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Aching Muscles? Top 10 Nutrients to Take Back Your Life

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What do people who live with chronic musculoskeletal discomfort want most? Freedom.

Many people experience all-over aching and stiffness on waking in the morning, which may continue throughout the day with a variety of stabbing, burning or throbbing sensations, and unfortunately does not end at night but rather may even intensify, preventing them from getting a good night’s sleep.

That’s why Rich Carson, founder of ProHealth, Inc., set out to develop an all-natural product that would provide complete muscle, tissue, and joint support. The result was Fibro Freedom.™

Fibro Freedom is a unique formula containing 10 nutrients known for their ability to support muscle, tissue and joint health as well as promote a healthy inflammation response. They are as follows:

1.  Vitamin D3 

When vitamin D is broken down by the liver and kidneys, it functions as a hormone and works throughout the body, affecting muscles, tissues, nerves, joints and even the brain. In recent years, scientists have begun to recognize the link between low vitamin D and chronic pain.

• A 2009 study of 139 patients with fibromyalgia and/or non-specific musculoskeletal pain found that 75% of them were deficient in vitamin D. Following vitamin D supplementation, clinical improvements were observed in 90% of the patients.(1)

• Another study of 30 Saudi Arabian women with fibromyalgia, published in 2012, found a noticeable correlation between vitamin D levels and widespread pain – the lower the level of vitamin D, the greater the pain.(2)

(For more information on Vitamin D3, read “D-ficient? Health Risks You Need to Know About”)

2.  5-HTP

The amino acid 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is used by the body to increase the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in regulating sleep cycles, pain perception, mood and the immune system. Fibromyalgia patients, for example, are generally found to have lower than normal levels of serotonin.

Three clinical trials have demonstrated that 5-HTP supplementation can support improvement of such issues as muscle aches, morning stiffness, anxiety and fatigue.(3-5)

3 & 4.  Magnesium Hydroxide and Malic Acid

Magnesium is one of the most important nutrients required by our bodies, yet according to a 1985 USDA survey, 75% to 85% of American adults consume less than the recommended daily amount of magnesium.(6)

Researchers have found that people with fibromyalgia are commonly deficient in magnesium. Magnesium has several functions, including the following:

Magnesium is involved in the production of serotonin. People with fibromyalgia typically have low serotonin levels, which can be related to the sleep disturbances, increased pain and mood problems they often experience.

A magnesium deficiency can cause an increase of substance P.  Substance P is a neurotransmitter that serves as a pain messenger. People with fibromyalgia usually have exceptionally high levels of substance P, which can contribute to their hypersensitivity to pain.

Magnesium activates adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Energy is supplied to our bodies by the mitochondria in the form of ATP.  Researchers have found evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction in fibromyalgia patients, which would result in the severe fatigue reported by most.(7)

Researchers have found that people with fibromyalgia have decreased levels of oxygen in their muscles, also known as muscle hypoxia. Biopsies of those muscles have shown muscle tissue breakdown, mitochondrial damage, and low levels of ATP, which helps explain the widespread muscle pain characteristic of FM.

Malic Acid. Evidence suggests that malic acid can help ease discomfort caused by muscle and tissue hypoxia. It allows the body to make ATP – and thereby energy – more efficiently, even under low oxygen or hypoxic conditions.

Malic acid also supports enhanced cellular stamina and endurance. (Malic acid is derived from food sources such as tart apples and is used/synthesized in the mitochondria as part of the ATP-producing citric acid or ‘Krebs’ cycle.)

Magnesium plus Malic Acid.

• In a 1992 study, 15 fibromyalgia patients were given 300-600 mg of magnesium and 1200-2400 mg of malic acid for periods of four and eight weeks. Participants reported reductions in pain across a tender point index. Notably, six of the patients experienced improvement in 48 hours.(8)

• Another clinical trial conducted in 1995 tested a proprietary tablet containing 200 mg of malic acid and 50 mg of magnesium on 24 fibromyalgia patients. After taking three of the low-dose tablets twice a day for four weeks, participants noted no significant change in symptoms. However, when the doses were escalated (up to six tablets twice a day) for six months, they experienced significant reductions in the severity of pain and tenderness.(9)

(For more information on magnesium and malic acid, read “Magnesium Plus Malic Acid: One-Two Punch for Pain & Fatigue”)

5 & 6.  Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate

Glucosamine sulfate is a naturally occurring chemical found in cartilage cells and in the fluid that surrounds your joints. The body uses it to produce a variety of other chemicals that are involved in building tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the thick fluid that surrounds joints. Researchers think that taking glucosamine sulfate supplements may promote an increase in the cartilage and fluid surrounding joints or help prevent breakdown of these substances – or perhaps both.

