Using Glucosamine Chondroitin and Vitamin C

In the past people often obtained the building blocks of cartilage by chewing meat down to the bone, eating gristle attached to meat, or by making soups with bones. Boiling the bones in water releases glucosamine and chondroitin, which are consumed as part of the soup. Research has shown that these substances migrate after digestion to cartilage tissues in people. The two principal forms of glucosamine in supplements are glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride, and both appear to be...

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system mounts a full-scale attack on the body's own tissues. In rheumatoid arthritis the attack is centered on connective tissue near joints. Early symptoms include inflammation, pain, stiffness, tenderness, and swelling. However, this disease also has wide-ranging systemic effects including fever, reduced appetite, weight loss, and fatigue. Rheumatoid arthritis is generally progressive it gets worse with time. There may...

Hank and Debra The Deadly Effects of the Inflammation Syndrome

For Hank and Debra, what they didn't know came back to hurt them. In college they were athletic, trim, and attractive. Hank was the star of the college football team, and Debra was an avid tennis player. Youth was on their side, and they quickly recovered from the inevitable athletic injuries. After they graduated and married Hank pursued a career in sales, enjoying its competitive nature but not immediately recognizing how it kept him from exercising. Meanwhile, Debra juggled motherhood and...

What Is Osteoarthritis

Of more than one hundred types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is by far the most common. Osteoarthritis refers specifically to a breakdown of the cartilage pad in at least one joint, such as the fingers, knees, or elbows. It also can affect the neck, hips, and lower back, even resulting in a decrease in height. These pads, known as articular cartilage, cushion the impact and lubricate the movement of bones in a joint. When articular cartilage is thin or completely gone, bones grind directly...

Conventional NSAIDs

Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and generic brands), naproxen sodium, (Aleve and others) are the most popular over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and many higher-potency NSAIDs are available by prescription. The term NSAID means that these drugs are anti-inflammatory but not based on steroid hormones. NSAIDs are very effective in relieving headaches, controlling inflammation, easing pain, and reducing fevers. But like other anti-inflammatory drugs, they pose considerable...

Gamma Linolenic Acid

Gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, is part of the omega-6 family, but it behaves more like an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid. GLA is found in seeds, and nearly all supplemental forms are derived from borage, evening primrose, or black currant seeds. It constitutes about 20 percent of borage seed oil, 15 to 19 percent of black currant seed oil, and 9 percent of evening primrose seed oil. If you have been consuming vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, or soy, do not assume that your body has...

Melinda When the Cure Is Worse Than the Disease

You might think that iatrogenic disease is some sort of rare condition. But the term actually refers to any illness caused by a physician or treatment. And it's surprisingly common. In a typical year, more than a hundred thousand hospitalized patients die from medications they had been prescribed, and more than 2 million others suffer severe side effects. Incredibly, no one knows the number of serious adverse reactions and deaths from drugs related to over-the-counter medications. When Melinda...

Barbara Inflammation Rheumatoid Arthritis and Asthma

At age forty-one, Barbara had suffered with rheumatoid arthritis and asthma for years and was taking half a dozen prescription drugs, which barely kept her symptoms in check. Then Barbara's physician started her on the hormone prednisone. After seven months on the drug she had gained 100 pounds she was carrying 251 pounds on her 5'2 frame and also developed the moon face characteristic of prednisone users. The cure was worse than the disease. As a last-ditch effort, she went to a nutritionally...

Vitamin E and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Consistent with the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin E are clinical studies showing that it can reduce inflammation and pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The first study, published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases in 1997, described how a team of British and German researchers treated forty-two patients with either about 1,800 IU (900 IU twice daily) of vitamin E or placebos daily for twelve weeks. The subjects kept a daily diary describing their early-morning stiffness,...

Recent Studies on Glucosamine Chondroitin and Vitamin C

Several recent studies, using similar combinations of supplements, clearly convey the benefits of glucosamine, chondroitin, and vitamin C in people with osteoarthritis. In particular, glucosamine and chondroitin help rebuild articular cartilage and also have anti-inflammatory properties, which may explain why they reduce joint pain. These two actions likely reduce the influx of white blood cells into joints, where they would release inflammation-promoting free radicals. In one study, Alan F....

Olive

Think of olive oil as one of the tastiest supplements you can eat. A common constituent of Greek and Italian diets, olive oil is rich in oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid. Many of the heart-healthy benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet have been attributed to its abundant use of olive oil. Although other aspects of the diet e.g., fruits, vegetables, and fish are healthful, scientific studies have found olive oil to possess impressive anti-inflammatory properties in its own right. Diets...

The Dietary Causes of Inflammation

Cytokine Pathways and Joint Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis. New England Journal of Medicine 344 2001 907-916. Cohen, H. A., I. Neuman, and H. Nahaum. Blocking Effect of Vitamin C in Exercise-Induced Asthma. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 151 1997 467-470. Darlington, L. G., and T. W. Stone. Antioxidants and Fatty Acids in the Amelioration of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Related Disorders. British Journal of Nutrition 85 2001 251-269. Enig, M....

Devils Claw

Devil's claw Harpagophytum procumbens is a traditional southern African herb used to treat pain and upset stomachs. Its name comes from its clawlike fruit, which resemble the feet of birds. Ten clinical studies conducted between 1982 and 2000 have found that devil's claw can benefit people with rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain, and various other rheumatic complaints. In the June 2000 issue of Phytomedicine, French researchers reported using devil's claw to successfully treat ninety-two...