Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Let's Talk about Inflammation

Disclaimer: Through my affiliation with Mambo Sprouts, I received GOPO Rosehip with Galactolipids as well as compensation in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

As a runner and an athlete, I am very familiar with inflammation. While physical activity is generally anti-inflammatory, endurance training or high-intensity training can lead to oxidative stress, increasing the production of free radicals, which leads to an inflammatory response by the body. You might notice this as soreness, swelling, or tiredness. If you take it easy after a tough workout or event, you start to feel better. But if you keep pushing yourself, over time, this inflammation can affect the immune system and make the athlete more prone to fatigue, illness, and injury. (source) Clearly, athletes have to find a balance in their training to prevent inflammation from becoming chronic. That isn't always easy to do when training for an event that requires a high output for a prolonged period of time.

Athletes can prevent oxidative stress and inflammation to a certain extent through supplements and diet. Certain foods are known for causing inflammation, while others are known for helping reduce inflammation. There has been a lot of research demonstrating the benefits of tart cherry juice, blueberries, and quercetin, which is found in many fruits and vegetables. I've shared my love for my morning smoothies--I try to eat the rainbow every week all in the name of fighting inflammation.

What about supplements? Is there anything an endurance athlete can take to help prevent inflammation and/or reduce inflammation after a tough workout?



Since being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation has taken on a new meaning for me. Not just limited to feeling sore after a hard workout or an endurance event, now I'm experiencing symptoms every day. Soreness aside, for me, the most distressing symptom has been fatigue, which can be a result of inflammation. I've done a lot of research on supplements that I could take to help reduce inflammation in my body.

I'm also not very good at being sidelined and was eager to get back in the game.

Remember guys, I'm a science gal and I go where the evidence is. While anecdotes and personal stories are great (and I'm sharing mine in this post), it's really important to make sure you are taking a proven remedy and not falling for some kind of expensive voodoo that not only won't help you but could actually hurt you. I could spend a whole post (or 2) telling you all about the things people have told me to try. I've learned to politely nod and smile. I rarely recommend any kind of supplements to my family, friends, and my patients but here are a few that actually have research that backs their effectiveness:

Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly DHA and EPA, have been shown to have a big effect on inflammation in the body. The recommended dosage varies between 2-6 gm DHA/EPA per day. It's a lot of fish oil. I'm surprised I haven't grown gills or become a better swimmer.

Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory effects, but it is dose-dependent, meaning you need to take higher doses of Vitamin D to see the effects. The NIH lists the upper limit of Vitamin D intake for adults as 4000IU per day. So many of us are deficient and may need more than that but taking higher dosages should be done only under the supervision of a health care provider. The recommended form is D3.

Rose hips are derived from the rose plant and contain galactolipids, a powerful anti-inflammatory. Rose hips have been shown to be as effective as NSAIDs (like ibuprofen) in reducing inflammation and pain. Even better: rosehips don't cause ulceration and GI symptoms like NSAIDS do. Nor do they cause issues with blood clotting. GOPO Rosehip with Galactolipids are backed by multiple studies proving their effectiveness in reducing inflammation. The key to the anti-inflammatory powers of GOPO Rosehip is the galactolipids. These rose hips are unique to GOPO and come from only one source, Hyben Vital, in Denmark.

Source
When I was offered the chance to try GOPO Rosehip with Galactolipids, I jumped at it. I started taking it immediately, 3 capsules twice daily. As I write this, I am on my 5th week of the supplement. I'm pretty pumped about this supplement. If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I've struggled a lot with RA symptoms. Since taking GOPO Rosehip with Galactolipids, after about 4 weeks, I noticed that some of my chronic joint pain has diminished. My feet look like they did pre-RA and for most of the day, my hands look normal as well. My knees and elbows ache less and I don't have as much morning stiffness as I did prior to starting the supplement.

Running? I have continued to run since my diagnosis in December of last year, only missing 2 days due to a flare of symptoms. I've been using run/walk intervals to complete my runs. Over the past couple of weeks, there's been water skiing and plenty of running. I've been able to drop some of those run/walk intervals, running continuously as I continue to improve. It's been really encouraging and a lot of fun!


Could my improvement in symptoms be merely a coincidence? Consider this: at this writing, I have been off my RA meds for 3 weeks due to a dental procedure. I was worried I'd flare while off my meds. I haven't had an uptick in symptoms yet (and I'm knocking on wood as I say this). Could it be the GOPO Rosehip with Galactolipids? Could the supplement be the magic bullet I've been looking for?


