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[pct-l] Introductions and knee pain

Hello everyone,
    I am new to your discussion group and would like to introduce myself. 
Trail name: "MyTie", from CA but now living in Seattle WA working on Master 
thesis in nutrition. I have just begun to follow the conversations that have 
taken place over the past week and am excited to participate. I have a small 
arsenal of trail experience to draw upon and contribute to the discussions.
    First, I have become interested in the recent(?) discussion on knee 
pain. These joints take a lot of impact and are built to do so. In my 
opinion, most knee problems stem from either genetics which you can not do a 
lot about, major injury which is why warming up and stretching is so 
important and trekking poles are a good idea, or is diet related. Of course 
being a student of nutrition I can pretty much trace all illnesses to the 
diet, which plays a big role in how our body functions over time. Poor 
dietary habits and/or maldigestion can lead to many chronic illnesses. As 
for the case of knee pain, if it is pain experienced after use (ie hiking), 
vs pain upon awaking without prior use, then the cartilage that lines the 
inner knee has experienced damage. This damage is probably a common 
occurrence for backpackers but heals given the proper nutrition and rest. (A 
good nights sleep is my justification for carrying a good sleeping pad. I'd 
rather sleep good and carry the weight then toss and turn on the pine 
needles to save the weight, as some backpackers advocate)As for nutrition, 
backpackers have the extra challenge of carrying their food, thus limiting 
nutritious food choices.One thing that is essential for proper cartilage 
repair is vitamin C. It's cheap, weighs little, and goes a long way to help 
in the building and repair of all our connective tissues. About 2-3 grams 
per day should suffice. Other nutrients that have scientific research 
supporting them are the Glucosamines, as mentioned a few days ago. This 
nutrient, that is found in the cartilage and gristle of animal bones 
(sardines anyone, is the primary fuel for cartilage building. The best 
source, actually the only one that has had consistent research to support, 
is the glucosamine sulfates. It's small enough to be absorbed (over 90% 
absorbable vs the large and relatively unabsorbable chondroitin sulfates) 
and goes straight to the joints for incorporation into cartilage metabolism. 
If people would like, I can post the references to several articles showing 
drastic improvements in knee pain with the use of the glucosamines. Other 
things that need to be addressed with knee pain are food allergies, large 
consumption of the inflammatory foods (ie. animal meats, dairy, eggs), 
caffeine, alcohol and sugar consumption and the general "cleanliness" of the 
diet. Any questions?
     For those of you wondering what pctresearch in my email address is all 
about, allow me just a small moment to introduce my Master's thesis. I am 
currently working on research that will look at how the body changes during 
long-distance thru-hiking and how these changes relate to diet and 
performance. I am curious to see how muscle and fat composition change with 
extreme exercise during chronic malnurishment. I am currently looking for 
participants who would like to be part of this study that will follow a 
group of thru-hikers on the PCT in 2000. If anyone would like more 
information they can e-mail personally at pctresearch@hotmail.com, or post 
to this discussion. Also, if anyone would like to help through donating 
anything at all, whether it be money, equipment, a place for our research 
team to crash near the PCT, or even some helpful criticism or anecdotal 
accounts I would greatly appreciate it.
    Sorry for the length of this posting, I will try to shorten future 

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