuss bromelain with your doctor prior to using it. Bromelain may cause mild side effects in some people, particularly when taken in high doses. These include:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding

Avoid using bromelain if you take a blood thinner, such as Warfarin, Pradaxa, and others. Bromelain may have an antiplatelet effect on the blood, increasing the potential for excessive bleeding. For this reason, it’s also important to avoid bromelain use before and after surgery.

Bromelain should not be used by people who are allergic to pineapple or to other substances that may elicit an allergic reaction in those allergic to pineapple (cross-reactivity). These substances include:

  • grass pollen
  • latex
  • celery
  • fennel
  • carrots
  • wheat (not gluten)

What Does Fully Human Use?

We use a potent version of bromelain, extracted to 2,400 GDU’s, blended with seven other pain relieving and anti-inflammatory herbs. This combination serves to amplify the results of bromelain by attacking multiple sources of inflammation simultaneously. Try our powerful blend, Freedom, risk free today.

Turmeric vs Inflammation

Turmeric, also known as the golden spice, is a well known anti-inflammatory herb. Turmeric’s active components, curcuminoids, are powerful antioxidants, helping your body end the negative effects of free radicals.

The Short Version

The Basics

Turmeric, a plant related to ginger, is grown in many Asian countries, as well as other tropical areas. It’s a major ingredient in curry powders — common in many Indian and Asian dishes — and is used as a coloring for foods, fabrics and cosmetics. The underground portions of the plant can be dried and made into capsules, tablets, extracts, powders or teas.

The active components of turmeric are compounds called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. The curcumin content of turmeric is not that high, at around 3%, by weight. Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram of curcumin extract per day. To get that much curcumin from just eating turmeric spices, you would need to consume over two tablespoons of turmeric.

The Science 

Over recent decades, researchers conducted 32 clinical trials on the effect of curcumin supplements on various autoimmune diseases including osteo/rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes and ulcerative colitis. Those trials formed part of the basis for us here at Fully Human including curcumin in Freedom, so let’s see what the current state of the science is.

All studies were randomized, placebo controlled trials, the gold standard for medical evidence. The trial lengths ranged from 4-40 weeks. And they looked at a variety of clinical measures including pain, stiffness, range of motion, and disease specific markers (inflammatory markers for RA as an example).

Overall, 26 trials resulted in significant improvements with most of the remainder not being long enough to report results. None reported significant side effects, and none reported curcumin supplementation as being anything but supportive as an autoimmune therapy.

Osteoarthritis Results

The osteoarthritis-related trials ranged from 6 to 40 weeks with doses ranging from 100–2000 mg/day tested. In 13 of the studies, dietary curcumin intake resulted in improvement of at least 2 clinical measures (pain, stiffness, range of motion…etc) and seven studies showed improvement of at least three clinical measures. The average effective daily dose was 829 mg/day divided into two doses.

Type 2 Diabetes Results

The Type 2 diabetes trials ranged from 4 to 36 weeks with doses of curcumin ranging from 200 to 1500 mg/day. All eight studies showed curcumin supplementation possessed anti-diabetic effects with the average effective daily dosage being 570.79 mg/day divided into least two doses.

Ulcerative Colitis Results

The duration of the three studies looking at ulcerative colitis ranged from 4 weeks to 24 weeks with doses ranging from 140 mg to 3000 mg/day. Two of the three studies showed taking between 2,000-3,000mg/day were effective in putting mild-moderate ulcerative colitis into remission.

Other Results

There have been only three studies of curcumin’s effect on other rheumatic diseases, including two studies on rheumatoid arthritis and one on lupus nephritis. Of the two RA studies, one 8-week study showed an improvement in patients taking 1,000mg/day divided between at least two doses. The other study was only two weeks long, and didn’t end with any reportable outcome. The lupus study found that a dose as low as 66mg/day over 12 weeks resulted in significant improvements in systolic blood pressure and a levels of lupus markers in the blood (proteinuria and hematuria).

Promising results aside, the effect of curcumin on RA and lupus should be considered possibly useful, but with clinically inconclusive evidence.

What Do We Use?

Fully Human uses the most potent and bioavailable version of turmeric, the Curcumin C3 Complex (R). We chose this because it:

  • Is the most heavily researched brand of turmeric, cited in nearly 100 scientific studies.
  • Has the longest track record of safety data, dating back to the 1990’s.
  • Has the highest potency content of any turmeric on the market, refined to a minimum of 95% purity.

