The “Amazing” Joint Juice
One of my favorite parts about my college is that it’s right down the street from my aunt’s workplace. In my first year of school, I’d drop in to visit her on Wednesdays. I admit, part of the reason I enjoyed those visits is because she would sometimes give me a bag with a few treats – usually the latest unique snack she picked up at her favorite wholesale store. Sometime in October, I got two 8 ounce bottles filled with red juice. She told me it was a joint health drink that she was trying for her osteoarthritis, and thought I’d like to try some to treat my psoriatic arthritis. I accepted them and went happily on my way.
Aspartame does more harm than good
While I didn’t quite like the juice, I could see why others did – it was very sweet and could satisfy even the strongest sweet tooth. I drank the second bottle while I sat in a particularly long lecture, and out of boredom began reading the ingredients. Almost right away my eyes found the word aspartame. Aspartame couldn’t be right since many studies have linked it to causing inflammation. But yet, it was one of the first ingredients in a long list of artificial flavors and sugars I could barely pronounce. Surely that’s not good for anyone, but especially for someone who has inflamed joints. After a quick Google search, I found many people who invested in this juice, only to end up with even more pain and inflammation.
The unfortunate truth is that companies capitalize by exploiting our pain regularly. It’s been a thriving business for ages – people want there to be magic potions and cures for every pain. Unfortunately it’s not that simple, yet it doesn’t stop horrible scams such as this. There have been lots of well known cases of businesses creating products that appear to relieve issues temporarily, but then make them flare again to cause a dependent market. I can think of a number of acne products that contain ingredients that cause pimples overtime, and I don’t see why products such as joint health juices wouldn’t do the same, epecially because those kinds of products are usually not regulated as healthcare products. I think targeting people who are in pain with promises of pain relief is bad enough, but it’s even worse to know that there are ingredients inside that would only exasperate the pain for some.
Know the facts – make an informed decision
Due to the internet, making informed decisions on the ingredients that you put in your body is easier because reliable studies are more available to us. Whether you decide that drinks containing aspartame or other chemicals are okay to drink is totally up to you, and you have the right to make that decision; I certainly choose to indulge in drinks with aspartame from time to time. But I make that choice knowing what studies have found. And I think everyone should be aware of what they ingest and what it could mean for their health. Just as you wouldn’t take medication without knowing the side effects, it is wrong to allow people to eat or drink something with ingredients that could possibly make inflammation worse without them knowing (especially in foods that are targeted to people who already struggle with inflammation!).
By no means am I saying all products aimed at people with chronic pain are bad – some genuinely help! The problem comes with products and supplements that promise health but are not regulated by medical agencies and other reliable sources. But it is worth informing ourselves about what products we consume contain and how they will affect our body. Joint health juices aren’t necessarily bad, and I know people who claim they benefit from it; I just don’t believe it is wise to simply begin to drink it just because an advertisement tells us to. Always listen to your doctor’s advice – an advertisement can never take the place of a health care professional.