Affecting arthritis with nutrition.

Affecting arthritis with nutrition.

In keeping with the idea that internal inflammation can manifest in different ways and seems to be a culprit behind many chronic diseases, it becomes apparent that nutrition is a key in managing these types of inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis.

It would appear, both from research and from clinical observation, that arthritis is related to gastrointestinal health. Consider for instance that 5-10% of ankylosing spondylitis cases also have a GI disorder such as Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis. Also a much larger percentage of ankylosing spondylitis patients have subclinical gut inflammation as shown by endoscopic findings.

All this means that arthritis then should be helped by helping the GI system. And in fact, arthritis patients who use the probiotic Lactobacillus casei report better symptom control.

Other supplements to consider for arthritis are vitamin A, vitamin D, and Omega 3 fatty acids. As far as fatty acids are concerned, it is also important to limit the omega 6’s. Look at the list and see which one you get more of.

Omega 3- fish oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil.

Omega 6-borage, cottonseed, grapeseed, peanut, primrose, safflower, sesame, corn oil.

Keep in mind subjects took 3 grams of fish oil for at least 12 weeks before joint swelling and stiffness decreased.

Also useful is vitamin B6, which can lower pro-inflammatory compounds IL-6 and TNF-alpha. 100 mg of B6 for 12 weeks was needed to affect a change on arthritis with B6. (Due to possible neurotoxicity, I would not recommend going over 100 mg of B6, and also lowering to 50 mg after the initial 12 weeks, for a maintenance phase. Individual needs vary and nutrient testing gives best custom info.)

Many arthritis patients will have lower than normal zinc levels. Zinc can reduce internal inflammation by altering histamine release.

And why is it so important to treat arthritis with nutrition instead of just using drugs? Because that is how your body prefers it, and there is just no fooling nature. One potent drug for arthritis is methotrexate. This drug actually raise homocysteine levels, which is a marker of internal inflammation. Corticosteroids, also used for pain, can lower absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and cause a need for higher levels of folate, vitamin D, B6, C and protein.

In finding the best outcomes for chronic problems such as arthritis, an individualized nutrition profile test can be very helpful.