Alpha-lipoic acid, curcumin and B vitamins
Carpal tunnel syndrome, where swollen tissue compresses the main forearm nerve as it passes through the wrist, is the most common nerve problem of the extremities.
In this study, 180 adults undergoing nerve decompression surgery took alpha-lipoic acid, curcumin, and B-group vitamins three months before and after surgery; took the supplements only during the three months before, or took no treatment. The twice-daily dose was 300 mg alpha-lipoic acid, 500 mg curcumin phytosome, and for the B-vitamins, 1.05 mg B1, 1.2 mg B2, 4.5 mg B5, and 1.5 mg B6.
While there were no differences between those that took no treatment and those that took supplements only before surgery, those that took supplements both before and after surgery, for a total of six months, had much less pain from wrist curling while asleep, and in a standard 60-second test for carpal tunnel syndrome, no tingling, numbness, or pain, 40 days after surgery.
Glucosamine and chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin occur naturally in cartilage, the flexible, fibrous connective tissue in joints and between bones. In this study, 605 adults with chronic knee pain and osteoarthritic joint-space narrowing took 1,500 mg of glucosamine, 800 mg of chondroitin, these two together, or a placebo. After two years, while there were no differences between the placebo group and those taking either one of the supplements by itself, those taking glucosamine and chondroitin together saw 0.1 mm less joint-space narrowing.
Discussing their findings, doctors said both glucosamine and chondroitin contain sulfate, which the body needs to synthesize proteins in cartilage, and that prior studies have found reduced protein synthesis when sulfate is low. The superior results for glucosamine and chondroitin together in this study suggest a biological mechanism that helps restore cartilage.
Reference: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine; 2014, Article ID 891310
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.