A New Scientific Approach to Combating Inflammation and Acute or Chronic Pain
Millions of Americans suffer from pain every day, and one of the more common reasons is due to the affects of joint and tissue inflammation.
For years people have turned to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for relief. Of course Project Swole readers already know that NSAIDs Are Pain, Brain, and Muscle Growth Killers.
The good news is that there is a new hypothesis to consider on how to combat the pain and discomforts associated with inflammation.
By attacking the inflammatory cascade at the start (in the mitochondria) as opposed to inhibiting the COX pathways (as is the mode of action of many NSAIDs), a safe, non-toxic, and natural pain reliever called StayActiv is able to prevent the cascade of cellular inflammatory events up front, and it also avoids the many negative and dangerous kidney, liver, and gastro-intestinal side effects related to NSAIDs.
Additionally, inflammation is becoming a central hypothesis of, and is gaining acceptance in both classical inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, as well as neuro-degenerative based diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
The Traditional Approach to Inflammation
Prostaglandins are chemicals produced by the body that play several significant roles such as supporting the blood clotting function of platelets and protecting the lining of the stomach from the damaging effects of acids. They are also known for promoting inflammation and pain.
Prostaglandins are produced by cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes.
There are two COX enzymes; COX-1 and COX-2, and both produce prostaglandins. The reason why doctors have recommended non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as an answer to pain relief is due to the drugs’ ability to block the COX chemical pathway that results in prostaglandin production and thereby induces inflammation and pain.
Since these pain relieving medications inhibit prostaglandin (PG) production and impede the positive COX and PG functions, NSAIDs can have side effects and cause severe stomach problems such as ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding, as well as toxic effects on organs.
The commonly used NSAIDs have been recommended to treat pain, fever, headaches, arthritis, and sports injuries; and Aspirin has been specifically used to inhibit the clotting of blood and to prevent strokes and heart attacks in high risk individuals.
With all these complications, people are left at a loss as to how to relieve pain in a healthy manner.
StayActiv is a healthy alternative to Ibuprofen
A Destructive Chain Reaction
It is also known and accepted that oxidation of lipids and proteins in the body lead to inflammation. This is due to the formation of what are called oxygen free radicals, essentially negatively charged reactive oxygen species (ROS) that if not detoxified, will go on to cause destruction and degradation in proteins, lipids and DNA/RNA.
An increase in free radicals in tissue causes that tissue to become inflamed. This sets off a cascade of pro-inflammatory events and chemical messengers that are the body’s way of attracting more immune cells into the area to fight the cause of the inflammation (e.g. foreign bacteria or viruses) and to restore cellular order (e.g. therapeutic effects for damaged cells or “clean up” for dead cells).
The inflammation progresses until the problems are removed or repaired, or it may progress until the inflammation itself causes cellular damage, resulting in cell death.
A New Approach to Consider
A key location for generating pro-inflammatory processes and oxygen free radicals is the mitochondria — these organelles, due to the metabolic work of the cell, are using a significant amount of oxygen for the oxidation and reduction reactions that take place therein.
When the mitochondria become damaged from injury or oxygen free radicals, one of the by-products is the formation of lipid free radicals in the mitochondrial membrane. These in turn will activate the prostaglandin system, which will in turn activate and react to various inflammatory cytokines that are being released due to leakage of various proteins out of the mitochondria.
StayActiv Combats Inflammation at the Lowest Level
Initial scientific assessment indicates that the active ingredients in StayActiv provide an increased stability of the mitochondria which allows it to withstand the pro-inflammatory events that lead to a loss of mitochondrial membrane function, which then catalyzes the inflammatory process in the cell.
By attacking the inflammatory cascade at the start (in the mitochondria) as opposed to inhibiting the COX pathways (as is the mode of action of many NSAIDs), StayActiv is able to prevent the cascade of cellular inflammatory events, one of which is release of prostaglandins and other lipid mediators of cell injury.
This mechanism of action (MOA) generates the therapeutic equivalence of NSAID-efficacy but without the side-effects attributed to inhibited COX pathways (organ toxicity, gastro-intestinal ulceration / bleeding, etc.).
Initial Research is Overwhelmingly Positive
While the effects of StayActiv on prostaglandin production are continuing to be evaluated, the initial assessments are that the efficacy, as stated above, is related to the stabilization of mitochondrial membranes. This is important in that a stabilized (healthier) mitochondria is less susceptible to damage and injury.
A recent report in Arthritis and Rheumatism volume 58, page 2409, 2008, shows that damaging the mitochondria of human chondrocyte cells results in increased levels of prostaglandin production. This is important as recent inflammation research is supporting mitochondrial dysfunction as the central (common) pathway for inflammation.
Anything that stabilizes mitochondrial function helps to prevent cellular inflammation and is a new approach worth considering.