1) CH-Alpha plus Trinkampullen (drinking ampoules) and gel (Quiris Healthcare GmbH & Co. KG, G"utersloh, Germany);
2) Inonotus obliquus drops (Siberian Chaga, a parasitic fungus that grows on birch trees [Tigon (GB) Ltd, Leicester, UK]; and
3) Magnesium Oil Joint Spray (BetterYou Ltd, Sheffield, UK).
The main active ingredients of CH-Alpha plus are hydrolyzed collagen, extracts of Zingiber officinale (ginger) root, Boswellia serrata (frankincense) and Rosa canina fruit (rose-hip), and vitamin C; the gel also contains Arnica montana (wolf's bane) flower extract and sunflower seed oil. Neither contains glucosamine or chondroitin sulphate.
The use of CH-Alpha plus (and its main ingredients) is supported by a major study presented at the Osteoarthritis Research Society International Congress of 2009, as well as 14 other earlier studies (see www.betterjoints.com/professionals/clinical.php). Of these, four are especially important.
The effect of CH-Alpha was evaluated in a study of 100 German athletes with joint symptoms. Each took 10 g of CH-Alpha daily for 12 weeks, and was then asked to rate symptoms and functionality according to a 10-point scale. Assessments were done at the beginning of the study (for baseline data), after 4-6 weeks and at the end of the study. Significant improvements were reported for all clinical parameters (Orthop"ad Prax, 2005; 41: 486-94). A randomized double-blind study found that rosehip powder reduced symptoms of knee and hip osteoarthritis (Scand J Rheumatol, 2005; 34: 302-8), while a pooled analysis and review of the literature showed that collagen hydrolysate was an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and other joint disorders (Curr Med Res Opin, 2006; 22: 2221-32). Also, orally administered collagen hydrolysate halted osteoarthritis, albeit in mice (Osteoarthritis Cartilage, 2007; 15: C61-2).
Nutrients for articular cartilage
Peak performance is constantly demanded of our joints. During movement and weight-bearing, cartilage-which is 70-per-cent collagen-acts like a shock-absorber. However, in cases of prolonged biomechanical over-load, such as during intense sports activities or in old age, the cartilage becomes more and more brittle, losing elasticity. Progressive granulation and thinning of cartilage will, in the long run, lead to wear and pain in the affected joints. With such increased burdens on the joint, adequate nutrition is essential for the buildup and function of joint cartilage. Indeed, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirmed significant regeneration of cartilage after 24 weeks of treatment with CH-Alpha plus in the German athletes study. Vitamin C can also protect against damaging free radicals.
The Siberian Chaga mushroom can significantly reduce sensitivity to painful stimuli (J Ethnopharmacol, 2005; 101: 120-8; J Med Food, 2007; 10: 80-90). The fungus has exceptional amounts of betulinic acid and super-oxide dismutase, both of which have known powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Magnesium oil is, in fact, magnesium chloride and water, and is applied via the skin. Indeed, magnesium is readily absorbed through skin. When magnesium levels fall, there is a marked increase in inflammatory cytokines, along with increased levels of histamine-at least in rodents (Am J Physiol, 1992; 263: R734-7). So, although this cannot be regarded as conclusive evidence of efficacy,
I have found that spraying magnesium oil regularly onto the skin over painful areas has brought relief to sufferers of muscle pain associated with arthritic conditions.
One of my cases was a 36-year-old patient who had twisted his right ankle rather badly three years earlier and still had such pain in the ankle that it impaired his walking. After starting my regimen of CH-Alpha plus, Chaga drops and magnesium oil spray, he began to feel an improvement a fortnight later. On replacing the spray with magnesium chloride foot baths, he progressed to a completely pain-free ankle that allowed him to walk, run and cycle normally once more. After four months, he discontinued the treatment. That was two years ago-and his ankle is still fine now.