Tag Archives: supplements

Caffeine and Opioid Use Beneficial for Chronic Pain

Caffeine and Opioid Use Beneficial for Fibromyalgia-Like Chronic Pain By Brandon May – September 15, 2017

This headline is a bit misleading because opioids were only studied in tandem with caffeine and not separately recommended.

I drink a lot of coffee (even more now that I know it’s healthy) most of the day, so my opioids are usually combined with caffeine. I guess I stumbled onto a  winning combination.

Caffeine is associated with lower pain catastrophizing, greater physical function, and lower pain interference in patients taking opioids to manage fibromyalgia pain, according to results from a survey-based study published in the Journal of Pain Research.  Continue reading


Could Nicotine Help Protect The Aging Brain?

Could Nicotine Help Protect The Aging Brain? – Neuroscience News – September 21, 2016

Texas A&M research shows how this component of cigarettes might actually be beneficial on its own. …according to research at Texas A&M, it turns out the nicotine itself—when given independently from tobacco—could help protect the brain as it ages, and even ward off Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.

Ursula Winzer-Serhan, PhD, an associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, and her collaborators found that nicotine’s ability to be neuroprotective may be partly due to its well-known ability to suppress the appetite.   Continue reading

MSM, Strenuous Exercise, Cytokine Release

The Influence of Methylsulfonylmethane on Inflammation-Associated Cytokine Release before and following Strenuous Exercise – Oct 2016 – free full-text PMC5097813

Inflammation is associated with strenuous exercise and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Methods. A total of 40 men began the study and completed testing.

Subjects were healthy, physically active, and nonsmokers and did not have any cardiovascular or metabolic disorders.

Physically active men were supplemented with either placebo or MSM (3 grams per day) for 28 days before performing 100 repetitions of eccentric knee extension exercise.   Continue reading

MSM, Oxidative Stress, Muscle Damage, and Pain

Effects of Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) on exercise-induced oxidative stress, muscle damage, and pain following a half-marathon: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial  – free full-text PMC5521097 – 2017 Jul

Oxidative stress and muscle damage occur during exhaustive bouts of exercise, and many runners report pain and soreness as major influences on changes or breaks in training regimens, creating a barrier to training persistence.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a sulfur-based nutritional supplement that is purported to have pain and inflammation-reducing effects.

To investigate the effects of MSM in attenuating damage associated with physical exertion, this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated the effects of MSM supplementation on exercise-induced pain, oxidative stress and muscle damage.   Continue reading

Alcohol Risky but Effective Pain Reliever

Study Finds Alcohol Risky but Effective Pain Reliever — Pain News Network – May 03, 2017/ Pat Anson

The dangers of alcohol are well known – from drunk driving to health, work and social problems. But with opioid painkillers becoming harder to obtain, some chronic pain sufferers are turning to alcohol to dull their pain.

And now there’s research to back them up.

In an analysis of 18 studies published in the Journal of Pain, British researchers found “robust evidence” that a few drinks can be an effective pain reliever.

“Findings suggest that alcohol is an effective analgesic that delivers clinically-relevant reductions in ratings of pain intensity, which could explain alcohol misuse in those with persistent pain despite its potential consequences for long-term health,” wrote lead author Trevor Thompson, PhD, University of Greenwich.

Thompson and his colleagues say a blood-alcohol content of .08% — which meets the legal definition of drunk driving in many U.S. states – produces a “moderate to large reduction in pain intensity” and a small elevation in pain threshold.

Despite the risks involved, some pain sufferers are turning to alcohol as a last resort and mixing it with pain relievers – a potentially lethal combination.

My doctor took me off all opioids last year and put me on Effexor, Naproxen, and extended relief Tylenol. It barely touches my pain so I am also drinking each night to help dull the pain,” one patient told us.

“The doctor tried gabapentin but I ended up with an overnight stay in the hospital due to a bad reaction to the medication,” another patient said. “I’m now using alcohol nightly to help me sleep along with high amounts of Naproxen and Tylenol daily.”

“I suffer extreme back and neck pain. Since they no longer prescribed painkillers I started drinking and find it is helpful.

How much is too much?

According to the Mayo Clinic, moderate alcohol consumption for healthy adults means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.

See also:

L-carnitine for fatigue in patients with hypothyroidism

L-carnitine supplementation for the management of fatigue in patients with hypothyroidism on levothyroxine treatment: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial– Endocrine Journal – 2016 – free full-text

Hypothyroid patients experience fatigue-related symptoms despite adequate thyroid hormone replacement.

Thyroid hormone plays an essential role in carnitine-dependent fatty acid import and oxidation.

We investigated the effects of L-carnitine supplementation on fatigue in patients with hypothyroidism.   Continue reading

Potential Benefits of Vit D for Muscles & Fatigue

Below are links to 5 full-text PMC articles from PubMed on the potential benefits of Vitamin D. 

This vitamin has shown inconsistent results in studies, but because it’s relatively harmless except in very high doses, it may be worth a try.


Continue reading

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) for inflammation

I stumbled upon this first article pointing out the various possible benefits of the supplement, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), because it reduces inflammation. This made me curious, so I checked for studies of it in PubMed (2 of which are annotated later in this post) and found the article was correct in its assertions.

Problems? I Have a NAC for That | Psychology Today

NAC is not only the treatment for mucus build-up in cystic fibrosis, but also acetaminophen overdose, perhaps to reduce the kidney toxicity of contrast dye (though that doesn’t seem to be holding up), in interstitial lung disease, and investigationally in reduction of noise-induced hearing loss, lessening the destruction of pancreatic beta cells, curing a hangover, and decreasing symptoms of the flu.   Continue reading

DHEA supplement could be helpful

I first started taking DHEA supplements decades ago when my neurologist recommended I try it for pain relief. It didn’t seem to help the pain, but it did seem to give me energy.

Since then, I’ve periodically stopped taking it for several weeks at a time to see if it was even helping, but I think I always feel better when I take it. It’s hard to tell with such subtle changes, but every little bit helps. (I take 50mg)

From what I found in these 4 articles on PubMed, there’s some evidence of benefit and no evidence of harms, so it seems safe to try.

The Relationship between Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), Working Memory and Distraction – A Behavioral and Electrophysiological Approach – PLoS One. 2014   Continue reading

Caffeine May Counter Age-related Inflammation

Drink For Your Heart: Caffeine May Counter Age-related Inflammation, Cardiovascular Disease | Scope Blog | Bruce Goldman on January 16, 2017

There’s a clear connection between chronological age, chronic inflammation, cardiovascular disease and… coffee consumption.

More than 90 percent of all noncommunicable diseases of aging are associated with chronic inflammation. And more than 1,000 papers have provided evidence that chronic inflammation contributes to

  • many cancers,
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,
  • cardiovascular disease,
  • osteoarthritis and
  • even depression.

It’s also well known — well, at least among the scientists who study this kind of thing — that caffeine intake is associated with longevity.   Continue reading