Freedom Is The Answer

Do you suffer from one of these conditions? Try our patent-pending blend of turmeric curcumin (even more potently extracted than the ones referenced in these studies).

A Spicy Solution

Do you like spicy foods? I don’t. But science says cayenne pepper is good for something other than making me cry. There is nearly 20 years of clinical research which fairly conclusively shows cayenne pepper aids the body in fighting inflammation. And seeing all that evidence changed my mind. Maybe it will change yours too.

How Does It Work?

So the simple answer is cayenne pepper also contains a wide range antioxidants that work at a cellular level and actually disarm free radicals that can lead to cellular inflammation.

The more technical answer is that cayenne contains a substance known as capsaicin that gives the spice its “heat” and creates a burning sensation on any tissue it touches. Capsaicin triggers a biochemical reaction that is both analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory. I should note here that rubbing raw peppers on your skin is not the preferred method of use though.

Capsaicin is classified as a neurotoxin. This sounds scary, but it is the dose that makes the poison. (Which is why botulinum toxin – also known as botox – is both lethal, and really useful for keeping people looking young.) Capsaicin works by reducing the concentration of substance P, a  made-up sounding (but real!) compound produced by the body which delivers pain signals to the brain.

What is it good for?

Cayenne pepper is most commonly used in tacos. But other than for cooking, there is evidence capsaicin helps with the following conditions:

Back Pain: A 2006 review of studies published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews concluded that there was “moderate evidence” that cayenne-based topical therapies were more effective than placebo in relieving low back pain.

Neuropathic Pain: Capcaisin has long been explored as a means of treating neuropathic pain. A 2009 study published in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring concluded that a high-dose capsaicin patch used for 60 minutes on 173 people with HIV drug-induced peripheral neuropathy resulted in a twofold decrease in pain compared to those using a placebo.

Heart Health: A 2015 review of studies published in BMJ Open Heart suggested that the biochemical reaction triggered by capsaicin may have practical applications in treating an array of metabolic and cardiovascular disorders. The evidence mainly involved research into the use of dietary cayenne in rats, pigs, and other mammals.

Joint Pain: A recent study published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia concluded that topical capsaicin cream provided modest relief of chronic muscle and joint pain. The study specifically looked at capsaicin cream applied three to five times daily for 2 to 6 weeks. This and other studies have highlighted topical and oral capsaicin’s benefit in providing pain relief for various types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis.

Other Potential Benefits: There are a few studies indicating that a diet rich in cayenne may be beneficial for other conditions. But there isn’t enough evidence yet to confirm that it can prevent or treat atherosclerosis, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver, hypertension, and stroke.

What it doesn’t help with

Weight Loss: The evidence supporting the use of cayenne tablets in boosting metabolism and losing weight is generally weak. A lot of nutritional supplement companies say cayenne has thermogenic properties that can speed up your metabolism. And a cayenne tablet can certainly induce sweat, but there is no evidence that this leads to weight loss.

Side Effects

As with anything you take, cayenne has side effects. You should consider whether the benefits of taking this (or any other supplement) outweigh the risks.

Most common side effects for topical capsaicin creams are fairly mild, and include irritation, burning, and itching. Some stronger versions of topical patches and creams may cause localized swelling, rash, pain, and even blisters. When taken as a tablet, cayenne rarely causes nausea, sweating, flushing, diarrhea, and runny nose.

Conclusion

Want to see if cayenne works for you? Try Freedom risk free today to see what high quality, powerful cayenne can do when blended with other anti-inflammatory herbs. 

Boswellia vs Knee Arthritis

Boswellia reduces inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms, but can it also reverse osteoarthritis’ progression? Lets find out.

In 2018 a group of researchers conducted a four-month clinical trial to evaluate Boswellia serrata extract (BSE) as a treatment for osteoarthritis (OA). This study was longer than any other previous clinical trial on patients with knee OA. Its key finding is that increasing the potency of the Boswellia extract increases its ability to fight inflammation and arthritis. The end result, published in early 2019, was an improvement in physical and functional ability while also reducing pain and stiffness.

The study randomized 48 patients, aged 35-75, with OA of the knee into active and placebo groups. All participants were selected because they had a history of OA, and the pain in their knees that was difficult to bear on most days.

