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We’re Approaching Chronic Pain Wrong

Opiates are the Anti-Pain Medicine. BioPlete May Change This

Current modern medical care is amazing when dealing with acute life threatening events. Trauma Care, Heart Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery and Emergency Medicine are areas where western medicine shines. These are effective and well researched therapies for immediately life changing conditions. I don’t think anyone can argue that.

The place where we’ve gotten it wrong is our approach to health maintenance and prevention. Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. We use anti-depressants for depression, anti-anxiety meds for anxiety, anti-hypertensives for hypertension and anti-inflammatories for inflammation. These medications all change the way our body responds to the underlying condition. If we have anxiety, we block the effects of anxiety on our system. If we have hypertension, we mask the effects or causes of hypertension on our system. We’re good at this. But really anxiety is not caused by a benzodiazepine deficiency and depression isn’t caused by an prozac deficiency. Opiates are the same. Chronic pain is not caused by an opiate deficiency.

We can take opiate pain medications to mask acute pain. And we should. If I break my leg please give me lots of strong pain medication. I will need it for a few days. The problem occurs when I’m still on those medications a month later. Or even worse… a year later.

There are certainly chronic painful conditions for which  people will need to take medication. But we should address the root cause of the pain and not continue to mask it. Unfortunately we’ve learned a little late in the game that if you do take chronic opiates for pain your pain will get worse. This condition is called Opiate Induced Hyperalgesia. Opiates reprogram your pain level sensitivity. If you’re on regular opiates for a long period of time and you think you have a “high pain threshold”, your wrong. You do not. You have a low pain threshold and it will continue to get lower til you’re in chronic pain all the time. This is the paradox of using opiates for chronic pain. Not only will your pain get worse but your tolerance to opiates will increase and you’ll need higher and higher doses to have a gradually declining effect.

So when I learned about BioPlete, an over the counter supplement from Ethos, I had to try it. What Ethos did was look at the underlying biochemistry of how pain is created and managed in the body. Much of the information we know actually comes from measurable biomarkers associated with inflammation. Some of these include kynurenic acid and inflammatory cytokines. So if we have knowledge about how the pain and inflammatory process is created why don’t we address it? BioPlete did.

This supplement ($79 US) directly targets many of the known pathways that create and maintain inflammation in our body. The ingredients are all natural powerful modulators of our body’s inflammation pathways. BioPlete addresses the common biochemical abnormalities seen in those with chronic pain. Here is the product description from the manufacturer.

BioPlete Formulation Ingredients

  1. Methylcobalamin – Methylcobalamin is the metabolically active form of Vitamin B12. Methylcobalamin promotes the regeneration of injured nerves and exerts neuronal protection. In clinical studies, methylcobalamin has been shown to alleviate pain behaviors associated with diabetic neuropathy, low back pain, and neuralgia.

  2. Pyridoxal 5’-Phosphate (P-5-P) – P-5-P is the metabolically active form of Vitamin B6 and a critically important cofactor for the synthesis of several pain modulating compounds. Optimal levels of P-5-P are required to facilitate various biochemical pathways that result in the production and release of pain relieving chemicals such as GABA and serotonin.

  3. N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) – N-Acetylcysteine is a powerful antioxidant which acts to increase intracellular levels of glutathione. Glutathione is the most important and abundant component of our natural antioxidant defense system and optimal levels are critical for combatting oxidative stress. This is an important consideration for individuals suffering with pain as oxidative stress is known to play a central role in the development and worsening of painful neuropathies. Pain patients taking daily doses of acetaminophen (APAP) are at an even higher risk of glutathione depletion, which renders cells susceptible to further oxidative stress/damage. In addition to increasing glutathione levels, NAC also exhibits analgesic effects by inhibiting nociceptive transmission.

  4. Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha) – Withania Somnifera, or Ashwagandha, is an adaptogenic herb that exhibits anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-arthritic properties. Through the modulation of various biochemical pathways, Ashwagandha enhances the body’s resilience to physical and emotional stress. The various health benefits of Ashwagandha are supported by a large number of clinical studies that have demonstrated its ability to reduce symptoms associated with stress (fatigue, depression, temporary cognitive impairment), while lowering cortisol and inflammatory biomarker C-reactive Protein (CRP) levels.

  5. Magnesium Glycinate – Magnesium glycinate is a highly bioavailable form of magnesium. Magnesium is an NMDA receptor antagonist that prevents the development of central sensitization following peripheral tissue injury or inflammation by blocking NMDA receptors. Magnesium also prevents potentiation of pain signaling by blocking the neuronal influx of calcium.

  6. Curcumin C3® – Curcumin C3 is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent which alleviates various types of pain by inhibiting inflammatory pathways. The analgesic activity of curcumin arises from its ability to inhibit arachidonic acid metabolism, cyclooxygenase (COX), lipoxygenase, and pro-inflammatory cytokine production (specifically interleukins and TNF-a) which all play a role in the development and maintenance of pain.

  7. BioPerine® – BioPerine is an extract derived from black pepper which has been shown to greatly enhance the absorption of curcumin.

Does taking a supplement like this really work? Here’s what I’ve found.

When I took BioPlete for acute pain like acute muscle soreness I didn’t notice any immediate effect. I certainly didn’t think it was equal to the immediate pain relieving properties of NSAID’s like Motrin or Alleve. I pretty much just put it aside and stopped thinking about like. But then something happened. A friend of mine started taking it regularly for  chronic pain from arthritis. She  deals with pain every day. She told me that after using BioPlete regularly she noticed a significant improvement in her pain. In fact, she has reduced her regular prescription arthritis medications as a result of the effectiveness of the BioPlete. She continues to take BioPlete daily and has no side effects and reports a significantly improved condition. ( see testimonial below. Everyone with chronic pain had a unique system and a different story so I don’t want to over simplify. Having seen the first hand effects of chronic opiate misuse and abuse I think it’s imperative that other more natural remedies be part of the solution.  BioPlete and other supplements like this will become more popular as people look towards healthier options than steroids and opiate pain medications for chronic conditions.

I have been using BioPlete for just about a year now. After the first month of following the recommended dose by Dr Starr along with proper dietary adjustments I have not had any measurable break through Rheumatoid Arthritis pain and the normal osteoarthritis pain has all but disappeared. It truly has made a significant difference in my physical quality of life. 


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