What can I do for Arthritis?
If you are reading this you probably know what Arthritis is. For those that don’t know, Arthritis in essence it is the swelling, inflammation and tenderness of the joints and may progressively cause the degeneration of bone and cartilage. This can occur pretty much anywhere in the body (where two bones meet), from your top of your spine right down to your toes and everything in between. The symptoms can range from mild to severe ultimately causing debilitating pain and disfiguring that effected those parts of the body.
Arthritis will affect most people throughout their lives. Currently at least 1/3 of the US age between 18 – 64 are suffering with one or other form of Arthritis. The numbers are even higher for those age over 64. It might feel likeSwelling and inflammation the odds are stacked against us all, that it would be inevitable we too will develop or will suffer from this condition. That the only thing we can do is wait to get it and hopefully treat the symptoms relating to Arthritis. So what can I do for Arthritis ? Is there something that could prevent me from developing it in the first place ? And if I have Arthritis all ready, is there something I can do to make it better? Questions like these have been asked time and time again. The most conventional answer would be ” No, sorry we can only treat the symptoms “. But let’s look at this in greater depth.
Nutrient, Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies relating to Arthritis:
Adequate amounts of Nutrients, Vitamins and minerals are required for our body to function at its best. Without the adequate amounts our body would simply develop deficiencies that could lead to severe ailments or conditions that could have been prevented in the first place. Although most would have some idea that nutrients, vitamins and nutrients are important, many are still told today that eating healthy well-balanced meals would give their body all it needs.
Unfortunately this is just not true. A 100 years ago this statement would have had some ground to stand on, but nowadays we need so much more. The food that are grown including the meat we eat require sufficient amounts of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to grow properly, as well to be healthy. If the plants and animals are nutrient, vitamin and mineral deficient, we would simply not be able to get everything we need from these food sources. There are truly 100’s of ailments and conditions that can be traced back to some form of Nutrient, Vitamin or mineral deficiency. Arthritis being one of them. Whether you have slight/mild symptoms or advanced Arthritis chances are you or a loved one have a nutrient, vitamin or mineral deficiency. The deficiencies could even have been passed genetically. This does not mean you cannot treat or begin rectifying the problem. It’s just a matter of knowing what nutrients, vitamins and minerals could be responsible and what their actual functions are.
Vitamin B3, B5, B6 & B12:
A combination of these vitamins B’s serves many functions. Collectively they assist with reducing swelling in body tissue, the formation of new cells, increase of blood flow, the production of Myelin (the protective coating that surround the nerves, thus preventing nerve damage), assists with a healthy nervous system and brain function as well as improving joint mobility.
Some proteins that are present in joint or connective tissues (such as cartilage, tendons, ligaments and bone) are dependent on Vit K in order to function. These proteins must carboxylate, without Vit K they simply won’t function. Experiments have shown, individuals who have lower levels of Vit K (less functional Vit K dependent proteins) have greater risk at developing osteoarthritis. Adequate amounts of Vit K have been found to slow the progression of Arthritis.
Vit C & E:
Respectfully both these have their own function. Vitamin C being a powerful anti-oxidant (fights against free radical damage) that assist in diminishing inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is believed to trigger rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups. Vitamin C also has a role in the synthesizing Collagen (one of the main proteins found in bones and joint tissue).
Vitamin E have shown to slow the progression of osteoarthritis, assists with increase joint mobility as well as a powerful antioxidant.
Calcium is needed for overall strong and healthy bones. Those suffering from RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) will experience bone loss at some stage. Normal conventional treatment for RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) would include taking corticosteroids, these corticosteroids inhibits the bodies’ ability to absorb calcium. If not enough calcium is being absorbed into our body then this could lead to Osteoporosis, making fractures of the bones even more likely.
Calcium is one of the most important minerals our body needs. Unfortunately, our body can not ” manufacture” or produce calcium on it own, therefore we are reliant on food sources and supplements to get adequate amounts of it. Calcium also serves other vitally important functions, it allows our muscles to contract (including our heart), assists with the clotting and circulation of our blood and allow for good brain health. If the body does not get enough calcium from food sources or supplements it will simply start taking (or extracting) it from our bones.
If there is one vitamin that goes hand in hand with Calcium then it would be Vitamin D. Without the adequate amounts of Vitamin D the body would not be able to absorb Calcium at all. Even if you are taking adequate amounts of calcium trough food sources or supplements it would be a complete waste of time (and effort) if you have a Vitamin D deficiency.
Studies have also suggested that Vitamin D has anti inflammatory properties, thus reducing pain and swelling associated with Arthritis. Vitamin D has shown to suppress and prevent flare-ups of symptoms in people suffering with RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis). Severe Vitamin D deficiency could lead to Myopathy (the decrease of muscle or muscle fibers), resulting in muscle weakness.
