Joint Replacement ‘replacement’ from the shea tree: a boon for arthritis sufferers.

(Egg Harbor Twp., New Jersey) A government study published in the September 2008 issue of Arthritis Care & Research contains some bone-jarring news: Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. (46%) will develop painful knee osteoarthritis over their lifetime.

Osteoarthritis, (a disease where joint cartilage breaks down allowing bone to rub against bone in the joint socket) is the most common type of arthritis and affects more than 33 million Americans.

“Arthritis is exploding in an aging population of U.S. baby boomers,” says joint health educator Len Smith. “Arthritis is the nation’s most common cause of disability and costs the U.S. economy more than $128 billion annually.” Smith says until recently, most people suffering from osteoarthritis were virtually guaranteed a life of pain and reduced mobility.

“Prescription drugs deliver relief to osteoarthritis sufferers only about 25% of the time,” says Smith. “Glucosamine (a dietary supplement) and over-the-counter medications are only effective about 15% of the time,” says Smith.

Smith says recent discoveries about the composition of joint cartilage and the role that inflammation plays in the breakdown of that cartilage has led to the development of a drugless, non-surgical approach to joint health.

“It was discovered that glucosamine and chondroitin, although used by millions of people, were not complete answers to joint and cartilage health because those compounds had no effect on the collagen tissue which comprises 70% of cartilage,” said Smith. Smith said complete cartilage care was only made possible by the discovery of natural anti-inflammatory compounds called shea triterpenes found in the pit of the African shea fruit, the same source as shea butter for the skin. Highly concentrated shea triterpene supplements play a key role in a program for relieving joint pain and promoting joint flexibility for those with osteoarthritis.

“The Three-step Joint Rescue Plan” – a complete approach to joint health
  1. Supplement daily with:
    • Glucosamine/chondroitin: Glucosamine and chondroitin will provide important building blocks for creating proteoglycans, a molecule that makes up 30% of joint cartilage.
    • Shea triterpenes: Shea triterpene supplements will promote healthy collagen, (which makes up 70% of joint cartilage), while reducing joint inflamation and pain.
    • Vitamin D: Aids circulation and helps reduce pain, but most people do not get enough. At least 2000 IU daily.
    • Fish Oil: Contains many health benefits and is a natural anti-inflammatory. Avoid soybean, corn, sunflower, and safflower oils.
  2. Eat a health diet: A “heart healthy” diet is also a joint healthy diet because osteoarthritis, like heart problems is a vascular disease.
  3. Exercise: Take a walk or visit your gym. A recent study showed that strength training slows the progression of joint problems.

Learn more about highly concentrated shea triterpenes at

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