Chondroitin is an amino acid found inside your joint cartilage that keeps your joints lubricated by attracting and absorbing water. Supplementing with chondroitin can help promote joint mobility. It can also help support the body’s healthy inflammatory response.

Many who use glucosamine and chondroitin find that the combo helps to:

• Reduce joint and muscle discomfort.

• Promote improved joint strength and range of motion.

• Support a healthy inflammatory response.

7.  MSM

Methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM) is an organic sulfur-containing compound and is a crucial component of the body’s connective tissues. Among its many benefits, MSM has been found to have antioxidant properties. It promotes a healthy inflammatory response in joint tissue that can result in more joint flexibility.

8. Boswellin®

Boswellin (Boswellia serrata), also known as Indian frankincense, has been used in the Ayurvedic medicine tradition for hundreds of years to support a healthy inflammation response. The active ingredient of Boswellin, oleoresin, consists of essential oils, gum, and terpenoids. The terpenoid portion contains the boswellic acids, which are responsible for the inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes.(10)

Although not specifically tested on fibromyalgia patients, Boswellia has been found to support positive effects in subjects with a number of chronic inflammatory complaints that often overlap with FM.(11)

9.  Curcumin

Curcumin is the primary component of turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) and is what gives the spice its rich yellow color. Turmeric is the star ingredient in curry and is widely used in Indian cuisine. In addition to its uses as a condiment, turmeric has been employed in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 4,000 years, utilized for everything from cuts and sores to gastrointestinal pain, rheumatism and liver disorders.

Curcumin is widely recognized by medical researchers as being a powerful supporter of the body’s natural mechanisms for modulating the inflammatory response. Based on the studies done thus far, curcumin shows great promise as an option for promoting healthy response to inflammation.(12,13)

Some have called curcumin “nature’s version of an NSAID.” A recent study comparing the benefits for subjects with osteoarthritis knee pain of the prescription NSAID celecoxib (Celebrex®) versus the ancient herbal remedies curcumin & boswellia concluded that results with the herbal combination were superior.(14)

(For more information about curcumin, read “Curcumin – a Golden Gift of Nature with Benefits Still Untold.”)

10.  White Willow Bark

The bark of the white willow tree contains salicin, which converts to salicylic acid in your body. Salicin is a chemical similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and is thought to be responsible for the ability of white willow bark to support natural reduction of muscle discomfort and a healthy inflammatory response. In fact, ancient physicians including Hippocrates and Galen advised patients to chew on white willow bark as a remedy for pain, fever and inflammation.(15) Although white willow bark appears to promote benefits more slowly than aspirin, they may last longer.

Fibro Freedom Gets Positive Reviews

Fibro Freedom is one of ProHealth’s most popular and best-reviewed supplements. Read what customers have said about Fibro Freedom…

“I love this product. I have been using it for 3 months now and I feel so much better. My headaches and pain [have] been reduced. I have used so many medicines that have terrible side effects. This doesn’t. Thanks.” – Retha

“I run out for 3 days and my pain [has] been awful. When you use it all the time you don’t realize how much it is helping until you don’t have it.” – Karen

“This product is totally amazing! Please do not skimp on the recommended dosage (6 per day), you will waste time, money and be disappointed, the makers have DEFINITELY worked the dosage to a very fine art – BRILLIANT PRODUCT, totally LIFE CHANGING!!” – Geoff

“My doctor suggested this product. I had to take FibroFreedom for about a month to notice changes. But my sleep and pain are improved…especially muscle pain. I was patient, but it was worth it.” – Marian

“I found this product through research on the internet. I started taking it and could not believe how great I felt. It helped me so much that I took all the info to my Doctor. He [is] also now using this product. He is also recommending it to all his patients. I can not live without this product.” – Sandra

Need-to-Know Information

Dosage: The recommended dosage as a dietary supplement is 2 capsules, 3 times a day, or as advised by your healthcare professional.

Drug Interactions: The 5-HTP in this formula may interact with prescription antidepressants (SSRIs, MAO inhibitors, or tricyclics), tramadol, triptan migraine drugs, or the Parkinson’s medication carbidopa.


Fibro Freedom combines a unique blend of 10 all-natural nutrients – all known for their ability to support muscle, tissue and joint health, promote increased serotonin production and encourage a healthy inflammation response.


* Supplement research reporter Karen Lee Richards co-founded the National Fibromyalgia Association and is now HealthCentral’s Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS Health Guide (www.healthcentral.com).