Omega 3 fatty acids are anti inflammatory by reducing the production of certain substances and molecules in the body. Omega 3 will reduce stiffness and swelling in joints potentially effected by arthritis. There are two types of Omega 3 fatty acids that are beneficial for those with Arthritis, EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Both of these found in fish oil.
These essential nutrients have shown to assist in lowering blood pressure as well as the prevention and management of heart disease. EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) have also been found as an effective treatment for depression. Where as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) may reduce the risk of muscle degeneration of the eyes (one of the leading causes of blindness and permanent eye damage).
One of the leading risk factors of developing osteoarthritis is a Magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is responsible for a good deal of health factor. A magnesium deficiency may cause the development of poor quality cartilage, overall cartilage damage, the calcification of soft tissue, increased inflammation and flare -ups and a weakened effect towards painkillers.
Zinc improves the symptoms associated with RA by supporting the immune system and the development of cartilage. Zinc allows for cell reproduction and tissue growth. Studies have show people diagnosed with RA have much lower levels of Zinc than those without RA. The lower the levels of Zinc the more severe the symptoms.
Zinc have shown effectiveness in the formation of bone (growth), as well as being a powerful anti inflammatory.
Copper is vital in the co-factor formation in amine-oxidases. One of them being Lysyl oxidase. This is an enzyme that forms a linkage in elastin and collagen production. It is also responsible for preventing the degeneration of the elasticity in tissue.
Copper has been studied since the early 1900s and have show the negative effects of copper deficiency in the body. Copper deficiency may cause hypertension (high blood pressure) which may lead to cardiovascular problems. Copper together with iron assists in the formation of red blood cells. Copper helps maintain good bone health, blood vessels, nerves and immune function.
Selenium & Manganese:
Selenium has anti-oxidant properties which assists in joint mobility. Selenium may also prevent the development of arthritis.
Manganese assists in the development of normal bone growth, has anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties. Manganese will also assist in wound healing and a healthy metabolism.
Sulfur prevents the degeneration of collagen, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. It is needed for the production of healthy connective tissue, collagen and glucosamine all important for healthy bones and joints. The main benefit of Sulfur is its anti-inflammatory properties which assist in reducing pain and swelling.
Studies have shown that individuals with both RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and OA (Osteoarthritis) have lower levels of the trace mineral Boron. Boron has anti inflammatory properties that can alleviate symptoms associated with Arthritis. It has also shown to assist in healthy brain function and has significant anti-cancer effects that has been used in the treatment of many different types of cancers.
Boron deficiency may cause impaired growth and abnormal bone development. It have shown to decrease calcitonin levels (a hormone that decrease calcium levels) as well as assist in the increase of Calcium and Vitamin D levels.
To Act or Not to Act:
From what various studies have shown, it has become quite clear that Nutrients, Vitamins and Minerals plays the utmost important roles in keeping our bodies’ functioning as well as insuring optimal health. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Nutrients, Vitamins and Minerals aids in the prevention and management of certain ailments, conditions and diseases.
- A striking observation I have personally made is the lack of supplementation of Nutrients, Vitamins and Minerals most people have. This is even more apparent in older individuals. As we age, our appetite towards food (or certain foods) change. Middle aged to elderly individuals tend to not have much appetite and eat much less. As mentioned before, we are all ready not getting enough Nutrients, Vitamins and Minerals from our food sources. So when we start eating less (as well as less variety) and not supplementing correctly, we must know for certain that we are gearing ourselves up for all sorts of health problems. It’s just a matter of time when the body won’t comply anymore. I have noted that most if not all middle-aged and elderly individuals do not take any additional supplementation of Nutrients, Vitamins and Minerals and only rely on the food they eat.
- I personally do not know of any older person that does not have a form of Arthritis, stiffness, pain, inflammation and decreased joint mobility, and I am not even mentioning the supposed younger ” healthier ” individuals that have all ready started suffering from the same symptoms. Just because you are young doesn’t mean you are healthy.
- If you look at those who have animal pets (dogs, cats etc) or even Cattle farmers, one would notice how well (most of) those animals are taken care of. The owners make sure they are fed good quality food (among other things). It is striking to see that most animal feed (including dog or cat food) contains more Nutrients, Vitamins and Minerals than what we give ourselves and our children in our “human” food. And then most don’t even supplement.
I just wish more people would wake up and smell the roses to realize they cannot expect to be “healthy” (or ailment and disease free) and not eat healthy as well as NOT supplement correctly. Your health is probably one of the most valuable assists you will have in your life. It is given to each one of us, we just have to look after it. And then maybe ailments or deceases such as Arthritis will become just a word from a forgotten time.