A runner can only hope. I'm pretty pumped about this. If GOPO Rosehip with Galactolipids works this well for a runner with RA, think how well it will work for runners training for endurance events! Do you want to try it? I'm giving away 3 vouchers for a free bottle of GOPO Rosehip with Galactolipids (up to $29.99 value) which can be redeemed anywhere the product is sold. Keep in mind that there is a "loading period" of 3 capsules twice daily for 3-5 weeks, but according to the manufacturer, 80% of people start to feel better at 3 weeks. The maintenance dose is 2 capsules twice daily.


I'm optimistic about continuing to run with RA. This year already, I've run a 10 mile race, 2 half marathons, and placed first in my age group in a 5k and 10k. I've got 2 more halfs, a 15k, and another 10k coming up. Finishing is always winning, but lining up for this many races in a year is a huge win for me, considering where I was at 9 months ago! I am hoping that I've hit the right combination of medication, diet, and supplements that will keep my inflammation down and keep me moving well into old age.

Do you suffer from chronic inflammation? What steps have you taken to improve your health? Do you take any supplements? Have you heard of GOPO Rosehips with Galactolipids?

I'm linking up with Tuesdays on the Run aka Marcia, Erika, and Patti as well as Coaches' Corner aka Susie, Rachel, Lora, and Debbie and Wild Workout Wednesday with Nicole, Annemarie, and Jen.






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62 comments :

  1. OMG - inflammation is the story of my life now, so thank you for this post! I'm the go hard, then don't go easy the next day kind....so I guess that would make me chronic. But, I've really cut back on the workout intensity over the last few months, so am trying to get better!
    Have you heard anything about a connection between gluten and inflammation?
    Maybe I'll give these Rose Hip things a try!

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    1. I've heard about gluten and inflammation, but the research doesn't bear it out unless you have celiac. I try to avoid simple carbs--hoping that helps me avoid increased inflammation. I"m enjoying my morning smoothies with anti-inflammatory ingredients. And my fish oil and rose hips.

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  2. I always just pop IB prophen. I know it's probably not the best. I should try this product.

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    1. This isn't for acute inflammation--so if you have an injury or something, IB or Aleve is still the best way to go.

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  3. Glad you found a great product that works for you! Sounds like between your diet changes and supplements you've been able to keep your symptoms at bay.

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    1. Yep, it's pretty amazing. I do have flares occasionally but for the most part, I'm happy with my regimen.

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  4. I take fish oil and Vitamin D but was unaware of GoPo so thanks for your review!

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    1. I think this was the missing piece to the anti-inflammatory puzzle. It's pretty exciting!

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  5. You are doing SO WELL with managing RA. You're a gold mine of information for anyone dealing with this stuff!!

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    1. It helps to be in the medical field. I feel really fortunate. Fingers crossed that things continue to do well.

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  6. Being an auto-immune issue girl myself, I know lots about inflammation but I did not know about rose hips! So great to hear this may be working for you!

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    1. I had heard about Rose Hips but didn't know much. I'm pretty excited about this!

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  7. I'm intrigued by this for my aching hands - my thumb joints are not faring well after a summer of knitting. Of course, in reading your post I realized that I stopped taking fish oil a while back because I could taste it (and for someone who loathes seafood, that is a miserable thing), so I need to get back on something. I'd love to try a bottle of the GOPO Rosehip...and side note, is anyone else hearing Buddy the Elf pronouncing "galactolipids" in their head like he pronounces "Francisco"? LOL

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    1. Haha!

      I take really high dose Fish oil but I use a brand that doesn't kick back (Carlson). It's worth it. I think the Rose Hips might help you!

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  8. I'm on D3 by doctor's orders, but I'm also not outside as much as I used to be. I've tried tart cherry juice, and will get it on occasion. I think natural sources are best, and sometimes I don't like taking medicine for things. If the tart cherry juice is better than Advil, I'll take the juice.

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    1. I feel like with natural sources, we have to take them regularly. They aren't an 'as needed' treatment.

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  9. I definitely need to try something! My hands are achy every day.

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  10. I do suffer from inflammation.
    I didn't realize how bad it was until I was in a big chiropractic study about 2 weeks ago and everywhere they pushed made me jump in pain so bad I almost flew off the table (and I played rugby for years so I have a high pain tolerance). They kept using words like "chronic" and "systemic" to describe my pain and inflammation.
    Funny part is I was actually there on a cut back week and feeling pretty good. I would hate to see what they would say if they did the study on me during a peak week.

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    1. Have you thought about trying Fish Oil or now Rose Hips? Or both? With inflammation, the hard part is being patient and waiting to see what works.

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  11. I have PsA and AS. Enbrel is doing a really good job at keeping my inflammation under control. I cycle, weightlift, and run, and I can't take NSAIDS due to chronic kidney disease from too many NSAIDS in the past. This looks like a product I would like to try.

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    1. I take Humira and methotrexate but of course I'd love to go natural. Or even if I can't, if these products add to my regimen, I'm all in.

