Healthy Skeptics Update for July 14, 2023

Healthy Skeptics Update for July 14, 2023
Stephen Cherniske, MS

In 2001, my editor at Random House reminded me that I had a contract with them for two more books. “What exciting project are you working on?” she asked. I started telling her about the new genomic equipment that we had just installed, and how we were screening and cataloging thousands of plant compounds each week. “Blah Blah Blah,” she replied, “tell me in apple and orange language how that will benefit regular people.” I thought about it for a few seconds and replied, “The emerging model of aging – what I call the metabolic model – focuses on two opposing factors: damage and repair. We’re looking for plant compounds that can reduce damage and accelerate repair.”

“Hmmm.” I could tell that she was still looking for the hook; the image that would pique the average reader’s interest. So I added, “think of a see-saw. On one side you have the damage to cells, tissues and organs that is an inherent part of living. On the other side, you have the body’s ability to repair that damage. When you’re young, repair capacity is incredible, so damage is almost insignificant. Then, as you age, repair capacity declines and damage starts to accumulate, producing all the signs of degeneration.

“Hmmm.” Her tone indicated that she was starting to get it, but I needed to make one more impact point. “For most people,” I explained, “the tipping point – where damage starts to exceed repair – is … [I paused for effect] … age 30.”
“Yikes!” she replied. “Write about that! I love the see-saw. I get the concept. And be sure to give people specific things they can do to tip the see-saw in their favor. It has to be a well-defined plan. “
Two years later, I was appearing on interview shows all over the country to talk about The Metabolic Plan. Stay Younger Longer. Today, I want to highlight this strategy when it comes to your joints. Your hips, knees, wrists, shoulders, neck and spine.

There are two main issues regarding joint health.

1. Humans are fragile
We see actors on television jumping off rooftops and walking away from a car crash without a scratch. But in reality, we are fragile creatures, and if you’ve lived an active life, chances are you are dealing with some long-lasting damage. And if you’ve ever been in a serious accident, you are certain to need some joint repair. Most likely, you received pain medication, but did anyone ever talk to you about repairing the damage? Read on.

2. Aging
Aging brings with it remarkable changes in the damage/ repair ratio in many tissues. We are designed, after all, to last until we can reproduce and care for our progeny. So past age 40, Mother Nature has no great plan for us. When we were young, connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, joints, muscle, skin and bones) was constantly repairing. The key player was fibroblasts, cells that synthesize collagen. Like many other cells (NK immune cells, stem cells,) fibroblasts wear out and are not quickly replaced, resulting in the accumulation of damage. Thus one primary anti-aging strategy is to stimulate fibroblast activity. We have shown that consuming aloe does this, and the research showing increased collagen production in the skin of human volunteers has been published, with visible improvements in lines, wrinkles, moisture and skin thickness. So it’s not a stretch to assume that a similar benefit may occur in other tissues where collagen-producing fibroblasts are at work.

Our product, CollaMacaVera provides 250 mg of a 200:1 aloe concentrate per 1 Tbsp serving. That’s the highest concentration that still maintains all the beneficial polysaccharides inherent in the whole plant; the equivalent of drinking 2 oz of premium quality aloe juice. We don’t know the point of diminishing returns, but it’s reasonable for people with a lot of joint damage to try two servings per day. Keep in mind that 2 servings will also provide 16 grams of Hydrolyzed Collagen peptides. References 1-3 show that ingesting these peptides can reduce pain and improve joint repair.

That’s the repair side. What about reducing damage? That’s Joint Venture™. We’re all familiar with anti-inflammatory drugs. They are greatly appreciated when needed, but if the need is chronic, there’s a problem… because none have been approved for long-term use. That’s because use of NSAID drugs (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) for more than a few weeks leads to erosion of the GI tract and stress on the liver and kidneys.

I worked for 15 years on a research project that developed an extraordinary approach to reducing inflammation with safe and effective plant-based compounds. The first, known as Univestin®, is supported by 9 published studies and protected by international patents. Univestin has been used by hundreds of thousands to restore healthy inflammation, resulting in improved joint comfort and range of motion. The same lab has developed, tested, and published studies using a second plant-based anti-inflammatory known as Amlexin®. Combined with Univestin, this offers the most comprehensive approach ever developed to deal with the most damaging force in human physiology.
Joint Venture also provides a high-potency (95% curcuminoids) curcumin concentrate, and organic Aronia berry extract for powerful antioxidant protection. References 5-10

This month’s special: Good through August 31:

Joint Venture / CollaMacaVera combo pack

Retail for both products is $89.90
Combo pack Special: $79.00

Healthy Skeptics Member price for both products is $78.00
Combo pack Special: $69.00

NOTE: If you enjoyed this Update, please share it with your friends, or anyone suffering from joint discomfort. If you have any questions, contact us at

1. Moskowitz, R. (2000). “Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease”. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. 30 (2): 87–99. doi:10.1053/sarh.2000.9622. PMID 11071580
2. Ruiz-Benito, P.; Camacho-Zambrano, M.M.; Carrillo-Arcentales, J.N.; Mestanza-Peralta, M.A.; Vallejo-Flores, C.A.; Vargas-Lopez, S.V.; Villacis-Tamayo, R.A.; Zurita-Gavilanes, L.A. (2009). “A randomized controlled trial on the efficacy and safety of a food ingredient, collagen hydrolysate, for improving joint comfort”. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 12: 1–15. doi:10.1080/09637480802498820. PMID 19212858. S2CID 21412854.
3. Zdzieblik D, Oesser S, Gollhofer A, König D (June 2017). “Improvement of activity-related knee joint discomfort following supplementation of specific collagen peptides”. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 42 (6): 588–95. doi:10.1139/apnm-2016-0390. PMID 28177710.
4. Bharat B Aggarwal, Kuzhuvelil B Harikumar. Potential therapeutic effects of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory agent, against neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases. The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 40-59.
5. Arjmandi BH, Ormsbee LT, et al. A combination of Scutellaria baicalensis and Acacia catechu extracts for short-term symptomatic relief of joint discomfort associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. J Med Food. 2014 Jun;17(6):707-13. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.0010.
6. Tseng-Crank J, Sung S, Jia Q, Zhao Y, Burnett B, Park DR, Woo SS. A medicinal plant extract of Scutellaria Baicalensis and Acacia catechu reduced LPS-stimulated gene expression in immune cells: a comprehensive genomic study using QPCR, ELISA, and microarray. J Diet Suppl. 2010 Sep;7(3):253-72. doi: 10.3109/19390211.2010.493169.
7. Sampalis JS, Brownell LA. A randomized, double blind, placebo and active comparator controlled pilot study of UP446, a novel dual pathway inhibitor anti-inflammatory agent of botanical origin. Nutr J. 2012 Apr 5;11:21. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-21.
8. He Y, Yue Y, Zheng X,, Zhang K, Chen S, Du Z. Curcumin, inflammation, and chronic diseases: how are they linked? Molecules. 2015 May 20;20(5):9183-213. doi: 10.3390/molecules20059183.
9. Mesfin Yimam, Teresa Horm , Laura Wright, Ping Jiao, Mei Hong, Lidia Brownell and Qi Jia
UP1306: A Composition Containing Standardized Extracts of Acacia catechu and Morus alba for Arthritis Management. Nutrients 2019, 11(2), 272;
10. Anhê FF, Varin TV, et al. Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis in Obesity-Linked Metabolic Diseases and Prebiotic Potential of Polyphenol-Rich Extracts. Curr Obes Rep. 2015 Dec;4(4):389-400

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