1.  Badsha H, et al. “Myalgias or non-specific muscle pain in Arab or Indo-Pakistani patients may indicate vitamin D deficiency.” Clin Rheumatol. 2009;28(8):971-973.

2.  Abokrysha NT. <a target=”_blank” href=”http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01304.x/abstract

“>“Vitamin D deficiency in women with fibromyalgia in Saudi Arabia.” Pain Medicine. 2012 Mar;13(3):452-8.

3.  Caruso I, Sarzi Puttini P, Cazzola M, et al. “Double-blind study of 5-hydroxytryptophan versus placebo in the treatment of primary fibromyalgia syndrome.” J Int Med Res. 1990;18:201-209.

4.  Nicolodi M. “Fibromyalgia and migraine, two faces of the same mechanism. Serotonin as the common clue for pathogenesis and therapy.” Adv Exp Med Biol 1996;398:373-379.

5.  Puttini PS, Caruso I. “Primary fibromyalgia and 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan: a 90-day open study.” J Int Med Res. 1992;20:182-189.

6.  Morgan KJ, et al. “Magnesium and calcium dietary intakes of the U.S. population.” J Am Coll Nutr. 1985;4(2):195-206.

7.  Cordero MD, et al. “Mitochondrial dysfunction and mitophagy activation in blood mononuclear cells of fibromyalgia patients: implications in the pathogenesis of the disease.”   Arthritis Res Ther. 2010;12(1):R17. Epub 2010 Jan 28.

8.  Abraham GE, Glechas ID. “Management of fibromyalgia: A rationale for the use of magnesium and malic acid.” Journal of Nutritional Medicine,1992;3:49-59.

9.  Russell IJ, et al. “Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with Super Malic: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover pilot study.” Journal of Rheumatology, 1995; 22:953-958.

10. Siddiqui MZ. “Boswellia serrata, a potential antiinflammatory agent: an overview.” Indian J Pharm Sci. 2011 May;73(3):255-61.

11. Ammon HP. “Modulation of the immune system by Boswellia serrata extracts and boswellic acids.” Phytomedicine. 17(11):862-7, 2010 Sep.

12. Shakibaei M, et al. “Suppression of NF-kappaB activation by curcumin leads to inhibition of expression of cyclo-oxygenase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in human articular chondrocytes: Implications for the treatment of osteoarthritis.” Biochem Pharmacol. 2007 May 1;73(9):1434-45.

13. Park C, et al. “Curcumin induces apoptosis and inhibits prostaglandin E(2) production in synovial fibroblasts of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.” Int J Mol Med. 2007 Sep;20(3):365-72.

14. Antony, B., et al. “Clinical Evaluation of an Herbal Formulation in the Management of Knee Osteoarthritis.” Poster presentation at the Osteoarthritis Research Symposium Internationale (OARSI).” Annual World Congress on Osteoarthritis, September 15-18, 2011. San Diego, CA.

15. Norn S., et al. “[From willow bark to acetylsalicylic acid].” Dan Medicinhist Arbog. 2009;37:79-98.

Note: This information has not been reviewed by the FDA. It is general information and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any illness, condition, or disease, nor is it intended to replace the personal attention of a healthcare professional. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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4 thoughts on “Aching Muscles? Top 10 Nutrients to Take Back Your Life”

  1. azuredeb says:

    I wish you made this product leaving out the glucosamine made from shellfish sources. There are many of us allergic to shellfish who would benefit from all the other supplements in this product. Please consider the change, so people like me can benefit from this product.

  2. khealeynj says:

    I too wish you would leave the glucosamine out of this product. Or at least give us an.option. I know it is helpful for many but in my case it did not particularly help :my osteo arthritis and it definitely made me depressed. The other ingredients I think would be helpful.to the Fibro that I now have in addition to the OA. My only other question is if the 5 HTP would interact negatively with the SSRI I am on citalopram. What I am concerned about is Seratonin Syndrome. I would greatly appreciate any comments you could share with me. Thank you in advance for sharing your wisdom!!

  3. IanH says:

    I am pleased to see that you have headed up your list of ingredients with Vit D3. By far it is the most scientifically studied of all the pain/inflammatory reducing nutrients.

    Here is another recent study :


    Sorry, could only supply a URL for the abstract.

  4. evnavarre@hotmail.com says:

    In February 2015 my wife collapsed with what turned out to be fibromyalgia. A blood test showed a shortage of Vit. D3. We worked through the process as outlined in your article and she was returned to full health within eight months. Fortunately we had an excellent GP who put her on the minimum NSAID for 1 1/2 scripts then we had the pain under control. You did not mention the use of D Ribose which is an essential aspect of the energy cycle. There were a few other items we use but, thank goodness, she has been without any symptoms since.

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