Background on Boswellia

Boswellic acids, especially one called AKBA, are powerful anti-inflammatories. They block an enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) that breaks down polyunsaturated fatty acids in foods into leukotrienes, inflammatory molecules that attack joints and other tissues. Boswellia may  help reduce cartilage damage in arthritis. andit also shows promise as a cancer treatment.

Various research studies show that derivatives of boswellic acids (BAs) are not all created equal, but all help reduce inflammation to one degree or another. Earlier clinical studies found boswellic acid‐containing products in combination with Curcumin C3 Complex® and ginger extract were better at reducing arthritis pain than individual supplements alone.

Results

The bottom line is that Boswellia serrata, given three times a day, significantly reduced pain and stiffness and improved the joints of those taking it. Best of all, this study found there were no adverse effects.

Pain: Patients reported a 45-50% reduction in their pain levels, as judged on a 1-10 scale. While the placebo group reported only a 5-10% reduction.

Stiffness: The stiffness metric was measured by how far the participants could walk without pain in 6 minutes. For the patients taking Boswellia, they increased their distance by over a third, while the other group reported no change.

But the most significant change is seen in the image below. The patients taking Boswellia actually saw a reduction in bone spurs, and an increase in joint space.

Freedom Is The Answer

Do you suffer from OA in your knees? Do you have a hard time walking without pain? Try our patent-pending blend of Boswellia (even more potently extracted than the one studied here). It isn’t cheap, but then again, removing bone spurs isn’t cheap either.

The Ginger Way

We’ve all had that moment where you are sure at any moment you are going to vomit…whether you were pregnant, ate that pizza left out overnight, or just had the flu. And in that moment your parent, partner or friend tells you to drink some ginger ale because it will help with the nausea. Turns out, ginger has health benefits far beyond soothing your stomach. Here at Fully Human we use ginger to boost and smooth our anti-inflammation supplement. Find out more below.

How Does It Work?

Research suggests that the compounds gingerol and zingerone are ginger’s primary active elements. The way the body processes gingerol is what makes ginger prevent gas formation in stomach, anti-flatulent and anti-microbial. The two compounds together reduce many forms of inflammation, from colitis to kidney damage to diabetes and cancer.

What Is It Used For?

A 2013 study treated participants with either diclofenac (a painkiller) or ginger or both for 12 weeks. All 3 groups showed improvement, but the combination group saw the maximum improvement. Researchers observed ginger has an additive effect on osteoarthritis treatment by safely increasing the effects of painkillers.

Topical application of ginger extract nanoparticles (not exactly sure how these are made, but they sound cool) is found to reduce pain and improve daily activities and joint function in those suffering from osteoarthritis. A similar case study revealed ginger therapy progressively reduces osteoarthritis symptoms in 24 weeks.

Topical ginger treatment in the form of a compress or patch progressively reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis and brings about 48% reduction in pain. Also, the same study concluded with participants reporting 70% health satisfaction in comparison to their original 80% dissatisfaction.

Ginger constituents like gingerol and shogaol inhibit formation of inflammatory proteins in osteoarthritis. This brings about a reduction in pain, swelling and soreness. It also reduces degradation of bone and cartilage.

Ginger helps in remedying stomach problems and can protect against formation of ulcers caused by use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Multiple animal studies reported that ginger exerts protective effects against ulcers caused by aspirin and other painkillers.

Dosing

Clinical studies show anti-inflammatory results with the consumption of between 2-3 grams of ginger root powder spread out over 2-3 doses daily (one of the reasons our supplement protocol calls for multiple doses per day). Lower doses of ginger are sufficient however to relieve the symptoms of nausea.

Side Effects

Ginger demonstrates some blood thinning effects, so if you are already on blood thinners you should use ginger with caution.

Otherwise, ginger may cause some stomach discomfort if taken in a large dose (greater than 2 grams) on an empty stomach. And may cause a slight burning sensation of digestive discomfort if you use more than 4 grams / daily.

Why Does Fully Human Use It?

On its own, ginger is a useful supplement for a limited number of conditions, but when combined with other ingredients it transforms them. For example, when ginger is combined with painkillers and other anti-inflammatory compounds it amplifies the effect of both. We combine ginger with the pain killing white willow bark, and six anti-inflammatory herbs, including turmeric and bromelain. This combination provide rapid reduction in to chronic along with long term relief from inflammation.

Try Freedom risk free today and take high-potency ingredients that actively fight chronic inflammation.