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  12. I currently add Turmeric to my coffee every day to help with inflammation but this product sure has my attention!

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    1. I use Turmeric in my smoothies, but the research isn't as supportive as it is of fish oil and rose hips. I'm open tho...

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  13. This sounds great! I have been adding turmeric to smoothies and I generally avoid NSAIDs. It would be great to try this to see if it helps prevent any further flare ups of my ankle!

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    1. I'm with you on the NSAIDS, altho after my dental procedure, I've been using them more than I'd like. Hoping that I'll be off them in a day or so. They really mess with my Gi tract.

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  14. That sounds very encouraging, Wendy! As I write this, I've just started week 4 of a Couch to 10k training plan, hoping every step of the way my RA doesn't derail my plans. GOPO's Rosehips definitely seem worth checking out, especially given your glowing endorsement!.

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    1. I'm pretty skeptical of supplements, but I won't deny how good I've been feeling since I've been taking them. Especially in the last couple of weeks.

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  15. I have been using tart cherry juice after all of my runs to try and combat inflammation but I need to do more. I am really intrigued in these supplements! I tried using tumeric in a variety of ways and I just burped tumeric all the time LOl!

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    1. I'm really excited about this product. Just this morning, I was feeling achy and stiff but an hour after I took my rose hips, I'm feeling much better. This is kind of what happens every day. At first I thought, no way--but I'm pretty convinced they are helping.

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  16. I'm so happy that you're seeing results from the GOPO. I have been using it too, and I feel like it has helped some of the pain and inflammation I get in my hands.

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    1. Glad to hear that it is helping for you too!

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  17. This is a problem for me too, glad you are feeling better. I have been experimenting with a lot of stuff, omegas, turmeric, curcumin . . .I didn't know about the rose hips.

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    1. I'm pretty set now--I'll still do my smoothies with antiinflammatory ingredients, but I'm happy with my fish oil/vit D/rose hip regimen.

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  18. I have been really trying to eat foods that fight inflammation but haven't jumped on the supplement train yet. I need to check this out- thanks for linking up and sharing!

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    1. I don't know how it works for crohns, but let me know what you think!

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  19. To reduce inflammation I frequently eat blueberries and if it gets bad enough I take vitamin Ibuprophen. I would prefer to deal with it in a natural way. Especially since I'm recovering from ankle surgery still.

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    1. I don't like taking ibuprofen--it really messes up my GI tract. Taking something like the rose hips is definitely like money in the bank.

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  20. I'm so glad you've found some of these natural ways to fight your disease! I bet they really are working.

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  21. Glad you are finding things that work for your body and lifestyle. I have done a lot of experimenting too... gave up gluten years ago and no longer have inflammation in my head or legs when I avoid it. I am not celiac but definitely intolerant. Ear doc had diagnosed a serious chronic condition and when I have up gluten it disappeared. I should check out rosehips... thanks for the review and ideas.

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    1. You aren't the first person to mention gluten to me--I don't have a problem with gluten, so I'm "sticking" with it (pun intended). I do avoid simple carbs, though.

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  22. I think this stuff is really helping me, too!

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  23. This sounds like an interesting product. I have been taking Glucosamine Chrondoitin for several years for joint "maintenance."

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    1. The studies on the effectiveness of GC aren't strong--but I always say if it's helping, then stick with it.

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  24. I have heard of rose hips for inflammation but have not "known" anyone who has actually tried them. So glad to hear that they are working for you. Sometimes switching things up a bit can really help

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    1. I was really excited to learn about the research backing this product. I hope it continues to help me.

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  25. It is great you didn't have an increase in symptoms off the meds.
    I have pain everyday in my toes and right fingers every day...maybe it wouldn't hurt to try.
    I already take D, Glucosamine Condition, fish oil, and a multi vitamin most days (along with my blood pressure meds now)

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    1. You might want to try GOPO over the GC--the research doesn't really support the effectiveness of that supplement.

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  26. I'm so glad that things are going so well, and that you have found something that seems to be helping you and giving you relief. I don't suffer from inflammation (at least, not that I know of), so I don't worry too much about supplements right now. However, it's nice to know that options are available.

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    1. This would be good for high volume endurance athletes as well.

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  27. I hope this keeps working for you!

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  28. I wish this worked on guts as well!

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  29. I take epsom salt baths and drink tart cherry juice. I also use a lots of cayenne. It seems to work!

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    1. Tart cherry juice has been a go to for me for years!

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  30. Interesting. I will have to check it out. I have been having knee pain and this might just be it.

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  31. I'm so curious about the rose hips. Currently I'm working with essential oils for inflammation.

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    1. I've heard a lot about essential oils--right now I'm happy with my supplements.

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